Seaweed: The other seafood
We all have heard of the benefits of eating fish and taking fish oil capsules. It’s high
source of omega 3 fats, and DHA are good for our brain health, for problems such as
anxiety and depression, and help in controlling inflammation by controlling harmful
eicosanoids and cytokines. Fish oil can also help ADHD, reduce triglycerides, help
blood pressure and eye health. Seaweed unlike land plants has omega 3 fats and DHA
just like fish. They also contain a broad amino acid profile, antioxidants, are a good source of the mineral iodine. Iodine and the amino acid tyrosine are two components to help form thyroid hormone. Although seaweed also contains carbohydrates such as carrageenan, fucan, and galactose which are difficult for our bodies to digest, these carbohydrates are food for beneficial bacteria in our digestive system. Additionally, Asian countries who have a long history of regular consumption of seaweed have a lower rate of certain cancers such as breast cancer.
Fucoidan, Fucoxanthin, and Phlorotannins
It is believed one of the reasons for lowered risk of cancer is different species of brown seaweed such as kelp, wakame and bladderwrack, contain Fucoidan which is a sulfated polysaccharide. Research is ongoing, but a few studies show that Fucoidan can induce cell apoptosis (removal of old cells and cell parts), to modulate the immune
system, and to inhibit the formation of new vessels where tumor cells would receive
oxygen and nutrients. It also appears to activate sirtuin 6 and other sirtuins. Sirtuins
have been looked as antiaging compounds by slowing oxidative stress and diabetes. Fucoxanthin, a carotenoid like what is found in carrots and other vegetables appears to be a promising non-stimulatory fat loss agent that usually sees results in 5-16 weeks. It also reduces blood pressure. Phlorotannins are like tannins found in other plants and they have antimicrobial properties.