“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)
Happy Holidays. May this be a peaceful, blessed Holy Time, celebrated in your own way, and may this become the time when all Life is respected and cherished!
Onward, now, with the next part of the Iodine series, some of the most important information that I have ever posted. Catch-up here, if you need to, then continue reading these health tips for diabetics and for everyone you know.
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 1
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 2
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 3
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 4
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 5
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 6
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 7
and then …
Synopsis: Diabetics – Iodine and Health 9
It is very important to have a pH alkaline body. Each cell needs to be pH alkaline to work optimally. Seaweed is one of the most alkaline foods on the planet, whereas the typical American diet (typical Western, developed countries’ diet) is very acidifying. All the stresses and habits of modern life tend to make our tissues pH acidic and thereby we open ourselves to chronic ill health (with struggling metabolisms and improper cellular chemistry) and we are open to infection (as viruses and bacteria can only live in acidic pH tissues).
Seaweed is the best source for Iodine and iodide (another molecular form of Iodine), and it is this element which underscores a great deal of the benefit which we derive from seaweed and sea veggies.
As you read in the articles above, Iodine provides a singularly significant foundation for Health, as long as it is in the optimal range — not either too little OR too much.
Where you source your seaweed and sea veggies is important. I discount any food from China. You cannot trust even the “organic” designation there, as the surrounding area is likely to be receiving unabated pollution, regardless of whether the actual product tried to be organic. Also, their designation for “organic” is not as stringent as it needs to be.
The variety of marine aquatic products from China has surpassed 40, and their oceans are not clean, especially in any delta or bay where their great (and very polluted) rivers empty. Additionally, massive amounts of industrial wastes and sewage are discharged into the nearshore without effective treatment. The result is that the water quality in the nearshore ecological niche worsens gradually, and this has direct impacts on the survival and development of the mariculture industry. Clean water is critical for healthy seaweed and sea veggies!
On the other hand, environmental pollution from mariculture is also noticeable on the wild areas as chemicals and manure from fish and shrimp farms unbalances the ecosytem.
Fish disease, sea scallop disease, kelp disease, abalone disease and so on have occurred unceasingly in these Chinese products since 1993.
Last week, I had my husband shopping at Whole Foods to update exactly which brands of seaweed they stocked, so I could expand my supply, and on one product (Emerald Cove), you must read the fine-print, as some of it is Chinese “organic”.
I opted for the wild-crafted and gathered seaweed from the Mendocino Coast of California, where I know the oceans are pristine. I have used this brand before, over the decades; Rising Tide sea vegetables.
Iodine exposure can come from other sources too:
___ certain food colorings (erythrosine)
___ skin disinfectants (such as betadine and povidone iodine) are absorbed and reach the bloodstream
___ health foods – certain types of kelp
___ some dyes and medicines
___ exposure from Iodine’s use in farm animals (for cleansing udders) or as part of iodine-containing medicines for livestock.
___ Iodate has been used as a bread stabilizer in commercial baking, although this practice is less common now, and it has been replaced by dangerous Iodine robbers, from Bromine.
Seaweeds are delicious! However, if you want another way to get the benefit of seaweed without eating seaweed itself (beyond the several innovative products mentioned in prior articles in this series) then learn about Mekabu Bijin — it is a seaweed extract which research results from Industrial Technology Institute, Miyagi Prefectura, Japan show that [Mekabu Bijin] contains 22.4% of fucoidan compared to regular seaweeds which contains 14.9% . Fucoidan is covered in previous articles and is very important to Health.
Get it at JFC International, Inc. imports.* It is also imported by Suzukiya International, P.O. Box 3083, East 1st St., Tustin, CA 92781-3083, TEL: (714) 878-7107.
Wakame and Kombu are the major seaweeds used everyday in Japan and Okinawa’s long-lived population, and you will learn more about them in future parts of this series.
Elizabeth Andoh, expert American chef who has lived in Japan all her adult life, says that there are 2 areas of Japan which produce most of the commercially consumed wakame today. The first is the swirling, whirlpool currents in and around Naruto in Tokushima Prefecture, and the second is the craggy shoreline of the Sanriku district, primarily along the Pacific coast of Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures. These are pristine areas.
