What is Kelp? What are the health benefits of kelp?
Kelp is one of the many types of seaweed or algae that grow underwater. They are large and can grow up to 80 meters and normally brown in color. A 100g of raw kelp contains 233mg of sodium and it is a delicious and nutritious alternative to table salt. There are a large number of nutrients in kelp including potassium, calcium, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin K, folate and choline.
In fact, the high concentration of vitamins and minerals in kelp, especially iodine, make it a great daily dietary supplement. Natural source of iodine from brown kelp are absorbed better by the body than chemically produced iodine. Iodine is a chemical element that helps in the production of thyroid hormones.
The thyroid gland is responsible for the natural regulation of your metabolism, energy and growth. Improperly functioning thyroid gland frequently results in obesity among a host of other problems. Having a healthy thyroid will make your whole body run more efficiently and with more energy. Having a healthy metabolism will help control your appetite and aid in weight loss in addition to providing you with more energy.
This will even help when you have infections. Iodine acts as an antibiotic in your body. The thyroid will release iodine into the blood stream when there's an infection present in your body. Having enough iodine in your system will help your body fight off these infections faster and more efficiently.
One of the other health benefits of kelp is its effect to your endocrine system. It may help normalize hormones and promoting healthy hair and nail growth. Other benefits of kelp include being a good supplement for your pancreas and prostate. It may help build cell membranes and prevent the formation and growth of unhealthy cells such as tumors.
Kelp may also help your body maintain healthy mucous membranes. This is among the reasons why kelp is also beneficial to the digestive system. Kelp can assist the entire digestive process, which will also help control constipation and flatulence. Kelp can even help lower your cholesterol levels and ease the pain of arthritis.
Kelp can be added to your healthy diet in many ways. Kelp can be taken in the form of a supplement in pill form or as a powder. However, many people enjoy the taste of kelp, and there are a number of ways to add it into your cooking.
Kelp makes a great seasoning either as granules or as dried flakes and tastes delicious in soups, or in any dish normally prepared with salt such as potato dishes. There are also a number of great recipes available with fresh or frozen kelp added, mainly Asian cuisines. In most dishes, kelp is prepared like any leafy vegetable, although its leaves are thicker and chewier. It's stems are dense and crunchy.
People who are allergic to kelp may experience side effect of taking kelp supplement. The possible kelp side effects are abnormal thyroid conditions, skin lesions and stomach problems.