TSA, Radiation, Miso and Seaweed

UPDATE: I wrote this article in November 2010, before Fukushima. The studies remain valid, but as a precaution, I personally would not eat seaweed from Japan or the West Coast at this time. Please use your own inner guidance, as I am just sharing others’ research and my own experience, not offering medical advice here. Blessings!

I’m taking a packing break and this thought keeps running through my head. Regardless of your opinion of the legality, appropriateness or effectiveness of the TSA high powered radiation (naked body image) scanners, I wanted to share some information about miso and seaweed as antidotes to cancer-causing radiation levels. I’ve known about this connection since I began studying Macrobiotics in 2006:

“At the time of the world’s first plutonium atomic bombing, on August 9, 1945, two hospitals were literally in the shadow of the blast, about one mile from the epicenter in Nagasaki. American scientists declared the area totally uninhabitable for 75 years. At University Hospital 3000 patients suffered greatly from leukemia and disfiguring radiation burns. This hospital served its patients a modern fare of sugar, white rice, and refined white flour products. Another hospital was St. Francis Hospital, under the direction of Shinichiro Akizuki, M.D. Although this hospital was located even closer to the blast’s epicenter than the first, none of the workers or patients suffered from radiation sickness. Dr. Akizuki had been feeding his patients and workers brown rice, miso soup, vegetables and seaweed every day. The Roman Catholic Church—and the residents of Nagasaki—called this a modern day miracle. Meanwhile, Dr. Akizuki and his co-workers disregarded the American warning and continued going around the city of Nagasaki in straw sandals visiting the sick in their homes.

“Since the 1950s, Soviet weapons factories had been dumping wastes into Karachar Lake in Chelyabinsk, an industrial city 900 miles east of Moscow. Many local residents began to suffer from radiation symptoms and cancer. In 1985, Lidia Yamchuk and Hanif Sharimardanov, medical doctors in Chelyabinsk, changed their approach with patients suffering from leukemia, lymphoma and other disorders associated with exposure to nuclear radiation. They began incorporating miso soup into their diet. They wrote: ‘Miso is helping some of our patients with terminal cancer to survive. Their blood improved as soon as they began to use miso daily.’

“Over a 25-year period, the Japanese Cancer Institute tested and tracked 260,000 subjects, dividing them into three groups. Group one ate miso soup daily, group two consumed miso two or three times a week, while group three ate no miso at all. The results were stark: those who had not eaten any miso showed a 50% higher incidence of cancer than those who had eaten miso.”

(The above is from an article called “Working Alchemy.”) You can read about the Seaweed Defense here. Those of you who, like me, love spirulina will be happy to know that during Chernobyl, Russian children were fed spirulina in order to combat the toxic effects of radiation. In addition to radiation, sea veggies and algae also chelate heavy metals and other toxins from the system. Just as they purify water, these algae and seaweeds can purify our blood.

I’m not suggesting people stop standing up for their rights; however, if you do find yourself going through TSA screenings, finding yourself some miso soup and/or sea vegetables (seaweed) can help your body deal with the effects of radiation.

Some common forms of seaweed include:

Nori (most often used as sushi wrappers)

Kombu (most often used to soften beans and make them more digestible; also a good skin softener when added to the bath)

Sea Palm (a crunchy, raw salad topper)

Wakame (a mild tasting seaweed, often used in miso soup, which helps balance female hormones)

Hijiki (also called Hiziki, a strong flavored seaweed that requires extensive soaking and/or cooking, Hijiki is loaded with calcium and will give you radiant skin)

Dulse (a reddish-brown colored seaweed, often found in flake form and used to create fish flavors in vegetarian/vegan dishes)

Kelp (often used as a salt replacement, kelp granules–and most seaweeds–are very high in iodine. Use cautiously if you are on thyroid medication)

With all the ocean pollution these days, you might wonder where to buy high quality, raw seaweeds. California’s Mendocino Coast has very little industry and thus cleaner water than most places. Ocean Harvest Sea Vegetables are recommended by my friend Cecilia of RawGlow. In addition to the many free recipes and videos on her blog and website, Cecilia has also created a Sea Vegetable Recipe EBooklet as a way to help people become braver about embracing the minerals and healing power of seaweed.

