The ocean is considered the cradle of all life by many scientists and foods from the sea have long been prized by native populations. For starters, plants and animals from the sea are the richest sources of an essential nutrient not found in land-based foods—iodine. Iodine is a vital component of the thyroid hormones and is essential to the health of every cell in the body, which is why unrefined sea salt and seaweeds were often transported far inland as trade commodities.
Most of us are familiar with fish and shellfish from the ocean, but sea vegetables—seaweeds or salt-water algae like kelp and dulse—are not a common part of American diets. This is a shame because these foods not only contain iodine, they are rich in numerous trace minerals for healthy bones, skin, hair and general health. Many also contain valuable mucilaginous fibers that absorb heavy metals and other toxins and tone up the intestinal tract.
In this Sunshine Sharing Hour, we explore the value of these foods from the sea and supplements made from them. We’ll discuss the value of seaweeds to thyroid health and the roles iodine plays in the body as a whole. And, we’ll also talk about ways to use these seaweeds both internally and topically to promote better health.
In addition, we’ll talk about another overlooked food that grows in water—fresh-water algae. Like their cousins from the ocean, fresh-water algae are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are also one of the richest plant sources of easily assimilated amino acids. The consumption of algae can help to balance blood sugar and brain function, while increasing energy and reducing appetite. So, we’ll also discuss the uses of algae like spirulina and chlorella in improving health.