One of my favorite sea vegetables is Arame (Eisenia bicyclis), which grows wild, in the unpolluted waters off the coast of Ise, in Japan. Arame (pronouced Ara-may), besides having a sweet name, has a mild flavor and lovely texture. It can be added to soups and casseroles, or sauteed with vegetables. I like to add it to baked Kabocha squash and onions. But my favorite way to serve Arame is as a salad.
Its so simple. Boil water. Add Arame. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Drain.
For two cups of Arame, Slice about 1/4 cup of red onion.
Coarsely grate about 1/4 cup of carrot.
Add 1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil and the juice of 1/2 a freshly squeezed lemon, both to taste.
Mix well and let sit for an hour or more until serving.
You might add a dash of Ume plum vinegar.
Its also nice to sprinkle toasted whole sesame seed on top.
Arame, being innately cooling, is a good side dish for balancing the more warming foods one tends to serve in autumn and winter.
Where to get Arame
Arame is at any Japanese market, and at your local health food store it will be in the Asian or Macrobiotic section, with the other sea veggies like Nori, Kombu and Wakame. My two favorite brands there are Eden and Maine Coast Sea Vegetables.
Eden has an excellent website, full of recipes for Arame and other natural foods.
Arame Super Food:
Arame, like most sea vegetables, is an excellent source of natural iodine, yielding 100% of your daily value with only 1/2 cup serving. The same size serving also contains 15% DV for Magnesium, 10% of both Vitamin A and Calcium, and 4% of Iron.
Arame is high in fiber, and also provides 102 mg of Omega 3, 367 mg of Omega 6, and 191 mg of Omega 9 essential fatty acids. But, unlike some of the other sea veggies, Arame is also low in sodium.
Sea Veggies and Chelation–Detoxification of Heavy Metals
Lots of research has been done in Japan on the ability of sea vegetables to chelate both heavy metals like lead and mercury, and radioactive elements such as strontium 90, which allows the body to eliminate these very toxic substances. Seaweeds act as natural anti-biotics, too. See Vegetables From the Sea by Teruko Arasaki (Japan Publications) for a comprehensive survey of the medical uses of sea vegetables
In Chinese Medicine sea veggies are considered beneficial for the Lung as they help dissolve phlegm, for the Kidneys, Liver and Stomach, as they nourish the Yin and cool toxic fire. They also tend to induce urination and relieve edema.
They are an excellent cleansing food, as they help de-congest the lymphatic system and reduce systemic dampness even though they have a cool energy. They are excellent for people who have had a long term toxic diet and suffer from problems like eczema, psoriasis, oily skin, acne, chronic colds, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and bronchitis.
There is not much use of sea vegetables in India, but In Ayurvedic terms they would be useful for Pitta, and Pitta/Kapha disorders, and help to cleanse Toxic Ama from the body tissues.
Warning for Hashimoto’s and Grave’s Disease
While iodine is necessary for normal thyroid health, and a recent study showed a significant increase in iodine deficiency in United States citizens over the past 20 years, people with both Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease usually need to avoid iodine or iodine-containing products, which make worsen autoimmune thyroid problems, and cause enlargement of the thyroid (goiter). If you have either of those diseases, please check with your doctor before eating foods that are high in iodine, such as Arame.
(c)eyton shalom 2010 all rights reserved, use with permission.
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