Kelp is a seaweed that is abundantly found in the temperate and coastal oceans, and it is a rich source of several important vitamins and minerals. Read on to know about its health benefits.
Kelp is basically a type of seaweed that belongs to the family of brown algae and the order Laminariales. It can be widely found in the temperate and polar coastal oceans of the world. In the ocean, this fast growing marine algae creates kelp forests, which are an important component of marine ecosystem.
Over the years, kelp has become a subject of extensive research due to its potential health benefits. This seaweed is widely used in making nutritional supplements that are available in the forms of tablets, pills, and powder.
There are three types of kelps that are primarily harvested for making supplements, and they are known as laminaria, rockweed, and bladderwrack. This seaweed is also an extremely nutritious food, and is widely consumed in many parts of the world, especially in Japan.
Sea Kelp Benefits
This seaweed is a rich source of vitamin A, B, C, D, E, and K, and minerals like iodine, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, and phosphorus.
Being a rich source of iodine, it can help alleviate thyroid problems like hypothyroidism, goiter, and cretinism. Iodine is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. It is mainly required for synthesizing thyroid hormones that are essential for maintaining normal growth and development.
A deficiency of thyroid hormone can slow down the rate of metabolism and cause many health problems.
Apart from the thyroid gland, this seaweed can help regulate the functions of the pituitary gland as well. It can also be beneficial for the pancreas and prostate health, and help prevent the growth of tumors.
It helps maintain the proper pH balance in the body. This seaweed can also strengthen the immune system, improve liver functions, and lower the level of cholesterol and blood pressure. Even people with arthritis and rheumatism can benefit from kelp. It can help control appetite and reduce weight.
Side Effects of Kelp
Kelp and its supplements can cause some side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, and allergic reactions in some individuals. An allergic reaction to this seaweed can manifest in itching, hives, watery and itchy eyes, and shortness of breath. This seaweed contains a high amount of iodine.
A high level of iodine can cause thyroid imbalance. Also with oceans getting polluted with toxic heavy metals like arsenic, and seaweeds harvested from such contaminated areas may prove harmful for human health. Moreover, kelp is a blood thinner and so, it can interact with certain drugs like aspirin and high blood pressure medications.
So, it is important to maintain caution while taking sea kelp and its supplements. People considering to take these supplements should always consult a health care professional.
Further, if they happen to develop an allergic reaction or any other adverse effects after ingesting kelp, then they should seek immediate medical attention. Finally, be sure to buy supplements only from a reputed manufacturer, in order to avoid the risks associated with contamination.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is solely for an informative purpose and should not be considered as an advice of a medical professional.