The Largest Source of Iodine
Many foods contain iodine, but nowhere near the tremendous amount in kelp. A single tablespoon provides a whopping 500 percent of the DRV. Nothing else comes close — not scallops, with 90 percent of the DRV, or cod, with 88 percent in servings of 4 ounces each, or a cup of yogurt, which nets 47 percent of the DRV.
According to the George Mateljan Foundation, a non-profit foundation that shares scientifically proven information about the benefits of healthy eating:
“Iodine is a key component of the hormones made in the thyroid gland. These hormones are absolutely critical to human health, helping to control energy production and utilization in nearly every cell of the body.”
Iodine also helps regulate your thyroid gland to produce strong, healthy hair, skin and nails, as well as to form thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine. It’s also essential for proper formation of your skeletal framework and regulating your body’s energy and brain metabolism in a process regulated by your pituitary gland.
The myelination process in the central nervous systems of newborns is another key function of the thyroid hormone. Balanced iodine in the mother’s body is imperative in pregnancy and breastfeeding for optimal development of the baby’s brain cells.
Naturally High In Minerals
Kelp is an excellent source of magnesium, potassium, calcium, boron, soluble fiber and iron, as well as vitamins A, B12, C and E.
The iron in kelp helps form healthy blood and prevent anemia and the antioxidants fight free radicals, altogether ensuring the growth of strong bones and optimal muscle function. According to the George Mateljan Foundation:
“One tablespoon of dried sea vegetable will contain between one-half milligram (mg) and 35 mg of iron, and this iron is also accompanied by a measurable amount vitamin C. Since vitamin C acts to increase the bioavailability of plant iron, this combination in sea vegetables may offer a special benefit.
Overview of Kelp Benefits:
- Excellent source of vitamins and minerals: Kelp has been shown to contain 46 minerals, 16 amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and 11 different vitamins. Prominent among the minerals are iodine, salt, iron, potassium, phosphorus and calcium. The lead vitamins in kelp are vitamin A and niacin.
- Helps in Thyroid Gland Regulation: Due to Kelps high levels of natural iodine, it is essential in regulating our thyroid hormones and therefore our metabolism and energy levels.
- Kelp helps in hydration. This may be particularly important to note when you have been ill or exposed to too much heat and sun. Make a soup or broth with kelp and rehydrate quickly.
- Assists in Weight Management and Weight Loss: Due to kelp’s iodine content and its role in thyroid function, one of kelps benefits is improving metabolism and energy. An iodine deficiency can slow your metabolic function by as much at 50 percent, so including kelp can naturally and significantly improve weight loss and other associated health problems.
- Improves body pH: Kelp is an alkaline food and therefore an essential part of maintaining acid base balance in the body and an effective component in a healthy acid-alkaline diet.
- Protects against Radiation Poisoning: Once again, due to kelp’s high natural iodine levels, it prevents the thyroid from up-taking harmful levels of radioactive iodine present after a nuclear disaster. This has been particularly important since the recent nuclear fallout in Japan in 2011.
- Cancer prevention: particularly in estrogen sensitive cancers such as breast, endometrial and ovarian cancers.