Is there too much iodine in food with seaweed?

Seaweed is both famous and infamous for the levels of iodine. But each seaweed is different. It is a bit like asking if all plants have iron. Parsley is full of iron but bananas are not. Brown seaweeds like Kombu are exceedingly rich in iodine - in such high concentrations that you can't eat more than a sprinkle a day. At the other end of the spectrum, our green seaweeds and nori are good but very, very, safe sources of iodine. That is why the PhycoHealth range is focused on a unique species of Australian green seaweed, that you can eat 100g fresh every day, or 10g of dried seaweed and still stay well below the safe levels of iodine. Considering that this trace element is essential for mental health and hormone function, we should all be including a bit of seaweed in our food every day.

Where do you get your seaweed?

PhycoHealth farms seaweed. The first food-grade seaweed farm in Australia. It is a unique species of Australian green seaweed that the founder Pia Winberg has undertaken 2 decades of research on. PhycoGreen 84 is what we call it, and we are so amazed by it's profile of high protein, diverse amino acids, anti-oxidant pigments, nice Omega-3 profile and the amazing gut-healthy fibre.

Do you use seaweed and ingredients from Australia?

Wherever we can, we use Australian and organic ingredients. Sometimes we have to choose between these. Ingredients like Pistachio nuts and cummin are wonderful flavours that we just don't have a supplier for in Australia, and we don't want to compromise on the flavour profile of Phukka by eliminating them. But we are always on the lookout for novel and organic flavours that we can create new 100% Australian ingredeints products with. Let us know if you have a flavour challenge for us.

What's the difference between eating dried nori sheets and your seaweed capsules? Is the fibre/nutritional value different?

Yes first there is the species difference. Very different species and so the fibres in particular will differ. But nori is still a great seaweed if you get it from a clean source. Diverse and different seaweeds are as import asnt as diverse and different vegetables..
Second is that our capsules are concentrated. We have taken out and concentrated the fibre component that we used in our clinical studies and measured the doses required to reduce cholesterol and inflammation. The same goes for the algal Omega-3 component, so that you get the two important parts to support anti-inflammation processes. The dose we recommend is 2g or 4 caspsules per day. This would be like eating 10g dried or 100g of fresh seaweed to get the same dose of these molecules.
But I agree with you.... which is why we have 10% of our seaweed in our pasta. it would give you 2g of the fibre in a 100g serve. If you eat muesli, pasta, snacks and Phukka or Phybre each day then you can get the same as the capsules.... you just have to keep on top of that regularly and include nori as well.

Does it taste fishy?

Considering that the PhycoHealth range of food products has a spectrum of gold, silver and bronze medals at the Australian Food Awards, even in blinded tastings against traditional foods, we can safely say that PnycoHealth products are delicious. In fact, the products offer that extra dimension that makes pasta more interesting (Phettuccine and SeaSpirals), dukkah more complex and moreish (Phukka), and we don't think you will ever eat plain corn chips again (Sea C's). You might not even believe us when we tell you that our PhycoMuesli is one of our most popular products!

Not to mention the richness of roasted macadamias with seaweed next to a cool glass in summer (PhycoDamias), the intensity of nutrition in snack bites on the mountain hike (PhycoBites), or simply a softer feel to your salt (PhycoSalt) with the flavour that umami offers.

Nothing fishy about it! except that fish eat seaweed too - why is where they get their Omega-3.

Do you have gluten free products?

At PhycoHealth, our first mission has to bring better health through seaweed into the most familiar and common foods on Australian tables. In this way, not all foods in our range cater to individual needs, but we are working on it.

About 1% of us are diagnosed with coeliac disease, and this is a serious health issue. A number of our products are made in gluten-free facilities, including PhycoBites and Sea C's, and these will be suitable products for you.

Other products in our range are not made in a certified gluten-free facility, but they do not contain gluten in the ingredients, and these products will be suitable to those of you choosing to lower your gluten intake for other reasons, or less sensitive gluten intolerance. These products include Phukka, PhycoDamias, PhycoSalt, SeaFibre-3 and Phybre.

Some people also want to eat our pasta in a gluten-free version, and we are working on that, so please watch this space as we work hard to grow on many fronts, including being able to offer you gluten-free pasta.

How can you eat seaweed for breakfast?

PhycoMuesli is a rich and golden muesli with a solid granola crunch. We take our protein rich seaweed fraction and blend it with cinnamon and rice malt to make a crunchy straw that just works beautifully with granola. Phycomuesli is full of taste but also good for you with protein from seaweed and hemp seeds, micronutrients, plus gut healthy SeaFibres. Nothing is sacrificed. 

