Most people know that garden vegetables are nutritious and healthful foods full of vitamins, minerals and important phytonutrients. Because of their nutrient density, eating your veggies is one of the best ways to prevent disease and premature aging. However, how many of you know that vegetables from the sea can be even more nutrient dense than the ones we grow in the ground?

Sea vegetables, commonly referred to as “seaweed”, are vegetables that thrive in oceans and coastal regions around the world. Because they grow in the mineral-rich broth of the sea, these plants are loaded with rare trace minerals that are difficult to find in modern garden vegetables. In fact, sea vegetables contain the broadest range of minerals of any food, mimicking the natural range and ratio of minerals found in seawater and human blood.

These important minerals help keep your blood alkaline, which prevents chronic degenerative health problems such as cancer and heart disease. They also help you digest your food properly, heal damaged tissues and cope with stress. Additionally, sea veggies are particularly rich in the mineral iodine, which is vital for proper thyroid function and energy. If you are looking for a natural source of iodine to help a sluggish thyroid, look no further than seaweed.

In addition to an abundance of minerals, sea vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins such as K, A (especially red and brown seaweed), B complex, E and C. They also contain good amounts of lignans, plant compounds that help prevent cancer.

As you can see, the nutrient content of sea vegetables perfectly compliments that of those we grow in the garden, and it is wise to include both the seafarers and the land lovers in your diet.

You Want me to Eat What?

Some people turn up their noses at the idea of eating 'that green stuff' they see washed up on beaches or wrapped around sushi. If your only sea veggie experience has been chewing on a leathery piece of nori in a sushi bar, you will be happy to know there are better tasting options! Here are two tender, mild forms of seaweed that are readily available and easy to use:

Dulse - This very tender seaweed almost melts in your mouth and can be used in whole leaf or flake form. Whole dulse leaves have a delicate flavor and can be hidden in a variety of foods, whereas the flakes tend to have a stronger “sea” taste and may not be as palatable for beginners. You can eat small pieces of dulse leaves straight out of the bag as a snack, mix them into your salad dressing or add to any soup at the end of cooking for flavor and nutrition.

Arame - This mild, almost sweet-tasting kelp is a great place to begin if you’re new to eating sea veggies. It's sold as finely shredded, crispy strands that are soaked in water for 10-15 minutes until soft, then used. You can toss arame strands in salads or soups, mix into casseroles or stir fry with Asian style veggies. It is also a great addition to any batch of cultured vegetables.

Due to their increasing popularity, sea vegetables can be found at most health food stores and even some major grocers in the Asian foods section. They are usually sold in dehydrated form and some need to be soaked in water before use. Because sea plants are very good at soaking up minerals and nutrients from the sea, they are also prone to absorbing heavy metal pollution, such as arsenic. To get the rich nutrients without the risk, choose certified organic or certified contaminant free sea vegetables whenever possible to avoid the water-borne toxins that may be found in other seaweed.

Whether mixed in a salad dressing, tossed in a soup or eaten right from the bag, sea vegetables bring a unique burst of flavor and concentrated nutrition to your day. If you are unaccustomed to eating sea vegetables, get past your initial aversion to eating 'seaweed' and allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised by what these valuable plants have to offer. Your body will thank you for it.

Author's Bio: 

Carisa Holmes is a holistic health advocate, Reiki practitioner and author based in Columbus, Ohio. Carisa has worked in the holistic health and natural beauty fields for nearly 10 years.

Through overcoming a plethora of personal health issues and working with clients, Carisa has developed a clear understanding of the functions of the physical body as well as the more subtle layers of the human energy field.

In her practice, Carisa helps empower people to move toward higher levels of wellness. Using tools such as whole food, natural skin care and powerful yet gentle Reiki, Carisa helps clients lose weight without starving themselves, heal sickness and injury, increase energy levels and feel more calm, happy and alive.

Carisa is very grateful for the many things she has learned and is eager to share them with others.

To contact Carisa about how you can heal yourself naturally, visit or email directly at