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Diabetics often have cardiac (heart) issues. Seaweed is the secret ingredient to a healthy heart. Yes, your doctor did not tell you that, but much scientific research shows that’s a major reason why Okinawans and Japanese are generally long-lived, as they consume the most seaweed of all the world’s peoples.
Seaweed is an alkaline pH food which has high mineral content, low-glycemic index and high fiber, along with lots of Iodine. It is generally neutral in taste, or is pleasant, and mostly provides texture. Kombu kelp also helps people be able to digest beans better.
A heart healthy diet is not complicated. Use lean protein sources — include wild-caught, cold-water ocean fish. Use only healthy oils (like extra-virgin olive oil; and flax and hemp oils — do not cook with the last two, just use for dressings), along with a little organic, extra-virgin coconut oil (yes, it’s saturated, but it does a lot of healthy things, too) and organic butter (a little now and then for flavor) along with NO man-made margarines or fake fats or deep-fried items.
Eating 2 servings of whole fruit (not juice) and at least 8 servings of fresh or frozen vegetables (including sea veggies) is another smart move to a healthy heart. And keep your grains limited, and only use whole-grains (and rarely even whole-grain flours). Use legumes, and gradually increase their use as your body adjusts to them.
And, past pages in my series include information on the various kinds of seaweed and the amazing benefits of food-sourced Iodine which can improve your cardiovascular health and general health to a phenomenal degree. See them in the Titles Archive (click Tab on upper navigation bar).
Seaweed contains Iodine, beta carotene and thiamine among many other nutrients; these possess antioxidant and detoxification properties. All 3 are beneficial for the general health of the blood and they promote good circulation. This is critical for most diabetics who already have atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”) and often have circulation problems, especially to the legs, kidneys and eyes.
Each type of seaweed has its own role in a heart-healthy diet, which can also regulate blood sugar.
___ Brown seaweeds (kelps) discourage the formation of blood clots and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. The algin in brown seaweed dissolves the deposits inside arteries and gradually removes the existing build up of these deposits!
So, as you use seaweed, you may be able to decrease and even eliminate your cholesterol medications. That’s why you need to inform your doctor and have frequent blood tests as you try to switch from man-made medications (with their numerous side-effects) back to Nature’s protection.
___ Arame, a lesser known seaweed, lowers blood pressure.
___ Bladderwrack is excellent for lowering chronic high blood pressure, and it balances blood sugar. Preventing blood clots from forming and preventing atherosclerosis are also part of its miraculous capability. Talk to your doctor about its use, and see if you can be regularly tested as you wind down from depending on Coumadin or Warfarin. Presently, I am doing this for and with my Mum (I am using Kombu kelp, which is described below.)
___ Hijiki purifies your blood and balances blood pressure. It is also used to prevent seizures, and is a tasty food, especially when cooked with carrots, the way the Japanese do.
___ Since Irish Moss is loaded with important nutrients, it has been traditionally given to patients who are surviving serious illnesses. This seaweed contains blood-thinning properties (it acts as an anticoagulant, like Coumadin) thus it may reduce high blood pressure and heal arteriosclerosis. Like Bladderwrack, it also balances blood sugar.
However, in the past, there was some evidence that there were some issues with Irish Moss, so you will get it in pre-made foods, but I wouldn’t use it in my own cooking. I don’t remember all the details, as it was decades ago, but I remember the “red flag” and don’t use it.
___ As I noted above, Kombu kelp sprinkled on your meals improves blood circulation and and lowers blood cholesterol levels. It also contains many minerals (like copper and iron) and it purifies your blood (detoxification). Kelp also provides you with chloride which helps to retain potassium in tissues; potassium is essential for heart muscle health.
By eating about 5 grams (.17 oz ) dry weight of Kombu a day, you will improve the strength of the blood vessels and diminish plaque found in the vessels. I use powdered kombu, and use about 1/2t a few times a week, and it can be frequent like this as long as you are balancing it out by eating dark-green leafy greens or romaine lettuce to keep Vitamin K levels up, too, so you can clot your blood if you need to.
What else does Kombu kelp do? Here’s why it’s my favorite.
* regulates blood sugar
* lowers blood pressure
* reduces cholesterol
* prevents arteriosclerosis
* purifies the blood
* thins the blood
___ Nori not only tastes great wrapped around our favorite sushi, it also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, improves circulation and promotes cardiovascular health.
Nori is the least concentration of Iodine, so it can be eaten everyday, whereas the other seaweeds should be eaten every other day or a few times a week. You NEVER ingest the first-aid type iodine from the Pharmacy; in this form it is poisonous!There are safe oral preparations which I have talked about in other parts of the series, if you do not want to rely on seaweed.
