I’ve been reading reports that say sea kelp is now one of the top superfoods. First it was wheat grass then it was kale but kelp is now being touted as the latest nutritional powerhouse ingredient to add to your diet. I’m not surprised because it’s certainly good for detoxing your body.
Kelp is full of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and alginates that can help a lot with detox, weight control and improving your health. Sea plants contain 10-20 times the minerals as land-based plants. Kelp even contains a little omega-3 fatty acid.
Kelp contains magnesium, potassium, folate, vitamin K, calcium and iron as well as protein. It is particularly high in iodine which is needed for the thyroid to produce thyroid hormone which regulates metabolism and helps with weight control.
Many people are low in iodine these days because of the trend for low salt diets, and iodine antagonists such as bromine, chlorine and fluorides which get into your body and interfere with iodine uptake and utilization.
A 2008 study showed that the form of iodine in kelp can detox free radicals, those highly reactive molecules that accelerate ageing.
Alginates are higher in sea kelp than other seeweeds such as bladderwrack, Irish moss, dulse, nori, hiziki, wakame. You have probably already eaten sodium alginate without knowing it as a food additive in ice cream and soy sauce where it’s used to enhance flavor and taste. Many processed foods contain it, as it’s an effective binding agent.
Alginates bind to heavy metals, radioactive elements such as iodine-131 and strontium-90, and environmental toxins within the digestive tract, preventing reabsorption into the bloodstream. Heavy metal toxicity is an often an overlooked root cause of a number of serious health issues.
Because sea kelp has the ability to chelate heavy metals it is important to only take kelp that is guaranteed to be free from heavy metal and other pollutants.
Kelp is available in a variety of forms including fresh, dried, as powder and capsules or tablets.
The following are 3 of the best ways of using kelp for detoxing your body.
1. Sea Kelp Baths
One way to detox your body with kelp is to use it in a bath. Look for organic powdered kelp that is free from pollutants. Mix a pound of the powder with 4 cups of water and cook the mixture on a low heat for an hour. Add the cooked mixture to a tub of warm to hot water. Soak in the water for 20 minutes to one hour. You will absorb some of the many vitamins and minerals which helps to detoxify heavy metals and radiation.
If you don’t like the sea weed smell you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. You can do this bath three times a week for up to a year.
2. Kelp Smoothies
Use kelp in juices and smoothies for an effective body detox. You just have to add a half to one teaspoonful of organic powdered kelp to your smoothie and then blend as usual. Kelp does have a salty taste, so don’t add too much of it. I find that a teaspoon doesn’t affect the taste much at all.
Here’s a green detox smoothie recipe that doesn’t taste of kelp at all.
Kelp Zinger Detox Smoothie
1 cup arugula (rocket)
1 cup pineapple, chopped
¼ cup cucumber, chopped
¼ cup coconut milk
¼ cup cilantro (coriander), loosely packed
1 tsp kelp powder
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
¼ cup ice
Put all ingredients into your blender and whizz up until very smooth.
3. Cooking with Kelp
You can use fresh or dried kelp for cooking. You may be able to find it fresh if you live near the sea but if not you can buy fresh kelp online. Kelp has not gone mainstream yet so is more difficult to find in supermarkets but you should be able to find it in Asian food stores where it’s known as Kombu or in your health food store.
Simply add a sheet or a handful of shredded seaweed to whatever you are cooking. Added to a pot of beans it will make them more tender and digestible. You can soak dried sea kelp in water, drain well and then gently stir fry with vegetables in a wok.
You might see raw kelp noodles which are made from the inside of kelp. They are not noodles at all of course but have a crunchy texture and can be added to salads or tossed with a pesto or raw marinara sauce.
Here’s a good kelp detox salad recipe from Annaliisa Kapp
Vibrant Beet, Avocado and Kelp Salad
Makes 2 servings
5 strips of kelp seaweed strips
1 small beet (beetroot)
2 inches cucumber
½ lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1. Soak kelp seaweed strips in filtered water for twenty minutes.
2. Peel beet and core apple. In a food processor, using the shredding blade, shred cucumber, beet and apple.
3. Drain and rinse seaweed. Cut into thin strips. Combine all dressing ingredients into a medium bowl and toss in seaweed and vegetables. Mix well.
4. Slice avocado into thick slices and serve with seaweed salad.
As you can see, detoxing your body with seaweed is extremely simple and at the same time it’s very beneficial for your health. On top of helping you have a better looking skin, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol, sea kelp can also detox heavy metals and radiation which will greatly improve your overall health.
Now I have some questions for you. Have you used kelp already? If so how did you use it? If not, do you think you will give it a try?
Green Smoothie Image by Olga Vasiljeva