Is seaweed the new kale? 5 types of algae that will surprise you with their health benefits

Fast-growing, full of vitamins and minerals and great for the environment. What's not to love?

There are many more options besides Nori seaweed to get you started on the diet that incorporates seaweed. Think of them as a vegetable and you will see all the things you can do with them.

1. Kombu seaweed

Kombu seaweed

Large-sized seaweed, it can live up to 10 years at a depth of 15 meters in rocky areas, with waves and open sea, making it very difficult to harvest. Still, it is the most consumed algae worldwide.

It has a meaty consistency and is used in cooking to give flavor, soften and make the food much more digestible due to the glutamic acid.

It stands out in its content of magnesium, calcium, and iodine that help the muscles, central nervous system, and thyroid. Its alginic acid has preventive effects against contamination. Anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory, it regulates weight and blood pressure and therefore helps prevent cardiovascular disorders.

2. Wakame seaweed

Wakame seaweed

Algae originating in the Pacific. It grows as a large green leaf, lives in deep water, and can measure up to 1.5 meters.

It is the second most-consumed seaweed worldwide and has a high nutritional value. It is added to the dishes taking into account as in the rest of the varieties that 20gr (fresh or already hydrated) is enough.

It stands out for having 12 times more (easily absorbed) calcium than any dairy product, as well as phosphorus, protein, and iodine that help regulate the thyroid.

3. Red (Dulse) Algae

Dulse seaweed

Typical Atlantic red seaweed, about 50cm long, lives in deep, rough waters especially facing north. It often grows attached to other algae on the rocks.

They do this so that they are not carried away by the current and the larger algae help these smaller ones. That doesn't mean it feeds on it.

It stands out in Iron, Potassium, Vitamin C and A and high protein content.

These edible algae are ideal to prevent anaemia, strengthen the vision and restores the intestinal flora.

4. Nori seaweed

Nori seaweed

Red algae of between 15g and 30cm in the form of a thin sheet around a disc fixed to the rock in the shape of a navel. Hence its Latin name.

They grow on the rocks that are beaten and exposed to the waves and are exposed at low tide.

It is the third most consumed in the world. It stands out for its high protein content, the highest of all, and its great richness in amino acids, vitamins A, unsaturated fatty acids, and omega 3 and 6.

It helps the eyesight and protects and nourishes the skin and mucous membranes. This edible algae helps digestion and dissolves fat. Ideal in salads and tortillas as well as in soups and rice dishes.

5. Agar-Agar

Agar Agar can replace gelatin

It's not an alga itself but we love it! It is extracted from red algae that contain a gelling power superior to animal gelatines. It is available in strips and in powder form.

It does not add color, flavor, or smell to dishes but it does add a super pleasant texture.

Ideal for people who do not like the taste of seaweed because they contain all the nutrients but not the taste. Great in flavored gelatins and if it is in strips, we add it to the salad.

It stands out for the soluble fiber that regulates the intestinal transit without altering the flora.

Peter O Brien

Peter started out his professional life as a restaurant critic but ended up moving to the kitchen, realizing that his passion didn’t only lie in tasting the food, but MAKING it. Follow his delicious recipes, as well as useful articles about the many benefits healthy and delicious food will bring to your life.+ info

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