The Benefits of Kelp: Is it a Superfood?

The fiber in kelp is very helpful in a low-calorie diet, since it helps you feel full so you snack less. Find out all the benefits of kelp in this article.
The Benefits of Kelp: Is it a Superfood?

Last update: 07 September, 2021

In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of kelp.

Kelp is an alga that grows on marine surfaces and has lots of macronutrients. Specifically, it’s rich in iodine and B group vitamins. In addition, it has lots of antioxidants that could help prevent certain diseases.

However, you need to be careful when using it. There is no scientific evidence yet on its properties, and eating too much can have negative health consequences.

The benefits of kelp, a high fiber seaweed

We’re talking about an alga that contains lots of dietary fiber. This substance is useful in improving intestinal transit and general health.

In addition, it’s important to include it in a weight loss diet. Fiber intake is directly linked to an increase in feeling full, as stated in an article published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In this way, eating kelp frequently can reduce the risk of eating unhealthy foods between meals. Also, eating fiber is related to a reduction in markers associated with metabolic risks, such as the following:

  • Lipid profile
  • Blood glucose curve
  • Insulin resistance
A pile of kelp.

The antioxidants in kelp help improve health

Another of the health benefits of kelp is its antioxidant capacity. A study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine ensures that this alga has a neuroprotective power that comes from its antioxidants.

Its consumption is linked to a reduction in the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases in the medium and long term.

However, there aren’t a lot of scientific articles that explore this ability, so there isn’t solid evidence right now. If it’s true that plant foods from the sea are usually rich in pigments and other compounds with antioxidant properties.

Additionally, it has not yet been possible to quantify the ability of kelp to fight against the formation of free radicals. Also, its effects haven’t been compared to other foods.

A salad with kelp.

You may also be interested in: Types of Antioxidants: Properties and Uses

Possible contraindications

Although many people may recommend this plant, it’s important to take certain precautions. As a marine product, it’s susceptible to accumulating heavy metalsThis means that you shouldn’t eat it in large doses.

Ingesting high doses of heavy metals could have certain negative consequences at the neurological level, always in the medium and long term. However, it’s very rare to experience acute poisoning with these types of substances.

Large doses and eating it regularly would be required for a long time to get sick from it. Then, the metals would build up in your adipose tissue. Later, when experiencing a sudden weight loss, they could suddenly pass into the bloodstream.

However, it’s best to be careful when considering consuming algae. It can be positive in the right doses. However, including too much of it in your diet might not be great for your health, especially in the medium and long term.

Kelp, an unusual food with many benefits

Kelp is a food that’s very rare in many cuisines. So far, it hasn’t been studied in depth. Although its antioxidant capacities are suspected, more research is needed, as well as comparative trials with other foods.

Nevertheless, this is a marine product rich in minerals and vitamins, especially the B group. You can add it to your food, although it’s not a good idea to abuse it, since it could contain heavy metals.

The best recommendation about this food is caution. It promises to have protective properties against the development of neurodegenerative diseases. However, at the moment there isn’t research that shows this clearly.

Therefore, it’s possible that something similar to what happened with spirulina years ago could happen. At first, specialists thought that the algae would have lots of therapeutic uses and that it was very beneficial for health. Over time, it became clear that it was one more food to add to your diet, but that it didn’t have miraculous effects.

When in doubt, talk to your doctor or nutritionist for the best advice.

It might interest you...
How to Consume Seaweed and its Nutritional Value
Step To HealthRead it in Step To Health
How to Consume Seaweed and its Nutritional Value

In this article, we'll talk about how to consume seaweed and the nutritional value of this ingredient that's becoming increasingly popular in gastr...

  • Warrilow A., Mellor D., McKune A., Pumpa K., Dietary fat, fibre, satiation and satiety – a systematic review of acute studies. Eur J Clin Nutr, 2019. 73 (3): 333-344.
  • Reid SNS., Ryu JK., Kim Y., Hwan Jeon B., The effects of fermented Laminaria japonica on short term working memory and physical fitness in the elderly. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2018.