Written by Andrea Manitsas
Though they hardly stand a chance against our human environmental footprint, the vegetables of the sea have been cleansing and purifying the world’s oceans since long before homo erectus, and are ready, willing and able to extend their ecological uses to the detoxification of your body. All the vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fiber join in healthy harmony to help rid the body of heavy metals and pollutants that we unknowingly come into contact with on the daily.
In fact, studies have shown that seaweed is effective in purging the body of the harmful effects of radiation. During Chernobyl, for instance, spirulina was used to help save children from radiation poisoning. Thanks to a polysaccharide which binds to radioactive substances and eliminates them from the body, sea vegetables just might show promise for all us overactive cell phone users as well (check this out to find out what cell phones have the lowest emissions).
Sea vegetables often trump their conventionally-grown terrestrial counterparts in vitamins and minerals. Using seaweed to compensate for some of your unhealthy habits or as a therapeutic addition to your diet has the power to cleanse your system. Of course, we're not saying seaweed is a panacea, simply an awesome addition to your healthy lifestyle.
Some ways to get down with the detoxifying effects of seaweed
- Eat them! Include seaweed in your diet, imagining the nutrients and minerals entering your body, attracting the toxins and escorting them out. Check out this simple, delicious recipe for a kale salad, easily transformed into a delicious seaweed salad with the addition of dulse, hijiki, nori or wakame.
- Bathe in them! You can add fresh seaweed (be careful of the clog) or tea from dried seaweed into your bath to help release toxins through your body's pores.
- Slather them on! Smooth a mixture of kelp powder, honey and aloe vera onto your face, drawing out the impurities for healthy, vibrant and youthful skin.
- Drink them! Check out the tea isle at your local grocer for detox teas utilizing seaweed's greatness.
- Get your wrap on! For a true indulgence, seek out a spa that offers a seaweed body wrap for a full body revitalization said to have slimming effects.
In your plight to be a conscious shopper, consider purchasing seaweeds from companies dedicated to hand harvesting their product in a sustainable manner, as opposed to mechanical harvesting in bulk quantities that can harm coastal ecosystems. Here are a few online retailers that can fulfill all your good green seaweed needs.
Image: Steven Depolo