Since the dawn of time people with access to the sea have supplemented their diet with produce from the sea. Members of the kelp family have a long and rich history as a medicinal and nutritional supplement and our ancestors have long used kelp as a healthy food supplement to their diets.
Fast forward to today and kelp is available as a diet supplement, in special foods (such as kelp noodles), and as a substitute seasoning for salt. Kelp products are growing in popularity as science begins to back anecdotal evidence of their health benefits.
Why does kelp work well to boost our health? One interesting theory put forward by Dr. D.C. Jarvis, author of Folk Medicine (Galahad, 1996) suggests that, because the sea and the composition of our bodies are similar, we need to turn to the sea to boost our mineral levels.
Here’s four big reasons why we think you should try kelp:
Heart health. Ancient societies with access to seaweed used kelp as a supplement to help keep the heart healthy. Now backed up by science, this benefit is due to the kelp’s natural abundance of iodine, calcium and other important minerals, which have been shown to help keep the heart in good working order.
Thyroid health. The iodine in kelp makes it a powerful friend when it comes to regulating the thyroid. The iodine helps to promote hormone excretion from the thyroid, keeping the thyroid in good condition and helping ward off conditions related to thyroid imbalance.
Boost immunity. One of the key benefits of taking kelp is that it assists in boosting the immune system, helping to prevent disease and illness developing. The minerals contained in kelp and kelp extracts may assist in warding off diseases.
Control appetite. Will kelp help your weight loss program? Taken as part of a holistic and sensible weight loss program which includes exercise and a sensible diet, the kelp appears to help control the appetite by giving you that full feeling which reduces cravings for more food.
So there you go! Four big health properties that have been associated with taking kelp supplements. As with all natural health products the benefits are potentially enormous if taken correctly. As we always advise, check with a qualified naturopath or health professional to see if kelp is right for you.