Laver Seaweed

Ingredient Profile

Laver Seaweed: A Nutrient-Dense Superfood

Laver Seaweed is an edible seaweed. It belongs to the red algae species known as Porphyra umbilicalis. This seaweed grows along the northern Atlantic coasts. It’s widespread in Wales, Ireland, and western Great Britain. This seaweed is rich in nutrients. It contains high amounts of minerals, including iodine and iron. These give it a distinctive flavor. Its taste is akin to olives and oysters. Laver Seaweed can be enjoyed both raw and cooked.

Laver Seaweed in Asian Cuisine

In Asia, Laver Seaweed, known as “zicai” in China, “gim” in Korea, and “nori” in Japan, is a cherished ingredient. The Chinese often cook Laver Seaweed with other vegetables, stir-frying or adding them to soups. Koreans enjoy it as a famous banchan (side dish), rolling rice and vegetables in dried, paper-like sheets. In Japan, Laver Seaweed plays an essential role in the cuisine. It’s a vital part of sushi and onigiri rice balls. Japanese cuisine often uses sheets of Laver Seaweed. These sheets are usually dried and roasted.

Nutrition Facts

According to the USDA

100 grams (100g)

Fat0.3g
Cholesterol0mg
Sodium48mg
Carbohydrate5.1g
Protein5.8g
Vitamin C39mg
Vitamin D0mcg
Iron1.8mg
Calcium70mg
Potassium356mg
Phosphorus58mg
Calories35

Traditional Chinese Medicine

For centuries, laver seaweed has been a prized remedy in traditional medicine. Ancient Chinese medicine texts recommend it for its healing properties. Specifically, they describe using laver seaweed to soothe sore throats and reduce foot swelling.

Modern research has shown laver seaweed contains beneficial compounds. Polysaccharides and phycoerythrin in laver have anti-aging effects. They also have anticoagulant and cholesterol-lowering effects.

Laver seaweed also bursts with nutritional density. Laver seaweed contains high amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins, and critical trace minerals. These include calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Out of all foods on Earth, laver has the highest magnesium content. This earns it the nickname “treasure trove of magnesium.”

Eating laver seaweed in moderation can improve overall health. It provides essential vitamins and minerals lacking in many modern diets. Laver seaweed has traditional medicinal uses. Recent scientific research shows its incredible nutritional value. These combined qualities explain why Asian cultures have long prized this sea vegetable.

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