A few notes about seaweed:

1) If your skin tends to break out from fish or other high-iodine containing foods, you may want to lean more towards sea palm and wakame than dulse or kelp.

2) You can save the soak water of sea vegetables and then use it to flavor soups, savory smoothies, nut/seed spreads or as a base for cooking grains.

3) Sea vegetables and miso do contain lots of salt, and a little goes a long way. If you have high blood pressure or need to monitor sodium, make sure you factor in how much miso or sea weed you’re using.

4) Signs of having too much sodium can include swollen fingers, tension headaches and excessive thirst.

A few notes about miso:

1) For the Japanese, making miso is like making wine: there are many flavors ranging from light to rich and deep. Generally, the lighter the color the milder the taste. Before buying, get a sense of which flavors/colors your recipes call for. Although you can substitute miso colors, if a recipe specifies a particular type, a change in color will alter the end result.

2) Most miso is made from fermented soybeans mixed with a variety of grains, including barley and/or rice. You can also find chickpea miso if you wish to avoid soy.

3) Warm miso soup with chopped wakame makes a cozy start to the day, relaxing the stomach and easing digestion.

4) Never boil miso; doing so destroys the beneficial cultures. If a soup or cooked recipe calls for miso, you will generally want to mix it in at the very end, once the liquid has cooled enough to feel comfortable to the touch. Alternatively, you can mix the miso in a small glass of warm water and add right before serving.

I hope everyone has fun with these tips and flavors. Even without the TSA scanners, flying can expose you to higher than usual levels of radiation just by moving so much closer to the sun. Traveling with seaweed or enjoying a cup of miso soup at the airport or after a flight can keep your immune system and the rest of your body feeling nourished and supported.

If you’re flying for Thanksgiving, I wish you safe travels. And to everyone, a Happy Gratitude Day!

24 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Wendy on November 24, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Love this post and is so good to know about! I also was uplifted to hear about the dedicated medical team serving those who need it most irregardless of risks. Beautiful on many fronts. Thanks Laura!


  2. […] TSA, Radiation, Miso as good as Seaweed « Laura Bruno's Blog […]


  3. Posted by laurabruno on November 24, 2010 at 6:55 am

    You’re welcome. Always glad to help and pass along beautiful stories. 🙂


  4. Terrific and timely post! I’ve shared it on facebook for all my flying friends. 🙂


  5. Posted by laurabruno on November 24, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Great! Glad to get the info out there.


  6. Brill post – thankyou 🙂 🙂 :):) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


  7. Posted by Giacinta on November 24, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Dear Laura – Hello! 🙂 This is an awesome post/article! The information is of such great value and so easily understood. I love the stories you shared and – I so appreciate your deep care and true desire to help, support and guide others to good health and well being. I am going to share this on fb as well… Wow… so excellent! 🙂 Thank you SOOO Much! 🙂 oh! Do you have a personal favorite brand/ingredient miso? I have been making miso intermittently over the past month but totally forgot about the water temp. Thanks for this key piece of information…along with everything else! 🙂 xox ❤


  8. Posted by laurabruno on November 24, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I don’t have a favorite brand, as they tend to vary by location. I just make sure it’s non-GMO, and when I can find the chickpea versions, I usually opt for those. xoxo


  9. Posted by laurabruno on November 24, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    @Ruthie Thanks and Love!


  10. Posted by yseult la freniere on December 2, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Hi Laura,

    I’m new to reading your blog but finding it very interesting. I have a question about hijiki, which I’ve eaten and enjoyed. I read recently that a study found it to be very high in arsenic, and therefore to be avoided. Have you heard this? Its hard to believe a traditional food could be full of poison, but perhaps its due to the oceans being more polluted now than in past.


