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Top 7 Kelp Health Benefits Your Body Is Starving To Get

Top 7 Kelp Health Benefits Your Body Is Starving To Get

Kelp is often referred to as the “superfood of the sea,” and for good reason. This fascinating underwater plant, with its leafy appearance and rich history, holds a treasure trove of health benefits for your body. From aiding in weight management to supporting thyroid function and promoting heart health, the advantages of incorporating this seaweed into your diet are undeniable.

So dive deep with us as we explore the top 7 health benefits of this plant and discover why this nutrient-packed seaweed deserves a spot on your plate. Get ready to embark on a journey of wellness, as we delve into the incredible world of kelp and unlock its secrets for optimal health.

Kelp Summary

Nutrient name:Kelp
Nutrient picture:Kelp Plant
Origin:Hokkaido, Japan
Other names:Sea cabbage,
Oarweed,
Tangle,
Sugar kelp,
Sea belt,
Dulse,
Sea lettuce,
Kombu,
Hijiki,
Agar,
Carrageenan.
Supplements that contain this nutrient:Prostadine supplement for reducing BPH and enlarged prostate easily.
Main benefits:Prostate Health,
Weight Management,
Thyroid Health,
Digestive Health,
Heart Health,
Bone Health,
Skin Health.
Related nutrients:Nori Yaki,
Dulse,
Wakame.
Tasty Recipes with this nutrient:Kelp Noodles Stir-Fry Recipe,
Kelp Smoothie Recipe,
Kelp Salad Recipe.

What Is Kelp?

What is Kelp

Kelp is a type of seaweed that belongs to the brown algae family. It is commonly found in nutrient-rich waters and is known for its large, leafy appearance. This seaweed can grow in well-developed underwater forests on the ocean floor, known as kelp forests, and plays a vital role in marine ecosystems. Lush, verdant, and sometimes towering up to heights of more than 250 feet, these forests are indeed the ‘rainforests of the sea.’ Teeming with diverse marine life, these underwater forests offer shelter and food to a myriad of organisms such as the purple sea urchins.

Beyond its ecological significance, the giant kelp stands out due to its nutritional prowess as these forests provide food to marine life and can be beneficial to humans as well. Dense with essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin K, Iodine, Magnesium, Iron, and more, this brown seaweed offers an abundance of health benefits when incorporated into our diets.

Other names for Kelp

  • Sea cabbage,
  • Oarweed,
  • Tangle,
  • Sugar kelp,
  • Sea belt,
  • Dulse,
  • Sea lettuce,
  • Kombu,
  • Hijiki,
  • Agar,
  • Carrageenan.

The Fascinating History of Kelp

Kelp species has been used for centuries in various cultures for its nutritional and medicinal properties. Research indicates that although certain brown algae have existed for over 100 million years, it was only about 30 million years ago that this plant started to thrive and expand in the North Pacific, bringing about a period of diversification.

In ancient China, it was considered a symbol of longevity and used in traditional medicine. Native American tribes along the Pacific coast used this seaweed for food and as a source of important nutrients. In Japan, this seaweed, known as kombu, is a staple of the diet and a key ingredient in dashi, a broth that forms the basis of many dishes. Similarly, in Ireland and Scotland, it was historically burned to produce soda ash, a key ingredient for glass and soap production during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Today, the popularity of this brown seaweed has crossed borders and it’s not uncommon to find this nutrient-dense seaweed included in cuisines globally, or as a supplement in health stores. Its unique umami flavor and nutrient profile make it an increasingly sought-after ingredient in modern cooking, wellness, and health circles.

Nutritional Profile of Kelp

Kelp is highly nutritious and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. It is particularly rich in iodine, which is crucial for thyroid function. It also contains calcium, iron, vitamins A, C, and K, as well as antioxidants and fiber. Per 100g, raw it contains the following:

  • Water (81.6g)

  • Energy (43kcal)

  • Energy (180 kJ)

  • Protein (1.68g)

  • Total lipid (fat) (0.56g)

  • Ash (6.61g)

  • Carbohydrate, by difference (9.57g)

  • Fiber, total dietary (1.3g)

  • Sugars, total including NLEA (0.6g)

Source: US Department of Agriculture

The Top 7 Health Benefits of Kelp For Your Health

Kelp for Prostate Health

Some studies suggest that this seaweed may have potential benefits for prostate health. The high iodine content in this seaweed, along with other compounds, may help support a healthy prostate gland. However, more research is needed in this area to fully understand the effects of this seaweed on prostate health. Men should always consult their doctor before taking any dietary supplements.