Andoh states that the fronds of Naruto wakame are thin and tender, requiring little or no cooking making them particularly suitable for salads or to float as a garnish in soups. Whereas, the Sanriku wakame is meatier, with a pleasant sweetness; it is perfect for simmering, braising, or stewing with other foods.
Hoshi wakame is the dried form (best for soups and casseroles or inserted into ground meat mixtures) and only needs 3 – 5 minutes of soaking. When softened briefly in water, the black fronds automatically become green; be sure to rehydrate the fronds in a very large bowl, as they expand, greatly. Change the water and then do not cook it long. Follow a recipe. Squeeze out excess moisture; trim anything tough.
Wakame is also prepared for sale in a heavily salted form (nama wakame) to use in salads. This salted form must be kept refrigerated and is perishable.
Mekabu is a separate part of the wakame plant. It is not a frond, but rather a crunchy budding form near the base. It is wild grown and hand harvested. After harvest, then it is cleaned, sun dried, misted with pure water, shredded and dried again. Mekabu’s sticky texture comes from fucoidan, a highly valued and beneficial polysaccharide. This seaweed is famously used in the salads at sushi restaurants and it has a pleasant, mellow sweet flavor. You can also use in soups, salads, Japanese style pickles, as a garnish on top of cooked rice and other grains or on traditional noodles and inside sushi rolls. Soak it in cool water about 5 minutes, max. Botanically, it is Sporophyll Undaria pinnatifida.
Kombu can help regulate blood sugar. It is mostly harvested from the cold waters of Japan’s most northern island (Hokkaido). Depending on the season it is harvested, as well as the location, kombu can vary from grey to green with reddish blush. As kombu is tens of feet long, it is always pre-cut, usually into lengths of 2″ – 7″. The whitish powder which is on the leaves is not mould if it has been stored properly, rather it is a natural form of MSG, and is responsible for kombu’s “savory” taste (umami). Unlike commercial MSG, this natural form has not been causing reactions in those who are sensitive.
___ Hidaka Kombu is used for making dashi stock.
___ Ma Kombu is particularly flavorful and needs to be soaked 20 minutes to a couple of hours and then gently simmered. This makes a cloudy broth, and it is also often used to line the cooking pots when simmering fish or vegetables (it’s like a natural Teflon!).
___ Rausu Kombu is the best for vegetarians. It is substantial, and can also be used to line pans.
___ Rishiri Kombu makes crystal-clear stocks, with herbal overtones. It needs to be soaked in cold water before simmering, to bring out more of its flavor. “Cook” just until a few bubbles appear at the edges of the pot.
Save your kelp from stock-making and put it into braising dishes and casseroles. It can also be recycled into an ingredient for Japanese pickles.
Kelp noodles are a new sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. They are made of only kelp (kombu)(a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water. Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, very low in carbohydrates and calories. Their noodle form and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses including salads, stir-fries, hot broths and casseroles, while their healthful content provides a rich source of trace minerals including iodine. Their unique texture completes the package, making Kelp Noodles a one-of-a-kind healthful and tasty alternative to pasta and rice noodles. Best of all, there is no cooking required — just rinse and add the noodles to any dish and they are ready to eat! Sea Tangle Noodles.
Update: January 30, 2010. I finally got some packages of Kelp Noodles and Sea Tangle. I’ll write about them in a future edition after Part 10.
Andoh continues that hijiki also comes in 2 dried forms, one (me hijiki) is tenderer, short buds. The other longer pieces are called naga hijiki. When you store seaweeds in their original jar, in the dark, in a cool, dry place, they can last indefinitely, she says.
Kanten is used a lot in macrobiotic cooking, which had its beginnings in Japan. It is also called Tengusa and agar-agar. The Japanese have used agar-agar to make confections and aspics for thousands of years. These are vegetarian gels. The tengusa is boiled to make a clear, very stiff aspic called tokoroten. Kanten is freeze-dried tokoroten, which can flake and is shelf-stable unlike the earlier product. Kanten is still made in Northern Japan by freeze drying it outside in winter.
