Yesterday before sundown, I was on a lovely stretch of our beautiful beach in Ashdod engaged in personal prayer. I came upon a rock that was covered with seaweed, which is basically green algae. The ocean water was crystal clear. I took a chunk of the slimey green stuff, washed it off in the waves, and made a shehakol blessing. The taste was exquisite, like sushi or a fresh Chinese salad. And, my body rejoiced too. Why?
Fresh raw seaweed is one of the very best natural sources of dietary iodine, which is great news for your thyroid gland. What's more, it contains many other phytonutrients and vitamins. It's virtually the only vegetative source of Viamin B12, which is critically important for vegans. I'm not finished yet: it's also a powerful source of electrolytes as well as blood purifying chlorophyll and polysaccharides that act as natural detoxifiers of heavy metals and other toxic substances. Seaweed helps to improve digestion, decrease LDL cholesterol, increase bone density, lower blood pressure and have been shown helpful for reducing excess body weight. It's loaded with iron and calcium too and protects against the "nasty big c", the disease we don't like to refer to by name.
Don't forage seaweed if your seacoast or seawater is polluted. And, stay away from freshwater algae because it is known to be toxic. If you don't have access to raw seaweed, try to obtain some organic seaweed - it's great for you.
Wow, what a gorgeous world Hashem has created for us. "Were our mouth as full of song as the sea, and our tongue as full of joyous song as its multitude of waves, and our lips as full of praise as the width of the horizon...we still could not thank You sufficiently, Hashem our G-d and G-d of our forefathers, and to bless Your Name" (Nishmat Kol Chai prayer).