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Video: Kelp Seaweed: What Are The Benefits Of This Kelp?
It is true that iodine deficiency can cause you to include kelp in your menu and in the care of your general health. We have already revealed the benefits of Irish Moss and Klamath Seaweed which to some extent and to a large extent have worked miracles for centuries. If you have problems with the thyroid gland, this article is dedicated to Kelp seaweed which grows 30 to 80 meters in height, growing half a meter per day. This is why it is classified among the "trees" that grow in "submarine forests". Decryption of its benefits!
Kelp seaweed with many properties in the kitchen and for health
If you are a fan of Chinese, Japanese or Korean cuisine, you have probably tasted the flavors. Along with your taste, you take care of the thyroid balance with a decent diet. So nutrient-dense seaweed is a staple ingredient for countless dishes: from fresh salads to savory soups.
In context, kelp seaweed is far from your average sea vegetable. Thanks to its impressive list of nutrients and antioxidants, it could very well be a superfood of the sea. Let's explore its health benefits, as well as its nutritional content and uses.
What is Kelp Marine Algae?
Very fast growing, this large, leafy brown algae grows in cool water along rocky shores. Some species can reach lengths of 50m! If the algae world had a track record, the Kelp seaweed would be at the top. Due to its size, kelp looks like an underwater tree, but unlike real plants, this aquatic algae does not have roots. It attaches to the rocky bottom of the ocean and grows in dense clusters called kelp forests. Regardless of their location, kelp forests are incredibly complex, providing food and shelter for thousands of animals. Being super durable, kelp algae is with minimal impact on the environment, as it does not need to be fertilized, watered or weeded - care that land crops require.
Kelp shapes and textures: where to find kelp seaweed
Seaweed can be found in shops in many forms, but the most common consists of long, thick strands of greenish color. The flavor is generally brackish and salty, just like the ocean, while the bland tasting noodles are the exception. It should be noted that fresh kelp has a gooey, gel-like texture which can be off-putting to some people. If you're one of them, try noodles, leaves, or kelp flakes instead.
Nutritional differences of kelp seaweed
The different forms of packaged kelp are nutritionally comparable, so choose the form that you are most likely to consume and use in your cooking. Go for the least processed, minimum of ingredients and watch out for added sugar or too much salt added.
As for supplements, they are available as pills or powders. However, when it comes to optimal absorption, they might not be the best choice, because they are often lacking in certain nutrients. On the contrary, the potential health benefits of fresh seaweed are unmistakable. They enjoy maximum absorption and bioavailability by the body. If still, you want to try supplements, look for those that are third-party certified and free from synthetic additives.
Nutritional value of kelp
Being rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, the seaweed of the underwater forests is very nutritious. Among the elements with which it abounds are iron, zinc, calcium, copper and vanadium. The latter is linked to the regulation of blood sugar. An extremely important fact is that kelp is an excellent source of iodine, vitamin C, manganese, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and various antioxidants which help the body to fight oxidative stress. Overall, this unique range of compounds can help fortify the blood by providing essential nutrients that we rarely get from typical foods.
What does 2 tablespoons (1/8 cup) of raw kelp contain for nutrients?
- 4 calories
- 1 gram of protein
- 1 gram of fat
- 1 gram of carbohydrates
- 1 gram of fiber
- 17 milligrams of calcium
- 12 milligrams of magnesium
- 18 micrograms of folate
Benefits of kelp
Although kelp is considered a superfood, (just like sea moss), it's important to know that not all varieties are created equal. Algae take up nutrients from the sea, so they can also absorb substances like heavy metals and plastics, lying around in our polluted oceans. To get the most out of it, it is recommended to purchase organic seaweed grown in clean water, usually marked with the USDA organic label. You can also take a look at sustainable certification logos, such as the “Friend of the Sea” label or the ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard symbol. Both ensure that the algae has been ethically harvested and produced without harming the surrounding natural environment.
Now that you know how to choose the right seaweed varieties for your market, it's time to learn about the benefits of kelp on the brain and body.
Supports bone health
Because of the content of calcium, vitamins K, A and B12, as well as iron, seaweed gives hope to people who suffer from bone problems. Vitamin K is especially important for bone metabolism and works with calcium and vitamin D to maintain bone health. Especially for women who are at risk of osteoporosis in adulthood, seaweed products are recommended from a young age. For example, a 19-year-old non-pregnant woman can take 90 mcg per day.
Regulates thyroid function
When it comes to thyroid gland issues, the presence of iodine in marine kelp turns it into a key nutrient for activating thyroid hormones. Iodine makes them function properly as they are responsible for various essential functions, including metabolism and bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy.
