Sea Vegetation

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Sea vegetables provide all 56 minerals and trace elements required for your body's physiological functions in quantities greatly exceeding those of land plants. 

 

 

SEA VEGETATION

100% Raw Sun-Dried Wild Crafted Whole Leaf, Chopped or Granules

 4 oz - 8 oz - 16 oz

$21.95 and up + s/h  

 

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Bulk Options Available

 

 

Calcium (for skeletal health, heart health, nervous system function)

Magnesium (activates enzymatic activity, essential for heart health)

Potassium (naturally prevents high blood pressure, provides cellular energy)

Sodium (essential for the correct balance of body fluids - our internal "ocean")

Iron (as hemoglobin, transports and distributes oxygen to all your cells)

Iodine (thyroid health)

Chromium (works with insulin to regulate blood sugar)

Copper (protects nerve sheaths, builds supple arteries, required for iron absorption)

●  Absorbs and naturally reduces or eliminates radioactive elements and heavy metal contaminants from our bodies.

 

 

 

 

What is Sea Vegetation - Seaweed - Sea Veggies?

Sea vegetables are wild ocean plants, or marine algae, enjoyed daily as a pantry staple and concentrated healing 'Superfood' in many coastal parts of the world. As our air and water become more acidified through pollution, minerals are leached and depleted from our land fields, and they wash down to the sea, where the wild seaweeds incorporate them. When we eat seaweeds, we take these minerals back into our bodies, and these minerals help us maintain an alkaline condition in our bloodstream, which is a healthy condition, resistant to fatigue and stress.  Popular American East Coast sea vegetables include Dulse, Kelp, Alaria, Laver/Nori.  (Asian varieties are Nori, Hiziki, Arame, Kombu and Wakame.) Sea vegetables contain essential nutrients, minerals and trace elements in a bio-available optimally balanced form.  Small amounts of nutrient power-packed sea veggies add a rich flavor and enhance the nutritional value of every recipe.

 

 

 

Whether you prefer the Red or Brown Sea Veggies, all varieties we proudly offer are from "The SeaWeed Man" ~ Whole leaf, identity preserved, unprocessed, sustainably wild-crafted U.S. Atlantic Sea Vegetation ~ hand harvested far from civilization in the pristine shores, bays and coves of Northern Maine at the peak of their vitality, and air dried naturally at low temperatures (always less than 80° F)  to bone dry perfection within 48 hours of harvest.

 

RED SEA VEGGIES

U.S. DULSE* - (palmaria palmata)   Most popular of all sea vegetation. High in Iron, B6 & Iodine.  Salty taste but with less sodium and a mild underlying sweetness.  Eat raw in salads or lightly roast for crispy snack or crumble into flakes. Use in/on everything!

U.S. NORI* - (porphyra umbilicalis)  Similar to LAVER ~ The most vitamins of all sea vegetation, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E.  Best lightly roasted before use.

 

 

*Wild Atlantic Maine Nori and Wild Atlantic Maine Dulse are exceedingly rare – available in limited quantities

 

BROWN SEA VEGGIES

ALARIA- (alaria esculenta) Similar to WAKAME ~ The most versatile of all sea vegetation. Rich in B complex vitamins. High in calcium & Vitamin A, C & K. Nourishes your bones. Moderate iodine. Good for everyone, especially those with type A or B blood.  Best if soaked or simmered and cut or chopped before use.

KELP - (laminaria longicruris) Packed with Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E. Highest in Iodine, Iron, Fucoidan and Sodium Alginate.   Best lightly roasted, soaked, marinated or simmered before use. Excellent for skin & hair treatment!

DIGITATA Kelp - (laminaria digitata) Atlantic equivalent of KOMBU ~  The most mucilaginous with sodium alginate of all brown sea vegetation.  Used wisely, it can be healthfully beneficial superfood and gives a silky quality and distinctive taste to soup stock.

