Health benefits of kelp

Published May 21, 2014

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Kelp (fucus vesiculosis), also commonly referred to as bladderwrack, is a type of brown seaweed that grows on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and the North and Baltic seas.1 It’s a natural source of various minerals and plant nutrients, especially iodine, but also calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phenolics, algin, lipids, fucophorethols and mucopolyssacharides.1 Kelp is sometimes classified as a “superfood” because of its generous nutritional content and may be a good addition to a healthy diet.

How does kelp help my body?

As a natural source of iodine, kelp may have a number of benefits for a healthy body:

  • Iodine is an essential component of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), and is required for normal thyroid function.
  • Adequate iodine is beneficial for normal metabolism, growth and development.
  • Sufficient iodine maintains the normal regulation of body weight, through its essential role in thyroid hormone production.
  • Adequate iodine supports brain health and function.
  • Iodine maintains general health and well-being.

Where can I find kelp?

Kelp flakes can be added to soups and stir‐fries, or it can be taken as a supplement. Kelp is available on its own in tablet form or in combination with other superfoods including spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass and barley grass. Consuming iodine‐rich kelp may assist in the maintenance of healthy thyroid function and consequently normal metabolism and regulation of body weight.

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