From The Garden by Brian Hetrich, Greenhouse Manager at HHI – Hippocrates Health Institute http://www.hippocratesinst.org
Why Sea Vegetables?
Sea vegetables are more commonly known as seaweed. They grow in salt water oceans all over the world. There are thousands of different types of sea vegetables, which are classified into categories by color, known either as brown, red or green sea vegetables. Each is unique, having a distinct shape, taste and texture. A wide range of sea vegetables are enjoyed as foods. This includes Kelp, nori, dulse, wakame, arame, Irish moss, kombu, hiziki, and many more.
Sea vegetables are among the World’s healthiest foods because of their incredibly rich mineral content and other unique health benefits. Sea vegetables are exploding with nutrients, including: Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K. They are rich in minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, iodine, sodium, potassium, silica, germanium, and phosphorus to name just a few. Sea vegetables also contain Proteins, Fiber, Carotenes, Enzymes, Oxygen, Phytonutrients, and Phytohormones.
The use of sea vegetables for food is not a new concept. Archaeological evidence suggests that Japanese cultures have been consuming sea vegetables for thousands of years. In ancient Chinese cultures, sea vegetables were a noted delicacy, suitable especially for honored guests and royalty. In fact, most regions and countries located by waters, including Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and coastal South American countries have been consuming sea vegetables since ancient times. And they taste great!
Most food produced for commercial distribution on factory farms are on a life support fertilizer usually consisting of just three nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The other 95 minerals needed for good human health such as iron, calcium, copper, zinc, and magnesium, are missing. Minerals are missing from our foods because of soil depletion. As a result, the ocean is now the most fertile area for plants to grow. Sea vegetables absorb these minerals and convert them into a living form that our bodies can recognize and utilize.
Only plants, including sea vegetables, can convert dead, inorganic mineral compounds into living, organic mineral compounds that can be assimilated by the human body. When you supply the body with all the necessary raw materials to reconstruct tissues and organs correctly, everything gets better. All your organs, tissues, cardiovascular system, neurological system, and immune system get stronger and function with greater efficacy. Every aspect of your physical, mental, and spiritual health will improve when you supply the body with an adequate supply of the correct nutrients and remove toxins from your environment. That includes brain function, energy levels, physical appearance, and vitality.
Dulse is a popular one at Hippocrates. It is a delicious purple sea vegetable harvested off the Atlantic coasts for the U.S., Canada, and British Isles. It is rich in trace minerals and as a condiment, gives a slightly salty flavor to your other foods. Two tablespoons gives you many times the US RDA of iodine, which is just one of the highly desirable rare minerals contained in dulse. Iodine is an essential component of the thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones regulate many important biochemical reactions, including protein synthesis and enzymatic activity, and are critical determinants of metabolic activity. They are also required for proper skeletal and central nervous system development in fetuses and infants. Sea vegetables are able to accumulate iodine many times more concentrated than sea water alone!
And people need it now more than ever. Sea vegetables protect the body from radiation exposure by attacking radiation and neutralizing it. Sea vegetables also protect the thyroid against the damaging effects of fluoride, and they boost your immune system. About two tablespoons a day is all that an adult needs, and one tablespoon a day for children.
While fresh is always best, sea vegetables are very tough for general use when fresh. They are typically eaten in small quantities finely chopped or powdered. Larger pieces are commercially distributed in dried form which should be soaked in warm water for 10-20 minutes until they are soft enough to slice – this also removes some of the excess salt. Discard the soak water because it has an extremely high salt content. The drained sea vegetable can then be dried in a dehydrator until it is crunchy.
Since sea vegetables detox, I also recommend drinking copious amounts of pure, filtered water – at least ½ ounce of pure, filtered water for every pound of body weight per day. A squeeze of a fresh lemon wedge will alkalize you and help you to absorb the water more efficiently.
I use kelp and dulse as a garnish on my salad or I use them in homemade salad dressing to give a salty flavor. I use nori sheets to make raw vegan “sushi” wraps. Or, in powder form, I sprinkle a little kelp or dulse powder on my salad or I use them in homemade salad dressing to give a salty taste to my meals. I eat a lot of sprouts, a land vegetable, as well, because sprouts are live foods.
Here are some specific health benefits attributed to sea vegetables:
Helps remove radioactive particles and heavy metals from the body
Rejuvenate gastrointestinal health and aid digestion
Relieves arthritis stiffness
Promotes adrenal, pituitary and thyroid health
Normalizes thyroid-related disorders like overweight and lymph system congestion
A demulcent that helps eliminate herpes outbreaks
A decongestant for excess mucous
Helps normalize blood pressure
Powerful skin healing
Helps reduce breast and uterine fibroids and adhesions
Normalize menopausal symptoms
Promotes soft, toned, wrinkle-free skin
Enhances glossy hair and prevents its loss
An excellent adrenal stimulant
Recovery from arthritis
Recovery from gout
Effective in combating the herpes virus
Valuable for increased intimacy
Strengthens hair, skin and nails