8 Kelp Benefits That Will Keep This Algae Superfood In Your Diet

kelp benefits

If you live in America, the idea of eating kelp may seem foreign to you. However, it is commonly enjoyed in countries like Japan and China, where it is added to soups, sushi, and salads. Kelp is a common part of many Asian dishes, partly because it is known to be highly nutritious. You can think of it as a sea vegetable that offers a wide variety of health benefits that can boost your ability to enjoy life to the fullest. Kelp has a reputation for protecting people against cancer, helping to maintain inner pH balance, enhancing natural immunity, and supporting weight loss, thyroid function, and digestion capabilities.

What Is Kelp?

Kelp is a type of brown algae seaweed. Its thick blades grow in shallow ocean water in what is often referred to as an underwater forest, because it grows in thick clumps that can reach a height of 175 feet. Kelp grows at a rate of one and a half to two feet a day if circumstances are ideal. For optimal growth, kelp needs nutrient-rich water that is cold and no deeper than 131 feet because it needs the sunlight to thrive. 

Ancient Medicinal Uses of Kelp

Although the medicinal use of kelp is relatively new to Western civilizations, brown algae seaweed has been used for medicinal purposes for many centuries. Traditional Chinese medicine included kelp as part of cancer treatments, while ancient Ayurvedic practices highly recommended kelp to promote healthy digestion. 

The ancient Hawaiians used approximately seventy different kinds of seaweed for ceremonial and medicinal reasons. The nutritional and medicinal properties of kelp have clearly been embraced for many centuries, backing up modern beliefs that this substance has the ability to make people healthier and happier when included in a daily nutritional regimen. 

The Nutritional Benefits of Kelp

nutritional benefits of kelp

Kelp is a powerhouse filled with numerous nutrients, including antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. One of the most notable nutritional facts is that kelp has an extremely high concentration of calcium. It also contains significant amounts of the following minerals: amino acids, magnesium, iodine, iron, zinc, copper, and potassium, as well as of the following vitamins: E, D, C, B2, B1, and A.

Even if you don't want to eat a kelp salad or soup, you can still add it to your diet easily. Kelp is included in foods such as salad dressing and ice cream as a thickening agent. Plus, kelp is often included in a variety of supplements, giving you another option for tapping into the nutritional benefits of this sea vegetable.

Kelp Can Help You Lose Weight

The thyroid helps to regulate the body's metabolism. If it isn't functioning properly, weight gain typically occurs, even in otherwise healthy people. Iodine is necessary for the thyroid to perform its natural duties. Due to the fact that sea kelp contains iodine, it can perform as a natural source for the thyroid, boosting its ability to maintain optimal functional for the body's metabolic activities. 

One scientific study suggests that sea kelp contains a significant enough concentration of fiber to minimize the absorption of fat. More research is needed on this topic, but the preliminary finding is promising for individuals looking for alternative ways to exercise to boost their weight loss.

Kelp Keeps You Young

Free radicals damage the body's cells, causing people to look and feel less youthful. At least one study concluded that the iodine found in sea kelp helps to remove free radicals from the human body. Kelp is also rich in antioxidants that are well known for helping to eliminate free radicals from the body. 

Kelp Helps to Maintain Inner pH Balance

Ingesting kelp may reduce the acidity of the body due to the fact that this substance is alkaline in nature. Maintaining a healthy pH balance is good for digestion as well as for other bodily processes. 

Kelp Improves Bone Density

Whether or not you have a healthy lifestyle, strong bones are essential. The calcium, zinc, and copper contained in kelp can help to keep your bones in good shape, minimizing your risk of developing osteoporosis and/or accidentally breaking a bone. 

Kelp Enhances Your Natural Immunity

As you probably know, the body's natural immunity helps to keep you healthy. Including kelp in your daily diet can enhance this immunity by strengthening it through its offering of vitamins and minerals. 

Kelp Gives You Beautiful Hair

Several of the nutrients found naturally in brown sea algae can strengthen the innate health of hair strands. They include amino acids, vitamin C, zinc, and iron. Amino acids are extremely beneficial in keeping your hair strong, because they offer a boost in protein growth. Stronger hair has a lower tendency to break or develop split ends, making it look more luxurious and beautiful. 

Kelp Protects Against Cancer

Scientific studies have shown that kelp may help to slow the growth of cancer cells, particularly those associated with colon and breast cancer. This benefit is credited with the ability of kelp to help eliminate free radicals from the body. Offering protection against cancer is one of the earliest uses for kelp, dating back numerous centuries to several different civilizations. 

Precautions to Consider

If you have an existing medical condition, you may want to check with your family doctor before you begin taking any new supplements as part of your regular routine. Most people probably won't have an issue with kelp supplementation. However, for individuals watching their iodine content, caution is suggested. 

Lots of people think of kelp as one of the super foods available to people today. It is rich in numerous minerals and vitamins, providing an excellent reason to consider including it in your life. Kelp is sure to continue gaining attention due to the beneficial effects it has on the health of the human body. While more studies are being planned, the existing evidence shows that kelp can be good for what ails you, particularly if you use moderation when including it in your diet.