by The Culinistas
(as part of our Wellness Through Food: Way to Your Heart series)
You don’t have to tell us twice to eat our seaweed. It’s umami flavor packs a punch to any dish. Factor in its heart healthy properties and we love it even more.
If you’re looking for an entry into your own seaweed journey check out Blue Evolution, whose seaweed snacks range from flavored popcorns to an Alaskan Kombu Kelp Puree pouch your kids will go nuts for. It’s the “ocean’s superfood.”
We caught up with the Blue Evolution team for our Way to Your Heart initiative to talk playing the long game when it comes to heart health, why seaweed is the new kale, and tips for incorporating this secret weapon into your diet.
The Culinistas: Why do you think some are half-hearted about heart health?
Blue Evolution: Sometimes it’s easier to focus on what we need now — if we’re feeling dehydrated we grab a drink, if we’re feeling hangry, we’ll grab a snack.
But what we sometimes have a harder time navigating is the longer term — what should I be eating now to help my heart years from now? It’s not necessarily something we tend to think about during our day to day, nor is it something that we tend to know much information about, which is why heart health can be half-hearted.
TC: What’s one easy step anyone can take to incorporate more seaweed into their diet?
BE: Seaweed is just like any other leafy green (think kale, spinach or rainbow chard) — it just happens to grow in the water! This makes it a quick and easy substitute in your everyday recipes, while also adding a delicious depth of flavor and essential minerals. If you’re new to seaweed, we suggest starting out by adding it to smoothies, sauces, dressings, marinades and soups.
TC: What’s the biggest impact of seaweed on heart health?
BE: Because seaweed is a veggie, it’s a quick and easy way to add essential minerals and nutrients to your diet. But what makes seaweed a true standout is its rich iodine content, which plays a key role in thyroid health and helps regulate the production of hormones that control your heart health, metabolism, and more.
TC: What’s the biggest myth about seaweed?
BE: While seaweed has been treasured in coastal communities for millennia, it’s still new to many US consumers and because of this, it can get a bad wrap. We don’t necessarily have a frame of reference for seaweed — yet. When we invite chefs to try using seaweed in their recipes, we often hear how surprised they are by its mild taste, rich umami flavor and al dente texture. It’s a culinary rock star and one we’re proud to introduce to more and more kitchens.
TC: What’s your go-to cure for a broken heart?
BE: Get outside. Listen to music. Be gentle with yourself. Cook. And of course, try something new!