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Considered the king of vegetables, seaweed has roots that penetrate into sea beds that are filled with trace minerals, which are no longer present on land.
Considered the king of vegetables, seaweed has roots that penetrate into sea beds that are filled with trace minerals, which are no longer present on land.

Health, Dr. Mao, Santa Monica, Food

A Tasty Seaweed Recipe For Longevity: Dr. Mao's Wellness Living

Dr. Mao Shing Ni
Courtesy Photo
Dr. Mao Shing Ni

Posted May. 12, 2013, 9:16 am

Dr. Mao Shing Ni / Mirror Columnist

Seaweed may not be something you think of as a food, but this top longevity food packs a powerful nutrient punch that very few other foods can match.

For instance, did you know that many types of seaweed have more calcium than cheese, more iron than beef, and more protein than eggs?

Read on to find the numerous seaweed health benefits and try the delicious Seaweed and Vegetable Medley recipe below.

In my new book, “Secrets of Longevity Cookbook,” I list seaweed as one of the top 10 foods for health and longevity. How did I arrive at this top 10 longevity list?

During my 25 years of studying centenarians, I discovered that the same 10 foods kept recurring again and again in the diets of long-living individuals, and seaweed more than made the cut.

Seaweed: A Nutrient-Rich Superfood

Considered the king of vegetables, seaweed has roots that penetrate into sea beds that are filled with trace minerals, which are no longer present on land.

For thousands of years, this mineral-rich vegetable has been a staple in Asian diets.

There are more than 20 types of edible seaweed, including nori, kombu, hijiki, wakame, dulce, chlorella, and Irish moss.

Traditionally, the healing properties of edible seaweed are said to include everything from treating cancer, lowering cholesterol, reducing inflammation, dissolving tumors and cysts, detoxifying heavy metals, reducing water retention, and aiding in weight loss.

Spotlight On Kombu Seaweed

There are so many wonderful seaweed varieties to choose from, and the recipe below features kombu.

With its powerful trace minerals, kombu aids your body in detoxification. It comes in long, thick brown strips and is valuable for its high content of iodine, which is needed to produce two important thyroid hormones that control the metabolism.

Our bodies don’t make iodine, so we have to get it through food. Many people are thyroid deficient – kombu can come to the rescue with its iodine content.

In addition, kombu contains a pigment called fucoxanthin, which may boost production of a protein involved in fat metabolism.

Seaweed and Vegetable Medley

Serves 4

This tasty recipe comes from a Chinese centenarian. It is simple to make and a great way to get comfortable cooking with seaweed. You can find kombu in many health food stores, Asian markets, and online. Any dried mushrooms will work if you can’t find Chinese mushrooms. And asparagus is perfect in spring season, so try to find it fresh. This medly is delicious served with rice or quinoa.

-- 1 (15-inch) piece kombu seaweed

-- 10 small dried Chinese mushrooms

-- 1 small carrot, cut into two-inch pieces, and thinly sliced lengthwise 

-- 1 cup snow peas, trimmed (if large, halve crosswise)

-- 6 stalks asparagus, trimmed and cut into two-inch pieces

-- 1 medium green pepper, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces

-- 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil

-- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In two separate bowls, soak the kombu and dried mushrooms in warm water until softened. Drain the kombu and cut it into one-inch pieces. Strain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking water. Remove the mushrooms stems and discard; quarter the caps.

2. Put the mushroom soaking water into a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the kombu and mushrooms, cover, and cook until very tender, adding water if necessary if the pan dries out. Increase the heat to medium, add the carrot, cover, and continue cooking for three minutes. Add the snow peas, asparagus, and pepper, increase the heat to high, cover, and cook for three minutes more.

3. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and mix until combined. Serve the medley hot, over the grain of your choice. Enjoy!

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post.  Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey.  To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit

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May. 14, 2013, 8:29:17 am

Barry Cohen said...

Please check out the website at to read how safely the natural mineral zeolite in a medical grade ingest able powdered form detoxes heavy metals from the body!

May. 14, 2013, 10:28:18 am

Ian J said...

"...seaweed has roots that penetrate into sea beds..." Hold on a second. Please name one species of seaweed that has 'roots'. Not having roots is a very basic characteristic of seaweeds. Be honest to your readers and correct your error.

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