___ Wakame, a favorite in Japanese dishes, especially the foundational soup stock known as Dashi, prevents arteriosclerosis, lowers blood pressure, and purifies the blood.
Japanese and Korean women use soup and other dishes with wakame after childbirth.
Other forms of seaweed:
I have talked about this in earlier parts of the Series, but I finally found a local source for kelp noodles — mine are from Sea Tangle. I am going to try them for the first time, today.
Usually I just use the reconstituted, dried seaweeds or powdered seaweeds or dry sprinkles, so this will be a new experience. The kelp noodles are raw, not slimy, are crunchy until soaked more. They must be rinsed and soaked a little more before using. They are transparent, as once the outer layer of seaweed is removed, the inner core of the plant is translucent.
Here are some “kelp noodle” and “sea salad vegetable mix” recipes. You will find these products in the best health stores (maybe in the macrobiotic section) or in Asian markets (where their source is more murky and you may not be able to get clean waters or organic foods). Some Whole Foods stores carry Sea Tangle — it will be in the refrigerator section.
SIMPLE SEA VEGETABLE SALAD
1 clove garlic, grated
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Bragg’s to taste, tamari, or soy sauce
2 cups greens (spring mix, buckwheat, spinach, lettuce)
3 ounces sea vegetable mix (will need rinsing*)
Celtic sea salt and pepper, to taste
Grate the ginger and garlic. In a small bowl, mash the avocado, ginger, garlic, and Bragg’s together. Toss all ingredients thoroughly.
* Read the directions on the package. Get one made in USA (especially Hawaii or California) or Japan, only.
KELP NOODLE SALAD
Kelp Noodles, soaked 30 minutes*, rinsed and drained
Honey Mustard Dressing
Apples, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Salt to taste.
* Ideas for soaking waters are below, in Preparation section.
KELP NOODLE AND VEGETABLE STIR FRY
12 ounces Kelp Noodles, rinsed and drained
½ cup onion
½ cup bean sprouts
½ cup carrots
½ cup red bell pepper
½ cup mushrooms
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
Tamari or soy sauce, to taste
Dash of sugar or agave nectar, to taste
Dash of salt and pepper
½ cup vegetable broth or water
Saute the garlic in the olive oil. Add the vegetables (except for sprouts and bell pepper) and saute until cooked. Add the rinsed Kelp Noodles along with the soy sauce, sugar, and broth and mix. Saute until the noodles have nearly been softened. Add sprouts, red bell pepper; then use salt and pepper to taste.
The recipe I tried today is on the back of the Sea Tangle Salad Mix package. It should give about 6 portions. We used it for 3 and it was so filling that we didn’t eat the rest of lunch! I think it can use a little “zip”, so use a little more ginger than mentioned and add some lemon juice and Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar — maybe even a hint of cayenne.
PREPARATION NOTES: Quoted on a Forum of Raw Foodists.
A. The noodles will soften easily if you make a sauce containing garlic, salt and lemon. Just let them sit in the sauce until they’re as soft as you want them (the more lemon/garlic/salt, the faster they’ll soften).
B. I make a nut-based alfredo sauce (with or without sun-dried tomatoes), and the creaminess of the sauce makes up for the non-starchiness of the kelp noodles.
C. They also will soften if you make an Asian type sauce with some almond butter/ sesame oil.
D. When I first opened the package I did smell that weird odor that people here were previously discussing. I read elsewhere that this is not formaldahyde or anything toxic, just an odor from the kelp.
After rinsing the noodles the smell went away (it wasn’t that bad to begin with).
At this point the noodles will be crunchy. Here’s what I did for nice soft noodles at dinner time. In the mid morning I soaked the noodles in warm water with lemon juice and sea salt.
Then after about 30-45 minutes I rinsed and put them back into plain water to soak for most of the day while we were out and about doing errands and such. When we returned home later that afternoon I was pleased to find nice big soft noodles that looked like rice noodles and tasted very neutral.
E. So far I like making this lovely mild red pepper aioli sauce for the kelp noodles. But I believe any raw sauce or dressing would be lovely. These noodles are really super cool and the possibilities are endless.
F. You do not need to do this technique unless you only eat Raw, too …
Okay, I’m a convert! I made kelp noodles tonight for dinner and my non-raw BF loved them. I soaked them in warm water with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and sea salt.
After an hour, I rinsed them well and refilled the bowl with warm water. I put our pasta bowls in the oven at 170 degrees F to warm up. When the oven reached that temperature, I opened the door to let some heat out and turned the oven off.
I put the bowl with the water and noodles in and let it sit for another half hour or so. I made my sauce and toppings and when it was time to assemble, I drained the noodles and divided them into our bowls. They were soft and awesome! The bowls and noodles were warm, while my sauce was room temperature.
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