SAN ANTONIO - From under the sea to the top of the "super food" chain, vitamin-packed seaweed is now trending as the latest nutritional powerhouse.Not only can you find it in sushi, it’s also sold plain, dried or roasted.
You can buy it small bags for less than $4. It's even popping up in snacks.
Move over kale. Experts say seaweed is stealing your thunder!
Probably the biggest benefit of seaweed is it creates a healthy gut ,” said Jan Tilley. Tilley, a San Antonio based dietician, penned the book Eat Well to Be Well.
Tilley said health is all about the power of anti-inflammation foods. “It is one of the hottest trends in 2017 for sure,” said Tilley. “It is a great anti-inflammatory.”
She said adding it to your diet, along with other anti-inflammatory foods, can reduce your risk for disease.
Experts said chronic inflammation is the root cause of many serious illnesses, including heart disease, many cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.
Stress, lack of exercise, genetics and exposure to toxins like secondhand smoke can all contribute to such chronic inflammation. Experts said dietary choices play a big role as well.
"A lot of the disease processes we see as we age come from chronic inflammation: Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis [in some cases], Alziehmer's and Dementia.”
She said seaweed is a great source of Calcium, Magenesium and Iodine. For those watching their waistline, it's also low in calories.
“Seaweed in a smoothie, wrap or sushi comes with almost no calories,” said Tilley. “There’s about 30 calories in a cup of seaweed.”
Watch out for seaweed snacks that Tilley said might be packed with salt.
“When you start putting them into chips and crackers, you [get] all the oil and salt,” she said. “You want to be careful with those.”
Seaweed can be used in your everyday recipes like Pesto. Here’s one that Tilley recommends:
“You rehydrate the seaweed, put it with pine nuts and it tastes very much like a normal pesto,” she said.
For more information on Tilley’s books click here.
The recipe featured in the story is as follows:
- ½ cup dried seaweed (Wakame suggested by Tilley)
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 clove peeled garlic
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Place seaweed in a small bowl, and cover with water to rehydrate for 20 minutes.
- Add hydrated seaweed, pine nuts, garlic and cheese into food processor. After it is mixed, add olive oil and lemon juice and blend until combined.
The recipe makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information: Calories 110, Fat 10g, Fiber 2g, Protein 2g, Cholesterol 0mg