The Health Benefits of Kelp
Kelp is a brown sea vegetable that grows in almost every ocean on Earth. It is known for its rapid speed of growth, with certain species having the ability to grow half a meter per day until their optimum length (often as long as eighty meters) is reached. Because of its length and its predictable habit of remaining in thick forests in deep water, kelp is easily harvested and is a popular ingredient in East Asian dishes. It is widely available to purchase in the East and the West, both as a standalone food product and as a health supplement in tablet and capsule form.
The benefits of kelp are many. It is a good source of iodine and contains high amounts of iodine, which helps to improve thyroid function (iodine regulates thyroid hormones), maintains the health of our metabolism and immune system, and guards us against radiation poisoning. It has anti-inflammatory properties – Like hijiki and other brown algae, kelp contains the sulfated carbohydrate molecule fucoidan, which is a potent anti-inflammatory. It is a good source of iron. Like most sea vegetables, kelp contains a large amount of iron, an essential mineral that is responsible for supplying our blood cells with oxygen. Many people across America suffer from a deficiency in iron, which can lead to chronic fatigue, skin ailments, brittle fingernails, and more. Like blueberries and several other super foods, kelp contains antioxidants, which are substances that can protect our bodies’ cells from free radicals and other potentially hazardous elements.