Kelp is a large type of long, flat seaweed or more accurately a ‘brown algae’ from the ‘laminariales’ order. It grows underwater in what are known as ‘kelp forests’, mostly in shallow waters and are known for their high rate of growth – with some species growing up to half a meter a day until they reach full length (around eighty meters).
What kelp is also known for however is for its many health benefits. Kelp only grows in nutrient rich waters, which should give you an idea of why it’s so rich in nutrients. Here are just some of the many health benefits that you can get from kelp…
Anti-Inflammatory – Because it contains sulphated carbohydrates (molecule fucoidan), kelp can be used to help fight inflammation – as can many other brown algaes.
High in Iodine – Kelp is high in iodine which is known for helping to maintain and improve thyroid function. The thyroid is what keeps our metabolism going at the right rate and this then is important to not only help us burn fat, but also to keep our energy levels normal. In short then, kelp can help us to prevent thyroid conditions but also be used as a weight loss aid (but don’t expect the pounds to fall off – this is more a kind of ‘added bonus’ type thing).
Iron – Everyone knows the benefits of iron, the role of which is to help carry oxygen around the blood stream in order to supply our body with energy and to help fight fatigue and get those crucial vitamins and minerals where they are needed. Like spinach, this is a great place to get your iron.
Antioxidant – Kelp is an ‘antioxidant’. This means that it can combat something called ‘free radicals’ in the body – which are the substance that attack and damage our cells over time leading to visible ageing and eventually cancer. Consuming antioxidants on a regular basis then can help not only to avoid cell damage, but also cancer.
Female Cancers – Kelp can also help to lower serum levels of estradiol in women which in turn leads to reduced ovarian, endometrial and breast cancer.