ingredient information
Properly prepared, high quality sea vegetables, such as arame, are delicious and provide a concentrated source of nutrition as well as several important health benefits. Arame is virtually fat-free; low in calories; and rich in essential minerals, vitamins, protein, and important trace elements that are often lacking in land vegetables due to soil demineralization. Arame and other sea vegetables contain more minerals than any other kind of food. Analysis has shown that a wide range of minerals account for up to 38 percent of their dry weight. According to Seibin and Teruko Arasaki, authors of Vegetables from the Sea, “All of the minerals required by human beings, including calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, iron, and zinc are present in sufficient amounts. In addition, there are many trace elements in seaweeds.� It has been said that the thick, black, lustrous hair of the Japanese is partly due to their regular diet of brown sea vegetables such as arame. Research has shown that minerals are important to healthy hair growth, and arame has a high mineral content. Edible plants from the sea also contain important vitamins including vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), B1, B2, B6, niacin, vitamin C, pantothenic acid, and folic acid. Analysis has shown trace amounts of vitamin B12, which rarely occurs in land vegetables. Besides their impressive nutritional profile, high quality sea vegetables offer other important health benefits. Sea vegetables classified as “brown algae�, including arame, hijiki, kombu and wakame, have been shown to cleanse the body of toxic pollutants. Specifically, scientific research has demonstrated that these plants, which are abundant in alginic acid, bind with any heavy metals in the intestines, render them indigestible, and cause them to be eliminated from the body. Dr. Tanaka, leading a team of researchers at McGill University in Montreal, showed that the alginic acid in sea vegetables actually helps bind and draw out toxins such as lead, cadmium, mercury and radioactive strontium that are stored in the body, thus “lowering the body’s burden.� For centuries, Oriental medicine has recognised that sea vegetables contribute to general well being and especially to the health of the endocrine and nervous systems. In recent decades, medical researchers have discovered that a diet that includes sea vegetables reduces the risk of some diseases.