Our Soils Are Depleted ~ We Don't get Everything We Need from the Land
The major issue we face is that our soils are depleted and no longer contain essential nutrients and trace elements we need for human health. Plants that grow in these soils, and the animals that eat these plants cannot pass the nutrients to humans who eat them, because they simply don't have them to pass on.
Why Are Seaweeds Essential For Optimal Human Health?
It is essential to include sea vegetables in your diet because they are very efficient at absorbing all the micronutrients humans need for optimal health ~ all of which are abundantly available in our oceans. So seaweeds collectively are "superfoods".
The entire surface area of their structure absorbs nutrients*, minerals and trace elements directly from the water - they are highly efficient sponges. They are a source of plant fibre (which helps to absorb sugars more slowly) and contain many healthy fatty acids and essential amino acids.
Seaweeds Offer All Our Bodies Need for Optimal Health
When you think of the 'best food' you could possibly eat, seaweed ticks all the boxes. They are an excellent source of nutritional fibre - this can be up to 60% when dried. When we eat seaweed, they absorb water from the stomach and expand, forming a gelatin-like structure which can make us feel fuller than we ordinarily would have.
- Carbohydrates – seaweeds contain digestible sugars, insoluable fibre and soluble fibres. Different seaweeds contain different amounts of carbohydrates (which can be impacted by seasonality and where they grow).
- High protein – seaweeds contain many of the essential amino acids. Red and green seaweeds typically contain higher protein, comparable to that of protein rich land vegetables
- Low calorie - On average there are around 120-240 calories in 100g of dried seaweed.
- Low fat (about 1-5% of seaweed’s dry weight) – fatty acids in seaweeds are mostly unsaturated and provide essential fatty acids which are important for brain function (omega-3 and omega -6)
- Minerals and trace elements – seaweeds actively absorb minerals from the water – typically they can have 10 to 100 times more minerals than what is found in other common land plants. Seaweeds are well regarded as the best natural source of iodine, but they are also rich in calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, sodium, potassium. Additionally other trace elements such as zinc, copper, manganese, selenium and chromium are found in seaweeds.
- Vitamins – Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C and E are found in many seaweeds.
Seaweeds are Suitable for All Dietary Preferences
Seaweeds offer a vegetarian and vegan friendly solution and many can be enjoyed raw. Whatever your dietary preference, you will benefit from including a little seaweed into your daily food choices.
Each Seaweed Is Unique - Eat the Seaweed Rainbow!
There are thousands of species of seaweeds and each is distinctive. If you would like to know more about a particular seaweed’s nutritional profile please visit our product pages in the shop. We also recommend careful review of the nutritional panel on the reverse of each packet of seaweed you purchase as each seaweed has a different make up. We do offer some products which are blends of different seaweeds. In just the same way we eat a range of different land vegetable colours, so should we eat a range of sea vegetable colours. Read our blog article on eating the seaweed rainbow to understand more about this and check out of power of three flake blend or furikake range which all contain seaweed blends of each colour.
Check out the recipe section to be inspired to bring delicious and nutritious seaweeds into your every day meals.
*The nutrients in seaweed can be impacted by many facets including water temperature, the stage they are at in their life cycle, age, the amount of sunlight they have been exposed to, the time they are harvested, the way they are dried and stored.
Can eating seaweed be bad for me?
The short answer is yes, this is possible.
Seaweed also absorbs toxins from the water (PCBs and dioxins, heavy metals and radioactive substances) which are harmful to humans. This can vary depending on where the seaweed is harvested, when it’s harvested in the season, how it’s dried. This is why it’s important to only consume seaweeds which have been dried properly, collected from a clean environment (ideally tested for contaminants), and packed in food grade licensed premises.
Additionally, some seaweeds also produce kainic acid and iodine, large amounts of which should not be consumed. Please pay attention to nutritional information on the back of each bag.
Pacific Harvest recommends seaweed is a supplement to your regular diet on a regular basis, rather than eating large quantities occasionally.
A small amount packs a big punch!
If you have health concerns, we strongly recommend you follow the advice of a nutritional or medical professional.