What Are the Benefits of Kelp?

Medically Reviewed on 2/12/2021
Kelp is a type of brown algae that usually grows in cool, relatively shallow waters close to the shore.
Kelp is a type of brown algae that usually grows in cool, relatively shallow waters close to the shore.

Kelp is a type of brown algae that usually grows in cool, relatively shallow waters close to the shore. Kelp, also known as kombu in Japanese, is mostly used in Japanese dishes, such as miso soup and udon noodles. Kelp forests are seen along much of the west coast of North America. These underwater towers of kelp provide food and shelter for thousands of fishes, invertebrates, and marine mammal species. Kelp is loaded with nutrients. They have 10 times more minerals compared to other plants that grow in soil. There are many proven benefits of using kelp, which include:

  • Prevents hypothyroidism: Your thyroid gland requires iodine for proper functioning. It is necessary to get enough iodine from the diet because our body doesn’t produce adequate iodine. Less iodine would lead to less hormone production in the thyroid, causing hypothyroidism. Kelp provides sufficient iodine to prevent hypothyroidism. Be careful and take kelp in a limited amount. An excess amount of iodine can attribute to thyroid malfunction.
  • Diabetes control: The vanadium in kelp could improve blood sugars in type 2 diabetes. Early studies have shown that vanadium is useful in regulating blood sugar. Fucoxanthin present in kelp assists in weight management, which is necessary for diabetes management.
  • Prevention of anemia: Kelp is moderately rich in iron, which helps to prevent nutritional anemia. Anemia is low hemoglobin levels of blood due to poor dietary habits or increased blood loss due to piles or menstrual cycle and other causes.
  • Improves bone health: Kelp consists of minerals, such as calcium, boron, zinc, copper, and manganese. These are necessary for healthy bones. Vitamin K is a vital nutrient that is useful in improving blood clotting.
  • Anti-aging properties: Vitamin C in kelp acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants curb oxidative stress in the body. Thus, it delays aging and its symptoms, such as wrinkles and age spots.

How to prepare kelp?

Raw kelp can be used in stir-fry dishes, soups, salads, or smoothies. You can add dried kelp while:

  • Cooking dried beans
  • Adding flavor to soups and broths

You can consume kelp noodles hot or cold or you can also add to:

  • Salads
  • Sauteed vegetables and protein

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Medically Reviewed on 2/12/2021
References
WebMD. Health Benefits of Kelp. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-kelp#1

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Seaweed, Kelp, Raw. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168457/nutrients