  • all essential Amino Acids 

  • B vitamins

  • micronutrients from the sea: iron, iodine, manganese and boron

  • SeaFibre glycans

Did you know that most countries in the world still have chronic iron deficiency in their populations. Seaweed iron has been show to be bioavailable and to overcome anaemia. A breakfast with a serving of PhycoMuesli will deliver over 40% of your daily iron needs!

What does the pasta taste like?

Our Phettuccine and SeaSpirals are based on traditional Italian pasta ingredients, including Australian durum wheat semolina, eggs and our Australian Green Seaweed 84. At 10% seaweed, this offers you a sense of the sea while you are boiling it (6 mins), a vibrant emerald on your dinner table, and a just a richer pasta on your taste buds and intense nutrition for life. You can eat it as simply as with a side of olive oils and parmesan cheese. You can cook Mediterranean sauces from gorgonzola to other seafood - there is nothing that it won't work with. And you are reducing your food carbon footprint with every bit of extra seaweed in your day.

How do you eat PhycoBites?

PhycoBites are something of an allrounder. They can be eaten for breakfast on the run with a good coffee, morning snacks, afternoon tea, with red wine and feta cheese at the drinks bar. How many products can you say that about. However, the best place we know to eat PhycoBites is in the bush and on the trails. Something about that break from a long walk just triggers that PhycBites desire and we can't think of a better way to absorb the environment than with PhycoBites. Suitable for young and old, high in protein with seaweed, nuts and seeds, Vitamin C from cranberries, and for coeliacs, they are made in a gluten free facility.

Do Sea C's taste like seaweed?

You will never eat a plain corn chip again. Made with our traditional method partners at Mexico City Foods, these Australian Food Awards bronze medal seaweed cornchip, fortified with whole green seaweed cultivated in Australia. Snack with a good conscience and share a bag with your friend to get: your micronutrients in a fun way. 

By reading from our research on micronutrients from seaweed here you can see that with 5g seaweed in 100g of Sea Cs you would get at least:

50% of your selenium RDI

35% of your iodine RDI

33% of your boron RDI

10% of your iron RDI

22% of your manganese RDI

17% of your magnesium RDI

Further there are good levels of lutein and zeaxanthin pigments and gut fibre.

All of our ingredients are Australian made, non-GMO and of the highest production quality. Gluten Free.

What is Phukka and how do you eat it?

Our AFA Gold Award Winning proprietary blend of Australian seaweed, pistachio and Mediterranean herbs. Inspired by dukkah and transformed for even more flavour with with 10% of our Australian seaweed. Full of the trace elements from the ocean, our seaweed's special gut-healthy seafibre, anti-oxidants, and marine plant proteins.

Fantastic on smashed avocado for breakfast, stirred into rice or grain salads, grill fish, meat or vegetable with it, or use like dukkah for before dinner nibbles with a good sourdough, olive oil and red wine. It even turns bangers (sausages) and mash (mashed potatoes) into gourmet, if that is where you have to start. Made with no gluten ingredients.

What are Phrackers?

Similar to a classic Lavosh style cracker, but loaded with 20% of our protein-rich seaweed. Nibbles are all good when they are healthy. And being healthy doesn't mean that they have to be boring! Try our new lavosh style cracker rich in our seaweed protein, and dashed with one of 3 seasonings ....

PHRACKER CLASSIC with our famous PhycoSalt - for that Murray River, green seaweed and wakame blend.

PHARISSA PHRACKER to add a bit of Moroccan spice to your life,

or we couldn't resist a 

PHUKKA PHRACKER - with our gold medal Phukka inspired cummin and seaweed topping for a less salty pure seaweed flavour.

Is there a lot of wasabi in PhycoDamias?

A unique Australian blend of our best native nut and seaweed, touched with a dash of wasabi (not too much! Just right). A bronze medal product from the Australian Food Awards, made in partnership with our friends at the Batemans Bay Nut Roasting Company. Enjoy for a snack, before dinner nibbles or at your wine bar. The word is moreish.

Made without ingredients that contain gluten. Our Phycodamias contain vital micronutrients and trace elements, but above all taste delicious - do not open them alone!

Is PhycoSalt naturally iodised?