Seaweeds have admirable qualities: they are flexible, they are tenacious, sustainable, prolific, and they are the oldest family of plants on earth. These plants link us to the primitive vitality of the sea. The earth's sea-blood within seaweed strengthens our own salinity that we carry within us.  Our "inner ocean" - the saline fluids around and in our cells and organs - recreates the primal ocean environment, with a similar range and balance of minerals. Sea vegetables concentrate this mineral matrix into a power-packed 'SuperFood'. When you eat sea veggies, your cells recognize this natural, harmonious, health giving balance.

Seaweeds and Sea vegetables are rich in minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, iodine, manganese, chromium and more, at levels much greater than those found in land vegetables and surpassing the US RDA. Sea veggies also provide fiber, and enzymes - a veritable medicine chest of proteins, complex carbohydrates and all 54 trace minerals and elements (which act as magnets in the blood to bind other nutrients), vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B6, and vitamin B12.  Sea vegetation is especially high in iron, calcium and iodine, the only vegetal source of this brain food, and several varieties are remarkably rich sources of natural fluoride.  Visit our Recipes section for easy use of this nutritional "Superfood".

Any research on seaweed will reveal that KELP and other sea vegetation is being studied for its positive effects on cancer prevention, cardiovascular health, degenerative disease combatant, detoxification, infection control, intestinal cleanser and healer, respiratory enhancer, sexual health and hormone support, thyroid balancer, weight-loss aid, and wound healer.  Marine phytochemicals found only in sea vegetables have been shown to absorb and eliminate radioactive elements and heavy metal contaminants from our bodies. Other recent research of sea vegetables demonstrates the inhibition of tumor formation, reduction in cancerous growth and balance of cholesterol, glandular system and nervous system, as well as anti-viral properties. They have been shown to control blood clotting and have been used for other types of ailments including signs of defeating arthritis.

GLOBAL HISTORY OF SEA VEGETATION

For centuries cultures around the world have been harvesting sea vegetation as a food source and healing modality. Cultures that are based around islands and coasts have spent years using sea vegetation to cure ailments and as food sources. The multiple uses of sea vegetation in society is mind boggling.  For instance, not only have Japanese people  integrated the daily use of sea vegetation as a food source for centuries, but much research has been done on the longevity of the Japanese and their lack of heart problems, kidney problems, and other chronic  ailments. They have used it to relieve a multitude of ailments including arthritis, osteoporosis and low blood sugar.  Ancient Greeks have used sea vegetation for body building, to sacrifice to the Greek gods, and as a food source.  Hawaiians and Ancient Polynesians have used sea vegetation for food, heart problems, arthritis pains, and a lot more. They even put a certain type of sea vegetation on wounds to prevent infection from occurring. These cultures are just a small example of how far back sea vegetation has been used.

Both Japanese and Chinese cultures have used sea vegetation for cancer, tumors, and other deadly diseases. The cure to almost any ailment has been sitting right in front of our eyes, or in this case right under the water, and we just walked past it for many years, by only utilizing Sea Vegetation in food processing, pharmaceuticals, and beauty products. Recently scientists have been conducting research on the use of sea vegetation in cancer research and are actually getting good results. Sea Veggies & Weight Loss  We are no longer walking past what has been proven to be one of many overlooked 'SuperFoods' left on our planet.

Sea Vegetation is renewable and grows globally in most coastal regions. The life of a kelp plant is about three years and, spent in a tidal flow that reverses direction every six hours. Imagine being anchored by a holdfast, your hollow stipe gently lifting you toward the sunlight, your wide blade/frond growing in the ocean's inflow ~ outflow ~ inflow ~ outflow......and you're one of the regenerating, renewable global KELP multitude that have been doing this since the beginning of the planet. KELP in the first year grows to a foot long, the second year, six feet long, and in the third year, twelve feet long and exposed to turbulence on the surface at low tide. The vitality of sea vegetation essence translates easily in a bio-available format for all human consumption as an ultimate Superfood.

How do I use sea vegetation in my daily diet?

It's really quite convenient. Simply add small amounts of granules or cut, bite sized pieces to your favorite soups, salads, stews, pasta, grains, sandwiches, veggie dishes, stir-fry and other favorite recipes. Use as an entree, seasoning or stock base. Make a weekly "Broth of Vigor" or, as the Japanese call this flavorful soup base - Dashi.   Each package comes with instructions and recipe suggestions.   Visit our Recipes section.