That’s why proven supplements like Prostadine are using Kelp alongside other natural ingredients to help reducing BPH symptoms and shrink prostate size.

Kelp for Weight Management

Kelp can be a valuable addition to a weight management regimen. It is low in calories and fat, making it a great choice for those looking to reduce their calorie intake. Additionally, this seaweed contains a natural fiber called alginate, which has been shown to reduce the absorption of fat in the gut. A research study proposed that incorporating boiled powder from this seaweed, abundant in alginate, into the diet could potentially enhance body fat loss and improve body composition among overweight Japanese individuals. Previously, a significant decrease in body fat percentage was observed following alginate supplementation.

Kelp for Thyroid Health

The high iodine content of this seaweed makes it beneficial for maintaining optimal thyroid function, according to a study. The thyroid gland needs iodine to create hormones that control metabolism, growth, and development. Including this seaweed in your diet can help ensure adequate iodine intake and support thyroid health. If you have an iodine deficiency, your healthcare provider may suggest taking a kelp supplement.

Kelp for Digestive Health

This seaweed is rich in dietary fiber, which aids digestion and promotes a healthy gut, according to medical reports. Fiber adds bulk to the stool, preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements. The alginate in this seaweed has also been shown to have prebiotic properties, supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. People who suffer from digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may find that incorporating this seaweed into their diets can help alleviate symptoms.

Kelp for Heart Health

Kelp contains essential minerals like potassium and magnesium, which are important for maintaining a healthy heart. These minerals help regulate blood pressure and support proper heart function. The fiber content in this seaweed also contributes to heart health by reducing cholesterol levels. Numerous animal studies have demonstrated that consuming seaweed or its extract can reduce blood pressure. This suggests that seaweed intake may have an impact on blood pressure in humans.

Kelp for Bone Health

Kelp is a good source of calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones. Calcium plays a crucial role in bone formation and helps prevent conditions like osteoporosis. Numerous studies highlight the vital role of calcium in promoting and preserving robust bones and teeth, as approximately 99% of the body’s calcium is concentrated in these areas.

Moreover, calcium plays a crucial role in ensuring the proper functioning of the heart, nerves, muscles, and other essential bodily systems. Notably, its renowned reputation lies in its ability to help prevent the development of osteoporosis. Therefore, including this seaweed in your diet can contribute to your daily calcium needs and support bone health.

Kelp for Skin Health

The antioxidants in this seaweed, such as vitamins A and C, help protect the skin from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. Research indicates that the antioxidants found in seaweed have the remarkable ability to shield cells from oxidative damage caused by oxygen, peroxide, hydrogen peroxide radicals, and hydroxyl radicals. These antioxidants can help promote a youthful appearance and support overall skin health. This seaweed also contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, which can benefit those with skin conditions like acne or eczema.

How to Incorporate Kelp in Your Diet?

Consuming Kelp in Raw Form

This plant can be consumed raw, but it is important to note that it has a strong flavor and a slightly salty taste. If you enjoy the taste, you can slice this seaweed and add it to salads or use it as a garnish for various dishes.

Adding Kelp to Your Meals

Kelp can be cooked and added to a variety of dishes. You can chop it and include it in stir-fries, soups, or stews. It can also be used as a wrap for sushi or as a topping for rice bowls.

Using Kelp Supplements

If you find it challenging to incorporate this seaweed into your regular diet, you can consider taking these supplements. These supplements are available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, or powders. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement.

Top 3 Delicious Recipes with Kelp

Top 3 Delicious Recipes with Kelp

Kelp Noodles Stir-Fry Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of kelp noodles, see notes above

  • 1 Tbsp EVOO

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 cup red bell peppers, sliced julienne

  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced

  • 1/4 cup carrots, sliced julienne

  • 3 tbsp green onions, chopped

  • 3 tbsp coconut amino acids

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. To start, combine the kelp noodles with lemon juice and baking soda. In a large bowl, pour the lemon juice followed by the baking soda, which will cause a delightful bubbling reaction. Take the kelp noodles out of the packaging and discard the water. Gently place the noodles into the lemon and baking soda mixture, then massage them with your hands for approximately 1-2 minutes until they become soft and bouncy.

