Natural Diet Supplement!
Health Benefits of Sea Vegetables
Radiation Testing on all Sea Weed harvested
Coastal peoples all over the world have prized sea vegetables (often referred to as “sea vegetables”) as a source of valuable nutrients, primarily minerals, for millennia. Here in northern California, the inland native peoples used to trade their most precious possessions for a bag of dried sea vegetables laboriously carried on someone’s back from the coast.
Knowledge of the tonic and healing powers of sea vegetables was passed down among coastal peoples from generation to generation. Much of their knowledge is in the process of being confirmed by modern scientific analysis. And demographic studies have shown that people who regularly incorporate edible sea vegetabless into their diets have fewer problems from mineral depletion and live longer than other peoples.1
Sea vegetables contain 10 to 20 times the vitamins and minerals of land vegetables. Gram for gram, they are higher in vitamins and minerals than any other class of food.2 The minerals are available in chelated, colloidal forms that make them especially available to the bodies of humans and animals, a concept known as “bioavailability.” All sea vegetables contain significant amounts of protein, sometimes as much as 48%. Sea plants are also a rich sources of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.3 The large brown sea vegetabless known as the “kelps” (including wakame and kombu (see Nutritional analysis) contain alginic acid. Studies have shown that alginic acid removes heavy metals and radioactive isotopes from the digestive tract, as well as strontium 90 from the bones.4
Sea vegetables have traditionally been used in Asia to treat heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and thyroid problems. Modern researchers are trying to understand the physiological mechanisms by which sea vegetables can be used to successfully treat these diseases, with some promising results. One especially exciting theory proposes that consumption of Laminaria (kombu) explains the low breast cancer rate in post-menopausal Japanese women.5 Much more will be learned in future years as the study of these wondrous plants from the sea continues.
Sea vegetabless contain vitamins A, B, C, and E.6 Moreover, many sea vegetabless contain what appears to be vitamin B-12, a vitamin normally found only in animal products. Avoiding B-12 deficiency has traditionally posed a problem for people on raw foods, vegan, macrobiotic, and vegetarian diets, but sea vegetables just might solve the problem. The source of the B-12 in sea vegetables remains a mystery (is it made by bacteria living on the surface or in the water?), and researchers wonder if it is not really B-12 but an “analogue” of something that resembles B-12 but cannot be utilized by the human body.7 Dr. Gabriel Cousens is quite convinced that the B-12 in sea vegetables is bio-available,8 and the experience of some long-term vegan/vegetarians seems to confirm that view.9
The mineral content of sea vegetables is extraordinary, and is probably at the root of most of their healing properties. Several of the theories put forth to explain the ability of sea vegetables to reduce heart disease and hypertension are based in the high mineral content of sea vegetables, particularly potassium, calcium, sodium, and chloride. In the words of Shep Erhart, author of Sea Vegetable Celebration, “Every second of every day your body depends on minerals to generate billions of tiny electric impulses throughout your nervous system. Your heart would stop, your muscles would freeze, and your brain would black out if these minerals were not available in just the right amounts and the right form. The minerals in sea vegetabless are in colloidal form, meaning they retain their molecular identity while remaining in liquid suspension. Colloids are very small in size and are easily absorbed by the body’s cells. Plants convert metallic minerals, which can be toxic, into colloids with a natural, negative electric charge. Negatively charged minerals have been shown to increase the transport and bioavailability of other foods and supplements.”10
“Minerals that are attached to other substances such as amino acids are also more bioavailable. These are call chelated (key-lated) minerals, from the Greek word for claw. Sea vegetabless provide all of the 56 minerals and trace minerals required for your body’s physiological functions in chelated, colloidal forms. Most enzymatic functions depend on minute amounts of bioavailable trace minerals. The major minerals are instrumental in all kinds of life-sustaining activities in your body: magnesium is crucial in calcium absorption, iodine in thyroid function, iron in blood oxygen exchange, and chromium in blood sugar regulation. All of these functions are facilitated by the presence of chelated, colloidal minerals.”11 Erhart
The minerals in sea vegetables are more important to humans and animals today than ever. The 1997 edition of Food Composition Handbook shows a 25-50% decline in the vitamin and mineral content of foods since the last survey done in 1975. “This decline suggests a steady deterioration in soil, air, and water quality, as well as reduced seed vitality, that is depleting minerals and other inorganic compounds from our food.”12
Minerals in Relation to Tofu, Beans, and Grains
Tofu, beans, and grains contain a substance called phytic acid which blocks the absorption of minerals. With beans and grains you can mitigate this problem by soaking them for 18 hours before cooking. The soaking activates the seed embryo, which neutralizes the phytic acid. Alternatively, you can add sea vegetables to your pot of grain or beans, which makes more minerals available and ensures that some will be absorbed.
In Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon and Mary Enig point out that Americans are using tofu very differently than it is used in Asia. In Asia small quantities of tofu are usually served in a fish-based broth with sea vegetables. The sea vegetables and the fish provide additional minerals that balance the mineral-leaching effect of the phytic acid in the tofu. But Americans, having identified tofu as a vegetable source of protein, have isolated it from its culinary tradition and consume huge quantities of it the way we would consume steak or hamburgers. Hundreds of substitute meat products consist mainly of texturized soy protein, and many people simply dip a slab of tofu in tamari and yeast and fry it. We would be wise to eat in harmony with Asian traditions and use tofu in smaller quantities and in combination with fish and/or sea vegetables.
- Erhart, Shep and Cerier, Leslie, Sea Vegetable Celebration, Book Publishing Company, Summertown, TN, 2001, p. 22.
- Cousens, Gabriel, Conscious Eating, Essene Vision Books, Patagonia, AZ, 1992,
- Erhart and Cerier, 25-27.
- Erhart and Cerier, 30.
- Erhart and Cerier, 29.
- Cousens, 484
- Erhart and Cerier, 24-25.
- Cousens, 484.
- Erhart and Cerier, 25.
- Erhart and Cerier, 27-28.
- Erhart and Cerier, 21-22.
- Jack, Alex, Let Food Be Thy Medicine, One Peaceful World Newsletter, 1999,
200 as quoted in Erhart and Cerier, Sea Vegetable Celebration, 22.
Sea Vegetable Products:
Atlantic whole leaf Dulse – (Rhodomenia palmata) Organic, Sustainably wildcrafted *** This dulse from the northern Atlantic is high in protein, iron, B-12, chlorophyll, enzymes, and fiber. Great raw, right out of the bag. Snip pieces and add to salads, eggs, or grains. Make an Almond-Waldorf Salad (recipe on package). Fry it for a vegetarian DLT sandwich! – $5.10, 1 oz; $52.95, 1 lb package
Dulse Flakes – Organic, Sustainably wildcrafted – This dulse is high in protein, iron, B-12, chlorophyll, enzymes, and fiber. Great raw. Snip with scissors and add to salads, eggs, or grains. Wildcrafted, Raw! – $48.95, 1 lb package
Fucus Vesiculosis, Whole leaf / Bladderwrack (Kelp*) – Sustainably wildcrafted *** High in fucoidans, potassium, sodium and iodine, Bladderwrack has been traditionally used to enhance the body’s immune system, inhibit tumor cells, suppress allergic inflammation and strengthen body tissues. Great in cooking or soaked for salads. Wildcrafted, Raw. – $52.95, 1 lb package
Hijiki – (Imported from Japan – Hizikia fusiformis) Extremely high in calcium, hijiki has a crisp texture and mild nutty flavor. Soak it until soft (10 minutes), and sautÃ©, simmer, or steam. Eat it as is, with dressing of choice, add to salads or soups, or use as a garnish. – $12.99, 1 oz package
California Kombu (Kelp*) – (Laminaria digitata) Sustainably wildcrafted *** Our special drying techniques make this kombu dark, flavorful, and nutrient-rich. Studies show that alginic acids in kombu remove heavy metals and radiation from the GI tract. (Since mercury is a heavy metal, we mix kombu “juice” in with tuna fish, and try to eat kombu or kombu juice with salmon). Kombu contains powerful amounts of potassium, magnesium, iodine, fucoidan, and B vitamins. Add to grains, beans, or soups. – $24.95, Granules, 1 lb package; $24.95, Powder, 1 lb package
California whole leaf Nori – (Porphyra perforata) Sustainably wildcrafted ** Clean and flavorful, this wild-crafted spring nori comes to you in its natural crinkly splendor rather than in heat processed sushi sheets. Rich in protein, chlorophyll, vitamins A, C, E, and B. Toast & crumble it on salads or pasta, mix into dips, soak in tempura batter and lightly fry, or eat it as is. Great for a raw-foods diet. – $3.89, 1/2 oz package; $55.95, 1 lb package
