Kelp is an underwater plant with a deep green colour and high nutritional content. Kelp powder is a great source of iodine, a trace mineral that aids in healthy thyroid function.
Low iodine levels can lead to:
- metabolism disruption
- enlargement of the thyroid gland
- various complications
Kelp also produces a compound called sodium alginate. Food manufacturers use sodium alginate as a thickener in many foods, including ice cream and salad dressing. But you can eat natural kelp in many different forms, including:
It can also:
- raise energy levels
- boost brain function
Inflammation and stress are considered risk factors of many chronic diseases. Including antioxidant-rich food in the diet may help prevent them. Kelp is high in antioxidants, including carotenoids and flavonoids, which help fight against disease-causing free radicals.
Kelp is low in fat and calories.
It also contains a natural fiber called alginate. Studies suggest that alginate may help stop the gut from absorbing fat.
A study published in the journal Food Chemistry found that alginate could help block lipase — an enzyme that digests fat — by up to 72 percent. Food manufacturers use alginates as thickening agents in weight loss products, beverages, and ice cream.
Consuming concentrated amounts of kelp can introduce too much iodine into the body.
This can lead to health risks. For example, excessive iodine can overstimulate the thyroid. It’s important to eat kelp in moderation. It’s not suitable for those with hyperthyroidism.
Kelp and other sea vegetables take up minerals from the waters they inhabit, and studies show they can also absorb heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, and lead. These may be hazardous for health.
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For more information on Kelp visit https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-of-kelp#how-much-kelp