Seaweed: The Newest Trend for Veganism

A dish of kelp.

Seaweed, including kelp, can be an excellent alternative for vegans, as it has been proven to have dietary advantages. (Image: Edible Kelp via Dreamstime)

Due to their strict dietary choices, vegans can find it challenging to get adequate protein and other essential nutrients from eggs, dairy, and meats. This is why seaweed, including kelp, can be an excellent alternative for vegans, as it has been proven to have dietary advantages.

People who subscribe to a vegan diet don’t eat animal-sourced food for moral, health, or ecological reasons. This means that vegans exclude meat, eggs, dairy products, and other animal food in their daily meals. Additionally, vegan diets may forego refined white sugar and certain wines as they involve animal byproducts.

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Here, we’ll explore how seaweed can be the new go-to meal for vegans.

What is seaweed?

These plants are also known as macroalgae, which refers to various aquatic plants and algae found in marine and freshwater habitats like lakes, rivers, and other aquatic bodies. It is attached to holdfasts, like roots, to help them stay secure to the sea floor or other stable surfaces like rocks. Unlike land plants, seaweeds don’t absorb nutrients through their roots.

Many types of seaweed, including kelp, are edible and have economic importance. However, some are processed into fertilizers or polysaccharide sources. Most of these plants are mid-size and can often be seen washed up on shores and beaches. There are three main categories of these plants: Phaeophyta, which includes kelp can be brown or green; Chlorophyta, or bright green seaweeds, such as sea lettuce; and Rhodophyta, which is red.

Seaweed salad is a tasty way to add calcium to your diet.
Many types of seaweed are edible and have economic importance. (Image: Aikidoki via Dreamstime)

What is their importance?

These plants play a significant role in marine ecosystems. Generally, they are the first link in aquatic food chains, providing energy and nutrients to species by their fronds being consumed or through the ingestion of fine particles produced by their decomposition by filter-feeding organisms. 

Seaweed beds are also essential habitats for numerous economically valuable species like abalones, green-lipped mussels, and rock lobsters. Plus, people have been harvesting these plants for various uses for a long time. Nowadays, seaweed farms are found worldwide and are used to produce edible seaweed that is then turned into raw materials for making chemicals like carrageenan, animal feed, and even fertilizer.

Why will seaweed be the next trend?

Almost everyone who has visited a beach or swam in the ocean has seen these plants. With its wide range of health benefits, it has the potential to become a staple item in the vegan diet. Here are some reasons why it will be the next big thing in veganism:

Health benefits 

When animal products like meat and dairy are cut off from the diet, it is essential to look elsewhere for the necessary nutrients. However, getting proper nutrition and staying healthy when transitioning to a plant-based diet requires knowledge. Seaweed is a great way to get essential minerals without consuming animal products, and it can be a vital part of a plant-based diet. 

Seaweed, including kelp, is rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, iodine, fiber, and more that are metabolized in combinations. It is an outstanding source of calcium and iodine, which are often hard to come by in plant-based meat alternatives. Additionally, it is an excellent source of vegetable calcium for teeth, nails, and bones.


An ingredient that is sometimes missing from vegan-cooked meals is a deep flavor. These plants are a great way to provide that flavor, either as a substitute for salt while cooking and baking or to enhance other flavors. In addition, it is a healthy way to satiate savory cravings. Eating foods with higher “savory components” can increase satiety or fullness, so adding a little seaweed can enhance the eating experience.

Hot soup of seaweed and sesame.
Seaweed is a great way to provide that flavor, either as a substitute for salt while cooking and baking or to enhance other flavors. (Image: Yasuhiro Amano via Dreamstime)


Seaweed is a sustainable food source. As the plants can grow in a wide range of environmental conditions, their cultivation has a low environmental impact. Additionally, an increasing number of people are beginning to see these plants as a viable option for ensuring global food security due to their long life span and minimal environmental effects.

Seaweed: The next gem for the Vegan community 

These plants are the most environmentally friendly and resource-efficient way to get protein, which is why they will be the next big thing in the vegan world. Cultivating seaweed does not require special equipment or fertilizers, making it a great option. Seaweed will provide the majority of protein needed in the future, which is a positive thing for the vegan community. 

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