MAR 09, 2017 11:05 AM PST

Thank Seaweed for Your Existence

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

The next time you wonder about how humans came to be in this world, you might want to give seaweed a big thank you.

Seaweed may have played a large role in allowing our ancestors' brains to develop into the complex things they are today.

Image Credit: Pexels/Pixabay

Humanity couldn’t exist without the ultra-advanced brain that we have tucked away in our heads. Humans have some of the most advanced brains in all of the animal kingdom, and this certainly shows with our mastery of tools and technology development that quite literally changes the world.

According to a new study appearing in the Journal of Applied Phycology, seaweed may have provided our ancestors with the vital nutrients necessary for sparking the complex brain developments that were required to transform our ancestors into what we are today.

As it turns out, seaweed is very high in vitamin and mineral contents that are essential to brain development, and had our ancestors not have taken a liking to the healthy green stuff, there’s a strong possibility that we wouldn’t be who we are today.

Among the many important things seaweed packs within its somewhat gross-looking and put-offish outer layers are antioxidants, iodine, magnesium, polyunsaturated fatty acids, taurine, vitamin B12, and zinc just to name a few.

Within the past 2-2.5 million years, we've seen some of the most complex advancements ever in the human brain, and now we might now why. These nutrients took the brain of our primitive ancestors and fostered advancements in its development, allowing modern-day humans to become significantly smarter than our ancestors ever were.

More importantly, these very same nutrients are also essential to helping protect against many common modern-day brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, bio-polar disorder, dementia, depression, and many others.

Making matters even better, seaweed was easily harvested by our ancestors on shorelines where they would often find themselves catching fish or other forms of food. It was easy to gather and was a very energy-efficient form of food.

"Nutrients needed for this transition from a primitive ancestor to modern Homo sapiens were (and still are) available in seaweeds. Seaweeds could be found and harvested in abundance on shores, and for a foraging lifestyle, a rich coastal environment would be a significant source of a consistent supply of these nutrients," says Professor Ole G. Mouritsen, University of Southern Denmark.

It goes without saying from all of this supported data that without all of these special nutrients from seaweed impacting our brains millions of years ago, it’s very possible that we might still be a lot like our stone-age ancestors at this very day and age.

So, thanks seaweed! ­­– Thanks for everything you’ve done to propel mankind!

Source: University of Southern Denmark

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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