Medicine: Back on the menu? Europeans once ate seaweed, research shows

PARIS: Europeans now not often eat seaweed, however it was an essential a part of their weight loss program till the late Center Ages, archaeologists stated Tuesday, calling for the eco-friendly aquatic plant to be put again on the menu.
Seaweed, a wholesome and sustainable supply of protein, is a staple meals in some Asian nations similar to Japan. But it surely has lengthy been shunned by conventional Western diets — with just a few exceptions, such because the Welsh dish laverbread.
It was beforehand thought that for the reason that rise of farming, Europeans had largely used seaweed as gasoline, fertiliser or to feed livestock. It was solely eaten to stave off starvation throughout famine, so the considering went.
However a brand new examine printed within the journal Nature Communications discovered that Europeans have been gobbling up seaweed millennia after that time, and prompt the continent re-embrace the nutritious meals.
To seek out out about historic seaweed consumption, a UK-led staff of researchers analysed dental plaque extracted from the enamel of 74 totally different individuals who lived 1000’s of years in the past at 28 websites starting from Scotland to Spain.
Utilizing a mass spectrometry approach to establish natural compounds, they discovered proof that the enamel had chowed down on a number of totally different aquatic crops.
Crimson seaweed was eaten each in Scotland’s northern Orkney islands round 5,000 years in the past and at Casa Corona in southern Spain 8,000 years in the past, the examine discovered.
Freshwater aquatic crops, such because the pondweed Potamogeton, have been generally eaten in Portugal, Scotland and Lithuania, it added.
Karen Hardy, an archaeologist at Scotland’s College of Glasgow and the examine’s lead creator, informed AFP that aquatic crops have been “very possible eaten over a way more extensive timescale than we discovered”.
Europeans have been beforehand believed to have turned their noses up at seaweed following the introduction of agriculture greater than 10,000 years in the past.
Nevertheless, analysis on this area has centered on agricultural manufacturing, so could have missed out on seaweed, which is simple to search out and eat.
The authors of the examine stated seaweed has the potential to be a regionally sourced, low-emission possibility that doesn’t require the mass farming of the meals usually seen on Europe’s plates.
“It’s extremely wholesome, it is nutritious, it is out there, it is renewable,” Hardy stated.
“Individuals ate it up to now in Europe,” she stated, including hopefully that perhaps they may once more.

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