 Remember that dried sea vegetables are a highly vital wild food and provide super-concentrated nutrition - a little goes a long way.  For a variety of Atlantic sea vegetables with a multitude of recipes and uses, we suggest our "Ocean Delight Sampler" - comes complete with maximum versatility, nutrition and taste. For ease of use and as a salt substitute shake on Kelp GranulesOur nutritionally power packed "Tri-Blend Sea Mix" is already chopped and mixed for easily adding to any recipe. Use sparingly - as most recipes use less than 1/4 oz (1 tablespoon) per serving!  One pound dry seaweed equals 10 pounds of wet freshly harvested seaweed.  Rehydrate and watch it expand!

Seaweeds like kelp, digitata, alaria, NORI and dulse can be softened in a marinade that includes vinegar or lemon juice (to help release minerals into solution) together with other liquids and sweeteners like tamari, ginger, seasonings, juice, honey, etc. The longer the seaweeds marinate, the softer they become. Keep refrigerated until consumed.

Most sea vegetables are sometimes rinsed and usually soaked in fresh water before use, but this process may be unnecessary with some varieties . Dulse, for instance, may be eaten right out of the bag as a healthy, "salty" snack. Alaria, Nori or Digitata may be roasted in a low temperature oven until crisp and then crumbled or ground for easy use as a condiment or soup & veggie mix.  All the varieties, including Kelp, may be lightly soaked and simmered to re-hydrate and tenderize, and then cut into attractive shapes and sizes and added to any favorite, soup, stew, salad, pasta or grain recipe.

Your body, which is made up mostly of water needs to hydrate food in order to transact with it, so why not give it a break? Unless you really want a salty condiment, use recipes that involve water-  hydration, marinating, soaking or simmering.  However, the choice is yours:  raw, rinsed, to heat or not to heat, to cook or not to cook, soak, simmer or even roast.....  truly, your choice is limitless.   Visit our Recipes section.

 

Cooked or Raw?

  Sea Veggies can contribute minerals, enzymes, vitamins, protein, healing fiber, and marine phytochemicals to any Raw* or Living foods diet, and easily bridge the gap of any traditional cooked recipe .

*About Raw Foods----  Many Sea Vegetation and SeaWeed customers are proponents of the Living Foods and Raw Foods diet, often touted as the ultimate vegetarian, organic and plant–based diet. These folks do not cook their food, thus preserving all the naturally occurring enzymes, which are destroyed at temperatures above 105° F.  People who eat raw and live foods claim increased vitality, health, and spiritual connection, while leaving less of an environmental footprint. Sea Veggies & Weight Loss

All our "SeaWeed Man" wild-crafted sea veggies are raw, whole leaf, untoasted, and air-dried under low temp conditions - less than 80° F thus, the original enzymes are unchanged and therefore suitable for a pure Raw Foodist diet. Sea vegetables are sometimes rinsed, usually soaked, marinated or simmered in fresh water before use but, Dulse, for instance, may be eaten right out of the bag as a healthy, "salty" snack. If you are a raw foodist, you will discover you can chew "soft dulse". Soft dulse is bone-dry dulse that has been allowed to reabsorb some humidity from the air. This kicks off an enzyme process that softens the cell walls of the dulse, much like making fermented foods.

Most varieties of Sea Vegetation are easily cut into salads, added to cold dishes or hot soups, and in the roasted crumbled flake form are easily blended in drinks or sprinkled on everything. Visit our Recipes section. The 5 varieties of whole Sea Vegetables we offer are kelp, digitata, alaria, U.S. Nori, & U.S. Dulse. All may be eaten uncooked, right out of the bag but suggestions for some varieties are to soak, simmer or marinate prior to use.  As a comparison, the traditional Japanese sea veggies arame, hijiki, and wakame are all processed with heat above 105° F - in fact the arame and hijiki are often boiled or blanched prior to hot drying, destroying many of the beneficial enzymes and nutrients.

