As we are preparing for our Seaweeds and Coastal Foraging class over Independence Day weekend, we are reflecting on the many benefits of seaweeds and feeling grateful for this wonderful gift from the sea.
What are Seaweeds?
Seaweeds, or sea vegetables, are edible plants from the sea that are rich in minerals and nutrients. Sea vegetables are classified by color: reds, browns, greens, blue-greens, and yellow-greens. The color depends in part on the light spectrum available to the plant.
Sea vegetables have been used for thousands of years to help prolong life, prevent disease, promote health and enhance beauty. Throughout the Pacific Northwest, local nori seaweed was eaten abundantly by indigenous peoples.
Benefits of Seaweed
According to Paul Pitchford in Healing with Whole Foods, sea vegetables contain ten to twenty times the minerals of land plants. Ounce per ounce, seaweed is higher in vitamins and minerals than any other class of food. All minerals needed by humans are found in seaweeds including calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc. Nutrients include vitamin A, vitamins B1, B2, B6, niacin, vitamin C, pantothenic acid, folic acid, soluble fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and trace amounts of vitamin B12. As well, seaweeds contain all of the trace elements that the body needs in the correct balance.
Although there are many different types of seaweed, all of them have health benefits. Seaweeds help:
- Lower cholesterol
- Cleanse the body of toxins and pollutants
- Strengthen bones and teeth
- Regulate hormones
- Promote thyroid health
- Enrich the bloodstream
- Stimulate and improve blood and lymph circulation
- Nourish, oxygenate and detoxify the skin
- Strengthen the immune system
- Correct mineral deficiencies
- Soften hardened masses or tumors
- Improve nerve transmission
- Stabilize blood pressure
- Strengthen digestion
- Reduce tension
- Relieve muscle pain and fatigue
Those are some powerful “weeds”!
In our class, we will be focusing on new and fun ways to incorporate seaweeds into every aspect of our diet to improve health and vitality. Here is one of the many recipes we will share with students:
San Juan Sea Snacks – from the kitchen of Karen Sherwood
1/2 cup kelp power (Nereocystis, bullwhip kelp fronds)
2 cups hazelnuts, divided
1 cup cranberries, divided
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut flakes
- Put 1 1/2 cup hazelnuts into food processor and process until they are a chunky butter texture.
- Add 1/2 cup cranberries, kelp powder, maple syrup and mix well.
- Add remainder of hazelnuts and cranberries and process until just blended.
- Scoop out and roll into small balls.
- Roll in coconut flakes.
This is the best trail snack ever!
We have a few unexpected openings left in this very popular class. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in joining us!