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Why You Should Stock Up on Seaweed and Boost Your Nutrition Today
Do you eat seaweed? It’s a flavorful addition to all sorts of meals, and its popularity is growing. We’ve put together ...
Do you eat seaweed? It’s a flavorful addition to all sorts of meals, and its popularity is growing. We’ve put together the most important reasons to pay attention to this healthy, meaningful food choice as the market changes.
What Is Seaweed?
Seaweed is a delectable food, rich in nutrition and bold in flavor. The name refers to a variety of water-based plants and includes thousands of species around the world.
The red, brown, or green color of seaweed tells us how much light the algae absorbs from the sun and determines where the seaweed grows. Thanks to its name, consumers often expect that all seaweed grows in the ocean, but seaweed can grow in other marine environments including rivers and lakes. Seaweed grows naturally on rocks and from the seafloor. It can also be commercially farmed in ways that benefit the environment.
Common Seaweeds You Can Eat
Here’s a glimpse at some of the most commonly used seaweeds on the planet.
Image by Amarita on Unsplash
Nori has a rich, dark green color that epitomizes seaweed for many. It can be found in dried form, where the Pyropia or Porphyra species are pressed into edible sheets like these Roasted Seaweed Lavers¹. It is commonly used to wrap sushi, and it’s also used to add umami flavor in nori furikake.
Image by Dr. Axe
Sea kelp is bigger than many other seaweeds and grows exclusively in nutrient-rich saltwater environments. This seaweed is often known for its sea forest growth pattern. Look at this amazing image of a lovely kelp forest².
Kelp from the Laminariaceae family is sometimes called kombu. It also has an umami taste, though it is milder than nori. You can reconstitute dried kelp like this Spicy Shredded Kelp from Good Wife³ or cook with kelp noodles.
Image: The Spruce Eats
Wakame is a type of kelp. The species Undaria pinnatifida is often known for its ubiquitous presence in miso soup. But wakame makes a valuable addition to a plethora of dishes, including seaweed salad, pasta dishes, and more.
Image: Superfood Evolution
Dulse has a deep red or burgundy color that sets it apart. Its genus name Palmaria is a reference to its palm-like structure. Because of its shape and thickness, dulse can be fried to create a crunchy bacon-like alternative for vegetarian dishes. Some people eat it raw to promote energy levels⁴.
How Do You Eat Seaweed?
Sushi is delicious, but it’s not the only way to enjoy seaweed. It’s fun to get creative when cooking with seaweed. Here are a few out-of-the-box options.
Substitute nori sheets in place of tortillas, bread, and other wraps. They add great flavor and can lighten up a meal while packing in nutrients.
Prepare seaweed in the oven with a small amount of oil and salt. This guiltless snack can satisfy a salty craving and add plenty of other benefits for you as well.
Soup with Seaweed
Adding seaweed to your next soup can bring nutrition, texture, and heartiness to the dish that is just hard to match in any other way.
A Sustainable Food Source
Health Benefits of Seaweed
Seaweed is so good for you! Check out these important benefits.
- Excellent source of vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, and fiber.
- Source of protective antioxidants
- Promotes gut health, often providing prebiotics to gut microbes
- Source of iodine for thyroid health*
*It’s helpful to find seaweed from a trusted source to know how much iodine is ingested.
Environmental Benefits of Seaweed
Consumers feel good about eating seaweed because it’s one of the foods we can grow lots of and help our environment. Here’s why.
- Grown without harmful products like pesticides
- Cools the atmosphere by storing carbon and reducing the work the ocean does to balance atmospheric temperature
- Improves water quality by gathering carbon dioxide from the water, thus creating a more hospitable environment for other sea life (Learn more through the Ocean Blue Project ⁵.)
The Market Forecast for Seaweed
The food and beverage market is seeing increased health consciousness, environmental consciousness, and demand for plant-based food products. Thanks to these along with the growing popularity of seaweed overall, a Fortune Business Insights report⁶ offers, “The global commercial seaweed market is projected to grow from $15.01 billion in 2021 to $24.92 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 7.51% during the forecast period.”
It’s high time for food and beverage retailers to consider adding this high-demand product to store shelves.
Add Seaweed Products to Your Shelves
Are you ready to stock up with seaweed?
It’s important to find a trustworthy source of seaweed to ensure your customers have access to truly healthy foods. At Trustana, we stock a variety of seaweed products as well as many products with seaweed as an ingredient.
We’re an excellent source for small and medium-sized retailers because Trustana takes care of all the import logistics. We buy at scale so you don’t have to.