Knotted wrack is a large, common brown alga that you may have never heard of before, but you’ll be happy when you do learn what an amazing seaweed this is! Keep reading to learn what knotted wrack is and why you will love it!
What is knotted wrack?
Knotted wrack is in the Fucaceae family, and is the only species in the genus Ascophyllum. It is seaweed of the northern Atlantic Ocean. It is also known as Norwegian kelp, feamainn bhuí, knotted kelp, rockweed, or egg wrack. It is common on the north-western coast of Europe and the north-eastern coast of North America. It can grow up to six feet or more in length and has long fronds which have a single, large air bladder in the center of the frond. It’s yellow when ripe. When the tide goes out it can form huge piles of seaweed. On sheltered, muddy rocky seashores, it can develop into a floating unattached form shaped like a ball. It can also be found on breakwaters and jetties. Knotted wrack supports the growth and gives shelter for a large amount of snails, shrimps, fishes and mussels.
Interesting facts about knotted wrack
It’s not unusual for knotted wrack fronds to be fifteen or more years old, and for their “holdfasts”, which is where marine algae attaches to the substrate, to live for decades, or maybe even centuries. When a frond breaks, it regenerates from the holdfast. As a matter of fact, you can tell how old a knotted wrack frond is just by counting the air bladders. Knotted wrack lays down one air bladder each growing season. That makes figuring out how old a frond is fairly easy. It also does not bleach in the sun, as it has a built-in factor against the damages of sun rays (this is actually true for all seaweeds!).
Health benefits of knotted wrack
Brown seaweed like Ascophyllum nodosum (also called Knotted Wrack) contain all the minerals there are on the planet! Seaweed is an amazing food and has fantastic health benefits! Seaweed contains vitamins A and C, and is also a source of calcium, which is one of the reasons some seaweed supplements are included as part of some treatment plans for osteoarthritis. Seaweed is also one of the only natural, non-animal sources of vitamin B-12, which is essential for many cognitive and bodily functions. In addition, sea vegetables tout particularly high amounts of iodine, potassium, selenium, iron, and magnesium. The oils in seaweed have long been known to recuperate from illness by detoxifying the body and helping the renewal of damaged skin cells.
How to get knotted wrack in your diet
This seaweed can actually be added to soups and stews or mixed raw through salads. However, the appearance tends to put a few people off and of course, finding it in a supermarket is highly unlikely. However, seaweed supplements such as Sea Veg® and Super Sea Veg® contain knotted wrack as part of its list of whole foods ingredients. You can take them like regular supplements or some people actually break the capsules apart and add them to their favorite smoothies. However you want to incorporate this seaweed into your diet, it’d be a good idea to do so. It’s more than just a brown seaweed! It’s a powerhouse of minerals that you should try. You will love it!