nutrition

It is important that the waters which seaweeds grow in are really clean and rich in nutrients. Ireland is situated just at the edge of the Atlantic Shelf where there is a huge upwelling of nutrients from the deep Atlantic Ocean. We have a low population density and very little heavy industry so our clean, cool, nutrient-rich waters create the perfect set of circumstances for very high quality algae to grow.

All seaweeds have a very high level of nutrients in ratio to their fat and carbohydrate content. It makes an excellent addition to food products because the nutrients are in an organic, bio-available form which the body can absorb easily.  They are an excellent source of minerals...

 

seaweed mineral content

 

...they are also a really good source of vitamins...

 

seaweed vitamin content

 

...and an important source of dietary fibre, especially in comparison to foods we normally eat.

 

seaweed fibre content

 

Seaweeds even contain fatty acids...

 

seaweed fatty acids

 

You can add seaweeds to food to increase their health benefits without the taste being noticeable, or you can use seaweeds to increase the health benefits of other foods AND enhance their flavours. Seaweeds bring us the rich 'umami' flavour, a deep savoury flavour that stimulates the taste buds at the side of the tongue and literally make the mouth water. They each have slightly different qualities that create even more varieties of flavour when combined with other foods. They add depth and interest. They can be used to enhance a seafood dish but they do to always have to be sued to add a taste of the ocean. They can be subtle and supportive. You do not have to eat much seaweed to get a rich supply of nutrients. The following tables show how seaweed nutrients compare to other foods in relation to the RNI (recommended nutritional intake).

 

seaweed minerals with rni

 

seaweed vitamins with rni 

We have collated more detailed charts for each of the most commonly used seaweeds which will soon be accessible through the seaweed TYPES page.