Sea Lettuce And Its Benefits
Aptly named sea lettuce, Ulva lactuca is the “salad greens” of sea vegetables. This leafy, bright green seaweed can be eaten in salads or added to soups. Delicious when raw with a distinctive flavor and aroma, sea lettuce is exceptionally rich in nutrients. It is a good source of protein, iron, minerals, fiber, and vitamins A, B, and C. Sea lettuce is one of the most important sea vegetables in the human diet.
Sea lettuce, also known as green laver, can be found in the seas around the world where it grows close to shore. It grows abundantly on the west coast of North America. Sea lettuce has beautiful, translucent, light- to emerald-green leaves. The shape varies from circular to oval to long and narrow, with waved or ruffled margins. It grows rapidly in the summer and dies off, often washing up on the beach.
Nutrients in Sea Lettuce
Sea lettuce is one of the most nutritious sea vegetables and is often used as a substitute for nori. Dried sea lettuce contains 15% protein and 50% sugar and starch. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Ulva or sea lettuce is also high in iron, iodine, manganese, aluminum, and nickel. Other important nutrients in this superfood include vitamins, sodium, potassium, calcium, nitrogen, phosphorous, magnesium, cobalt, boron, and trace elements.
Sea Lettuce in the Diet
Sea lettuce can be served cold with dressing and other vegetables for a healthy salad. It can also be added to broth along with vegetables, miso and tofu to make the delicious Japanese miso soup. When soaked and cooked with beans, the minerals and salt content of sea lettuce makes it easier to digest the beans.
Benefits of Sea Lettuce
Seaweeds, including sea lettuce, are good sources of iodine which helps stimulate and maintain the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Sea lettuce also contains high amounts of protein and iron. People who eat sea vegetables can enjoy the following health benefits:
- Weight control. A serving of seaweed provides only 5 to 20 calories and virtually no fat. Sea lettuce has a high fiber content that gives a feeling of satiety when eaten in a meal.
- Salt substitute. Seaweed granules can be used to flavor snack foods and other processed food products. It helps reduce sodium intake and lowers the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke.
- Regulate blood sugar. The high soluble fiber content of sea lettuce slows down the rate at which food is digested, thus helping to balance and regulate the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.
- Digestive Aid. Fiber in sea vegetables soaks up water and helps in the elimination of waste.
- Other benefits. Sea lettuce and other sea vegetables have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.
Sea lettuce is one of the main ingredients found in Emerald Sea – it’s the easy way to eat your sea veggies!