Seaweed has long been considered a staple in certain Asian cuisines, but it’s recently caught on with people looking for more environmentally sustainable foods than traditional produce. Like its land-growing leafy green cousins, seaweed and kelp (a brownish type of seaweed that grows in shallow water) have a distinctive crunchy taste and are also full of good-for-you vitamins and nutrients.
From a nutrition perspective, seaweed is high in vitamins C and K, and is a great source of iodine, a mineral that's important because without it your cell's can't convert the food you eat into energy (yeah, that seems important!). It also helps regulate your thyroid. Seaweed is also surprisingly full of calcium, fiber, and protein, which is part of why it makes such a great healthy snack. One thing to keep in mind if you are intrigued by seaweed: it happens to be pretty high in sodium. Most of the sodium in seaweed is naturally-occuring — after all, seaweed is grown in saltwater — but if you’ve been told to watch your sodium intake, you might want to check with your doctor before loading up.
Salivating yet? Luckily, you don’t have to live by the coast or know how to fish to score some seaweed. There are tons of packaged dried seaweed products that you can have on-hand in your work snack drawer or home pantry the next time you’re craving a delicious, crunchy snack. Here are our top picks.
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