  2. Afterward, transfer the noodles into a fine mesh strainer and give them a thorough rinse under cold water. This will effectively eliminate any traces of lemon juice and baking soda. Once done, set the noodles aside.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil stovetop on the stovetop. Add the carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, and green onions. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are soft and tender.

  4. Reduce the heat to low and gently incorporate the rinsed noodles and coconut amino acids. Stir until thoroughly combined.

  5. Serve promptly and garnish with sesame seeds. Indulge in the delectable delight!

Source: Lovely Delites

Kelp Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped

  • 1 tsp kelp powder

  • 1/2 avocado

  • 1 handful spinach

  • 1/2 cup soy milk

  • 1/4 pineapple, cored and chopped

Instructions:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

  2. Transfer to a serving glass or bottle and enjoy.

Source: Keesha Kitchen

Kelp Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 250 g fresh or dried kelp

  • 2 tbsp. light soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp. black vinegar

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1-2 Thai peppers, cut into small pieces

  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

  • ¼ tsp. salt

  • 1 tsp. sugar

  • 3 tbsp. vegetable cooking oil

Instructions:

  1. Take the kelp and roll it up tightly. Then, using a sharp knife, slice it into delicate, thin shreds.

  2. Next, rinse the kelp thoroughly with cold water, repeating the process 1 or 2 times to eliminate any excess saltiness.

  3. Bring a generously sized pot of water to a rolling boil. Submerge the shredded kelp and cook for precisely 2 minutes. Once done, carefully remove and allow any excess water to drain away.

  4. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, chopped scallion, chopped chili peppers, and minced garlic. Heat Chinese cooking oil until it sizzles, then drizzle it over the minced garlic. Thoroughly mix the ingredients for a harmonious blend.

  5. Include a sprinkle of fresh coriander for added flavor.

Source: China Sichuan Food

Top 3 Kelp Supplements for Overall Health

When it comes to kelp supplements, they are an excellent source of essential nutrients like iodine and can contribute to a balanced and diversified diet. Here are the top three supplements recognized for their quality and efficacy.

NOW Supplements, Kelp 325 MCG of Natural Iodine

NOW Supplements, Kelp 325 mcg of Natural Iodine provides the natural nutrient profile of Genuine Whole Foods, supplying an impressive 325 MCG of natural iodine. For optimal absorption, take one capsule daily with a meal. Experience the power of SUPER GREENS!

NOW Supplements, Kelp 325 mcg of Natural Iodine Main Benefits:

  • Supports Healthy Thyroid Function: This supplement is an excellent source of iodine, which has been shown to be essential for healthy thyroid function.

  • GMP Quality Assured: The NPA A-rated GMP certification ensures a comprehensive evaluation of every aspect of the NOW manufacturing process. This includes meticulous scrutiny of our laboratory/testing methods, which encompass stability, potency, and product formulation. Rest assured, our commitment to excellence is unwavering.

  • Packaged in the USA: Since 1968, a family-owned and operated company in the USA has been responsible for packaging this product.

NOW Supplements, Kelp 325 mcg of Natural Iodine Price:

At $10.95, this Natural Iodine supplement offers excellent value for money.

Nature’s Way Kelp

Nature’s Way Kelp Capsules with Iodine are a great source of iodine and other essential nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These capsules contain over 200% daily value of natural iodine in each serving.

Nature’s Way Kelp Main Benefits:

  • Great Source of iodine: This supplement contains over 200% daily value of natural iodine in each serving, along with other essential trace minerals

  • GMP Quality Assured: Nature’s Way is committed to providing products that meet the highest standards for quality and safety. The producers have achieved GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certification

  • Gluten-free and vegan: No yeast-derived ingredients, wheat, soy, corn, dairy, artificial colors flavors, or preservatives

Nature’s Way Kelp Main Price:

At $12.99, this product offers great value for money.

Main Coast Kelp Granules Blend

The Main Coast Kelp Granules Blend is a convenient 1.5 oz (43 g) shaker of “Kelp Granules” that adds flavor and nutrition to your table or pantry. These refillable shakers come with a removable cap, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of kelp in a versatile and sustainable way.

