A nutrient-rich marine plant, kelp is a type of seaweed that is becoming increasingly popular as a supplement and food ingredient. Kelp is a type of brown seaweed that grows in underwater forests. Kelp thrives in cold, nutrient-rich water and is regarded as one of the fastest growing plants in the world. Unlike other plants that contain a vascular system, kelp absorbs the nutrient it needs from its watery environment. Many cultures around the world rely on kelp for its nutrients. As more is learned about this sea plant through research, kelp is making news with its surprising health benefits. By incorporating kelp into your diet, many of these benefits could be yours.

Weight Loss

A natural super food, kelp is eaten by individuals trying to lose weight or maintain their optimum weight. Kelp contains fucoxanthin. Fucoxanthin is associated with the ability to reduce body fat and result in weight loss. With its ability to boost metabolism and its low caloric content, kelp is a dieter’s dream food. The next time you make vegetable soup, be sure to add some kelp to help in your quest to lose weight. If you love Asian cuisine, add kelp to your pad thai, teriyaki noodles, or favorite curry.

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Cancer Prevention

A growing body of scientific research suggests that kelp contains properties that can help prevent cancer. Researchers point to several compounds in kelp that are known to prevent the development of lung and prostate cancer cells. Researchers began to examine kelp as a possible cancer preventative when they noted that Japanese women rarely suffer from breast and ovarian cancers. Their study of the Japanese diet led them to kelp. Kelp appears to be able to prevent cancer development because it is filled with antioxidants and vitamin C. Additionally, kelp contains fucoidan, which can cause apoptosis in developing or existing cancer cells.

Woman hands holding chuka seaweed salad in bowl. Viktor Kochetkov / Shutterstock


Promotes Thyroid Health

The thyroid gland creates and regulates many hormones that play a vital role in our bodies. These hormones have a role to play in our metabolism and brain function. They help regulate our emotions as well as our energy levels. When the body suffers an iodine deficiency, the thyroid suffers—and then we suffer as our hormones run amuck. Moreover, many people suffer from disorders of the thyroid, so it can be helpful to know that kelp could have a positive effect on these problems. Kelp is rich in iodine. The thyroid needs natural iodine to function properly. If you have or suspect a thyroid condition, you should talk to your healthcare provider about adding more kelp to your diet as part of your treatment plan.

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Boost Bone Mineral Density

Kelp contains immense mineral content that can promote good health. Some of its minerals like manganese, calcium, zinc, and copper have the power to promote bone mineral density. In fact, if there is bone damage, these minerals can promote healing. Studies suggest that people may be able to ward off the development of osteoporosis by including foods that are rich in these minerals like kelp. If you’ve recently broken a toe, arm, or even a leg, be sure to include kelp in your diet to speed up the recovery and promote optimum bone health. Mix some kelp into your stocks or soups to enjoy its nourishing effects.

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Maintain Your pH Balance

Enhance your digestion by maintaining your pH balance. Kelp is an alkaline ingredient. Digestive environments that have too much acid suffer from a lack of pH balance. If the acid in your system isn’t balanced, it can leave you feeling sluggish and tired. A typical American diet is chock full of sugars, coffee, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and many other items that contribute to an abundance of acid in the gut. It’s essential to counter these acids with alkaline foods that reduce the negative effects of the acids and leave you feeling energetic. Add kelp to your favorite pasta dishes to maintain your pH balance.

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Natural Detoxifier

Including foods in our diet that have natural cleansing properties is a good idea. Many of the foods we eat can eventually leave us feeling sluggish or run down. Naturally detoxifying foods like kelp can help cleanse our bodies of unwanted materials like heavy metals, chemicals, and toxins that can detract from our health. In the ocean, kelp boasts a masterful filtering system. When we eat it, we can benefit from its filtering properties. By eating kelp, you can enhance your body’s natural ability to break down unwanted chemical and to remove them from the body more easily.

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Boost Immunity

A burgeoning body of research is suggesting that kelp might have the power to boost immunity. Kelp contains a large volume of vitamin K, folic acid, and iodine. These nutrients are known to promote good immunity. Each day we come into contact with countless germs. From sneezing coworkers to the sniffling strangers we pass at the grocery store, sickness is all around, especially during the cold and flu season. You might be able to better keep these illnesses at bay by making kelp a part of your balanced diet. Add some kelp to your coconut shrimp soup or to your delicious sesame ginger noodles for an excellent immunity boost.

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Enhance Your Skin

If you want to maintain your skin’s youthful elasticity, be sure to include kelp in your diet. Skin contains many antioxidants that are associated with good skin health. Rich in vitamins A, C, and E, kelp promotes the healthy regeneration of skin cells. The nutrients in kelp promote the detoxification of the skin, reduce oily skin, nourish the skin, clear clogged pores, and may even ward off the occurrence of wrinkles. Kelp doesn’t come from the fountain of youth, but it does appear to slow the aging process of the skin when it’s a staple in the diet. By eating kelp or procuring seaweed wraps for skin, kelp can help keep your skin looking its best.

Enhance Your Skincare Kelp

Women’s Health

Women will find kelp especially beneficial to their health. Kelp is rich in nutrients like potassium, iron, and calcium. These nutrients are particularly important to women during pregnancy and menstruation. Moreover, kelp is rich in folic acid, which is essential for pregnancy, especially during the early weeks of the first trimester. Folic acid supports the fetus during the development of its brain and spine. After the birth, women rely strongly on nutrients like iron as they recover. If you want to add more kelp to your diet, consider adding kelp flakes to salads or as a meal topper for stir-fries or pasta dishes.

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Athletic Endurance

There are many studies associated with the health benefits of kelp. One of these studies found that athletes who added kelp to their diet benefitted with increased energy levels and improved endurance. Some people are referring to kelp supplements as “biofuel” because of its natural ability to promote energy. Kelp contains many vitamins and nutrients including B complex vitamins. These vitamins promote energy. While athletes favor kelp, anyone who could use an energy boost at work or while doing chores at home might want to enjoy a little kelp with lunch. Stir some kelp into your salad dressing to enhance your healthy diet.  

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