Edible Seaweed and Vitamin K
By: Alere Staff
Some species of seaweed are famous delicacies and are also considered a common source of food in many cultures. Some well-known edible seaweed types include nori, agar, kelp, carrageen moss, and dulse. Compared to the plants from land and animal-based foods, seaweed is rich in some healthy vitamins and minerals such as, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids, iodine, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.1
Compounds taken from seaweed have shown different biological benefits, such as antibacterial activity, antioxidant possibilities, anti-inflammatory properties, anti-coagulant activity, and anti-viral activity. Seaweed has important applications in a range of products in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.2
There are three main types of seaweed based on the color of the pigment: brown, red, and green. Within these categories of seaweed, there are dozens and dozens of edible seaweed varieties. Some common edible seaweed types include:
- Nori (laver) – dried layer of seaweed pressed into thin sheets and used as a seasoning or as a wrapper for sushi. Vitamin K content = 0.2 mcg per 1 Tablespoon.3
- Agar – often used as a gelatin substitute with strong thickening properties. Vitamin K content = 3.6 mcg per 1 Tablespoon.3
- Kelp – most readily available type of seaweed with some popular ones being kombu and wakame and often dried and used in soups. Vitamin K content = 3.3 mcg per 1 Tablespoon.3
- Dulse – red seaweed often shredded and dried, but can also be eaten fresh and sautéed similar to land vegetables.
- Carrageen moss (Irish moss) – most often eaten fresh and cooked to a pudding-like dessert. Vitamin K content = 0.2 mcg per 1 Tablespoon.3
For more information about the amount of vitamin K in the foods and beverages you consume, check out our Vitamin K Finder. It is important to talk with your doctor about starting any new foods because they can interact with your warfarin, so please keep this in mind when planning your next meal.
- Rajapakse N, Kim SK. Nutritional and digestive health benefits of seaweed. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2011;64:17-28.
- O’Sullivan, L., et al. Prebiotics from Marine Macroalgae for Human and Animal Health Applications. Mar Drugs. 2010; 8(7): 2038–2064.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2004. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp.