Kelp Noodle Salad with Basil Pesto
Sea vegetables are a great nutrient dense food you can add to your diet. One mineral they are particularly high in, is iodine. Iodine is important for proper thyroid function as it helps the thyroid produce it’s hormones, T3 and T4. A sluggish thyroid results in weight gain, cold hands and feet, constipation and depression. Our soils have been depleted of minerals and the areas around the great lakes were known as the goiter belt because of iodine deficiency.
Goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland that can be cause by a deficiency of iodine. Table salt had iodine added to it, to help prevent iodine deficiencies. The problem, is that table salt is highly processed, bleached and stripped of nutrients. Real, good quality salt contains over 60 minerals and isn’t pure white. I like Himalayan rock salt, which is a pretty pink color but other sea salts are good as well. You’re better off eating foods that are rich in iodine, which include sea vegetables and seafood.
There are a variety of sea vegetables to choose from including kelp, dulse, nori, wakame, arame, hijiki and irish moss. They come in flakes that you can sprinkle on your food, strips, sheets, and noodles. I like spreading some nut butter or guacamole on nori sheets with apple or carrots sticks and wrapping it all up for a tasty snack. For the recipe below I used kelp noodles, which can be found at most health food stores or online.
This recipe also includes many liver friendly foods like garlic, lemon, greens (Swiss chard and basil) and avocados. Avocados contain glutathione, the bodies master antioxidant, which supports phase 1 of liver detoxification. Lemons are high in vitamin C, while the greens are high in magnesium, both of which support liver detoxification as well. Garlic contains the antioxidants, allicin and selenium, which assist the liver in the removal of heavy metals. Selenium is also another important mineral for thyroid health. So enjoy this salad year round to show your liver some love!
- 1lb/454g kelp noodles
- 1 bunch of swiss chard
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 large avocados
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 3/4-2 c basil, loosely packed (about 4oz)
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt
- Chop swiss chard and steam until lightly cooked.
- Make basil pesto by adding avocado, garlic, lemon juice, basil, olive oil and salt to a food processor. Process until smooth.
- Rinse the kelp noodles and chop if desired. Mix all ingredients together and serve hot or cold. I prefer to eat it hot as it softens the kelp noodles.