If you like to gorge on burgers and other junk food, here's some good news - British scientists have found a way to make it healthier.
Professor Jeff Pearson of Newcastle University's Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences and other researchers examined the properties of a brown-coloured seaweed called Lessonia and Laminaria found in the Far East, South America and parts of Norway and Scotland.
AdvertisementThe seaweed was processed in the laboratory to produce an extract, alginate, a carbohydrate compound that is a tasteless and odourless off-white coloured powder, reports science portal EurekAlert.
The alginate was proved to strengthen mucus, the body's natural protection of the gut wall. It could slow down digestion and the uptake of nutrients in the body.
The alginate is high in fibre and has proved to be palatable and safe, and as such is already in widespread use by the food industry as a gelling agent, to reconstitute powdered foods, and to thicken the frothy head of premium lagers.
Studies have shown that eating high-fibre diets can help reduce the incidence of diseases such as bowel cancer. Good sources of fibre are fruits and vegetables, brown bread and cereals like bran flakes.