Kelp Seawed has over seventy different nutrients including zinc, potassium and iron Kelp is considered one of the leading superfoods on the market today. Kelp is actually a general term for seaweeds that come from a class of brown marine algae's and grow in shallow coastal regions across the world. Many types of this seaweed are found in giant underwater kelp forests which date back millions of years.
Kelp seaweed has been used throughout history for both medicinal and nutritional benefits and is included widely in the East Asian diet particularly across Japan and Korea. It can be purchased in powdered and granulated forms as well as dried whole leaf. Some familiar forms of kelp include wakame, sea palm and kombu which are popular in modern cooking.
It is very important to know the origins of the kelp before purchasing as many of the world's oceans are polluted, resulting in the seaweed containing harmful toxins. Look for kelp harvested from protected waters off the coast of Iceland, Norway and Canada.
Sea kelp is one of the best sources of bioavailable iodine in the world. The most important function of Iodine is to maintain Basic Metabolic Rates (BMR) and sustaining optimal functioning of the thyroid glands. Thyroid diseases affect many people globally and can be particularly prevalent in women. If you are suffering from hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) or Hypothyroidism (an inactive thyroid) it is important to have a diet which is rich in iodine and low in saturated fats and sugar. Kelp not only helps maintain the normal function of the thyroid the algin content removes radiation and dangerous toxin providing a protective barrier for the thyroid.
Kelps is also one of the most potent sources of minerals in the plant kingdom. Minerals are critical for maintaining a healthy body. They are also needed to help produce antioxidants and assimilate vitamins and nutrients. Kelp is a great source of Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) which is essential for proper brain development and is needed to make mood balancing hormones such a serotonin and norepinephrine.
Kelp seaweed is very rich in Polysaccharides such as sulfated fucoidan and laminarin. These are long chain sugars which support immune functions, detoxify the body, nourish the skin and soothe inflammation. Therefore, because of the anti-inflammatory properties, kelp can provide relief to those with osteoporosis and arthritis. Kelp is also known to contain considerable amounts of algin (alginic acid). Algin is a viscous fiber high in mucilaginous compounds which absorb radiation and toxins from the digestive tract and then eliminate them from the body.
There are also many benefits to the skin and hair as kelp is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties, many people use seaweed to help with adult acne and breakouts as it reduces the impact of the swelling. It also helps reduce pooling of the blood under the skin alleviating symptoms associated with Rosacea such as red discolouration and skin inflammation. You will also find kelp seaweed in several hair strengthening products as it is rich in magnesium, zinc and folic acid all contributing to healthy nourished hair.
You can buy different types of kelp which may be used in different types of cooking methods. Dried whole seaweed can be added to soups and broths making it much softer - some people even eat these sheets raw. Kelp powder which is often used directly as a salt replacement. If you decide to purchase kelp tablets or capsules be extra careful and choose a reputable brand as they are not always regulated for contaminants. Fresh kelp is used in many an Asian kitchen and is either dried or put fresh into the recipe. A great new way of eating kelp is in a noodle form where the sodium alginate or algin is extracted from kelp species.
Some types of kelp are more concentrated than others so the amount you need will depend on your dietary requirements. You may also need to be careful as it could cause health problems for those susceptible to excess iodine intake.
A great delicious way to enjoy kelp is in a smoothie and this recipe for Sweet-n-Spicy green Smoothie is not only great for you but it will add a little zing to your morning.
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth.
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