By Lauren Fischer

Seaweed is an underrated superfood. Yup, that green slimy stuff that sent you running and screaming from the ocean as a kid is actually packed with vitamins and minerals.

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, seaweed (or sea vegetables) are an excellent source of iodine. One tablespoon of a dried sea vegetable called dulse packs 500 percent of the daily-recommended intake for iodine. Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones, which control energy production and utilization throughout the body. Sea vegetables are also a good source of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B2, vitamin A, copper, protein, potassium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamins B1, B3, B6 and B5.

Clearly, sea vegetables are nutrient powerhouses, but they probably aren’t showing up on your menu very often, if at all. Here are five simple ways to add seaweed to your diet.

Add a wakame salad

You may recognize wakame from the menu at your favorite sushi restaurant. Those bright green strips that make up seaweed salad are wakame, and it can also be found in or on top of rolls. Of the sea vegetables, wakame is one of the highest in iodine. Adding seaweed to your diet is as easy as adding a wakame salad to your next sushi order.

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Pack SeaSnax

SeaSnax are strips or sheets of lightly roasted seaweed called porphyra that are available in several flavors, including toasty onion, wasabi, lime and original. They are the perfect nonperishable, portable snack to pack when you are on the go.

Keep kelp in the kitchen

Kelp granules or flakes are sold in shakers and can be used in place of salt. Just a few shakes on eggs, cooked vegetables or in soups or salads boosts your vitamin and mineral intake for the day.

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Dump in some dulse

Dulse flakes are soft flakes of reddish-brown seaweed that add a mild salty and earthy flavor when sprinkled into warm soups, stews and broths.

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Wrap it up with nori

Nori is available in thin, flat sheets that can be used to make hand-held wraps with rice, vegetables, seafood or meats.