Health Benefits Sea Kelp – Seaweed: Not just for sushi anymore. After all, kelp, a type of seaweed, has made its way into the kitchens of health-conscious people all over the world – and I’m fine with that.
Considered by many to be a superfood because of its various nutrients, kelp has been a staple in many Asian cultures for centuries. Although its popularity in the western world is a recent phenomenon, as many people discover the many benefits that this vegetable has to offer, it is quickly becoming part of the healthy and balanced diet of many Americans.
Health Benefits Sea Kelp
This seaweed works for weight loss, supports thyroid health, has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer and keeps your bones strong. Understand the power of solid kelp.
Kelp: Should You Add Seaweed To Your Diet?
So, what is this superfood? Kelp belongs to the class of brown algae (Phaeophyceae) and belongs to the order Laminariales. There are about 30 species or “genera” included in the general classification of kelp.
Apparently, it’s a giant seaweed that grows in shallow, underwater forests. It is surrounded by many plants and seas and is estimated to have evolved between 5 million and 23 million years ago. In order to grow, kelp needs nutrient-rich water between 43 and 57 degrees Fahrenheit. It is known for its rapid growth, as some varieties can grow more than half a foot in 24 hours, eventually reaching heights of up to 260 feet.
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In many species, the body is made up of flat, leaf-like structures known as blades. The blades arise from long “stem” structures, the stipes. Finally, the “holding area” acts as a kelp root, holding it to the bottom of the sea.
The largest commercial producer of kelp today is China. It’s quickly becoming a popular health food, and it makes sense when you see the incredible nutritional content in one serving.
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Do you know if you are eating enough iodine? This is an important question, because iodine-rich foods help protect against harmful deficiencies. Iodine is an important nutrient that helps support a healthy thyroid gland, protects against certain types of cancer, promotes healthy growth and development in infants and children, and even helps maintain a healthy brain.
Because kelp contains high levels of iodine (up to 2,984 micrograms in some varieties), it is one of the best ways to maintain healthy iodine levels. Kelp powder has been used to treat hypothyroidism in patients with severe mental retardation, who are at risk of iodine deficiency. (1)
Kelp is not only a nutrient-rich food that is good for any diet, but it also has anti-fat properties. The protein found in many species, known as fucoxanthin, has been shown to significantly reduce fat tissue – one of the reasons I recommend it as a healthy weight loss supplement. (2) Research in Moscow has found that a combination of pomegranate oil and fucoxanthin can reduce body weight and improve liver function. (3)
Another way kelp can help with weight loss is the presence of a specific molecule known as alginate. This alginate is more common in some types of kelp than others. The study examined the effect of kelp on pancreatic lipase, to find that its use reduces this process in which the pancreas processes fat and stores more in the body. However, this seaweed is an important factor in helping the body to dispose of fat through the stool, instead of absorbing large amounts. (4) Basically, this means it is considered a lipase inhibitor.
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Those at risk or those with diabetes can find kelp a great addition to a diabetes diet plan. A Korean study published in
Found that the use of kelp improves blood glucose levels, has a positive effect on glycemic control and improves the activity of antioxidant enzymes in II diabetes patients. (5)
There are powerful nutrients found in many types of kelp that, among other things, have shown to be effective in blood disorders. This is called fucoidan.
Fucoidan has shown to be effective in preventing blood clots that can lead to serious health problems, including strokes and heart attacks. It is so effective, in fact, that researchers describe it as having the potential to be used as an oral antithrombotic agent, which could reduce the need for prescription drugs to treat clotting problems. (6) This can be especially important for those with diabetes or at risk, as common complications of diabetes include excessive clotting – making this seafood diabetic.
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Fucoidan also protects cells in the body from ischemic damage, which means damage caused by inadequate levels of blood flow to certain parts of the body. (7)
Many nutrients in kelp work together to provide protection against cancer. The presence of fucoxanthin has been found to be effective against some types of prostate cancer. In addition, fucoxanthin can help eliminate drug resistance in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, thereby reducing the number of dangerous drugs added to the cancer treatment process. (8) While my recommendation is generally to avoid traditional cancer treatment, the impact is still significant for many who choose to go that route.
However, when it comes to cancer-fighting nutrients, fucoidan wins the top spot. Research on fucoidan has found that it causes cancer cells to die (a process known as “apoptosis”) in leukemia, colon, breast and lung cancer. (9, 10, 11) The combination of fucoidan and fucoxanthin makes this seaweed one of the most effective anti-cancer agents.
As a general defense against many diseases, I always recommend to follow a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods. Inflammation is at the root of many diseases, and it is thought that chronic inflammation can be caused by an overactive immune system, flooding the body with harmful hormones.
Seaweed Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits
Certain types of kelp have been shown to have anti-inflammatory (and antioxidant) properties, meaning they can reduce overall inflammation in the body, which can reduce the likelihood of disease. (12) Fucoidan, found in kelp, has also been shown to be anti-inflammatory and increase blood cholesterol levels, which are responsible for heart conditions. (13)
Are you at risk of osteoporosis or other bone diseases? Kelp can help too! First, it’s a rich source of vitamin K—you get almost a quarter of the recommended amount of vitamin K in just one serving. One of the many benefits of vitamin K is its role in building strong bones that are less susceptible to arthritis and osteoporosis. It is also important to note that if you have taken antibiotics recently, you may need to increase your vitamin K intake to prevent vitamin K deficiency.
However, people taking blood thinners should avoid extra vitamin K, as it can affect how the medication works.
Fucoidan also contributes to healthy bones. Low molecular weight fucoidan helps prevent age-related bone loss and increase bone density. (14)
Sea Kelp Bioferment: Skin Benefits
It is possible that early Asians followed the “kelp highway” when they migrated to the Americas. There is a continuous line of kelp forests from Japan, through Siberia, to Alaska and down the coast of California. Due to the abundance of marine life and nutrients in the kelp forest, early settlers were able to sail between islands and use seaweed as food, along with fish. (16)
In the 19th century, the word “kelp” was used with seaweed that was burned to make soda ash, also known as sodium bicarbonate. A common use of this ash is to soften water.
Kombu is a special type of kelp that is very common in Japanese, Chinese and Korean cuisine. The word “kelp” is also used in Chinese as slang to refer to people who move away from their families and come back without a job.
If you live near the sea, you can benefit from these sea vegetables. You can buy dried kelp at most grocery stores that carry whole foods, and I recommend looking for organic varieties from reputable companies.
Health Benefits Sea Kelp Extract (seaweed) Powder
Another delicious way to use it is as a substitute for noodles in soup. Some stores offer kelp sprays that can be used in place of salt or other seasonings in salads.
If you are interested in the economic way and get your food, it is possible, that you are close to the cold, clean, northern water. You don’t have to pick seaweed that is still attached to the forest, but only when it is at the bottom when it has washed up to or near the shore. It is also important to remember not to put it near chemical plants or in areas where there may be industrial or radioactive waste, because it can absorb minerals from the growing water.
You can also get this seaweed in supplement form, but be very careful. Supplements should only be purchased from trusted and reliable sources to get reliable nutritional value from the supplement. It is always better to eat nutrition.
I love using kelp in soups. Another healthy recipe I found recently is this Creamy Carrot Soup, although I replaced the recommended soy milk with almond milk. With healthy carrots and cancer,
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