Sugar. Salt. Saturated Fats. Combine these staples of the North American diet with a sedentary lifestyle and you have the recipe for today’s heart disease epidemic. And it’s only going to get worse. By 2035, as many as 45% of American adults in the United States are expected to struggle with this life-threatening disease. Only the ability to lower heart rates and cholesterol will prevent this from becoming even worse.
Pharmaceutical companies and food producers feel the pressure to alleviate the crisis and must seek to find ingredients that contribute to healthy hearts. Growing research indicates that there might be a correlation between a seaweed diet and heart disease reduction. Let’s find out more.
Dietary Requirements That Prevent Heart Disease
We know that heart disease prevention involves more than removing high saturated fats, sugar and salt from diets. It requires nourishment and support of the heart and circulatory system.
Research across a variety of studies has shown that dietary fibers are one of the potential ways to reduce the risk of heart disease. Regular consumption of soluble or insoluble fibers can do the following:
- Improve blood lipid profiles by clearing out cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood stream
- Improve insulin sensitivity by feeding gut bacteria that reduce insulin resistance in cells
High-protein diets have also shown significant success in lowering the risk of high blood pressure. Past studies have shown that those people who eat 100 grams of protein per day are 40% less likely to develop high blood pressure. Traditionally, nutritionists have pointed to sources such as fish, poultry, nuts or legumes as the healthiest option – yet there are other sources that are gaining attention.
Exploring a Seaweed Diet and Heart Disease Reduction
In a study conducted by the University of Tsukuba, researchers explored the correlation between seaweed consumption and ischemic heart disease and stroke in 80,000 people over 20 years. For those who consumed seaweed every day, the results were particularly promising. Those men who ate seaweed every day had a .8 times lower risk of heart disease and women had a .6 times lower risk than those who seldom ate this aquatic algae.
What do researchers believe lowered the risk in seaweed lovers? Dietary fiber and proteins! Seaweed is an abundant source of dietary fiber that can improve the way the human bodies processes lipids, directly in the blood stream and through healthy gut microbiomes. Plus, several species of seaweed offer people a vegan-friendly source of protein that can help to lower the overall risk of high blood pressure.
For formulators in the functional food or pharmaceutical industries, this is a major advantage. The proven link between seaweed diet and heart disease reduction allows formulators to include cost-effective, result-driven ingredients in their products that help people to enhance their overall heart health. It gives people across North America a nudge in the right direction as they work to reduce unhealthy choices within their diets.
Ready to explore seaweed as part of your heart health supplements? Reach out to our team to find out how our seaweed solutions can enhance your products.