Researchers nominate seaweed as a salt replacement
Salt is everywhere, and though it gives our food flavor and is essential in certain quantities, too much of it can have serious health consequences. In response to these concerns, German researchers have nominated seaweed as a viable replacement for salt.
Dominic Wimmer, a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, explained in a release that the problem with salt stems from processed and packaged foods, like bread, cheese and meats. These products often contain a lot of salt to keep flavor while being stored for longer periods of time.
Because of this, Europeans consume a shocking 8 to 12 grams of salt a day, Wimmer noted. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans consume around 3.5 grams each day on average, which is still considered too much. Ingesting salt at these levels can increase the risk for heart disease and stroke, among other health concerns.
To combat the staggering amounts of salt in these diets, the researchers from Fraunhofer IVV began investigating whether seaweed could help meet the flavor needs currently fulfilled by salt, without the increased health risks.
They experimented with different strains, species and flavor profiles to determine which would work best. What they found was that seaweed can be used in conjunction with salt to maintain flavor while still lowering the unhealthy amount of sodium.
"Salt can't be replaced entirely: as a functional baking ingredient, there's nothing quite like it," Wimmer said.
However, it's important to understand that seaweed can still help reduce sodium content in food that is traditionally made and packaged with heaps of salt. To begin using seaweed as a salt replacement, try Seagreens Mineral Salt or the Culinary Ingredient, containing 50 percent and 100 percent Ascophylloum nodosum respectively.
Japanese research has shown that Ascophyllum nodosum is an antidote to excess sodium as its rich, comprehensive mineral content balances out the high sodium in salt. A 1986 study published in Journal of Hypertension, Japanese researchers tested the effect of Wrack seaweed on rats that were overfed salt and revealed its potential to prevent stroke.
Seagreens has led salt reduction research in Europe since it began studies in 2008 using its nutritious food seaweed species Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus from Scotland, Norway and Iceland. This British innovation was recognized in 2011 by the prestigious UK Research Councils, the governing body of all public research institutions in Britain, which declared Seagreens for salt replacement as "A Big Idea for the Future."
Every Seagreens product contains all the minerals, micronutrients, trace elements and vitamins that can be found in all-natural, organic seaweed. Seagreens organic wild wrack seaweeds are produced to the company's award-winning proprietary standard (patents pending) among Scotland's remote Western Islands in pristine Grade A waters. All Seagreens products are organic, kosher and certified free from allergens and contaminants.