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Seaweed – food that lowers blood pressure?

Recent study done by the Teagasc Food Research Centre in Dublin analyzed data from 100 existing studies and found that adding seaweed to your diet can help lower blood pressure.

But wait – haven’t the Japanese believed in it all along? A lot of Japanese studies show that traditional miso soup lowers blood pressure. People on the West often can not believe this because miso itself is a high sodium food. It was thought to be a synergy of ingredients of the miso soup, especially seaweed, that made this dish effective in fighting hypertension.

Does seaweed lower blood pressure?

I haven’t come across conclusive studies except the one I mentioned in this post and Japanese studies about benefits of seaweed-based diet and miso soup. However, here is how researchers from Teagasc Food Research Centre think seaweed works to lower blood pressure:

Seaweed is full of microelements essential for health, but, most importantly, it contains a lot of bioactive type of proteins called peptides. It is thought that bioactive peptides in seaweed have similar properties to ACE inhibitor medications that is often prescribed to hypertensive patients.

I buy nori sheets regularly in the Korean and Chinese supermarkets. Nori sheets are easy to use in cooking. You can cut them with scissors and add to your soup, you can make nori wraps or maki as an appetizer, and even eat roasted nori sheets as a snack.

Another super beneficial seaweed available in stores is kelp. The most interesting use of it is raw kelp noodles that I enjoyed at the raw food restaurant. Imagine eating pasta that is good for you! Dried kelp is added to homemade miso soups – you really need a pinch of dried, dehydrated kelp to make a soup.

So eat your suchi, shake some dried seaweed flakes into your soup and buy some vegan seaweed snacks. After all, whatever works to lower blood pressure naturally may save you from taking medications.

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