 Brendan Brazier, Canadian Ironman tri–athlete, raw foodist and author states in his book, "THRIVE, A Guide to Optimal Health & Performance Through Plant–based Whole Foods" that,  "Seaweed is an exceptionally good source of minerals and trace elements. DULSE and un-toasted NORI, for example, provides the perfect mineral complex in a natural form. The daily consumption of natural–source minerals and trace elements is important for optimal health. Especially significant for active people, adequate mineral consumption allows the cells to stay hydrated longer, thereby improving endurance. Sea vegetables are a superior source, as they are also chlorophyll–rich and alkaline–forming."   Sea Veggies & Weight Loss

Whether you choose to consume raw or cooked Sea Vegetation~  there are good reasons to JUST EAT three to five grams of unprocessed, wild-crafted, identity preserved Seaweed every day. Keep in mind, there are added benefits to cooked seaweeds - Sodium alginate, the chelating agent in brown algae, is a long polysaccharide chain molecule that needs to be broken down by heat so that it can reach deeper into the body (bio-available), beyond the intestinal wall, into the blood and bones to more readily assist with detox.  Consider "Tri-Blend Sea Mix" for a hearty 'Ocean Delight' soup, chowder, stew or grain recipe, or for a detoxifying diet or a quick "Broth of Vigor". Think of cooking or heating as a simple form of predigestion and parasite/pathogen control that has co-arisen with evolving humans since the discovery of fire. Used wisely, it can be very beneficial.

 

Rinse or Not?

 What about the whitish surface powder? If you're concerned about the white powdery substance on the surface of stored Sea Vegetation, don't worry! Sometimes as these sea veggies dry out a whitish powder will appear; this powder consists of precipitated salts and sugars and is safe to eat - you can rinse or use as is. In KELP, the principle sugar is mannitol and the salts are predominantly potassium and sodium. Mannitol is much less "sweet" than fructose, sucrose, glucose or pentose, and even less sweet than complex sugars found in brown rice syrup, yet it still adds a subtle flavor quality. This, along with the high mineral component and the naturally occurring glutamic acid is why kelp makes beans taste so great, cook so quickly and digest so easily.

This whitish powder also appears on DULSE sometimes, but not as often. It seems harder to manage the osmotic process in the brown sea weeds (KELP, DIGITATA and ALARIA) than the reds (DULSE and NORI), perhaps because the brown sea veggies are thicker. While we are more skilled than ever at handling sea veggies from harvest to packaging, our sea veggies are not processed to the point of total control. This is actually one of their unique selling points: minimally processed whole foods, whole leaf, enzymes intact.  In any case, a light rinse before use lessens sea vegetables' salty taste. You will lose some sodium and potassium salts, but very little if any calcium, iron, magnesium, etc. Remember to save the rinse water for cooking. Visit our Recipes section.

STORAGE  Sea veggies are dried and rich in mineral salts and keep well unless subjected to a lot of moisture, heat and/or direct light. Direct light will bleach the plants over time and may have some effect on nutritional quality. Most Sea Vegetation has a shelf life of at least 2 years at room temperature in tightly sealed container out of direct sunlight.  The shelflife of soft dulse, kept cool, is 1 year. The strong taste and odor of Sea Vegetation may surprise some people but storing in tightly sealed glass or plastic will help keep the odor from permeating the kitchen or pantry. Sea veggies also readily absorb odors, so keep them tightly sealed. If sea veggies are stored in conditions of excessive moisture or heat, mold or deterioration may occur which is readily visible as discoloration or an odor of mildew. Recommended storage containers are the re-sealable bags or glass jars with screw top lids. Sometimes as plants dry out a whitish powder will appear; this powder consists of precipitated salts and sugars and is safe to eat - you can rinse or use as is, however it is not a good idea to rinse sea veggies unless you plan to use it immediately.  Do not rinse and store or soak and store, unless you refrigerate or use within 24 hrs.   If a visual inspection doesn't indicate any problems, the product should be fine to use safely. 

