health benefits of seaweed dr mark hyman

Seaweed isn’t just for sushi. This oceanic plant, of which there are quite a few versatile species, is saturated with minerals our bodies want and need and is easier than one might think to integrate into our regular diets. Explore the health benefits of seaweed and bookmark this nourishing broth recipe from functional medicine and wellness expert, Dr. Mark Hyman’s new book, Food: What The Heck Should I Eat?

You probably ignore seaweed when you think of vegetables. But that’s a mistake. As the Japanese know, it’s one of the most nutrient-rich foods you can eat, containing minerals that are hard to come by in the American diet, like manganese and thyroid-boosting iodine. Seaweed is rich in vitamin C and iron. It fights cancer and inflammation and strengthens the immune system. It contains important nutrients and antioxidants not found in land vegetables. So, if the only time you eat seaweed is when you’re having sushi then you’re missing out.

The most common varieties of seaweed in the United States are wakame, kombu and nori. I recommend using them in salads, stews and soups. One of my favorite recipes is my Ultrabroth, which I make with chopped radishes, greens, cilantro, carrots, celery, fresh ginger and seaweed. Or you can just munch on seaweed as a snack. Many health food stores sell packs of roasted and lightly salted or flavored seaweed. It beats potato chips! Stay away from hijiki, though — it contains high levels of arsenic.

This UltraBroth recipe is one of my favorite recipes featuring seaweed. It is a delicious way to get many healing nutrients and alkalinize your system. Enjoy!

Makes 2 quarts (or 8 cups)


For every three quarts of water add:
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 cup of daikon or white radish root and tops (ideal, but optional)
1 cup of winter squash cut into large cubes
1 cup of root vegetables: turnips, parsnips and rutabagas for sweetness
2 cups of chopped greens: kale, parsley, beet greens, collard greens, chard, dandelion, cilantro or other greens
2 celery stalks
½ cup of seaweed: nori, dulse, wakame, kelp or kombu
½ cup of cabbage
4 ½-inch slices of fresh ginger
2 cloves of whole garlic (not chopped or crushed)
sea salt, to taste
1 cup fresh or dried shitake or maitake mushrooms (If available — these contain powerful immune boosting properties.)


Add all the ingredients at once and place on a low boil for approximately 60 minutes. It may take a little longer. Simply continue to boil to taste.

Cool, strain (throw out the cooked vegetables) and store in a large, tightly-sealed glass container in the fridge.

Learn to make these seaweed chips for a simple and nourishing snack.

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