Seaweed, macroalgae or sea veggies are marine algae that grow in the ocean. The term “seaweed” includes various types of marine algae including Rhodophyta (red), Phaeophyta (brown) and Chlorophyta (green) macroalgae. Not only is seaweed an incredibly nutritious food source for humans, but seaweed such as kelp is an essential nursery habitat for fisheries and other marine wildlife. Other species of seaweed, such as, “planktonic algae, play a vital role in capturing carbon, producing at least 50% of Earth’s oxygen.” Much like our terrestrial forests, seaweed is an essential part of ecosystems and the health of our planet.
Sea Veggies are full of health benefits including being an excellent concentrated source of iodine and the amino acid tyrosine which the thyroid gland requires to function properly. The thyroid gland releases hormones which help to control growth, energy, reproduction, and the repair of cells in the body— and the thyroid relies on iodine to make those essential hormones. Kelp in particular is one of the best sources of iodine, containing 59 times the recommended daily intake of iodine in just one teaspoon. Beyond iodine, seaweed is an incredible source of vitamins and minerals including; vitamins A, C, E, and K, folate, zinc, sodium, calcium, magnesium, omega-3 fats, and vitamin B12. Seaweeds such as spirulina and chlorella also contain all the essential amino acids.
Seaweed is a powerful source of antioxidants, which protects the body from cell damage. It also contains fiber and polysaccharides which are beneficial for supporting gut health. It’s no surprise that sea veggies can also help to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve blood pressure, and help regulate blood sugar.
Golden State Seasoning Salt, Pure Wakame Seaweed Flakes, and Yuzu Shichimi Togarashi (7-Spice) all from Daybreak Seaweed are a delicious and easy way to introduce sea veggies into your diet.
Not only are the products made by Daybreak Seaweed delicious and nutritious, but they have sustainability in mind with the products they produce. They partner with, “like-minded regenerative ocean farmers all along the West Coast, and contribute to a growing and resilient network of decentralized, small food producers and advocates. Cultivated in the wild pacific waters, seaweed plays out the ecological principles that regenerative farmers in land and water are working to strengthen—from absorbing carbon to creating habitat without the natural resource use and chemical pitfalls of industrial farming.”
Wild seaweed ecosystems are under threat by human activity, such as mechanical dredging of kelp which destroys the kelp forest itself as well as the dependent fisheries. A wasting disease in the predators of purple urchins off the coast of California has resulted in a massive urchin population boom which has resulted in decimated kelp forests. It is essential that we are mindful in choosing regenerative and sustainable sources for our nourishing sea veggies. There is even hope that the cultivation of seaweeds may be a powerful mitigation strategy for climate change for biosquestration of carbon dioxide as well as helpful in nutrient pollution reduction and increased habitat for marine wildlife.
As a proud member of 1% for the Planet, we support charitable organizations that help to maintain the health of our precious oceans. Additionally, we thoughtfully source products for our shop from businesses that ethically and sustainably source ingredients.