Seaweed as a Vegetarian Protein Source?

I love Asian food in all forms, particularly Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai foods. My favorite Asian food of all is sushi, which I think is an extremely versatile food for vegetarians. While there are hundreds of “official” types of sushi, you can really make sushi out of just about anything.

What I didn’t know, though, is that seaweed is a decent source of protein for the vegetarian diet. It makes sense, but I never thought about it until now. The Shape.com website just posted a blog titled “The Most Surprising Source of Protein” by author Jennipher
Walters. She says that different types of seaweed contain different amounts of protein, but they all have between 2 and 9 grams per cup. Well, yay!

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In addition to providing some protein, seaweed contains a ton of vitamins and minerals.

It’s also loaded with antioxidants and some hormone-like peptides that can really benefit our health. According to registered dietician Mary Hartley, one variety of seaweed, dulse, is especially important.

(It)contains renin-inhibitory peptides similar to those found in ACE inhibitors, a class of medicines that helps relax the blood vessels used to treat high blood pressure, migraines, and other conditions.”

Of course, seaweed doesn’t have to be relegated just to making sushi.

I’ve made something similar to a tapenade with it, using half reconstituted seaweed and half olives. It was delicious. I also like to julienne nori or buy other packaged seaweed at the Japanese market and add it to Asian soups we love, such as hot and sour or miso soup.

If you haven’t tried making sushi at home, you should. It’s far simpler than you would think and there are plenty of free how-to videos available. Once you get the hang of it after a time or two, you’ll be inventing all kinds of new sushi rolls. There are so many wonderful types of sushi you can make with vegetarian ingredients and it’s far more exciting than yet another salad!

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One Response to Seaweed as a Vegetarian Protein Source?

  1. Jenny Sangler December 19, 2012 at 2:43 am #

    What do you think about seaweed as a good source of protein? Are you going to start including it more into your diet? Leave your comments below.

    – Jenny Sangler

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