Sea Lettuce May Be New Weapon Against Prostate Cancer
Researchers at the University of Florida have found that sea lettuce, a specific type of seaweed, may help prevent cancer, particularly prostate cancer. According to author Hendrik Luesch Ph.D., they now have evidence that the food has anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties that boost the body’s antioxidant defense system. These effects could possibly have the potential to prevent an array of illnesses, including cancer.
Termed the salad greens of sea, sea lettuce is a bright green algae found along the coast of oceans. It is a nutrient-rich edible for sea life and is also edible for humans.
The National Cancer Institute reports that in the U.S. this year more than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and the illness will be responsible for 30,000 deaths. Conversely, in parts of Asia where seaweed is eaten regularly, the incidence of prostate cancer is low. Therefore, scientists sought to determine if a correlation exists between eating seaweed and protection from prostate cancer.
Sea Lettuce is a Nutritional Powerhouse
Researchers found the antioxidant benefit of sea lettuce differs from the antioxidant benefit of most other foods. Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables protect the body mainly by finding free radicals and eliminating them directly. Sea lettuce acts in an indirect manner, boosting the levels of antioxidant enzymes and increasing levels of antioxidants in cells. This indirect method produces longer-lasting protection from oxidative damage and inflammation.
Antioxidant enzymes in sea lettuce can be developed as a natural supplement to help prevent disease, Luesch notes. “It is possible to make a big difference, not only for the health of men but also to prevent a number of inflammatory diseases that challenge everyone’s health,” he says.
In the meantime, you can get the benefit of sea lettuce through eating it in salads and soups. For the best taste, harvest seaweed early in the spring growing season at a location distant from possible pollutants. Use it fresh or dried in recipes after rinsing it in fresh water to remove the excess salt.
Are Other Types of Seaweed Beneficial for Health?
The answer is resoundingly yes, as seaweed in one of the healthiest foods in the world. In addition to being a rich source of phytonutrients and antioxidants, the algae has antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Moreover, its potent anti-inflammatory action can slow aging and help prevent illness.
Some of the health benefits of seaweed include digestive system repair and increased energy along with enhanced immunity, joint health and metabolism. This valuable edible can improve the appearance of skin, hair and nails as well.
Yet seaweed’s impressive list of benefits extends further. As it is a rich source of iodine, it supports thyroid health. Another asset of the food is its fiber, a component that aids weight loss, lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and reduces levels of LDL cholesterol.
Interestingly, the Okinawans, a people with remarkable longevity, are known for their low cholesterol and unclogged arteries. Seaweed is a major part of their diet.
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Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.
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Article updated on: October 1st, 2013