Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Wellness > Health

Get With It, Bestie, 2023 Is The Year Of Seaweed

Not sure if you’ve seen it yet, but Pinterest just named seaweed as the “it girl” for 2023. I know what you’re thinking: how can seaweed possibly beat TikTok’s Kitty Juice? 

When I opened up Pinterest Predicts for 2023, I couldn’t have been more surprised. What I saw was fascinating — hype around… seaweed? That’s right. coming in as one of the most surprising predictions of the upcoming year is going to be seaweed beating kale in the No. 1 health food spot. So how did we get here exactly, and why seaweed? According to Pinterest’s metrics, it’s been a long time coming, and with good cause. In fact, this might come as a shock, but in just this year alone, the pinning platform identified what it terms as “Vitamin Seaweed,” as a top search theme in the health foods category. And no, I’m not making that up.

Yes, you read that correctly, it definitely reads, “Vitamin Seaweed” on the 2023 Pinterest Predictions homepage. On it, the creatively-inclined company reports that “green algae” was searched for upwards of 60%, “seaweed snacks recipes” at  245%, and “Nori recipes” at 60%. And if these striking seaweed-forward statistics aren’t enough to convince you that this underwater nutritional food will make serious waves in 2023, then maybe some further research into it will help.

laker / pexels

Wait… how is seaweed good for you?

Great question! Earlier in September, Healthline wrote about how seaweed can be an essential additive to maintaining a sustainable and plentiful diet. It reported a series of findings where seaweed emerged as a truly great source of iodine and tyrosine, which are beneficial to our thyroid glands and regulate our hormones. Basically, a big flex for seaweed everywhere. What’s more, it’s also noted that ocean-based food is also high in vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, sodium, folate, zinc, calcium, and vitamins, K, C, A, and E. Plus, it houses the proteins spirulina and chlorella, both of which have vital amino acids, and it has small amounts of omega-3 fats along with vitamin B12. In non-scientific terms, the research suggests that seaweed is great for your body.

And to my astonishment, the benefits of consuming this healthy food don’t even come close to ending there: Seaweed continues to exceed expectations and impress with its wide assortment of protective antioxidants. To get into specifics, it offers carotenoids and flavonoids, which help shield your cell membranes from internal damage. Somehow seaweed is beginning to look more and more like a superhero. That’s probably why nutritionists and dietitians call it a superfood. Not to mention, some of the lesser-known, but still fascinating, components of seaweed are that it can support gut health, assist with weight stabilization, and it may even reduce your blood cholesterol levels. Essentially, it can help your body defend itself, supply a protective cushion, and if that isn’t enough, it also can lessen your risk for heart disease later in life. 

So, how do I eat it?

there are many ways to hop on the seaweed boat. From sushi rolls to grain bowls it makes a delicious addition to any seafood meal. It comes in a variety of options; nori, kombu, wakame, ognori (sea moss), hijiki, umbudo, dulse and chlorella, and there’s a handful of different ways to enjoy the superpowered plant. Best eaten in lunch bowls, seafood stews, or light soups, one thing’s for sure: Seaweed adds a tasty seaside flavor to any dish. Most commonly used in seafood, the savory mouthfeel feel combined with its practically endless benefits will leave you wanting more. 

If you’re looking for some quick and simple seaweed dishes, look no further! Pinterest has done all the hard work for you. Head to the platform and search “seaweed recipes” to find the internet’s top seaweed-based cuisines from this past year. And even add an image of your own to the mix, if you’re so inclined. The options are mouth-watering, so make sure you have a snack with you, or that you’ve eaten before viewing them.

Well, needless to say, I’m sold on the idea that seaweed is the new all-powerful superfood for 2023. Even if you can’t quite put your finger on what it is that makes it special yet, you have to admit, there’s something spectacular about this subtle and mineral-rich superfood from the sea. Originally a staple food in Asian countries, the seaweed inclusion trend is having a widespread ripple effect on new shores worldwide. And if its outstanding nutrient profile and long list of long-term health benefits are any indications of its future success, I’d say this very green tropical phenomenon will be very hard to pass up once it reaches our seasides.

Alicia Casey was a National Writer for Her Campus from December 2022 to April 2023 covering all things health and wellness. She's graduating from Cal State Long Beach in May 2023 with her B.A. in public relations and a minor in communications studies.