Nutrition: Let’s eat seaweed

It’s good for the thyroid, nutrient-rich and can even help to fight fat

It is green, slimy, and currently the food favoured by those on a mission to be slender. With Victoria Beckham reportedly encouraging her fellow Spice Girls to knock back a seaweed-based shake each morning, to help them get into shape for their forthcoming tour, and with “macrobiotic” dieters such as Madonna and Cindy Crawford consuming it by the bucketful, the sea vegetable has become inextricably linked with svelteness in celebrity circles. But even scientists agree that it could be more than the latest fad.

Japanese researchers recently identified seaweed as an unlikely weapon in the war against obesity. They found that rats given fucoxanthin – a pigment in brown kelp – lost up to 10% of their body weight, mainly from around their midriffs. This led researchers to believe that the pigment could be developed into a slimming pill.

Although brown kelp is a key ingredient of Japanese miso soup, the researchers at Hokkaido University say that drinking large quantities in an effort to shed pounds won’t work, as the active ingredient is not easily absorbed in its natural form. However, they reckon a seaweed slimming supplement should be available within three years.

Source - Times

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