9 Best Health Benefits Of Kelp

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9 Health Benefits of Kelp

If you've heard people talking about the health benefits of kelp, you may have stopped to ask yourself, "What is kelp, anyway?" Kelp is a marine plant and a large brown seaweed that thrives and lives in shallow saltwater and coastal fronts in all parts of the world.

You've probably had a taste of it in your sushi (if you happen to be a sushi fan), but if you haven't had kelp before, it's time you consider incorporating it into your diet because of the amazing kelp benefits and what it means for your health.

And if you are a picky eater and resistant to trying anything that looks remotely like a vegetable or a plant, you can get kelp into your diet in a few ways: raw or cooked for less finicky palates, or powdered or in the form of a pill or supplement. This makes kelp an easy ingredient to digest, no matter what your preference. And truly, this superfood is worth getting to know.

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I spoke to a few experts who dived in eagerly to explain why kelp is such a superfood and health aid for those of us who are trying to live healthier lives. Here are 9 amazing health benefits of kelp:

1. It's high in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Sarah Skovran, from Sarah Skovran Nutrition, PC, shares that kelp is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. While plant food sources can offer you omega-3s, they are not converted as well by the body. Skovran says that kelp and other algaes give omega-3s to fish and, therefore, help you improve your DHA and EPA levels. Not too shabby for a "seaweed."

2. It balances your acid intake.

Caleb Backe of Maple Holistics points out that for those of us seeking a more alkaline diet and balance in our bodies, kelp is the answer! "Kelp is a great resource to balance your acid-base in the body, which helps aid digestion and other bodily processes," he says.

3. It's a super vitamin.

Skovran summed it up that with just 1/4 cup of kelp, you're getting a powerful serving of vitamins: vitamin K, folate, calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium. It's impressive to think that with just one small serving, your body can benefit so much.

4. Vegans use it as a source of calcium.

Fiona Gilbert, biohacker and wellness advocate, recommends kelp, especially for vegans. "Vegans can use kelp as a source for calcium," she advises. Considering the strict diet a vegan has to maintain, kelp is very beneficial.

5. Kelp is also a weight loss aid.

So many of us are often looking for ways to help aid weight loss. If that's you, look no further than this superfood. Julie Joffrion, a fitness nutrition specialist, says, "Fucoxanthin is a protein found in many kelp varieties and is also helpful in reducing fat tissue. Kelp also helps the body expel fat, rather than hold onto it in large amounts."

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6. And it's high in protein.

Backe informed me that kelp actually has 15 different amino acids, making it a great protein boost, helping regulate cell growth, and aiding in muscle development. Another added bonus? Kelp helps heal wounds. Amazing.

7. It provides a good source of iodine.

Instead of using iodized table salt, consider kelp as a source of iodine. This can also help you with overall thryoid health.

8. And aids against inflammation.

Kelp is helpful in reducing inflammation, as well as protecting your cells from damage. Inflammation in the body is a huge source of many health issues such as arthritis, autoimmune diseases, allergies and more.

9. Plus, it's a great way to maintain testosterone.

Gilbert shared something that actually surprised me and I hadn't heard before: "Kelp is fantastic for men over 40 in order to maintain testosterone levels, as well as general overall prostate health and sexual function." You hear that, men?

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Laura Lifshitz will work for chocolate. The former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate is currently writing about divorce, sex, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, marriage and more for YourTango, New York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, and more. Her own website is