Seaweeds are one of the most underrated foods. Usually common as part of the diet in East Asia, coastal Europe, and Hawaii, they are packed with essential vitamins and minerals and could be considered as a superfood.
Seaweeds have a number of heart-health compounds, including ACE (Angiotensin-Converting Enzymes) inhibitors, antioxidants and essential fatty acids (lipids).
In a recent study using varieties of Irish and Canadian species of seaweeds, findings revealed that, indeed, they can have a role in keeping the heart healthy.
Dr. Maria Hayes and Michelle Tierney, as part of a research collaboration between Teagasc and Memorial University, Newfoundland, were able to isolate total lipids from a number of seaweed species.
“Seaweeds are a known source of essential fatty acids, which are thought to reduce thrombosis and atherosclerosis — factors important in the reduction of the risk of heart disease,” explained Dr Hayes. She also added that the isolated lipids “could potentially be used in food vehicles such as bread and soup type products in the future.”