Seaweed Health Benefits Northumberland

Humans have been eating seaweed for millennia. Many early communities lived close to the shore because the seas offered a constant and dependable food source.

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Seaweed Health Benefits

Seaweed Health Benefits

Seaweed health benefits are legendary.

Seaweed is one of the greatest health secrets - a true "super food".

This may seem surprising - that such a humble and common class of plants could offer us very much in terms of health. But seaweed health benefits have been known for a long time - and modern science is revealing more and more about this super-food.

The fact is seaweed is packed full of much-needed vitamins and minerals, including some relatively rare trace elements.

Seaweed benefits - a bit of pre-history!

Humans have been eating seaweed for millennia. Many early communities lived close to the shore because the seas offered a constant and dependable food source. Neolithic communities in Britain for example clustered around coastal lands where rich and diverse foodstuffs were readily available. The west coast of Scotland is peppered with brochs and burial chambers from Neolithic times and earlier. The farmers of those times would certainly have supplemented their shellfish and seafood diets with some of the local seaweeds.

A woman harvesting seaweed in ChileSome of these traditions are far from extinct. In Wales lava bread is well known and still eaten today. Ireland, too has a rich tradition of seaweed harvesting and use which is now finding new and wider markets. Japan and China are famed for their seafoods and some sought-after gourmet seaweeds come from there.

Picture, above: A woman harvesting seaweed in Chile. Picture thanks to Relapsed Nun on Flickr.

Seaweed health benefits and seaweed eating have been mainly explored by island and coastal peoples. Japanese culture has developed seaweed cuisine to a notable level. The flavours and textures add a subtle and exotic element to Japanese food which has made it increasingly popular in the west. They have perhaps exploited seaweed's culinary possibilities more than any other nation. Where most nations manage one or two seaweed types at most, the Japanese have five common types in regular use. In Japan people take seaweed eating seriously; as much as 4 kilograms is eaten per person per year!

Seaweed Health Benefits:

Here are a few facts about seaweed benefits for our health.

So what's the deal? Why is seaweed such a wonder food? And is it worth incorporating it into our daily lives? What can it add to a green lifestyle?

Seaweeds are algae and they have unique health and nutritional properties. Algae use sunlight to photosynthesise food for themselves but they are far simpler in structure than most land plants.

Here are some of the main types of seaweed available in the west. The main health benefits are described with each type.

You don't have to trek down to the sea; most of them should be available in a health food outlet somewhere in your neighbourhood. Failing that, you can buy some of them mail order.

Seaweed Health Benefits:

LAVER or NORI

Laver or lava (Porphyra umilicali) is the word for a type of kelp much used by the Irish and the Welsh. In Wa...

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