An Australian trifecta of Murray River pink salt, PhycoGreen 84 (our Australian seaweed) and naturally iodine rich Wakame, organically harvested from Tasmania. Change your table salt to PhycoSalt and combine health and culinary delight. A much rounder and softer solat experience, with more bang on taste per salt. Read about the importance of getting the right amount of iodine here. Read about Salt - the good, the bad, the culinary and the essential here.

Made with no gluten containing ingredients.

How do you use Phybre?

Gut health goes gourmet.... Our triple-fibre blend from the land to the sea. Now you can get your SeaFibre in a scoopable fibre blend for your cereals (check out the best porridge recipe), smoothies or baking, with the fibre diversity of green bananas and resistant starch from brown organic basmati. With a serving of Phybre you will get 40% of your daily fibre needs in diverse forms. Our gut microbiomes are complex ecosystems, much like rainforest soils, and host many different types of bacteria. The problem with the modern diet is that it is often deficient in important foods, primarily fibres and phenolic compounds from plants. Importantly, you should supply the microbiome diversity in your gut with a diversity of dietary fibres, because different bacteria prefer different types of fibre. Therefore, a combination of dietary fire is as important, and more effective, in maintaining a good gut balance. Our research has shown just how beneficial our Seafibre can be in your diet.

When we talk about the need for increased fibre in our diets, we actually need a diversity of fibres to feed different gut flora. Read about how and why we formulated Phybre here.

Can't I just eat the real thing, why do i need seaweed capsules?
If you get the right amount of seaweed in your diet, that's all you need. But you need to eat about 200g fresh seaweed to get the same amount of seafibre that we included in our clinical studies. This means that some seaweed are not suitable as they have too much iodine to be eaten in such amounts. PhycoHealth uses seaweed that has safe levels of iodine and formulates food and supplements with the full knowledge of the trace element profile for real and safe health outcomes. 

If you get the right amount of seaweed in your diet, that's all you need. But you need to eat about 200g fresh seaweed to get the same amount of seafibre that we included in our clinical studies. This means that some seaweed are not suitable as they have too much iodine to be eaten in such amounts. PhycoHealth uses seaweed that has safe levels of iodine and formulates food and supplements with the full knowledge of the trace element profile for real and safe health outcomes.

SeaFibre-3 is a very concentrated fraction of the glycan fibre molecules in our unique species of green seaweed. Therefore it is different to most brown and red seaweed products on the market, and it is concentrated extract in a capsule. Our clincial studies indicated some specific gut flora changes and how this affects overall wellness. These sulfated molecules with high rhamnose and glucuronic acids have unique recognition patterns with human epithial (skin) and immune cells and we are undertaking research on how they interact with the human gut directly, gut flora as well as optimising the food you eat.

These differences to other seaweed and whole seaweed powder, means that there will be unique effects in terms of which gut flora and gut processes it benefits, and some of these were linked to gut health and inflammation processes. However we can't test all inflammation and immune diseases, and everyone is unique. So, consider SeaFibre-3 as a way to get more seaweed glycan fibres into you without needing to become a sushi chef, or to take on days when you know that your fibre intake was low or you didn't use your PhycoHealth food pantry.

Both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, are increasingly being linked to the gut. Although different in diagnosis, they are regarded as autoimmune and both show raised inflammation in blood tests (CRP). Inflammatory disorders are increasingly being linked to gut dysbiosis (imbalance).

In our clinical studies we found that inflammation was reduced in groups that had high CRP-inflammation, and this might be one of the mechanisms that led to case studies of reduced psoriasis. How this works is still being studied, but it could be a result of direct interaction of our connective tissue like seaweed extracts with the gut lining and immune system, or effects on the microbiota that reside in your gut.

Because of the special structure of our seaweed extract that mimic human connective tissue, we undertook a series of studies with human skin cells and wound healing research. We found that unlike other seaweed extracts, our seaweedPhycoDerm extracts are recognised by special receptors on human skin cells and have a strong binding affinity. This means that humans cells attached to and thrive on our extract, which also modulates and protects natural collagen in the skin structures. This is why we have developed a new skin product range featuring both connective tissue rich and peptide rich extracts for cleansing and caring for your skin daily.

PhycoHealth is proud to be increasing our footprint in retail stores. We believe that these retailers espouse good food, responsible sourcing and packaging, and value the important things including how food can make a difference to your lifelong wellness.


We have not as yet been introduced to many retailers in the UK, but we are keen to meet you. Please reach out to us at info@phycohealth.com if you would like to stock our range in the UK.

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