Here’s some health news about an alternative remedy that you might not have heard about: eating seaweed could help stave off heart disease. Haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet when it comes to adding seaweed to your lunch or dinner? Well — maybe it’s time to seriously reconsider your thoughts on seaweed.
Researchers from the Czech Republic have studied seaweed for its potential health benefits. They’ve determined that seaweed is a low-energy food. If that doesn’t sound like a good thing, rest assured it is. Every food has its own energy density and scientists calculate it as the number of calories (energy) in a specific amount of food. When a food has a high energy density, it means that there are a lot of calories in a small amount of food. Low energy density means there are few calories in a lot of food — which usually translates into less weight gained for most of us.
Back to the study: seaweed is low in calories, which helps to keep extra weight off the body and extra work away from the heart. It is also a food that is low in fat content — another bonus for the heart. Now, the fat that seaweed does contain — polyunsaturated fatty acids — happens to be the healthy kind.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are important components of all your cell membranes. They also play the role of bioregulator in many cellular processes. Polyunsaturated acids have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, amongst such other conditions as cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Asian diets typically contain some seaweed, and this in part, may help to explain why there are lower rates of heart disease in countries like Japan. The researchers state that seaweeds could be used in the North American diet to improve chronic low levels of polyunsaturated acids. Many foods in the Western diet contain saturated fats, along with unbalanced fat-ratios, which are thought to contribute to higher levels of heart disease.
Seaweed has come a long way from being a strange food with a fishy smell and unpleasant taste. There are many delicious products now available to help you get a little seaweed into your weekly diet. Try any variety of toasted and/or spicy seaweed strips — you may be surprised by their taste.
To find out more about seaweed and heart health, follow this link: How Seaweed Could Protect Your Heart.