Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Sea vegetables are plant and algal foods that grow in or near the ocean. For thousands of years, seaweed has been used and loved in the cuisine of coastal civilizations all over the world. Although Asian countries like Japan and China are famed for their algae-based broths and seaweed-wrapped fish, sea vegetables are also consumed by Nordic communities, Polynesians, and Caribbean people. Because it is low in fat and abundant in fibre, minerals, and vitamins, seaweed is considered a healthy option as part of a fertility diet when used in moderation.
What are some of the main nutrients found in Sea Vegetables and why are they important for fertility?
Sea vegetables are one of the most mineral- and chlorophyll-rich foods on the planet. Iron, fibre, copper, zinc, potassium, magnesium, silicon, colbalt, vitamins A, B (particularly B12), C, and E are all abundant in them.
Sea vegetables are also high in iodine, which is necessary before conception and during pregnancy. Recent studies have raised concerns that many women in the UK are low in iodine before conception, putting the unborn child at considerable danger of learning impairments because this mineral is critical for brain development. It is consequently critical to maintain proper iodine levels not just before conception but also during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Iodine is particularly important during pre-conception and the first 16 weeks of pregnancy to ensure the healthy development of the baby’s brain. Iodine is also important in the development of the skeleton and metabolism. During the first 14-16 weeks of pregnancy, a foetus is entirely dependent on the mother for its supply of thyroid hormone
Key examples of sea vegetables include:
Wakame – great in stews, soups and salads.
Dulse – red in colour – good in soups and salads.
Kombu – great in clear soups, stews, pickles.
Laver – a traditional ingredient for breakfast in South Wales and Ireland as grows off the coast in these areas.
Nori – good with fish for sushi as can be used as ‘sheets’, also good for parcels e.g vegetable.
Arame-good in stir-fries and soups – mild and sweet.
Kelp – is often used in salads, soups and stir-fries.
Sea purslane – enjoyed raw, cooked or often pickled.
Why not make these healthy Kelp crisps as a snack with some hummus – simple to make yet super ‘delicious and nutritious!’
Dried Kelp (enough to cover a baking tray)
Pinch of chilli flakes or turmeric (optional)
How to make your Kelp crisps:
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Rinse the Kelp for 2-3 seconds in warm water. Cut your crisps into the size you would like them to be eg 3 inches. Place on a baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until crispy. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a pinch of chilli flakes, or turmeric (optional). Serve either hot or cold.
Rich in iodine for healthy thyroid action, containing numerous nutrients for fertility and calcium for bones, seaweed is highly nutritious.
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