Wakame is a brown algae that is widely used in Asian countries to flavor hot pots and soups. In Japan, wakame is served in miso soup along with tofu. And this edible seaweed is becoming increasing popular in Europe. Wakame tastes particularly good in combination with cucumbers in green salads. The wakame sold is Europe is usually dried and is not necessarily “raw.” It depends on what type of drying and production process is used. In fact, most varieties of wakame are pasteurized, for example, at 85 °C
for 25 minutes.
Mekabu wakame, the sprouts of wakame above the roots, is sold commercially and is especially rich in nutrients. It has a stronger taste, but also requires longer cooking times.
Brown algae should only be eaten on rare occasion because 100 g of wakame contains as much iodine as you would need for a month. Consuming more than 1'000 µg of iodine per day can cause any one of several kinds of illnesses.
From Wikipedia: “Wakame (ワカメ wakame?), Undaria pinnatifida, is a sea vegetable, or edible seaweed. It has a subtly sweet flavour and is most often served in soups and salads.
Sea-farmers have grown wakame in Japan since the Nara period.”
“New studies conducted at Hokkaido University have found that a compound in wakame known as fucoxanthin an help burn fatty tissue. Studies in mice have shown that fucoxanthin induces expression of the fat-burning protein UCP1 that accumulates in fat tissue around the internal organs. Expression of UCP1 protein was significantly increased in mice fed fucoxanthin. Wakame is also used in topical beauty treatments. See also Fucoidan.
Wakame is a rich source of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. At over 400 mg/100 kcal or almost 1 mg/kJ, it has one of the higher nutrient:calorie ratios for this nutrient, and among the very highest for a vegetarian source. A typical 1-2 tablespoon serving of wakame contains roughly 3.75–7.5 kcal and provides 15–30 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. Wakame also has high levels of sodium, calcium, iodine, thiamine and niacin.”
“Wakame fronds are green and have a subtly sweet flavour and satiny texture. The leaves should be cut into small pieces as they will expand during cooking.
In Japan and Europe, wakame is distributed either dried or salted, and used in soups (particularly miso soup), and salads (tofu salad), or often simply as a side dish to tofu and a salad vegetable like cucumber. These dishes are typically dressed with soy sauce and vinegar/rice vinegar.
Goma wakame, also known as seaweed salad, is a popular side dish at American and European sushi restaurants. Literally translated, it means "sesame seaweed", as sesame seeds are usually included in the recipe.”
“In Oriental medicine it has been used for blood purification, intestinal strength, skin, hair, reproductive organs and menstrual regularity.
In Korea, the soup miyeokguk is popularly consumed by women after giving birth as sea mustard (miyeok) contains a high content of calcium and iodine, nutrients that are important for nursing new mothers. Many women consume it during the pregnancy phase as well. It is also traditionally eaten on birthdays for this reason, a reminder of the first food that the mother has eaten and passed on to her newborn through her milk, thus bringing good fortune for the rest of the year.”
“Japanese and Korean sea-farmers have grown wakame for centuries, and are still both the leading producers and consumers. Wakame has also been cultivated in France since 1983, in sea fields established near the shores of Brittany.
Wild grown wakame is harvested in Tasmania, Australia, and then sold in restaurants in Sydney and also sustainably hand-harvested from the waters of Foveaux Strait in Southland, New Zealand and freeze-dried for retail and use in a range of products.”
“Native to cold temperate coastal areas of Japan, Korea, and China, in recent decades it has become established in temperate regions around the world, including New Zealand, the United States, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Australia and Mexico. It was nominated one of the 100 worst invasive species in the world.”
|Nutritional Information per 100g||2000 kCal|
|Saturated Fats||0.13 g||0.6%|
|Carbohydrates (inc.dietary fiber)||9.1 g||3.4%|
|Protein (albumin)||3 g||6.1%|
|Cooking Salt (Na:872.0 mg)||2'215 mg||92.3%|
|Essential Nutrients per 100g with %-share Daily Requirement at 2000 kCal|
|Min||Iod, I (Jod, J)||4'200 µg||2'800.0%|
|Sodium, Na||872 mg||109.0%|
|Vit||Folate, as the active form of folic acid (née vitamin B9 and B11)||196 µg||98.0%|
|Min||Manganese, Mn||1.4 mg||70.0%|
|Elem||Magnesium, Mg||107 mg||29.0%|
|Min||Copper, Cu||0.28 mg||28.0%|
|Elem||Calcium, Ca||150 mg||19.0%|
|Prot||Threonine (Thr, T)||0.16 g||18.0%|
|Min||Iron, Fe||2.2 mg||16.0%|
|Vit||Riboflavin (vitamin B2)||0.23 mg||16.0%|
The majority of the nutritional information comes from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). This means that the information for natural products is often incomplete or only given within broader categories, whereas in most cases products made from these have more complete information displayed.
If we take flaxseed, for example, the important essential amino acid ALA (omega-3) is only included in an overarching category whereas for flaxseed oil ALA is listed specifically. In time, we will be able to change this, but it will require a lot of work. An “i” appears behind ingredients that have been adjusted and an explanation appears when you hover over this symbol.
For Erb Muesli, the original calculations resulted in 48 % of the daily requirement of ALA — but with the correction, we see that the muesli actually covers >100 % of the necessary recommendation for the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Our goal is to eventually be able to compare the nutritional value of our recipes with those that are used in conventional western lifestyles.
|Essential amino acids||2000 kCal|
|Threonine (Thr, T)||0.16 g||18.0%|
|Tryptophan (Trp, W)||0.04 g||14.0%|
|Valine (Val, V)||0.21 g||13.0%|
|Leucine (Leu, L)||0.26 g||11.0%|
|Isoleucine (Ile, I)||0.09 g||7.0%|
|Methionine (Met, M)||0.06 g||7.0%|
|Phenylalanine (Phe, F)||0.11 g||7.0%|
|Lysine (Lys, K)||0.11 g||6.0%|
|Folate, as the active form of folic acid (née vitamin B9 and B11)||196 µg||98.0%|
|Riboflavin (vitamin B2)||0.23 mg||16.0%|
|Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)||0.7 mg||12.0%|
|Niacin (née vitamin B3)||1.6 mg||10.0%|
|Vitamin E, as a-TEs||1 mg||8.0%|
|Vitamin K||5.3 µg||7.0%|
|Thiamine (vitamin B1)||0.06 mg||5.0%|
|Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)||3 mg||4.0%|
|Vitamin A, as RAE||18 µg||2.0%|
|Vitamin D||0 µg||< 0.1%|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)||0 mg||< 0.1%|
|Essential macroelements (macronutrients)||2000 kCal|
|Sodium, Na||872 mg||109.0%|
|Magnesium, Mg||107 mg||29.0%|
|Calcium, Ca||150 mg||19.0%|
|Phosphorus, P||80 mg||11.0%|
|Potassium, K||50 mg||3.0%|
|Essential trace elements (micronutrients)||2000 kCal|
|Iod, I (Jod, J)||4'200 µg||2'800.0%|
|Manganese, Mn||1.4 mg||70.0%|
|Copper, Cu||0.28 mg||28.0%|
|Iron, Fe||2.2 mg||16.0%|
|Zinc, Zn||0.38 mg||4.0%|
|Selenium, Se||0.7 µg||1.0%|