Food for longevity! A mineral-rich diet is essential to women’s health in midlife. Our mineral needs increase, and seaweed, especially kelp, is replete with all the bone- and heart-supportive minerals. It can help keep our bones strong long-term, while lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Unfortunately, getting adequate minerals is a challenge due to the increasing depletion of our earth’s soils and the absence of minerals in commercially-produced foods. Luckily, just one serving of kelp provides ¼ of our daily calcium needs! How great is that?!
It may not be something you’ve cooked at home before, but seaweed is easy to get. It can be purchased at Whole Foods, Asian food markets, even on Amazon, and it’s easy to use. One of our favorite ways to incorporate it is in soups, stocks, and broths. We always add kombu to the base liquid at the start and remove it before serving. You can also add kombu to your pot of beans, if you cook beans from dry, to help the beans become more digestible. This is a nutritionist/health coach secret weapon to make superfood beans easier to enjoy! If you’re ordering out, sushi is also a great way to get some seaweed, too.
We all love that delicious seaweed salad you get at Japanese restaurants. You may not have known how easy it is to make at home, and how good it is for your menopausal years. Try out Mark Bittman’s very easy seaweed salad, which only contains 4 ingredients. It can be made a day or two in advance. Experiment with amounts and flavors, and add it as a side whenever you can. If you’re excited about trying more seaweed, check out this Deconstructed Salmon Sushi Bowl. For another heart healthy recipe, try Ingrid’s Miso Coconut Salmon.
- dried seaweed
- sesame oil
- Rinse dried seaweed (a mixture is best), then soak it in at least 10 times its volume of water until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Drain, and gently squeeze to remove excess water. Pick through the seaweed, discard any hard bits (there might not be any) and roughly chop it with scissors if the pieces are large. Toss with sesame oil, soy sauce and mirin (or sugar).
- Garnish with toasted sesame seeds if you like.