Whether you prefer the Red or Brown Sea Veggies, the main varieties we offer are from "The SeaWeed Man" ~ Whole leaf, identity preserved, unprocessed, sustainably wild-crafted U.S. Atlantic Sea Vegetation ~ hand harvested far from civilization at the peak of their vitality, and dried at low temperatures (less than 80° F)  to bone dry perfection within 48 hours of harvest. 

 

 

 

 

OCEAN DELIGHT SAMPLER

All 5 varieties & Tri-Blend Sea Mix with Recipes & Instructions

 17 oz - over 1 pound total weight

$59.95 + s/h

 

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TRI-BLEND SEA MIX

3 variety blend chopped

4 oz - $21.95    

8 oz -  $35.95 

 16 oz - $62.95  

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 Atlantic Kelp Granules

 16 oz - $24.95

 

OCEAN DELIGHT SAMPLER includes 6 packages

over 1 pound total weight of assorted whole leaf seaweed

(That's equivalent to over 10 pounds of wet harvest!!)

2-oz Dulse, 2-oz Nori, 3-oz Kelp, 3-oz Digitata,

3-oz Alaria,  4 oz Tri-Blend Sea Mix

 ● Eat raw, toasted, soaked, simmered, pan-fried

 ●  Includes easy recipes and instructions

● Great for bathing or hair & skin treatment.

Visit our Recipes section

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TRI-BLEND SEA MIX includes 3 varieties of Sea Vegetation -

 

25% ALARIA, 15% KELP, 60% DIGITATA

 

 

● Chopped & ready for use with easy recipes and instructions included

● Make "Broth of Vigor" soup stock or add 1-2 tbls to any favorite recipe.

● Also makes a great blend for bathing or hair & skin treatment.

● Three sizes available

 

Visit our Recipes section

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE 'SEAWEED MAN' - Larch Hanson

IDENTITY PRESERVED, SUSTAINABLE & WILD-CRAFTED

Seaweeds, sea vegetables. The words we use lead us toward different attitudes, actions, and results. Seaweeds grow wild, developing their vitality in a turbulent ocean. People sometimes try to domesticate them through aquaculture. The aquaculturist always wants to set up his or her gear in quiet water, protected from surf and storms, but that inevitably weakens the vitality and the actual form of the seaweed. We develop our strength and our vitality through action and resistance. Seaweeds are somewhat the same. Quiet water tends to be stagnant and polluted by boat traffic. Seaweeds grown in quiet stagnation tend to be rather lifeless and uninteresting.

People who have been eating aquacultured seaweed comment to me, "Your wild seaweed tastes so much better! I never realized how rich the smells and flavors could be!" My job as a seaweed harvester is to find the wildest seaweeds, far from civilization, harvest them at the peak of their vitality, and dry them at low temperatures (less than 80° F) to bone dry perfection within 48 hours of harvesting them. When you receive a shipment, I want you to first think of them as wild and vital, like the land weeds that always grow back in the same places every year independent of our help. Once you have appreciated them in this way, then use the many varied recipes to integrate them into your diet. When they have been nicely prepared, perhaps then they can be called sea vegetables.

   1. My bay is free of boat traffic from October through May when I start the kelp harvest. In the summertime, lobstermen pursue the migration of lobsters into the bay, but then I'm working away from them on the islands.

   2. There are no cities, factories, harbors, or nuclear power plants on my bay. Smithsonian Institute studied my bay and they said that there's a wide diversity of life forms, indicating low levels of pollution. On a quiet day, I can see down to bottom at a depth of 30 feet.

   3. I build my own boats from wood, and I coat them with vegetable oil. They turn dark with age, like old salad bowls. The tow boat has several bulkheads and is powered by a four cycle outboard that doesn't mix oil with gas. The separate container boats are rowed away from the tow boat to the harvest sites, then rowed back to the tow boat.

   4. My hand-selected harvest is brought to bone-dry perfection within 48 hours of harvest at temperatures below 80° F. I use solar and wind drying methods the first day, and a solar/fanned drying room with wood back-up heat on the second day. Long plants are hung up on lines like laundry, small plants are dried on untreated white nylon netting stretched on frames at waist level.

