Similar to many other sea and ocean vegetables, kelp and other forms of seaweed have been cited for their significant amounts of nutrients. These include vitamins, minerals, and other trace elements, as well as phytonutrients and lignans. Furthermore, the benefits of kelp are now easier to access than ever. Specifically, understanding that the idea of eating raw, or even cooked, kelp or seaweed may not appeal to everyone, many kelp products, including kelp supplements and kelp capsules are now available on the market. These will help you to capture the great benefits of kelp in an easier to digest (no pun intended) format.
Some of the benefits of kelp are its ability to improve the operation of the immune system, strengthen body tissue, remove / absorb toxins in the digestive system, and aid in stabilizing body temperature. Other benefits of kelp include its ability to act as a demulcent (relieving irritation and minor pain, especially from coughing), potentially reduce high blood pressure, and promote healthy skin.
Kelp has also been known to treat rheumatism and arthritis, as well as assist patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and radiation to reduce the negative effects of their treatment process. Lignans and phytonutrients are particularly beneficial for human consumption as, in addition to aiding with the chemotherapy process, are also thought to have cancer prevention abilities. Lignans are also known for helping women to combat many of the negative side effects of menopause, including hot flashes and night sweating.
Kelp is known for its high levels of vitamins, including vitamin A, B, C, D, E, and K, as well as numerous minerals, trace elements, and amino acids. One of the primary benefits of kelp is that itís a great source of iodine and, therefore, aids in the operation of the glandular system (especially the endocrine system). The glandular system is dependent on iodine and other trace minerals for proper function and is a key component in maintaining your metabolism. Deficiencies in certain hormones that are present in the system (which rely on iodine for production) can slow down your metabolism and result in weight gain or obesity. Therefore, making kelp or seaweed a part of your regular diet can help you to capture these important benefits of kelp.
Kelp is also rich in iron, natural sodium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. A unique benefit of kelp is that, given its richness in sodium, it can be used as an alternative for salt. For people who use a significant amount of table salt, replacing it with a natural product like kelp or seaweed, can be a smart change. As if all of the above benefits of kelp werenít enough, kelp is also special because unlike many of todayís heavily marketed health products, its nutrients are natural and therefore easy for the body to absorb and utilize. When looking for kelp supplements or other seaweed and kelp products try to find those that have undergone the least amount of processing, as these will maintain the highest amounts of nutrients and allow you to capture all of the great benefits of kelp.