Raw Nori Sushi Sheets – approximately 7.5 x 8.5 inches (Imported from China) Organic *** For a raw-foods treat, wrap this sushi nori around avocado, sashimi (raw fish), and cucumber. Or spread cooked rice on a sheet along with steamed veggies (cut into strips), grilled chicken or salmon, avocado, shrimp, tofu or other favorites. – $4.49, 10 sheets; $15.99, 50 sheets
Toasted Nori Sushi Sheets – approximately 7.5 x 8.5 inches (Imported from China) Organic – From a village co-op with good human rights and environmental practices, these delicious toasted sheets make a wonderful snack or travel food as is. They can also be used to wrap rice, avocado, and salmon for sushi rolls. Cut them into strips for a shiny, elegant, and tasty garnish on almost any dish. – $4.49, 10 sheets; $15.99, 50 sheets
California Wakame (Kelp*) – (Alaria marginata) Sustainably wildcrafted *** A rich source of fucoidan, Wakame is also high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, B, and C. Try simmering it, then marinating with ginger, soy sauce, and rice syrup. Add to soups, or soak for salads or stir-fries. Toast and sprinkle. – $4.90, .75 oz package; $61.95, 1 lb package;
California Sea Palm (Kelp*) – (Postelsia palmaeformis) Sustainably wildcrafted ** A northern California treasure, noodle-like sea palm becomes a favorite of anyone who tries it. Enjoy its mild flavor. For a gourmet treat, cover Â¼ oz sea palm with water, simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Peel sections of 1 grapefruit and toss with slices of 2 avocados. Add sea palm whole or in pieces. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt or table salt. Exotic! – $4.90, .75 oz package; $55.95, 1 lb package
Chewnami/Kombu Nibbles; 100% organic and wildcrafted: Ginger or Maple, 3 oz, $4.10; Ginger or Maple, 1 lb, $19.95
Chewnami/Kombu Bars; 100% organic and wildcrafted: Crunchy, sweet but not too sweet energy bars. Amazingly good for you! Ideal for traveling, backpacking, kid and adult lunches, gifts, potlucks. These bars are compact, unsquishable, and they will keep you going! Try them with almond butter! They are high in protein, omega 3’s, and minerals. Kelp crunch bars come in two flavors: Ginger or Maple, 2 lb, unlabeled bars, $51.95; Ginger or Maple, Box of 30, unlabeled, $57.95
Sea Crunchies, toasted sea palm, with Almonds: – Sustainably wildcrafted – An awesome trail mix consisting of plenty of toasted organic almonds mixed with crumbled, toasted sea palm fronds. A rich, nutty-salty taste sensation. Another great travel or backpacking food, or one-of-a-kind gift. A superb snack rich in protein, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. – 2 oz, $5.49; 1 lb, $52.95; 4 lb bulk package, $98.95
Sea Crunchies, toasted sea palm: – $5.25, 1 oz; $55.95, 1 lb package
Sea Lettuce, Whole Leaf (Ulva lactuca) – Organic, Sustainably wildcrafted – This bright green sea vegetable is the most tender of all our seaweeds, and possibly the most flavorful. Eat as is, or add to salads, pastas, salad dressings, or rice. – $44.95, 1 lb package
Sea Weed Snack – Original; USDA Organic Seaweed Snacks (Original Flavor) are simply great tasting Nori shaped into convenient, individually wrapped strips. Larger bag reseals, allowing you to tear off a few strips at-a-time for your backpack, purse, or lunch box, .53 oz, $3.99
Sea Weed Snack – Spicy; Seaweed Snack, Spicy, China USDA Organic Seaweed Snacks (Spicy Flavor) are simply great tasting Nori shaped into convenient, individually wrapped strips. Larger bag reseals, allowing you to tear off a few strips at-a-time for your backpack, purse, or lunch box. .53 oz, $3.99
*This is one of the large brown seaweeds classified as kelp. **Indicates items are raw seaweed sun dried at low heat.
PLEASE NOTE: Orders are shipped UPS, so a street address is necessary and these orders ship within 24 hours. NO P.O. Boxes can be shipped to!