One way to do this is to eat kelp, a single leaf of which contains up to 2984 mcg of iodine (1 g). However, you will need to be careful / e / if you have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), as too much iodine (from kelp or the like) can make the condition worse.
Manage blood sugar
The potent hypoglycemic effects of algae due to trace elements of vanadium are indisputable. This means that they naturally lower blood sugar which keeps itself healthy over time. And although scientists are still studying how vanadium works, published research reveals that it can suppress enzymes involved in the production of glucose and the development of type 2 diabetes. A 2014 study reported similar results, indicating that extracts of brown algae, such as kelp, can inhibit enzymes that increase blood sugar. As for animal studies, they show an improvement in the function of beta cells in the pancreas, which leads to a reduction in fasting blood sugar.
Namely, beta cells are the only ones able to make insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar and helps cells absorb glucose.
Reduces the risk of cancer
As mentioned above, kelp is packed with antioxidants including vitamin C, polyphenols, carotenoids, flavonoids, and alkaloids. This property undoubtedly ranks it among the best foods you can add to your cancer prevention menu.
It is believed that cancer is more likely to occur in a highly oxidized environment when free radicals or molecules that damage healthy cells build up. The antioxidants in the seaweed neutralize these free radicals, protecting your body from cell damage.
Stimulates weight loss
Although the evidence is conflicting, alginate - a compound found in algae - may have potential for weight management or weight loss. A 2012 study found that when combined with a low-calorie or energy diet, alginate supplementation was associated with greater weight loss in obese people. Researchers attributed this effect to the fiber content of alginate which can keep hunger at bay by increasing satiety. On the other hand, another 2012 study in the journal Obesity found no effect on appetite and satiety in overweight and obese participants.
That said, kelp is low in calories: a strip of dried kelp has just under 2 calories, for example. When eaten in place of other high-energy foods (like a sandwich filling instead of bacon), it might lower your overall calorie intake.
How to use and eat kelp
Recognizing that the versatility of kelp seaweed raises questions about how to prepare and eat it, we explored the use options. When kelp is purchased in a dried state, it should be rehydrated by soaking it in water, while being fresh, it should be rinsed with water to remove excess salt and then drained.
There are many variations to add it to the menu. Cooking with seaweed has nothing to do with sushi recipes.
Try an awesome stir-fry
With a savory umami flavor, kelp becomes an essential ingredient for a great stir-fry. It pairs well with vegetables like broccoli and onions, but don't be afraid to experiment with other products.
In combination with beans
Beans without kelp taste earthy, but with it there is a hint of brine, seasoned say.
Add 1½ cups of dried beans to a saucepan and cover completely with water. Add a few dried leaves of kombu (a type of kelp), a clove of raw garlic, and half a raw onion. Let sit on the counter overnight. In the morning, add a little cool water, then boil and serve as usual. Eat the dried seaweed and bean broth on the side or use it to enhance a homemade soup.
Use in soup
Kelp is great for adding depth and flavor to your favorite soups. Use kelp powder as a seasoning or fresh kelp as the main ingredient in a Korean seaweed soup. Do you like miso? Prepare a kale miso soup and replace the greens with kelp.
To increase your seaweed intake, try kelp noodles. These semi-translucent vegetarian spaghetti have a neutral flavor and pair well with most types of sauces or dressings. In addition, they do not require any cooking time; simply dip them in water and serve. If you need some inspiration, check out a recipe for Kelp Noodle Salad with Smoked Avocado Dressing. No resemblance to Chinese shrimp noodles except the smell of the sea.
As a seasoning
Since the stores offer powder, kelp flakes or granules, you can enjoy a unique seasoning. Many people sprinkle their dishes with kelp instead of added salt, as it creates a salty taste without excess sodium. Either on rice with sesame seeds, or on avocado toast, eggs and popcorn or on your pizza.
In the usual bowl of vegetables
Brighten up your usual bowl of greens with fresh or dried kelp. Combine with traditional croutons as a healthy alternative. Another option is to prepare a cold seaweed salad drizzled with low sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds.
Natural combination with seafood
Of course, kelp goes so well with anything from the sea. Think salmon, tuna, shrimp or sushi. You can experiment with fish tacos as a garnish or toss with a tuna salad for a unique twist.
Enhance green smoothies
Change up your usual green smoothie by adding kelp powder. If this idea doesn't appeal to you, make kelp juice by mixing powder with coconut water or vegetable juice.