NOTE: Whole9 has zero vested interest in SeaSnax, or the sale of SeaSnax products. We are not financially affiliated with SeaSnax in any way, shape or form. We just like scoring good deals on stuff we like for our readers.
Today’s post began in Honolulu, HI, when Melissa picked up a package of SeaSnax at the local Whole Foods. The package promised they would be “strangely addictive”, and after Melissa plowed through three snack-packs in as many days, she realized the product actually lived up to the hype. A few weeks later, we sent a note to SeaSnax, singing their praises and proposing ideas for how we could best collaborate to share the glory of the Snax with our readers. And today, our hard work (and seaweed-snacking) pays off… for you!
The Paleo diet lists some decidedly unconventional food items by today’s standard – but seaweed? Trust us, it’s actually not as weird as it sounds. First, let’s talk about the nutritional benefits of seaweed – specifically, the nori or porphyra (red algae) from which SeaSnax are made.
According to Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D. (Director of the Institute for Traditional Medicine in Portland, Oregon), seaweed draws an extraordinary wealth of micronutrients from the sea, including iodine, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, and selenium. (In fact, seaweed has a large proportion of iodine compared to dietary minimum requirements. While actual amounts per product vary, the average sheet of nori is estimated to provide 70% of the recommended daily intake of iodine.) Red algae also contains vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B12 (although many scientists suggest algae conly ontains a close relative of B12, not the real deal our bodies need).
Finally, seaweed lipids also have a higher proportion of essential fatty acids (EFAs) than land plants. Red algae have a high EPA content, a substance mostly found in animals, especially fish. While the amount of EPA and DHA in a sheet of nori varies with the level of nutrients in the ocean while the algae grows, one sheet of nori contains about 0.5 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids.
It’s Delicious. We Promise
Still, despite the fact that seaweed offers tons in the way of micronutrients, most folks can’t stomach the idea of eating something slimy or fishy – never mind slimy AND fishy. (We hear you.)
Enter SeaSnax! They take porphyra (red algae) from the sea and turn them into sheets by a process of shredding and rack-drying. Then, they gently roast the sheets with 100% olive oil (no vegetable oil here!) and add natural spices like sea salt, garlic and chipotle. The final product has a crunchy, chip-like texture, a fresh (non-fishy) taste and, as promised, a strangely addictive quality.
Whole30 Approved – and Free Shipping for Whole9 Readers!
The best news? All varieties of SeaSnax – raw, classic, toasty onion and spicy chipotle – are 100% Whole30-approved! No added sugar, no soy (!), no preservatives and no vegetable oils makes these the healthiest seaweed snacks we’ve seen on the market to date. You can find SeaSnax in a variety of Whole Foods Markets and health food stores nationwide, but they’re not available in every just city yet. (Check their store locator for a spot near you.)
Nothing local? Not to fear! Thanks to the generosity of SeaSnax and our rabid pursuit of scoring cool deals for Whole9 readers, we managed to snag you all free shipping on SeaSnax from now thorugh year-end.
Get free shipping on your SeaSnax order (www.seasnax.com) by using the Whole9 code “w9fs” at check-out
We’ll also be bringing samples of SeaSnax to our upcoming Foundations of Nutrition workshop in Sumner, WA this weekend – lucky for our guests! So if you’re a little bit bored with your Whole30 snack options and looking for a crunchy treat that packs a nutritional punch, give SeaSnax a try today. And if you get addicted like Melissa did – don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Reference: The Nutrient-Dense Eating Plan, Douglas L. Margel, D.C.
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Yum! My kids and I always took nori strips along on ski trips. That made for some interesting comments while waiting in lift lines!!
But all kidding aside, seaweed makes me stuffed up these days…thoughts?
Does this free shipping count for Canadians too??
ashley hibbitts says
I LOVE Seasnax!! My kids say I’m addicted. Just make sure to check your teeth after eating. It is not uncommon to have green flakes stuck to your teeth, lol! Thanks for the free shipping:)
So.. SeaSnax are just… chip-sized sheets of nori? I’m a fan, but you can get them in Asian markets for a lot cheaper.
Sue Burton says
Just ordered! Very excited to try, since I’ve talked my 17 yr old into doing the Whole 30 in August. This might help satisfy some of her normal teenage habits!
Melissa @ Whole9 says
Libby: I’ve got sheets of plain (non-toasted) nori here that I use to make tuna wraps. The SeaSnax have a totally different texture and flavor. I much prefer the flavor of the Snax for munching – nori sheets can be really chewy, and taste too “from the sea” for many people.
You could certainly toast and season your own nori sheets – but we do like the Snax for their convenient travel-sized pouches..
Aaron Blaisdell says
I LOVE SeaSnax and have been eating them as a treat for the past year. They sell them at the Whole Foods in LA, including the one in West Wood village, just a 15 minute walk from the site of the Ancestral Health Symposium.
Melissa @ Whole9 says
That is good news! I plan on packing a few of the large, flat Snax (the full-size sheets) for our travels, just in case.
I picked up a package of the “classic” olive SeaSnax today and am sorry to say that I did not like it at all. The “fishy” taste was just too strong. I wish the store had the onion flavor, so I could try it and see if it was any better. I did like the texture though.
I love seaweed too…but please note that the reason that it tastes so good is that it contains high concentrations of glutamic acid, which is free-form MSG.
Also, I’m pretty sure the roasting/salting process turns the glutamic acid into glutamate + MSG. Hence the “strangely addictive” taste.
