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Ancient Europe’s Forgotten “Superfood”

seawood farming

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Dr. Al SearsIf you’re a regular reader, you know that modern diets just don’t compare to the wholesome, nutrient-packed foods our ancestors enjoyed.

Especially the artificial, starch-heavy Western diet.

Packaged sugars, lab-grown fats, hormones…

Things that make you feel like you’re full while providing little to no real nutritional value.

I’ve talked a lot about how modern commercial practices have watered down our diets in the last few decades.

But the truth is our diets became corrupted a long, long time ago.

Recently, an eye-opening study shed light on another “superfood” the Western world left behind. 

Unbelievably, it’s something we can easily add back in – and take one more meaningful step back to the natural diet that helped our ancestors remain Strong and adapt to the brutal conditions of their time.

I’m talking about seaweed.

Ancient Europe’s “Super Food”

A research team from the University of Glasgow and the University of York in the United Kingdom examined the teeth of 74 early humans from across Europe.

The remains came from 28 archeological sites from places like Spain, Scotland, and Lithuania. The most recent sample is 2,000 years old – with the oldest being more than 8,000 years old.

That’s the tail end of the Stone Age.

After scraping bacterial gUnk and food debris left over between the teeth, the team found samples of seaweed and other aquatic plants.

Upon close examination, the researchers determined that seaweed was common food for early Europeans – who maintained a “dietary link to the sea.”

This started to change when farming became more common. Ancient communities abandoned their hunter-gatherer traditions, and superfoods along with it.1

Now, agriculture paved the way for many of the conveniences we enjoy today. But many things were lost – especially our access to raw, powerful superfoods like seaweed.

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The Power of Seaweed

Seaweed may have disappeared from Western menus, but it remains a staple in East Asia. You’ve Probably had seaweed in small amounts at sushi or hibachi restaurants. But seaweed is just too valuable to be an occasional appetizer.

Here are a few of the things you can look forward to by adding seaweed back into your native diet.

1. Lose weight and reduce cravings

Many of today’s commercial foods are formulated to keep you craving more, even when you’re full. After all, that’s how food companies make money. But seaweed is the opposite.

Studies show the fiber in seaweed can delay the emptying of your stomach. So when you’re enjoying a meal, you’ll feel full longer and keep hunger pangs at bay.2

Studies on animals also reveal that the fucoxanthin in seaweed can help reduce body fat.3

2. Fight heart disease

Heart disease remains the number one killer in the world, and the medical Establishment hasn’t done much to stop it. However, studies on seaweed show that its components can support a strong heart.

In one study, researchers fed rats a high-fat diet with freeze-dried seaweed for eight weeks. At the end of the study, the rats had 36% lower LDL cholesterol levels, and 31% lower triglycerides – indicating a reduced heart disease risk.4

3. Reduce diabetes risk

Diabetes is a much more modern disease than most people realize. It’s a direct result of many of the modern changes we’ve made to our diets and behaviors. Diets heavy in starches, carbohydrates, and artificial sweeteners can wreak havoc on your blood sugar balance.

But seaweed seems to have a balancing effect.

In an eight-week study, 60 Japanese participants received seaweed oil containing either 0, 1, or 2 milligrams of fucoxanthin. The study revealed that participants who received the highest amount improved blood sugar levels compared to other groups.5

Try This Traditional Korean Birthday Soup

Seaweed is clearly worth putting back on the menu, but you don’t need to harvest wild aquatic plants from the shoRe like your ancestors may have done. Instead, I recommend trying a traditional soup from Korea – a country that loves seaweed.

One of my staff shared it with me recently. It’s called miyeok guk. Many Koreans eat this soup on their birthday, but it’s perfect for any occasion. It’s typically served with some form of protein. As usual, I recommend delicious grass-fed beef.

And it’s easy to make at home.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 cup of dried wakame seaweed
  • 4 ounces of sliced grass-fed beef
  • Himalayan salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1½ Tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic


  1. Soak the dried seaweed in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes to allow it to expand.
  2. Drain the water and rinse the seaweed in running water. Squeeze out if necessary. Set aside.
  3. Combine sliced beef with sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Mix well, and set aside.
  4. Heat a medium pot over medium heat. Add sesame oil, seaweed, and beef. Stir until beef is partly browned.
  5. Add soy sauce, garlic, and water. Cover the pot.
  6. Boil over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the beef is fully cooked.
  7. Add more salt to taste if needed.
  8. Serve with a side dish of your choice!
Dr Al Sears, MD

To Your Good Health,

Dr. Al Sears

Al Sears, MD, CNS

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  1. Buckley S, et al. “Human consumption of seaweed and freshwater aquatic plants in ancient Europe.” Nat Comm. 2023;
  2. Long P, et al. “Emergent sources of prebiotics: seaweeds and microalgae.” Mar Drugs. 2016;14(2):27.
  3. Shirosaki M, et al. “Laminaria japonica as a foo for the prevention of obesity and diabetes.” Ad Food Nutr Res. 2011;64:199-212.
  4. Chan P, et al. “Antioxidant and hypolipidaemic properties of red seaweed, Gracilaria changii.” J of App Phycol. 2013;26:987-997.
  5. Mikami N, et al. “Reduction of HbA1c levels by fucoxanthin-enriched akamoku oil possibly involves the thrifty allele of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1): a randomized controlled trial in normal-weight and obese Japanese adults.” J Nutr Sci. 2017;6:e5.