This post will explore kelp vs seaweed. Is kelp the same thing as seaweed or are they different? Keep reading to find out!
What is seaweed?
Seaweed is a term which can be used to describe many different marine-based species of plants and algae.
“Seaweed” is the common name for countless species of marine plants and algae that grow in the ocean as well as in rivers, lakes, and other water bodies.
Seaweed comes in a variety of sizes, some are huge, like giant kelp that grows in forest like groups at the bottom of the sea.
What is kelp?
Kelp, a type of seaweed, is full of healthy nutrients that can benefit your health and possibly even prevent disease.
Kelp is a large, brown seaweed that grows in coastal fronts all over the world. It is found along the coasts of Japan and Korea. And, is an essential part of East Asian diets.
Nutritional benefits of kelp
Did you know that kelp absorbs the nutrients from the marine environment it is in? This means kelp is rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
Kelp is a great source of iodine which is an essential component in thyroid health. If you have ever experienced low iodine levels then you know this an cause some big problems such as metabolism disruption, thyroid gland enlargement and other complications.
Iodine can raise energy levels and it has been known to improve brain function. BUT too much iodine can lead to thyroid problems. This CAN happen if people eat too much kelp!
Kelp also contains Vitamin K1, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, pantothenic acid and calcium. All of these nutrients have benefits.
Recent studies have found that kelp may even have cancer fighting properties. A compound called fucoidan, found in kelp, may help to prevent in the spread of cancers such as lung and prostate.
Some people also claim that kelp assists in weight loss. It is low in calories. It also contains a natural fiber called alginate that has been shown to help stop fat being absorbed by the gut. Some food manufacturers use alginates as thickening agents in weight loss food products!
Ways to eat kelp
You can eat kelp in many different forms. It comes as a food, or a supplement. In addition to a well-rounded, nutritious diet, kelp is a wonderful healthy addition.
You could add dried kelp to soups and stews, use kelp noodles, sprinkle dried kelp on your food as a seasoning, blend kelp into vegetable juice.
You can find kelp in the grocery store, if you can’t find it in your local store perhaps see if it’s in your local Japanese or Korean store or restaurant.
Kelp has a savory, umami, salty taste.
Be careful when using concentrated amounts of kelp as too much iodine is not a good thing. If you are thinking of introducing kelp into your diet it is a good thing to consult with your health professional.
Excessive iodine can overstimulate your thyroid gland. Therefore, it is not suitable for people that have hyperthyroidism.
Have you tried kelp before? And if so, what is your favorite way to eat this awesome, healthy food?