Kelp is the new cauliflower. It’s trendy, it’s sustainable, and it’s in everything from milkshakes to salads. But why has kelp wandered into the spotlight? Probably because it's crazy good for you, great for weight loss, and is often sustainably sourced!
On This Page
Before We Begin: Reap the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet (Without All the Work)
We've got plant-based versions of all your old favorites, from our Millie's Chili to our Lazy Lasagna and our Tuna "ish" Salad (flavored with, you guessed it, kelp!). And everything arrives to your door, already cooked. You just heat and eat. Get started today.
1. Kelp Can Kickstart your Weight Loss
Trying to get your weight under control? Studies show kelp can help. Just two teaspoons of seaweed salad a day for two months is associated with smaller waistline (by 2 inches!).
Why is kelp such a weight loss booster? This seaweed is naturally low in fat and calories, plus it's loaded with alginate, a natural fiber that appears to stop the gut from fat absorption by up to 72 percent.
2. Kelp is a Nutritionally Dense Superfood (+ a Vegan Source of Omega-3s!)
Not all food trends warrant an eye roll. Kelp earns its newfound reputation as a superfood. Not only does it give food a delicious briny flavor, but it is also loaded with vitamins and minerals that are essential for proper bodily function (especially for those who don’t eat fish).
Speaking of fish, did you know that wild caught fish only contain Omega-3s because they get it from the plants they eat? Yep, this means that farm raised fish that eat pellets aren't such a great source of Omega-3s. Why not skip the middleman altogether and go right to the source…seaweed and algae!
By the way, kelp is also loaded with Vitamin K1, folate (which is essential for pregnant women), magnesium, iron, vitamin A, and calcium.
3. Kelp is Great for Thyroid Function
Another kelp benefit: seaweed just happens to be relatively high in iodine, an important nutrient that helps your thyroid create hormones. Kelp, of all varieties of seaweed, is particularly high in iodine, with almost 59 times your RDA in just one teaspoon of dried kelp! Getting the correct amount of iodine can lead to increased energy levels and enhanced brain function. Low levels of thyroid hormones can make losing weight difficult and even cause weight gain so this may be another reason eating kelp can help you lose weight. Though keep in mind that too much iodine can lead to thyroid problems, so try to enjoy in moderation.
4. Kelp May Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Kelp is chock full of antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids, which reduce inflammation and lower your chances of noncommunicable diseases. Eating kelp is especially good for reducing your risk for breast cancer as it favorably alters estrogen metabolism, meaning the more kelp you consume, the less estrogen you have in your system. Studies show consuming between 1 and 2 sheets of nori a day can cut your chances of breast cancer by 50 percent!
5. Kelp Can Boost Your Gut, Brain, and Heart Health
Seaweed contains a large amount of fiber which is one of the most important nutrients you can regularly eat (and most Americans are fiber-deficient!). Proper fiber intake is associated with improved heart health and gut health (which leads to boosted brain health). Kelp also regulates glucose levels and blood pressure. Just two teaspoons of seaweed salad a day for one month was associated with decreased blood pressure by an average of 14 points.
This is a big one! As the overfishing of our oceans disrupts the balance of the underwater ecosystem, some fishermen are turning to sustainable seaweed farming. Maine Fresh Sea Farms, in particular, is doing their part to sustainably source kelp. Their mission is to protect Maine's working waterfronts and marine industries, all the while protecting the environment with sustainable seaweed farming.
OK, so how are you supposed to add kelp in food? Well, you can eat seaweed in almost any capacity because of its mild flavor. Blend it in your smoothies, add it to your soups, layer it into your casseroles, and add it to your salads! Or skip the Google search for kelp recipes altogether and just order MamaSezz Tuna "Ish" Salad (flavored with Maine kelp!) and we'll do the work for you.
- Kelp is a nutritionally-dense superfood. Kelp benefits include: a good vegan source of Omega-3s, great for weight loss, heart healthy, gut health, thyroid function, and reducing your cancer risk (particularly breast cancer).
- Kelp is also sustainably sourced!
- Because of its mild flavor, you can add kelp to plenty of your favorite recipes from smoothies to soups to casseroles and salads.
By Caroline DiNicola Fawley
Caroline is a plant-based chef, recipe designer, and whole food plant-based nutrition educator, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.