Kelp as a Detoxifier
Studies continue to show that the ocean is home to some of the best filtering systems on earth, facilitating the breakdown of chemicals, toxins and heavy meals. Kelp is in fact one of these amazing detoxifiers in oceans and seas around the world (Barry, 1994). The addition of kelp into your diet as either a raw food or supplement can help to detox the body which can in turn help to prevent health problems whilst making you feel rejuvenated.
Kelp as an Immunity Booster
Kelp extract can also help to improve immunity. Studies such as that conducted by Fleurence et al. (2012) have found that kelp supplementation assists with the immune response to a wide range of diseases. More research needs to be conducted surrounding how, however it has been suggested that it is linked to the rich nutrient value. One serving of kelp provides you with around 20% of the recommended daily allowance of this vitamin, along with large percentages of other vitamins. One of the best ways to ensure good immune health and function is by taking in a balanced diet and all the vitamins and minerals required by the body.
Kelp for Skin Longevity
Kelp can also help to prevent early loss of elasticity of the skin and therefore keep skin looking firmer and younger for longer. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre reports that extracts of the bladderwrack kelp had antioxidant and skin-firming attributes. Kelp also contains minerals like calcium, fluorine and magnesium which can give your skin a radiant glow. It is also rich in Vitamins A, C and E, as well as minerals such as magnesium, selenium and zinc. These vitamins and minerals are essential to regenerating skin cells and tissue.
Kelp for Thyroid Function
Kelp is also high in iodine (one serving a day would be enough) therefore kelp extract is a good replacement for salt,especially if you’re on a diet for high blood pressure and need to reduce or restrict your sodium intake. Up to 80 percent of iodine in the body is found in the thyroid and deficiencies can have a serious impact on thyroid hormone production as well as on all of the processes they affect.
The BBC released a report in April 2011 suggesting that iodine deficiency could be becoming endemic in the UK. A study involving more than 700 teenage girls at nine UK centres found more than two-thirds had a deficiency, highlighting the importance of food/supplements which contain kelp.
Kelp for Sports Performance and Weight Loss
A survey conducted by Howell (1998) into British sportsmen and women found that the addition of kelp to their diet, significantly boosted their energy and endurance levels and also improved competitive performance. Kelp may also help improve body composition and assist with weight lost, the high iodine content helps to boost metabolism in people with hypothyroidism or under active thyroid function. Howell (1998) notes that an independent clinical trial into the benefit of algae based weight loss products found that all subjects in the trial lost weight (between 4 and 30 pounds).
Kelp for Women
Kelp is especially important in terms of women’s health as it is rich in iron, potassium and calcium, particularly beneficial during menstruation, pregnancy and for new Mums. Kelp extract also contains large amounts of folic acid. Research shows that alongside cardiovascular benefits, folic acid is also essential for the healthy development of babies during pregnancy and folic acid deficiencies in pregnant women causes an increased risk of birth defects.
Kelp is available in many different forms and can be consumed in different forms for health and beauty benefits. Kelp noodles can be used to replace spaghetti while kelp flakes are great for adding texture, taste and extra nutrients to any meal.
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