Food for your Thyroid - Seaweed 2 Ways

 Image: The Food Network

Image: The Food Network

To close out my little mini-series on the thyroid gland - including posts on how to tell if it’s not functioning optimally, how to test for imbalances, and how to eat salmon to boost your thyroid - I thought I’d share a bit about seaweed.

Seaweed has earned the moniker “super food” recently, and with good reason. This little product of the sea is low in fat but packed with soluble fiber, which helps control blood sugar levels. It’s rich in vitamins A, C, E, K and B vitamins. And it’s full of minerals including calcium, iron, and the big ones for thyroid health - iodine and selenium.

Iodine is what thyroid hormones are actually made of, so it’s incredibly important to sustain a healthy level of iodine… like by working a little bit of seaweed into your diet every week!

Something like seaweed might be a bit intimidating if you’re not from the West coast (or if you don’t like sushi), but it’s actually pretty easy to find in most grocery stores - both recipes below call for nori, the seaweed sheets used to wrap sushi rolls. Inexpensive and salty in flavour, crumbled nori can make an awesome addition to any salad, pasta dish or rice bowl.

Below you’ll find an easy-to-make cucumber & nori salad, and a nori salad dressing. Try one or both of them out this week - your thyroid will thank you!

Cucumber Seaweed Salad

Adapted from The Food Network

Ingredients

2 English cucumbers
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp jalapeno, minced
1 6-inch square sheet dried seaweed
2 tsp roasted white and black sesame seeds

Directions

Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise. Remove seeds using a spoon and discard. Cut into ¼-inch slices on a diagonal.

Stir oil with vinegar, cilantro, sugar and jalapenos in a large bowl.

Slice seaweed sheet into thin, 1-inch strips and add to bowl.

Add cucumber and sesame seeds and toss to coat.

Let sit for 5 minutes then serve.

Nori Vinaigrette

Recipe adapted from Healthfully Ever After

Ingredients

3/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 sheets nori, toasted
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest

Directions

Toast nori on lowest setting in the oven for a few minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn't burn, but you're waiting for the sheets to turn slightly brown and crisp. Break into smaller pieces and chop finely. 

Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse to combine. 

Give it a good shake and serve over roasted veggies, use as a salmon marinade or toss into greens with cucumber. 

Store in the fridge.
 

Steph Bowen