   5. Organic certification is the New Age Mafia, ignoring water quality amongst other technicalities.

A SPECIAL NOTE ON NORI:  Aquaculturists who grow nori tuck their nets away in quiet water, and this inevitably leads to pollution from the buildup of petrochemicals floating on the surface of the water, the result of too much boat traffic. There's simply not enough tidal flush and flow in aquacultural settings to grow the same level of purity and quality as wild nori. Once you've tasted wild nori......nori that hasn't been tampered with...... you won't go back to using aquacultured nori that has been chopped up and made into paper through a heat process, then stored in the package for months before coming to market.

A SPECIAL NOTE ON KELP:  Harvesting digitata kelp from a low-sided boat is a bit like playing rodeo. Grab the plant below the many-bladed frond (just hold up your hand and imagine your hand is the frond and the short stipe is attached at your wrist) and hang on tight! while you saw away at the stipe with a serrated frozen food knife wrapped and bound with old wetsuit material so it's easy to grab and will float. Sometimes I feel my shoulder tugged in its socket, just like the cowboy hanging on to the lasso, roping calves. In my case, I have to watch out for breaking waves that can sink my boat. I'm playing at the edge of breakers, all the time. When the little boat eight foot boat is full (about eight bushels), I row back to the container boat and transfer the load. On a good new moon tide (a tide that goes out a foot lower than average low water), I will manage to do this five or six times.

A special note on DULSE:   Dulse outsells all other seaweeds.  Dulse grows in my bay and along the coast of Nova Scotia, but in limited amounts.  95% of Dulse eaten in the world comes from Grand Manan Island located in the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Canada.  Grand Manan Island is visible from the coast of Maine, so it is part of the Gulf of Maine system.  Grand Manan is unique because it has intertidal boulders partially shaded by cliffs that are ideal for growing Dulse.  Sometimes my Dulse comes from this region which is why I limit the availability. 

 

 

Sea Vegetation protects against Breast Cancer

 

Watch and listen to Dr. Michael Greger (nutritionfacts.org) explain which Sea Vegetation is most protective against Breast Cancer.  Dr. Greger is a physician, author, and professional speaker who scours the world's nutritional research to bring you simplified, yet scientific, and informative video clips.

 

 

Concerns about Sodium & Iodine in my daily diet?

Sodium is a major mineral that is essential to human health and life. Along with potassium it provides the electrolytic "battery" that pumps nutrients in and out of cells. It also works with potassium to maintain the proper balance of fluids inside and outside each cell. The evolutionary assumption is that dietary sodium is not easily found in the environment; therefore our bodies are set up to retain scarce and valuable sodium. Sodium's partner, potassium, was plentiful in the evolutionary diet (found in vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits) and so we do not retain potassium.

Modern humans run into trouble when our modern "civilized" diet reverses the natural availability of sodium and potassium - potassium is leached out of processed foods, and sodium is used extravagantly as a flavor enhancer and preservative. Topsy-turvy! Because this imbalance - and the lack of magnesium and calcium - is implicated in high blood pressure disease, and because unnatural, manufactured table salt is exclusively sodium chloride, sodium has gotten a bad rap!

Sea vegetables provide bio-available, essential sodium balanced with potassium (as well as with calcium and magnesium) at relatively low levels per serving. For instance, Dulse contains less sodium per serving than one slice of most commercial breads and one half to one third the sodium in one cup of cooked beet greens. Kelp has 1/3 as much sodium, Alaria ˝, Dulse 1/8 and Laver 1/9 as 1/2 teaspoon of table salt! In any case, a light rinse of whole sea vegetables before use lessens sea vegetables' sodium and potassium content without effecting calcium or iron, etc. Use rinse water for other cooking needs in place of table salt.

Susan Asanovic, M.S., R.D., states unequivocally, "Almost everyone, except renal, severely hypertensive and CHF (congestive heart failure) patients, can enjoy Sea Vegetables in varying amounts. Even patients on modified clinical diets can healthfully incorporate moderate to liberal amounts of sea vegetables into their diets; consider limiting table salt, shoyu, tamari, miso and processed foods. Sea Veggies & Weight Loss  For patients on a no-added-salt diet (about 2500 mg), sea vegetables can give just the right saltiness, and are far better in nutrition and taste than commercial "lite" salts. Used in moderation, they can be enjoyed in a typical serving of 5 to 10 grams (about 1/4 oz.)."

