Q: Are seaweed snacks the next big superfood?
Oz Says: The seaweed in these deep-green nibbles isn't filled with as many nutrients as some of my other favorite superfoods, but it's still a pretty terrific nosh. The snacks are generally made of nori, the stuff that wraps your sushi rolls; it has vitamins A and C, along with a little bit of protein (1 to 2 grams per serving) and some unique compounds you won't find in plants that grow on land. The big benefit: With only about 20 calories per serving (often a half or whole package), "they're a freebie snack that you can feel good about munching on," says Carolyn Brown, RD, a nutritionist in New York. "They're definitely better for you than the average potato chip."
Seaweed "snacks" are usually fine, but if "chip," "crisp," or "stix" is in the name, beware: Calories can be up to five times higher.
Seaweed Wants to Be the New Kale
Its popularity has exploded — even beyond the snack aisle — in the past three years. Check out where the ocean plant is showing up now.
In Your Smoothie: Juice bars are beginning to use frozen kelp cubes to thicken blended drinks without changing their taste. Cubes (available online) can also be added to soups and pestos.
On Your Salad: The New England-based pizza chain Flatbread Company makes its house salad with celery, carrots, and Maine sea kelp, which adds a little touch of briny flavor.
This story originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.
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