I have always been quite a bit of a sushi addict. The freshness of this type of chinese food, the many different flavors, the lively colors, I could literally eat it every day.
Sushi ingredients, such as salmon, egg, tuna and chicken, are usually quite nutritious, but what about that crunchy layer of green goodness around the rice that holds everything together?
This layer is roasted seaweed, also known as sushi nori or nori seaweed, which by itself is surprisingly healthy. You can also eat it as an afternoon snack by itself when you feel like munching on something. Let's find out what the health benefits of roasted seaweed are, as we have a closer look at this fine chinese delicacy.
What Is Roasted Seaweed, aka Nori?
In China, nori seaweed used to be the generic term for seaweeds but now stands for the edible seaweed species of Porphyra (red algae, cold water seaweed), according to Wikipedia.
The roasted seaweed product is made by shredding, drying and roasting the nori seaweed, similar to the process of making paper. The end-product is a thin (like paper), black or green sheet of around 18 by 20 cm.
What's good about this is that not much else is added during the production process, apart from a bit of oil and (sea) salt. So roasted seaweed is basically pure seaweed with very few extra ingredients.
Health Benefits of Roasted Seaweed
Nori seaweed is actually classified as a vegetable, a sea vegetable that is. Some of us may never have tasted seaweed before but the Chinese have been eating this super food for many centuries now. They appreciate nori as being a food of longevity.
With quite an impressive nutritional profile, here are some of the health benefits of roasted seaweed:
1.High in iodine:
Roasted seaweed (or any type of seaweed for that matter) is a rich source of iodine. Iodine is a mineral that is essential for your metabolism and helps your thyroid gland to function the way it should be. One sheet of nori contains around half of the daily recommended intake of iodine.
2.Source of vitamin B12:
Vitamin B12 supports normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and helps form red blood cells. Nori contains 1.2 mg vitamin B12 per 1 sheet.
3.High in potassium:
Potassium is a mineral that helps lower your blood pressure and lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease. Nori contains 50 mg of potassium per 1 sheet.
4.Contains protein and fiber:
While the amounts are not super high, roasted seaweed does actually contain protein and fiber.
5.Low in calories and saturated fat:
Roasted seaweed is incredibly low in calories with one sheet containing only 5 calories. The amount of fat in nori is almost negligible.
Okay this may not necessarily be a health benefit, but the delicious taste of roasted seaweed makes it so much easier to eat as a healthy afternoon snack. The taste is very unique and is hard to compare with anything else.
It's worth mentioning that roasted seaweed is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin C.