Edible seaweeds are marine vegetables that can be safely consumed as a source of food in human diet.
We can see a growing interest in seaweed consumption, as more and more people choose marine-based foods because they offer superior nutrition and undeniable health benefits. Edible seaweeds are found throughout our planet, growing along the coastal areas and feeding many millions of people who live in those territories.
Seaweed had been part of traditional Asian cooking for many centuries. In fact, it is a major staple food of Japanese cuisine - which is believed to be one of the healthiest cuisines in the world.
Seaweeds' popularity is now rapidly spreading to many other countries where these marine plants have not been as widely consumed as Asia.
The nature has endowed us with literally hundreds of seaweed species growing in the wild. Such a variety of species and their general abundance make them easily available to those of us seeking to improve our physical health.
Considered to be very much a functional food, edible seaweeds can be classified as brown seaweeds (Phaeophyceae), red seaweeds (Rhodophyceae) and green seaweeds (Chlorophyceae). (Ref. 1)
Experts report that some of the most notable edible seaweed species, which possess proven healing properties, are as follows. (Ref. 2)
Ascophyllum nodosum, Adenocystis utricularis, Canistrocarpus cervicornis, Cladosiphon okamuranus Tokida, Costaria costata, Cystoseira indica, Dictyopteris delicatula, Dictyota cervicornis, Dictyota menstrualis, Ecklonia cava, Fucus vesiculosus, Laminaria angustata, Laminaria japonica, Laminaria saccharina, Lessonia vadosa, Lobophora variegata, Padina gymnospora, Padina boergesenii, Saccharina japonica, Sargassum filipendula, Sargassum hemiphyllum, Sargassum hornery, Sargassum pallidum, Sargassum polycystum, Sargassum wightii, Sphacelaria indica, Turbinaria ornata, Undaria pinnatifida.
Boergeseniella thuyoides, Champia feldmannii, Corallina officinalis, Corallina sertularioide, Gelidium crinale, Gigartina skottsbergii, Gracilaria birdiae, Gracilaria cornea, Grateloupia indica, Gyrodinium impudium, Halymenia floresia, Kappaphycus alvarezii, Kappaphycus striatum, Lomentaria catenata, Nemalion helminthoides, Schizymenia binderi, Scinaia hatei, Sebdenia polydactyla, Solieria filiformis, Sphaerococcus coronopifolius.
Caulerpa cupresoides, Caulerpa prolifera, Codium fragile, Codium vermilara, Enteromorpha prolifera, Gayralia oxysperma, Monostroma latissimum, Monostroma nitidum, Ulva lactuca, Ulva rigida.
To better understand these scientific names, here are common names for some of these seaweeds (Ref. 3):
Aonori, or green laver (Monostroma and Enteromorpha species); Kombu, or haidai (Laminaria japonica); Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida); Mozuku (Cladosiphon okamuranus); Ogo, ogonori, or sea moss (Gracilaria species).
Among some other most popular edible seaweeds consumed specifically in Asia (and not mentioned above), we have (Ref. 3):
Nori, or purple laver (Porphyra species); Hiziki (Hizikia fusiforme); Sea grapes, or green caviar (Caulerpa lentillifera); Dulse (Palmaria palmata); Irish moss, or carrageenan moss (Chondrus crispus); Winged kelp (Alaria esculenta).
If you are planning to take marine plants as a source of food, we would *always* suggest that you try to take best-quality organic seaweeds, as they are guaranteed to be free of contaminants and sea-based allergens (ex., traces of crustacea).
There are two species of seaweeds - Ascophyllum nodosum & Fucus vesiculosus - that we would love to recommend to our customers.
The two species that we offer are brown organic seaweeds. They are harvested from living, wild plants in the pristine environment of the Outer Hebrides islands (Scotland) in North Atlantic.
Ascophyllum & Fucus (Seagreens) are highly valuable edible seaweeds that could be used for a whole number of chronic conditions. They are certainly one of the best remedies for constant tiredness & chronic fatigue, especially for the long-term control of these conditions.
Ascophyllum & Fucus are extremely rich in numerous sea-based nutrients which are usually not available from terrestrial plants. Some of such nutrients are marine-derived trace elements (ex., iodine, boron & zinc) as well as polysaccharides which have demonstrated an endless number of medicinal properties.
Please make sure to read our detailed article on the nutritional value of Ascophyllum here.
Due to growing international demand, many species of seaweeds are now widely cultivated on a mass scale in man-made ponds across Asia, or collected as dead plants from beaches and then turned into usable products.
Ascophyllum & Fucus promoted by Seagreens are, on the opposite, harvested from living plants which grow in the wild, at the peak of their nutritional maturity. These plants are never destroyed but left to prosper in their natural habitats for many years to come.
You can learn a lot more about our unique seaweed products from the main Seagreens page here.
Of course, seaweeds offer exceptional amounts of essential vitamins, minerals & trace elements, enzymes and other nutrients.
Probably the most important nutrients that seaweeds are known for are polysaccharides.
Therapeutic potential of seaweed polysaccharides is truly enormous. Many studies have been conducted to understand their medicinal properties. Plenty of evidence exists on the benefits of polysaccharides, thus making seaweeds an extraordinary health-promoting food. (Ref. 1 & 2)
Polysaccharides are believed to have anti-oxidant, anti-tumour, immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoan properties. To add to that, they can also help with anti-nociception (less sensitivity to pain inside the body), anti-coagulation, lipid lowering, inhibition of pulmonary fibrosis, hyperplasia (excessive proliferation of cells), gastrointestinal functions and general cell regeneration. (Ref. 2)
We have previously shown that Ascophyllum, as an individual seaweed species, can help with control of cancer, diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, female health and gentle detoxification. (Ref. 4)
Learn more about seaweed benefits here.
Seaweeds can be easily taken as dried powders and added directly to other foods, used in bakery, or taken in capsules.
You can also use seaweeds as soil fertilizers and conditioners to enrich your soils for growing terrestrial plants, as well as for feeding cattle and other animals.