Nori, used for sushi, is probably the most familiar seaweed used in America. The vitamin C in Nori is more than in oranges! The vitamin B is more than in spinach. It is filled with other vitamins and minerals, yet it is the least nutritious of the seaweeds, so imagine how much goodness is in the others!
Nori also contains high amounts of the amino acid arginine equivalent to that in animal protein. In Nori, the characteristic taste is a result of the existence of many amino acids: alanine, glutamic acid and glycine, and nori also contains a large amount of taurine.
Taurine is known to be effective for liver activity, especially in preventing the occurrence of gallstones and it is necessary for controlling blood cholesterol levels. Nori contains fairly high amounts of essential trace elements like: zinc (essential for certain enzyme functions), manganese, copper and selenium (needed by diabetics). These are essential for the metabolic processes of organisms.
Nori is actually a general word which describes a group of marine oceanic plants which were once gathered from the wild, centuries ago, and are now “cultivated” in the sea. The origin of Nori cultivation can be traced back to ancient China and Japan around the 8th century.
___ Asakusa nori is the most well-known form to Americans as it is used in sushi wraps. It is grown in bays near Tokyo.
___ Aji nori is always seasoned. This is in 2″ x 3″ packets, and I find that they can become “clammy”, even in their original wrap, so use them quickly after purchase. They are delicious! Open the packet just before eating; don’t let it soak up humidity. If they become soggy, as my last package did, them turn them into Nori Sauce, Andoh says.
___ Yaki Nori is already toasted and is always sold full-size and flat. I do not buy my nori this way, as I know the nutrition is compromised somewhat in the heating, and I see no reason to do this but that it changes the color. I prefer untoasted nori for my sushi. You can store the sheets in the freezer as long as they are quickly opened and then well sealed again. They can be defrosted and refrozen many times without loss of quality.
___ Tsukuda ni Nori – Nori Sauce
Use this recipe for any nori (seasoned or not) which has taken on humidity during the summer and become “sticky”. This sauce can be used as a dip for veggies, on tofu before broiling or as a topper for rice. This makes about 1/4 cup.
2 full sheets of sticky nori (or the equivalent number of individual packets of seasoned nori) — needs about 100 square inches, total.
1/4 C water
1 1/2 t organic shoyu (tamari) (soy sauce)
1/2 t sugar or 1/4 t agave nectar
Using kitchen shears, cut the nori into short, thin strips. Place into a frypan and add all the other ingredients. Let it sit for 2 – 3 minutes to absorb, dissolve and then stir to make a paste.
Place the pan over low heat. Stir and heat only until aromatic. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely. Transfer to a clean jar which has gone through the dishwasher. Carefully fill the jar, refrigerate and use within 2 weeks. When using on foods, keep the cooking temperatures low for the final prep as the seaweed can scorch.
OCHAZUKE – This is but one version of a quick snack dish or rice and green tea —
per 1/2 C cooked brown rice
2 T nori seaweed preserve
1/2 – 1 t wasabi paste
1/4 t ume plum paste (Eden Foods, macrobiotic section)
pot of brewed green tea (sencha)
Pour on hot sencha tea, brewed strong. Enjoy right away after mixing everything well with your spoon!
___ Mekabu** in salads with avocado, cucumbers, and greens. I simply mix all the ingredients, tie it together with a dash or two of ponzu.
___ Seaweed Salad: seaweed, agar-agar, kikurage or enoki mushrooms (optional), sesame seeds, sesame oil, sugar or agave, rice vinegar, sea salt, marinated sweet red peppers.
___ Mekabu-Kimchi. Chop Korean kimchi into small pieces, then mix it in with briefly soaked Mekabu seaweed. Serve it as a palate cleanser.
___ Making Elizabeth Andoh’s basic kombu dashi stock.
Best to all – Em
* JFC International, Inc 7101 E. Slauson Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90040 TEL: (323) 721-6900. When placing an order for this product please give them their product code 14621.
** A special, crunchy lower section of the wakame seaweed plant.
(c)2009 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
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