We live on a planet covered by water. About 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is underwater and our climate, not to mention the health of all living species, is intimately connected to the ocean supplements. Half the oxygen we breathe is produced by sea vegetation, so why not look to the sea for health remedies that don’t exist on the land? Here is my guide for tapping into the power of the sea for next-level healing.
Spirulina + Blue-Green Algae
Spirulina and other blue-green algae live in lakes – both fresh and saltwater – throughout the world. Blue-green algae was a traditional remedy and highly revered food in ancient civilizations, especially in Mexico and Africa. Today, they have been powdered and packaged for your convenience, with all the health benefits. (Find them at your local health food store.)
What they can do for you: Spirulina is jam-packed with tons of benefits; it contains three times the protein of beef and all nine essential amino acids (the ones your body can’t make and you need to get from food). Spirulina also has more calcium than milk and its chlorophyll content makes it super detoxifying.
How to use them: It’s blue-green algae that give those weird-looking mermaid and unicorn lattes from that famous coffee chain their brilliant aquatic hues. You thought those were artificial dyes? Even that sugar-laden unicorn frap took advantage of spirulina to get its beautiful color. Try mixing a teaspoon or two of blue-green algae into your own healthy elixirs, teas, and smoothies. I bet you can make something just as artistic and a whole lot healthier. Check out some of my favorite recipes here.
Technically a type of algae, sea vegetables have always been an exotic delicacy in island cultures from Asia to New Zealand to Ireland. Get to know hijiki, nori, kombu, arame, kelp, dulse, Irish moss, and malaria esculent, each with its unique taste, look, and texture.
What they can do for you: Talk about a great source of minerals! Sea vegetables are full of (1) B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, and 18 different amino acids, and they are one of the most effective ways to get the ultra-important mineral iodine, which your body needs to manufacture your thyroid hormones. Sea vegetables also contain anti-inflammatory compounds called fucans that have been shown (2) to improve blood sugar balance in type-2 diabetics.
How to use them: Soak sea vegetables and cut them into strips for your soup. Sprinkle flakes into your salad. Use sheets as wraps for your favorite veggies and fish, or blend them into smoothies. They give a briny, exotic, complex, and fascinating taste to anything you make.
Yes, actual pearl, that gift of oysters and a secret of Asian medicine for generations. Crushed to a fine powder for use in skincare products and dietary supplements, the pearl is a glamorous beauty secret.
What it can do for you: Pearl is an oceanic adaptogen rich in calcium, magnesium, amino acids, and a variety of minerals. It has been used for its calming and mood-regulating effects as well as being a super beauty food for more radiant skin.
How to use it: Pearl has a mild taste, so it goes great in just about everything. I use a teaspoon in smoothies and elixirs, but you can even put it in some healthy baked goods! No one will ever suspect your secret ingredient.