AK seaweeds are super foods

AK seaweeds are super foods

Fish Radio

April 29, 2014

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Alaska seaweeds are super foods. More on studies from Southeast after this –

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 “When the tide is out, the table is set” is an Alaska Native saying. That extends to seaweeds which are loaded with super rich, healthy chemicals. Years ago Fish Radio reported on seaweed extracts called alginate that fight fat and could be used in the food industry. Now, scientists at North Carolina State University have gone further and found that seaweeds commonly found in waters and beaches near Sitka are packed with compounds that can protect against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

 The researchers said there is nothing on grocery shelves that can compare to the levels of antioxidants and other healthy compounds seen in Alaska seaweed. Lots of studies have focused on various berries, but not so with marine plants. They said seaweeds growing in Alaska waters have to be really tough to withstand tides and temperatures, and that results in ‘more bang for your buck’ . The Alaska seaweeds produce much stronger chemical defenses than commercially grown fruits and vegetables.

 The lead seaweed scientist, Joshua Kellogg, is making a presentation today at a biology conference in San Diego. He will show how the high levels of bioactive phytochemicals in Alaska seaweeds appear to combat the chronic inflammation that causes obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

 Seaweeds have long been used in traditional foods by Alaska Natives. But as they have gradually shifted to more mainstream American foods, their rates of those health maladies have skyrocketed.

 Find more in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry –   Thanks to the assist from Alaska Dispatch.