In traditional Chinese healing, sea vegetables correspond to the winter season and to the kidneys, adrenal glands, bladder and reproductive organs.
The strengthening, balancing and cleansing properties of sea vegetables are known to help these organs as well as the hair, skin and nails.
Sea vegetables (or seaweeds) provide a large array minerals and vitamins, including calcium, iron and iodine, and can help balance hormone and thyroid levels in the body.
Eating too many processed foods or foods grown in mineral-depleted soil can result in a lack of minerals in the body, leading to cravings for salty or sugary foods. Adding sea vegetables to your food repertoire can help balance your energy levels and alleviate cravings.
I also like to add a strip of Kombu to soups to impart extra minerals, and adding a strip while cooking dried beans will make the beans softer and easier to digest (ahem, less gas!)