What about Iodine and Thyroid?    Dr. Ryan Drum, noted herbalist and sea vegetable gatherer, states in "Therapeutic Use of Seaweeds" (Proceedings of the 2001 Pacific Northwest Herbal Symposium) "Seaweeds, eaten regularly, are the best natural food sources of bio-molecular dietary iodine... no land plants are reliable sources of dietary iodine."  For comparison, you would have to eat about 40 lb. of fresh vegetables and/or fruits to get as much iodine as you would from 1 gram of  whole leaf kelp.

Iodine is the main component of the hormone produced by the thyroid gland, which regulates our metabolism - thyroid hormone accelerates cellular reactions, increases oxygen consumption and basal metabolism, and influences growth and development, energy metabolism, differentiation and protein synthesis.  Sea Veggies & Weight Loss

Dr. Linda Rector Page, author and herbalist, writes in "Healthy Healing" that "Iodine is essential to life... it is an important element of alertness, and rapid brain activity, and a prime deterrent to arterial plaque. Iodine is also a key factor in the control and prevention of many endocrine deficiency conditions prevalent today, such as breast and uterine fibroids, tumors, prostate inflammation, adrenal exhaustion, and toxic liver and kidney states."

Some people are concerned about radioactive iodine in seaweed. "Seaweed Man" Larch Hanson states that, "Since none of our Seaweed selection grows near a nuclear reactor and for the fact that the harvested Sea Vegetation is stored for 60 days before being put on the market, all iodine 131 will have radioactively decayed anyway. As long as the body has adequate iodine 127, it won’t absorb iodine 131."

Unfortunately, not all iodine is good for us and the human thyroid cannot distinguish between life sustaining iodine-127 and radioactive iodine-131. On this subject Ryan Drum further warns, "The real reason for making sure that iodine consumption is at the high end is to insure a full body complement of iodine at all times as preventative medicine against nuclear or radiation contamination.  A full body load of iodine 127 from seaweeds (or any source) will tend to allow the body to reject topical and air and food-source iodine 131, particularly from fresh milk." Another important reason to get plenty of sea vegetables' Iodine 127 into the thyroid is to prevent uptake of radioactive and toxic Iodine 131, which in modern times has a background presence in our food and air supply, and which is likely to be a major pollutant of a nuclear accident. By "loading" the thyroid with healthy Iodine, we can maintain our health even if fallout levels increase dramatically.  On a cautionary note, Dr. Drum advises that those people who are iodine sensitive should avoid the northern deep-water kelps that have exceptionally large amounts of iodine. Sea vegetables such as Dulse,  Nori, and Bladderwrack have lower concentrations of iodine and may provide a good alternative.

In general, brown sea vegetables (kelps) offer more bio-available organic iodine than red sea vegetables (dulse and nori).  Whole leaf KELP (Laminaria longicruris) has approximately 450 mcg. (micrograms or parts per million) iodine per gram. Our DIGITATA kelp (Laminaria digitata), has even higher amounts, about 5000 mcg. In comparison, DULSE contains 50 mcg per gram. These amounts are approximations as there is variation depending on season of harvest and the age of plant.

The 'SeaWeed Man' makes the following comments: "A researcher in Texas called me and asked for samples of all my seaweeds. He was studying iodine so that an iodine supplement could be developed. "Why?" I asked. "Well," he replied, "there really aren't good supplements for iodine available to the general public. Your seaweed research covers the subject pretty well, but now we have the perchlorate problem." "Yes," I said, "I've heard a little bit about perchlorate. That's the chemical that's associated with rocket fuel, and it's also released in a car when the air bag is activated. It's associated with explosives, right?" "Right," he said, "and there's a lagoon of stale rocket fuel in Nevada, 250 million gallons, that is leaching into the Colorado River. The Colorado River irrigates the southwest U.S. and Mexico. 30% of this country's produce is grown in that water system. The broad leaf vegetables like lettuce take up perchlorate, and perchlorate blocks transport of iodine to the thyroid. So we have an epidemic of hypothyroidism in this country, people who are overweight with sluggish metabolisms." I thought for a moment, and then I said. "So that's why, when the Challenger blew up and was scattered all across Texas, people were told that if they discovered a piece of the rocket, to report it but not to touch it." "Right," the researcher replied. "They were afraid of perchlorate contamination of people and water. They had divers in ponds, searching for pieces. It's nasty stuff." I said, "In my business, I encourage people to eat 3-5 grams of seaweed each day, to protect their thyroids. 3-5 grams is about the same weight as 3-5 paper clips. That's approximately three 'Ocean Delight Sampler' packs per person per year."

