Photo-Brian Hoffman

You’ve likely chewed on seaweed wrapped around a sushi roll, but few Westerners would consider picking up a bag of the stuff at the grocery store. It might be time for a change: Seaweed is filled with antioxidants, calcium, and a broad range of vitamins, but that doesn’t begin to scratch the slippery brown surface of this fascinating food.

Why It's SuperA member of the algae family, edible seaweed typically comes in three varieties: brown, red, and green. The most commonly eaten (and researched) are the brown varieties such as kelp and wakame, followed by red seaweed, which includes nori (yep — that’s what most sushi chefs use).