Seaweeds for Vegans

A plant-based diet can often lack important nutrients like vitamin B12 that are vital for red blood cell formation and maintaining proper nerve function.


I consciously try to consume vitamin B12 myself, and take a supplement on days when I don't get enough from foods.


Vitamin B12 is found abundantly in sea vegetables, so I researched some options.

There is also something called nutritional yeast that seems high in B12 which I haven't tried yet, but plan to incorporate into my cooking soon.


[5 Nutrient-Rich Sea Vegetables]



- Iodine: An important mineral that supports thyroid function  

- Calcium: Essential for bone health

- Iron: Helps produce red blood cells and prevent anaemia

- Vitamin K: Involved in blood clotting

- Dietary Fibre: Aids digestion and maintains gut health


- Iodine: High levels ideal for maintaining thyroid function

- Calcium: Contributes to bone health  

- Magnesium: Assists many enzyme reactions

- Alginic Acid: A fibre that improves gut environment


- Iron: Optimal for assisting red blood cell production and preventing anaemia

- Calcium: Important for bone and dental health

- Magnesium: Supports muscle and nerve function  

- Dietary Fibre: Aids digestion and gut health

- Vitamin A: Helps maintain vision and boosts immunity


- Vitamin B12: A plant source for vegans who may lack it

- Contains high-quality plant protein

- Vitamin C: Contributes to improved immune function


- Iron: Supports red blood cell production

- Vitamin C: Helps absorb iron

- Vitamin A: Important for vision and skin health  


Consuming these sea vegetables in balance allows vegans to efficiently obtain necessary nutrients. However, excessive iodine intake poses health risks, so moderation is key.



【Health Risks of Excessive Iodine Intake】

- Hyperthyroidism (Graves' disease) symptoms: Weight loss, palpitations, sweating, tremors, anxiety

- Hypothyroidism symptoms: Weight gain, fatigue, depression, feeling cold, constipation

- Iodine-induced goitre: Enlarged thyroid and impaired function  

- Rare allergic reactions: Rash, itching, breathing difficulties


Appropriate Iodine Intake Levels

- Recommended for adults: 150μg/day

- Pregnant/breastfeeding women: 220-290μg/day

- Upper limit: Below 1,100μg/day


Kombu is particularly high in iodine among sea vegetables, so care must be taken against excessive intake. Moderate consumption and a balanced diet are important.



【Recommended Sea Vegetable & Vegetable Pairings】

Pairing sea vegetables with regular vegetables not only enhances flavour, but also optimises nutrient balance.


- Wakame: Cucumber, tomato, daikon radish

- Kombu: Carrot, spinach, potato

- Hijiki: Carrot, spinach, edamame  

- Nori: Avocado, bell pepper

- Aosa: Cabbage, bean sprouts 

- Spirulina: Carrot, kale



I often combine them with Italian cuisine, and the sea vegetable x Italian pairings result in unique, healthy dishes. For example, wakame and zucchini pasta, kombu and rosemary roast potatoes, nori and avocado bruschetta, spirulina and kale pesto pasta don't show up on Italian restaurant menus, but are delightfully tasty when you make them at home.