  11. […] and even collecting rain water on one’s own property. On top of that, TSA has insituted radiation boxes as “Airport Security,” even though scientists have known for decades about the DNA […]


  12. Thanks for this, Laura!


  13. […] up my Chicago apartment and thinking of anything but blogging, I suddenly felt compelled to write this post on TSA, Radiation, Miso and Seaweed. The article quotes some history about survivors of the World War II atomic bomb, and how miso and […]


  14. Posted by Barbara on March 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks for the information, a friend e-mailed it to me. When you wrote about kelp you cautioned people taking thyroid medication to be careful because it contains iodine. I was wondering why the caution? It is very important for people with thyroid disorders to get lot of extra iodine. I am finally having great thyroid health since I started on iodine therapy. Resource: Center for Holistic Medicine 5821 W. Maple Raod, West Bloomfield, MI 48323 248.851.1600 IODINE: WHY YOU NEED IT, WHY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT, 3rd EDITION by David Brownstein, M.D., http://www.dr.brownstein.com


  15. Posted by laurabruno on March 16, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    The caution is because some people’s thyroid medication already contains iodine in addition to whatever they might add via seaweed. I am not a doctor, and I don’t know what dosage people are already taking. The caution was to avoid unknowingly overdosing oneself with iodine by supplementing w/o reducing dosage if they hit the right amount. I had a friend who nearly died of thyroid medication overdose once she changed her diet. I am very pro-iodine, but it’s always wise to be informed about cross-reactions between herbs, foods and drugs. Thanks for the link!


  16. […] the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan: 1) Eat seaweed, spirulina, and/or miso.  Read more at: https://laurabruno.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/tsa-radiation-miso-and-seaweed/ 2) Cover your food plants and beds with plastic or tarps.  Radium particles (a major portion of […]


  17. […] the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan: 1) Eat seaweed, spirulina, and/or miso.  Read more at: https://laurabruno.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/tsa-radiation-miso-and-seaweed/ 2) Cover your food plants and beds with plastic or tarps.  Radium particles (a major portion of […]


  18. […] She recommends using a BioMat, following a macrobiotic diet and many of the things I listed in an earlier article about radiation and diet. From a Medical Intuitive perspective, I’ve also noticed that clients and friends who embody […]


  19. Hi Laura,

    I wanted to share this with you since I just saw it today. I thought this was so lovely and powerful.

    It is a youtube video of Simrit Kaur doing a beautiful meditation on protection from radiation.

    let me know what you think.



  20. Thanks, Dawn! I love kundalini yoga. I’ve not had a chance to watch the entire video yet, but her energy is lovely. I figure it can’t hurt! 🙂 Kundalini yoga does such powerful things to the aura and endocrine system that I would be inclined to believe it will help. For some reason, I’m just having trouble finishing the video after the lengthy preamble. That’s likely more a function of holiday busyness than anything else. Thanks for sending this!


  21. OK, I just started it midway through right before the Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. That chant is incredibly powerful! I wish that she would somewhere at least once print out the prana apana … chant, since it is quite long and very, very fast. At the end she says that listening to the chant will also help heal the genes. I wish she would have said that right up front, because then it might feel less stressful trying to move through a long, new chant so quickly. That kind of stressful response is not what we’re looking for!

    That said, knowing that listening to the chant can be helpful, too, it seems like a good practice. Her energy — like most Sikh’s is lovely!

    I just looked up the chant. Here it is:

    Prana Apana Sushumna Hari

    Hari Har

    Hari Har

    Hari Har


    Maybe people will want to practice it slowly first and then they can more easily keep up with the video or MP3! Thank you again. Lovely stuff!


  22. I understand what you mean Laura, if you are not familiar with this kind of meditation practice it not only can feel stressful but a bit exhausting. Good suggestion to do it slowly first. I find that out as well when I went to a retreat earlier in the year with the integration of kundalini yoga and ayurvedic teachings/practices. So many of the people there were familiar with the practices and chants, along with the movements. I was a newbie and it took awhile for me to feel comfortable with the movements/chants, That is one thing they did say was to always go back to the breath even if the movements become too much.


  23. Yes! I am reasonably familiar with kundalini chants and practices, though not this particular one. I figure if I was having trouble with it, then others might really be like what the?!! and get discouraged. It seems quite powerful and activating, though. 🙂


  24. […] She recommends using a BioMat, following a macrobiotic diet and many of the things I listed in an earlier article about radiation and diet. From a Medical Intuitive perspective, I’ve also noticed that clients and friends who embody and […]


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