Oftentimes when you’re looking at seaweed products, including seaweed supplements, you may see one or more of these seaweeds listed. So, what’s the difference between red, brown and green seaweed?
Understanding the three different colors in seaweed
Seaweeds below to three different groups, which have been noted since the mid-nineteenth century based on color: brown, red, and green. While the differing colors make the easy to differentiate each from the other, the chemical and nutritional value of each varies based on the color, which is why it’s important that they reside in three different groups.
How do the three different colors of seaweed differ?
According to The Seaweed Site, the three colors of seaweed actually differ considerably in many ultrastructural and biochemical features including photosynthesis pigments, storage compounds, composition of cell walls, the presence or absence of flagella, and the structure of chloroplasts. The different colors reflect the different type of light they readily absorb dependent on how deep or how close to the surface they generally grow.
Which seaweed color is the best?
There is no “best” when it comes to seaweed. Think of seaweed like other common greens we consume. There’s green lettuce, red lettuce, and many other varieties. Each may have different nutritional values of different vitamins and minerals, but all contribute to healthy eating. The same applies to seaweed, which is why a high quality seaweed supplement will contain all three. Let’s look at each.
Brown seaweed can be found in variations ranging from brown to reddish and even a purplish brown. It is known to contain more than 72 trace minerals and can be used in the treatment of stomach problems, skin conditions, cellulite and weight loss to name just a few ailments it has been known to improve. Kombu or Kelp and Arame are in the brown seaweed family. According to Healthline, brown seaweed is packed with nutrients. It’s an excellent source of iodine, an essential mineral for healthy thyroid function. It also provides:
- vitamin B-2, or riboflavin
- vitamin B-9, which is also known as folate or folic acid
- vitamin B-12
Red seaweed makes up the largest group of algae in the plant kingdom, with more species accounted for than brown and green seaweeds combined. They are almost exclusively marine plants. Although generally found in shallow waters, these seaweeds can withstand deep water and low-light conditions. Nori and Dulse are in the red seaweed family. Red seaweed is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are easily utilized by your body. It promotes healthy circulation, regulates blood sugar levels and lowers bad cholesterol levels. It is also a rich source of calcium and magnesium, so it contributes to bone health, and is loaded with antioxidants it helps boost your immune system.
Green seaweed consists of many diverse species. Although most predominant in fresh water, green seaweeds include green fleece, hollow green weed, and sea lettuce. Wakame is a popular green seaweed. It’s a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese.
If you’re not going to consume these different types of seaweeds whole, the ideal way to enjoy the many nutritional benefits of red, brown and green seaweed is to find a whole food seaweed supplement to get the most from each of the three seaweeds. A product like Sea Veg® is a blend of nutrient-rich seaweed and sea plants for optimal wellness.
While there is a difference between red, brown and green seaweed, finding a way to incorporate all three into your healthy lifestyle is ideal to enjoy the benefits of each.