Melissa @ Whole9 says
I’m not going to spend a ton of time explaining the difference between glutamic acid (a naturally occurring amino acid present in many plant foods, and made by our own bodies) and the laboratory-created chemical (always produced OUTSIDE of the body) that is MSG. They are nowhere near the same thing, and to confuse the two is an unfair representation of SeaSnax’s product line.
I can confirm with 100% confidence that SeaSnax contains no MSG.
Aaron Blaisdell says
Is the difference between naturally occurring glutamic acid and industrial MSG similar to the difference between CLA, a natural trans-fat found in pastured ruminant milk and industrially-produced trans fat?
Melissa @ Whole9 says
You know… I’d say it’s EXACTLY the same thing. And we think the CLA content of, say, grass-finished, organic beef is one of the benefits of buying naturally-raised, naturally-fed animal products.
Thanks for that perspective.
The difference between glutamic acid and monosodium glutamate is:
2. the addition of salt and water
Melissa @ Whole9 says
That is a gross oversimplification of the food industry’s manufacturing of MSG, and is not in any way applicable to SeaSnax or their products.
Historically, MSG was extracted from seaweed without extensive chemical manufacturing. It’s true that it’s now made from wheat gluten, but the end product has the same chemical structure.
Anyhow, the scientific case against MSG isn’t that strong, it’s quite possible that the ill health effects people now claim to suffer from it actually are from residual gluten intolerance.
I love SeaSnax because it tastes good, ingredients are simple, (for example I cook with olive oil & sea salt all the time) and it incorporates an awesome sea vegetable into my diet + it’s non-GMO Project Verified, which means the company supports the movement to change the damaged food system. It’s also easy to turn friends and family onto a truly nutritious snack and makes me very proud to be one of the founding family members involved in this life journey. Thank you Melissa & Whole9 and everyone else for supporting our company and know that SeaSnax means a lot more to us than just a business venture.
Tom Denham - Whole9 EE says
I did not like the first sheet of the classic olive SeaSnax I ate, but by the time I ate the last sheet in the pack, I kind of liked it. I’ll keep trying all the flavors.
This is very exciting. I have bought seaweed snacks at Trader Joes and loved them. When I started the Whole 30, I was thinking their variety would be okay to eat, but was very disappointed when I checked the ingredients. These aren’t sold in my area yet, but I’ll be sure to keep checking back to see when they are available!
I love the Olive Oil SeaSnax sheets, but just wonder why the nutrition info is pretty much 0% on all except sodium? Why don’t they list the good nutrition info? Does it get “cooked out” in processing?
I agree they are addicting. I was eating upwards of 3 -4 packages a day. Then I started getting a rash, many other symptoms and I recently had two sets of blood work done a month and a half apart and my thyroid hormone levels were pointing to thyroid disease. I began to investigate. The one thing I had done other than go organic and begin juicing organic fruits and vegetables was eating the seaweed snacks. I discovered they are very high in iodine. A Japanese study concluded that iodine in high levels can cause what they call Iodine induced primary hyperthyroidism. I investigated further and compared my symptoms to iodine toxicity and it was a match. The timing of when I began eating the seaweed matched the onset of symptoms and the symptoms matched those of iodine toxicity and the seaweed has high levels of Iodine. Well more than the recommended daily allowance can easily be consistently eaten. Be careful. Eat sparingly and if in doubt have your iodine levels and thyroid checked along with your blood.tests.
Respectfully, it would be nearly impossible for someone to overdose on iodine from eating nori sheets. Each gram of nori contains only about 15 mcg (that’s micrograms) of iodine. The US RDA is ten times that – 150 mcg – but studies show that you could (theoretically) safely consume up to 50 mg (that’s MILLIGRAMS) of iodine per day.
Perhaps you have something in your health history or genetics that promotes these symptoms when you eat iodine-containing foods (of which nori is nowhere near as dense a source as other sea vegetables), but the average person should be able to consume several small packs of SeaSnax a day without any detrimental effects. (Not that we’re saying you should… Only that you could, according to the iodine status of the average American, and the research.)
I am glad you discovered your SeaSnax habit was not making YOU healthier, however, and hope you can find a way to enjoy them in lesser quantities.
Does anyone know where seasnax harvests its seaweed, and if it’s regularly tested for toxins, etc., the way quality seaweeds have to be?
I was retested after I stopped eating the snacks. 30 days
later. Thyroid levels were way down. I tried contacting
The manufacturer at the outset to find out the iodine levels and
No one would talk to me but another manufacturer
With a similar product calculated it at around 2000 mcg per
Pkg. I Ate 4 per day – you do the math. When I stopped
My labs normalized.
The fact that seaweed influences thyroid is good news for those of us who are hypothyroid and looking for natural ways to improve our condition. At the same time, and as with everything else, moderation is probably a good way to go.
I am still wondering about the purity of the water where seasnax gets its seaweed. Anyone have any data?
Erin @Whole9 says
Here is Sea Snax’s FAQ with info on sourcing. If you would like more precise info, I would suggest getting in contact with them directly: http://store.seasnax.com/FAQ_ep_43.html
Thank you very much, Erin
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Vanessa Cordeiro says
wow, ”one sheet of nori contains about 0.5 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids.” That is huge, is that correct? That is 500 mg of omega 3 per 1 sheet. Sounds like a lot but would be a great way to get omega 3. Do you have a reference for that amount?
Melissa @Whole9 says
Vanessa, you’d have to contact SeaSnax directly about their nutritional information.