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EDIBLE ALGAE: IS SEAWEED THE NEW KALE?

EDIBLE ALGAE: IS SEAWEED THE NEW KALE?

You might have noticed the plethora of blue smoothie bowls popping up all over the food scene on Instagram. Remember when #mermaidtoast was all the rage? We even made our ownWhy does this matter, you ask? (You can read titles. I’m sure you’ve figured this out by now.) These colorful concoctions are made possible using an alga called spirulina!

 

But spirulina isn’t the only alga that’s rising in popularity, all kinds of freshwater and saltwater algae are being consumed – not only for their natural food colouring powers, but also their amazing health benefits! Nori is being snacked on like potato chips, shots of E3Live are being downed, and there’s even a seaweed that tastes like bacon?! Eating algae is nothing new to many places around the world, where seaweed has been consumed for thousands of years. But if you’ve managed to stay away from eating algae, here are some of the reasons you should consider adding it to your diet:

 

Why You Should Eat Algae

  • Algae are rich in brain boosting Omega 3s.
  • If you follow a plant based diet, sea veggies (especially dulce) are a great source of iodine that you might otherwise be lacking.
  • Also, when the inevitable question of “but…how do you get your protein?” comes up, you can add this fact to your arsenal of responses: from dry weight, spirulina is about 70% protein!
  • Chlorella aids in the detoxification of heavy metal build up in the body.
  • Sea vegetables are a great source of minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vanadium, and zinc.

 

How you can eat more algae

  • Add powders like chlorella to your smoothies. (Check out our Spirulina Kale Breakfast Smoothie recipe)
  • Munch on seaweed snacks! They’re super delicious.
  • Sprinkle dulse over you food for a savoury flavour with lower sodium.
  • Make a warming pot of kitchari. (The flavour is amped up with kombu seaweed!)
  • Top your soups with nori or dulse.
  • Use dried wakame in soup broth or order a wakame salad at your favourite Japanese restaurant.
  • Make sushi burritos!  
  • Use spirulina and chlorella as natural food colouring. (They can have a undesirable taste, so use sparingly.)

 

While the health benefits of algae can be wonderful, as with most good things, you can have too much. If you plan to radically increase your algae consumption or you have any existing medical issues, make sure you consult a medical professional (especially if you have thyroid problems \).

 

Will sea vegetables and fresh water algae be the next superfood trend that takes over? Only time will tell.

 

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Is seaweed the new kale? Here's why you should eat more algae!

Fiona

When Fiona's not spending her time as a social media and content coordinator at SPUD.ca, you can find her playing with her kitten, tending to many house plants, or messing around in the kitchen creating new plant-based recipes for her blog, Plantily.com

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