Finally, a cautionary note about getting too much of a good thing. We all need between 150 and 1,100 micrograms in our daily diets to keep our thyroids healthy and prevent uptake of radioactive Iodine. Healthy thyroids will "spill" unneeded iodine. But some people with sensitive thyroids, particularly nursing mothers, postmenopausal women, or anyone with an unusual thyroid dysfunction may have adverse reactions to excess dietary iodine (most often if you decrease the intake of dietary iodine the condition goes away.) Please consult with your health care practitioner if you have any questions about your consumption of iodine.

 

Iodine in Seaweed Protects the Thyroid from Radiation

Once upon a time, about a gazillion years ago, the animals in the sea with spinal cords decided to base their regulatory hormones upon stable Iodine 127. A bazillion years later, some of those animals decided to leave the sea and live on the land where Iodine 127 was not abundant. Land plants don't contain much iodine at all. So they developed thyroid glands and blood compounds that would conserve scarce Iodine 127. All went well, until some near-sighted nuclear scientists started splitting uranium atoms and creating radioactive Iodine 131 which concentrates through the food chain (from grass to cows to milk to humans, for instance) and can end up in the thyroid, burning it out, leaving people unable to self-regulate their lives. You see, Iodine 131 has a very short half-life of 8 days. That means that within a period of two months, it emits most of its radiation. And if that iodine 131 happens to be situated in the thyroid while it is emitting its radiation, it will do great damage to the thyroid gland. 25% of the women in this country, for instance, now have clinical symptoms of thyroid imbalance. Why is this happening?

Iodine is a member of the halide group of elements that includes bromine, chlorine, and fluorine. Compounds that contain these elements tend to displace iodine from the body. Modern people are exposed to bromated dough conditioners in commercially-produced bread, and bromine used in disinfectants (in hot tubs, for instance). Bleach in the laundry and at the swimming pool contains chlorine. Dentists use fluorides, and fluoride is used in toothpaste and drinking water. All of these sources of chemicals, and more, are exposing us to halides that displace iodine from our bodies. In the Southwest, the Colorado River system that irrigates the fields that produce 30% of the vegetables consumed in our country is contaminated by a lagoon of spent rocket fuel in Nevada that is leaching perchlorate into the water. Perchlorate is taken up by broad leaf veggies like lettuce, and it gets into the body and blocks transport of iodine to the thyroid. If an air bag goes off in your car, your air is immediately contaminated with perchlorate released by the explosive air bag.

There really aren't very good iodine supplements available to the public. If you read a material safety data sheet for potassium iodide, you will understand the negative side effects of long term use. The best long term strategy is to integrate seaweed into one's daily diet. Then your thyroid will always have adequate levels of stable Iodine 127 and will not take in radioactive Iodine 131. Digitata kelp has the highest iodine content, followed by kelp. Alaria has moderate levels of iodine. All of these are good sources of iodine, provided you don't roast them, releasing the iodine to the air. Learn a water-based method that will work for you. Make soup and drink the broth at the same time you eat the seaweed. Then your body will receive the iodine. If you are a raw foodist, make a smoothie that includes kelp. Nori and dulse don't contain much iodine, compared to kelp and alaria. Any commercial seaweed that is promoted as "tender" or "convenient" or "ready to eat" probably has been subjected to a heat process (parboiling, roasting) and thus the iodine content is lowered.

 

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