“Did seaweed make us who we are today?”

From the files of fascinating seaweed stories…

Early humans needed most of their energy just to survive, and spent most of their time getting and eating foods to supply the energy they needed. So how did we evolve to have the large brains we have now, which require lots of energy, when most of our ancestors’ energy was used simply to make it to tomorrow?

A recent article on the website of Southern Denmark University highlights a paper that looks at the part that seaweed may have played in the development of the modern, large human brain.

The paper was published in January 2017 in the Journal of Applied Phycology (phycology = study of algae, including but not limited to seaweeds). One of the authors is Ole Mouritsen, a Danish scientist and food enthusiast who’s written several articles about seaweeds as well as the excellent book, Seaweeds: Edible, Available, Sustainable.

Seaweeds’ abundance of minerals, particularly iodine, zinc, magnesium, and other nutrients including polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and vitamin B12, is cited as a source of nutrients needed by early humans to develop larger, more organized, and complex brains. The authors suggest that access to seaweeds and other coastal foods may have contributed to the development of modern humans.

And you thought seaweeds just tasted good… :)

~~~Eat your sea vegetables!~~~

About mcseaveg

Our mission is twofold: to provide high quality North American sea vegetables as user-friendly foods, supported by reliable information; and to build respectful, long-term relationships with our customers, suppliers, employees and the environment.
This entry was posted in Celebrate the Sea, Food & Drink, Seaweed science & ecology, Seaweed stories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.