4 Green Vegetables From the Ocean


We don’t think about vegetables for the ocean, but there are many!

When my kids were little one of their favorite snacks was nori. To be honest, I am not sure I would have ever picked it out for them, but living in Hawaii with many Japanese, they were exposed to it all the time… so we gave it a try. At the time, I embraced the fact they were eating more greens and now, I feel quite lucky that they ate them happily as a snack because seaweeds are packed with vitamins and minerals plus they are among the healthiest foods around. We are all aware that eating more whole vegetables in your diet wards off many diseases and not surprisingly, our ocean veggies give us an extra boost of nutrition.

Why Ocean Veggies?

  • Most seaweeds contain 2 important minerals – iodine and vanadium. We know a lot about iodine but we are now discovering the importance in vanadium. Vanadium aids in carbohydrate and sugar metabolism. There is still much research being done, but it all looks promising that a daily dose of ocean greens is a good thing.
  • Ocean veggies are anti – inflammatory due to their fucoidan content.
  • Ocean veggies have a good source of iron and vitamin c. Having this team combination is an added bonus as the vitamin c increases the bio-availablity of iron which in turn allows for a better absorption of iron.
  • Ocean veggies are packed with vitamin k, folate, and magnesium.

Best ways to get these nutrient rich foods into our diet.


Nori are paper thin (like a sheet of paper) and  has a subtle earthy taste.

why? Nori is protein rich and just one sheet of nori has a heavy dose of fiber. Nori also boosts a good dose of omega -3s (more than half an avocado),  vitamin c and iron.

how? Nori is used in rolling a sushi wrap but many children will eat the nori on its own. It can also be crumpled and used as a topping to brown rice.


Kombu has a full-bodied and savory taste.

why? Iodine is the main mineral found in kombu. Iodine is essential food to the production of thyroid hormones which control metabolism in the body.

how? The next time you are cooking beans, throw in kombu leaf. The leaf, due to its’ glutamic acid content,  will make the beans more easily digestible.


Wakame is very similar to Kombu in taste and nutrients.

why? Wakame is high in omega 3 fatty acids and may help fight obesity,

how? Wakame has a beautiful green color and is a perfect addition to salads and soups.


Dulse is a reddish-brown seaweed, and has a slightly spicy, salty.

why? Dulse is high in iron and very nutrient rich: mostly antioxidants that help fight free radicals.

how? One of the best ways to prepare dulse, is to soak in water which will give a it a chewy texture and eat it or you can throw it in a salad. I stumbled across this recipe, although, I have not tried it, it looks great.


dr. heather

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