Main Coast Kelp Granules Blend Main Benefits:

  • Organic: This product has been awarded the Certified Organic designation by OCIA.

  • Great Quality: TheseNutrit products are sourced from sustainably-harvested areas in the world’s purest waters. Rigorous testing ensures that they are free from microbes, heavy metals, radioactivity, and other pollutants, guaranteeing the utmost quality and safety.

  • Nutritious: This plant-based protein source is rich in dietary fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamins, antioxidants, iodine, and other essential trace minerals.

Main Coast Kelp Granules Blend Price:

At $6.94, the Main Coast Kelp Granules Blend is a fantastic value for money.

Potential Risks of Consuming Kelp (Side Effects)

While this plant is generally safe for consumption, it is important to be aware of potential risks and side effects. This seaweed is high in iodine, and excessive iodine intake can have adverse effects on thyroid function. Individuals with thyroid disorders or iodine sensitivity should exercise caution and consult a healthcare professional before consuming this seaweed or its supplements.

Kelp vs Other Types of Seaweed

Kelp vs Nori Yaki

Nori Yaki is a type of seaweed commonly used to wrap sushi rolls. While both kelp and nori yaki offer health benefits, they differ in taste and texture. Kelp has a stronger flavor and a more robust texture, while nori yaki is milder and slightly crispy when toasted.

Kelp vs Dulse

Dulse is another type of seaweed that is commonly used in cooking. It has a delicate, slightly salty flavor and a softer texture compared to kelp. Like kelp, dulse is rich in essential minerals and can be a nutritious addition to various dishes.

Kelp vs Wakame

Wakame is a type of seaweed often used in Japanese cuisine, particularly in miso soup and salads. It has a subtle, slightly sweet flavor and a tender texture. While kelp and wakame share some nutritional similarities, kelp tends to have a higher iodine content.

Wrapping Up: The Power of Kelp

Kelp is a nutrient-dense seaweed that offers a wide range of health benefits. From supporting thyroid function to promoting heart health and aiding digestion, this plant is a versatile and valuable addition to a balanced diet. Whether consumed in its raw form, added to meals, or taken as a supplement, this seaweed can contribute to overall well-being.

Check out the top three supplements listed here for quality and efficacy. Whether you are looking to increase your iodine intake, promote heart health, or aid digestion, these supplements can help support your journey to good health.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kelp

Is it OK to take kelp every day?

While kelp can be included in your daily diet, it is important to consume it in moderation. Excessive iodine intake can have negative effects on thyroid function. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate amount of this seaweed for your individual needs before you eat this plant or consume supplements.

Is sea kelp the same as seaweed?

Sea kelp is a type of seaweed. Seaweed is a broader term that encompasses various types of marine plants, including kelp. Sea kelp refers specifically to the large brown algae that grow in underwater kelp forests.

Does kelp help with weight loss?

Kelp can be beneficial for weight loss due to its low calorie and fat content. Additionally, the alginate fiber in this plant has been shown to reduce fat absorption in the gut. However, it is important to remember that weight loss is best achieved through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Are kelp noodles good for you?

Kelp noodles can be a healthy alternative to traditional pasta noodles as they are low in calories and carbohydrates. They are also gluten-free and contain beneficial minerals found in this plant, such as iodine.

What do kelp noodles taste like?

Kelp noodles have a neutral flavor and a slightly crunchy texture. They can easily absorb the flavors of the ingredients they are cooked with, making them versatile for various recipes.

What are kelp noodles made of?

Kelp noodles are made from the gel-like substance found in the cell walls of kelp plants. They are typically made by combining kelp powder with water and other natural ingredients to form a noodle-like texture. They are then cut into strands and dried for a shelf-stable product.

Do kelp noodles taste like fish?

No, these noodles do not taste like fish. They have a mild, neutral flavor and do not have a fishy taste. The flavor is similar to traditional pasta noodles but with a slightly crunchy texture. They can easily absorb the flavors of other ingredients they are cooked with.

What is in a kelp forest?

A kelp forest is a vibrant underwater ecosystem that consists of large plants, various species of fish, sea otters, sea lions, and other marine organisms. It provides food and shelter for many marine mammals and plays a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity in the ocean.