Sea vegetables are neither plants nor animals but classified in a group known as algae. There are both salt water varieties as well as fresh water sea vegetables. There are thousands of types – each of which are classified into categories by colour – either brown, red or green. Each is unique, having a distinct shape, taste and texture.
Kombu is very dark in colour and generally sold in strips or sheets. It is traditionally used as a flavouring for soups.
Adding kombu to the cooking water when preparing beans or grains is said to make them more digestible (as well as adding valuable nutrients).
Introduction: 8 months
Many sea vegetables originate in the East and have, as a result, been a topic of ongoing debate and research with regards to heavy metal contamination – especially since the Fukushima incident. It is important to buy organic sea vegetables to ensure you are not exposed to the heavy metals which may be present in sea vegetables which have been sourced from polluted sea waters. Some certified organic sea vegetables have been farmed in a process that’s usually referred to as “aquaculture” or “mariculture” and that involves a closelymonitored, contained-water environment for the sea vegetables. Others have been wild-harvested, but are from regions where ocean waters are better protected against contaminants.
Look for sea vegetables that are sold in tightly sealed packages. Avoid those that have evidence of excessive moisture.
Sealed glass container cool, dark place several years
Kombu is a great addition to broths and stews and can be used in the cooking water when preparing any grains/vegetables to add extra nutrients and flavour.
Kombu contains more potassium than any other sea vegetable.
Kombu contains a compound called fucoidan, which helps to keep the liver cells active. Fucoidan is an effective natural blood cleanser which helps to eliminate heavy metals. It’s also known to help decrease cholesterol levels.
Sea Vegetables are an Excellent source of: iodine, vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B2.
Sea Vegetables are a Very Good source of: vitamins A (in the form of carotenoids) and copper.
Sea Vegetables are a Good source of: vitamins B1 and B6, complete protein, pantothenic acid, potassium, iron, zinc, niacin and phosphorus.
Additionally they are a source of: vitamin B12
Sea vegetables are a good source of iodine for those who do not use conventional table salt (which is fortified with iodine).