4 tips to forage seaweed and enjoy Kate Middleton’s skin-glowing facial for free

Yes, it’s that slimy green stuff that makes you shudder when you swim across it in the sea. But we Brits are becoming aware that seaweeds – or sea veggies – are a rich source of vitamins and minerals.

In the last year alone, Sainsbury’s has seen an 89% increase in online searches for seaweed products, including “Welsh caviar” and “bacon of the sea”.

Even Kate Middleton jumped on the trend. She apparently enjoyed seaweed facials at her parent’s Berkshire home after the birth of Prince George in 2013.

Mara Seaweed founder Fiona Houston says, “Seaweed used to be an important part of our native diet. It’s a truly natural nutritionally dense superfood, containing a unique combination of all 56 vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and trace elements essential for health.”

Fiona has four top tips to forage seaweed safely, and for free.

Fiona advises how to gather dulse and laver, traditionally used in British cuisine and found around the Welsh coast.

"Always check tide times – low tide should give you several hours of safe harvesting time.

"Only forage from areas where you’d be happy to eat shellfish. Cut the seaweed fresh from the rocks where they’re growing, and don’t eat seaweed that has washed up on the beach," she says.

Top of the sea crops


There are two types of samphire – marsh and rock. But only fresh marsh samphire is widely available.


Kelp is the brown seaweed typically found in sushi, sauces and salads.


Dulse is dubbed the bacon of the sea thanks to its smoky flavour.


Also called duckweed or watermeal, Mankai can be added to curries or used in powder form in smoothies.


Carrageen is reddish-purple and has been used by the food industry to thicken ice cream.


Laver is known as 'Welsh caviar'.


Allergies specific to seaweed aren’t common, but they are possible. Shellfish allergies can be very dangerous, so beware of cross-contamination. If you are sensitive to iodine, the natural iodine content of seaweed could also be a trigger.

Likewise, the natural vitamin K in seaweed may interfere with the anticoagulant effects of blood thinners like warfarin. Speak to a medical expert if you have any concerns.

Want to know more benefits of seaweed? Here’s five of the best…

Skin glow

It’s great for hydrating skin and tackling problem areas such as acne and dry patches. And with Duchess Kate’s royal approval, it’s definitely worth a shot.

Asthma reduction

Korean studies have shown that lower intakes of seaweed and seafood were linked with higher rates of inflammatory disease asthma.

The theory is that the polyunsaturated fats and vitamins in seaweed are protective. More research is needed, but seaweed consumed during pregnancy and in early childhood may be beneficial.

Bone booster

Oxidation from free radicals is associated with weakening of the bones. Seaweed contains fucoidans, antioxidant compounds that can prevent bone breakdown by free radicals.

Specifically, these fucoidans protect osteoblasts (the cells responsible for building bone) against “cell death”. Seaweed also provides vitamin K and calcium.

Cancer prevention

We are by no means suggesting that any food can help cure the “big C”– that would be a dangerous claim. But the fucoidans in seaweed have been studied as part of cancer prevention research.

Human clinical trials are limited, but fucoidan’s ability to influence programmed “cell death” shows some promise as a potential supplement to traditional treatments.


  • Sign up to our daily newsletter for the BIGGEST exclusive celeb interviews, TV news and more

  • Deborah James was 'petrified' of death but insisted we all 'savour' life

  • ‘Becoming a “quiet quitter” brings more long term misery at work,’ says expert

  • 'Dear Lala, my boyfriend is great but I can't stand that he takes party drugs'

  • ‘I’ve received death threats for being a woman with a beard, but now I’m helping thousands with PCOS’

Source: Read Full Article