Kelp is found in underwater forests of shallow oceans where the water is nutrient-rich and between temperatures of 6 and 14 °C. Kelp is known for its high growth rate and can grow up to half a meter in a single day. It is part of the daily diet in Asian countries like Japan and China and is rated among 'superfoods' because of the high level of nutrients it contains.
How do Kelp Supplements benefit the body?
Kelp supplements contain vitamin B which is essential for enhanced cellular metabolism and providing the body with energy. It also contains vitamin C and vitamin E, both strong antioxidants which aid in promoting overall health. Other minerals like calcium, boron, and magnesium can be found as well and are necessary for maintaining strong bones and healthy muscle function.
Kelp is the richest natural source of iodine, which is a crucial nutrient for proper thyroid health. Iodine helps you maintain a healthy thyroid function which in turn helps your weight and metabolism. A recent study showed that a diet rich in iodine can helps improve metabolism and weight loss. In addition, kelp has properties that are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-tumour, antibiotic, antiviral, and immune-stimulating.
Aside from improving thyroid health, kelp supplements are a necessary part of maintaining overall health. Here's why:
- Kelp is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It contains 46 minerals, 11 vitamins, and 16 amino acids (the building blocks of protein). It is the richest natural source of iodine and calcium, but it also contains potassium, phosphorus, salt and iron. Its leading vitamins are vitamin A and niacin.
- Kelp improves your body's hydration. After you've been ill or exposed to excess amounts of sun and heat, natural kelp helps to rehydrate the body at a rapid pace.
- Kelp slims your chances of cancer, particularly cancers that are oestrogen sensitive like breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and ovarian cancer.
- Kelp assists in weight management and weight loss. When you have iodine deficiency, the body's metabolism is slowed by almost 50%. Because it has a high iodine content, kelp helps control thyroid function and improves the body's metabolism and energy.
- Kelp improves the body's pH balance. Kelp contains alkaline in it and is therefore essential in maintaining the acid-base balance of the body. It is an effective component in a healthy acid-alkaline diet.
- Kelp protects the body from radiation poisoning. Because of its high iodine levels, kelp prevents the thyroid from absorbing harmful levels of radioactive iodine present in the air.
How much Kelp should I be taking?
The correct dose of kelp varies from person to person and is usually based on factors like age, health, and current health/medical conditions. Because kelp is fairly new as a health supplement, studies to determine the appropriate range of doses are still ongoing and there is not enough information at the time.
We advise that when you are taking a new supplement for the first time you consult your pharmacist or healthcare expert before using. Remember to read product labels and follow relevant directions.
Keep in mind that while natural supplements are better than synthetic, appropriate dosage is important. Are there any side effects that I should watch out for?
Thyroid conditions: Kelp supplements may be unsafe if you have thyroid problems. In certain cases high concentrations of iodine may worsen thyroid conditions and prolonged used of dietary iodine may increase the risk of thyroid cancer.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Kelp supplements are possibly unsafe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and should therefore be avoided.
Infertility: Certain studies suggest that taking in excess amounts of iodine through kelp may make it harder for women to get pregnant.
Iodine allergies: Because kelp contains a high content of iodine it might cause an allergic reaction in sensitive people.
Surgery: Kelp might slow blood clotting and cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. It should be avoided starting 2 weeks before any surgery.