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    wiggles92's Avatar
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    Sea Vegetables

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    So I live like 10 minutes drive from the coast of Northumberland in the UK. Having spent significant parts of my youth exploring the rock pools, I've just recently been wondering whether the various brown seaweed type stuff is worth picking and eating.

    The coast near Newcastle upon Tyne is pretty beautiful and seems to be a very healthy, uncontaminated area of the world. Always loads of crabs etc, and a dip in the North Sea is quite a refreshing experience, as long as you are able to handle the temperature. Perhaps bracing would be a better way to put it haha.

    Here's a pretty rocky stretch, but will hopefully illustrate what I'm saying

    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5179/5...5a95f95d_o.jpg

    Currently I'll make my way through bags and bags of frozen spinach, as its both cheap and (I would argue) pretty much the best source of nutrition, when compared against other vegetables. Like if you could pick one vegetable to live off, spinach or kale would be the best choice. Feel free to tell me otherwise. I know about the oxilate issues (might be the wrong word but its something similar ). As far as I know sea veg don't have the same issues.

    If I can eat these, I've basically got an unlimited source of wild, untampered sea veg. In the same way that eating say, a wild deer, provides superior nutrition to even the best pastured cows, would wild seaweed walk all over commercially grown leafy greens?

    Another aside- the miles and miles of untampered beach have all manner of seafood. Like you will come across huge swathes of ancient looking mussels. I could theoretically gather huge quantities of wild seafood and sea vegetables. I would imagine this sort of diet, in combination with good quality animals products, would pretty much give me the best diet of virtually anyone. Often you come across big bushes of wild blackberries too, which I will just stuff my face with.

    Apologies for the extra long post. I tried to keep it short, but there was a lot of content to cover. Also I've read Mark's 'Sea vegetables' post but I feel like I still have questions to answer.

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    Damiana's Avatar
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    I don't know about contaminants but I'd advise against making sea vegetables a integral part of your diet. They're extremely high in iodine and can completely mess up your thyroid if not careful, and I'm speaking from personal experience.
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    I second Damiana on iodine. You don't want to eat much seaweed.

    HOWEVER, the brilliant thing about wild veg is that you need to eat relatively little to get the same nutrients as in cultivated greens. Compare dandelions and spinach here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...tml?ref=sunday
    Some dandelions, nettles and seaweed is ideal. You could easily halve or quarter your weekly servings of greens if you switch onto wild plants. 10-50g dried/semi-dried seaweed a week and 2-4 cups of dandelions and nettles a week would provide a good variety and quantity of phytonutrients, antioxidants and minerals. Unless you REALLY love greens and desire to eat vast amounts daily, there's no reason to eat more than that. Also saves you cash.
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    Superb info. I did notice a small serving of virtually any sea vegetable hits 2000% of your daily RDA of iodine. That said, it seems odd to me that nature would mess up. As in it's very easy to eat these sea vegetables, and I'm sure our ancestors would end up ingesting mythological quantities of iodine, as well as other nutrients. So perhaps a follow up question is how does too much iodine mess you up, particularly your thyroid, as Damiana mentioned.

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    Ymmv of course but I had 2-3 oz of dried seaweed sheets or dehydrated kelp made into a salad daily for a week and was so tired I could barely put one feet in front of the other. It was a severe, horrible exhaustion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggles92 View Post
    Superb info. I did notice a small serving of virtually any sea vegetable hits 2000% of your daily RDA of iodine. That said, it seems odd to me that nature would mess up. As in it's very easy to eat these sea vegetables, and I'm sure our ancestors would end up ingesting mythological quantities of iodine, as well as other nutrients. So perhaps a follow up question is how does too much iodine mess you up, particularly your thyroid, as Damiana mentioned.
    Except maybe that amount of iodine is good for other creatures that eat it. I put nori in bone broth, but it's not daily.
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    I realize you are in the UK and not in the Pacific NW, but this information might be useful since seaweed seems to be fairly similar wherever you go.
    Edible Seaweed of the Pacific Northwest
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggles92 View Post
    Superb info. I did notice a small serving of virtually any sea vegetable hits 2000% of your daily RDA of iodine. That said, it seems odd to me that nature would mess up. As in it's very easy to eat these sea vegetables, and I'm sure our ancestors would end up ingesting mythological quantities of iodine, as well as other nutrients. So perhaps a follow up question is how does too much iodine mess you up, particularly your thyroid, as Damiana mentioned.
    You assume ready access means we would automatically eat much of it. Hominids tend to leave greens be 80% of the time. We pursue calories first and then supplement for nutrition when we feel unwell. Think of the Inuit: some eat a bit of seaweed, but they focus on the meat. I'd say animals, tubers and fruit would be staples of a HG diet and eggs, greens, flowers, nuts, grains and seeds would be supplements. Not to say you should wait until you're deficient (natural vs optimal is the case here, again), just to bear in mind that natural diets lean towards a few nutritionally-dense greens instead of lots of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kochin View Post
    You assume ready access means we would automatically eat much of it. Hominids tend to leave greens be 80% of the time. We pursue calories first and then supplement for nutrition when we feel unwell. Think of the Inuit: some eat a bit of seaweed, but they focus on the meat. I'd say animals, tubers and fruit would be staples of a HG diet and eggs, greens, flowers, nuts, grains and seeds would be supplements. Not to say you should wait until you're deficient (natural vs optimal is the case here, again), just to bear in mind that natural diets lean towards a few nutritionally-dense greens instead of lots of them.
    Sea Greens aren't the only thing that have high amounts of iodine though. Clams, Mussels and Shrimp are loaded with iodine too. The Japanese are a good example of a modern day culture that eats iodine in massively higher quantities than what the US Gov. recommends. I don't eat sea veggies all that much- too hard to get and too expensive when I can. But I do supplement with Organic Kelp Granules.
    My Recipes are at: www.southbeachprimal.com

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