Are Seaweed Snacks the Next Big Superfood?

Dr. Oz has the answer.

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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."

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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.

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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.

In Place of Bacon: Scientists at Oregon State University created a new fast-growing strain of dulse (a red algae) that tastes like bacon — but it's too early to look for it in stores.

This story originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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