Kelp Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Kelp (Laminaria) is a kind of brown seaweed that often grows in giant underwater forests. Whereas seaweed can develop in almost any kind of saltwater or freshwater, kelp is discovered solely in saltwater, sometimes alongside nutrient-rich, chilly, rocky coastlines. There are about 30 completely different kinds of kelp. Kelp offers vitamin for a variety of sea life. Individuals additionally devour this leafy seaweed, due to its excessive dietary worth.

Kelp—together with different kinds of edible seaweed—has been a staple within the Japanese weight-reduction plan for lots of of years. Now this meals has change into frequent in different components of the world, due partially to the recognition of kelp noodles.

Kelp Diet Details

The next vitamin info is supplied by the USDA for 1 cup (15g) of dried seaweed.

  • Energy: 44.7
  • Fats: 0.6g
  • Sodium: 86.2mg
  • Carbohydrates: 7.9g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Sugars: 0.5g
  • Protein: 4.8g


The carbohydrate content material of dried kelp is low, with underneath 8 grams in a full cup. Of this, underneath 1 gram comes from sugar and fiber.


There’s little or no fats naturally present in kelp though it might be added throughout cooking.


Dried kelp has virtually 5 grams of protein per cup.

Nutritional vitamins and Minerals

Kelp comprises many vital nutritional vitamins and minerals, together with nutritional vitamins Ok, A, C, and E along with folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6. It additionally offers small quantities of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid.

Iodine is a mineral that is current in excessive quantities in kelp. Different minerals embody calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, and phosphorus.

Well being Advantages

Kelp is excessive in dietary worth as a result of it’s extremely low in energy however filled with fiber, nutritional vitamins, and minerals, which supply varied well being advantages:

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  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant that will assist forestall sickness or illness
  • Calcium: Aids in bone well being
  • Iron: Essential for wholesome blood and illness resistance
  • Magnesium: Important for lots of of biochemical reactions in your physique
  • Iodine: Essential for the manufacturing of thyroid hormones and to take care of a wholesome metabolism

Promotes Weight Loss

Some analysis has recommended that the kind of fiber present in seaweed, together with kelp, could assist with satiety and feeling of fullness, which can assist folks devour fewer total energy. Seaweed itself is low in energy and fats, and one of many antioxidants present in seafood, referred to as fucoxanthin, might also assist with weight reduction.

Lowers Most cancers Danger

Whereas extra analysis is required, three compounds present in seaweed have proven some preliminary promise in preventing most cancers:

  • Fucoidan, a kind of fiber present in seaweed
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Polyphenols (antioxidants)

Lowers Excessive Blood Stress

A few of those self same compounds, reminiscent of fucoidan and fucoxanthin, might also assist individuals who have hypertension. Folate, as nicely, has been proven to assist keep wholesome blood strain, and seaweed is usually a good supply of this B vitamin.

Allergic reactions

Allergy to kelp or different seaweed is uncommon, however attainable. In the event you expertise signs of meals allergy after consuming kelp (reminiscent of swelling or rash, particularly across the mouth), seek the advice of a health care provider.

Hostile Results

Kelp is probably going protected when consumed within the quantities sometimes present in meals. Nonetheless, the excessive quantity of iodine and doubtlessly heavy metals in kelp will be detrimental to your well being for those who devour an excessive amount of, particularly within the type of dietary supplements.

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Your really useful each day consumption of iodine will depend on your age and intercourse. Most adults want 150 micrograms per day. The higher restrict (essentially the most that needs to be consumed in a day) is 1,100 micrograms.

For the reason that iodine content material in kelp and kelp merchandise varies, it may be unclear how a lot iodine you’ll devour while you eat it. Consuming an excessive amount of iodine could cause severe adverse well being results, reminiscent of goiter, thyroid gland irritation, and, in extreme circumstances, thyroid most cancers. Publicity to heavy metals also can hurt thyroid operate.

For these causes, well being consultants advise that pregnant or breastfeeding ladies and people with kidney or thyroid issues, reminiscent of hyperthyroidism, keep away from consuming kelp.


There are completely different kinds of kelp, certainly one of which is kombu. Kombu is the Japanese phrase for kelp, often the Saccharina japonica species.

Uncooked and dried kelp and kelp noodles are discovered in lots of specialty markets. Kelp noodles will also be present in some grocery shops and supermarkets within the Asian meals part. You may as well purchase kelp and kelp noodles on-line.

Word that the vitamin of kelp noodles will range primarily based on the product that you just purchase and the recipe you utilize. Manufacturers with simply kelp, water, and sodium alginate (a pure hydration agent that’s extracted from brown seaweed) shall be low in energy, carbs, and fats whereas nonetheless providing among the dietary advantages of plain kelp.

Storage and Meals Security

Dried kelp and kelp noodles are often packaged so that you could maintain them in your cabinet for about six months, so long as they’re unopened. You’ll be able to maintain contemporary or rehydrated kelp within the fridge for a couple of days.

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How one can Put together

Uncooked kelp can be utilized in stir-fry dishes and soups, added to salads, or included in smoothies. Dried kelp will be added to the pot when cooking dried beans to boost taste and make them much less gas-causing. It will also be used so as to add taste to soups and broths.

Kelp noodles will be consumed chilly or heated, however it is best to rinse the noodles earlier than consuming. Strive including them to inexperienced salads, utilizing them as a pasta various, or tossing with sauteed veggies and a protein.

Verywell Match makes use of solely high-quality sources, together with peer-reviewed research, to help the details inside our articles. Learn our editorial course of to study extra about how we fact-check and maintain our content material correct, dependable, and reliable.
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  2. Cherry P, O’Hara C, Magee P, McSorley E, Allsopp P. Risks and benefits of consuming edible seaweedsNutr Rev. 2019;77(5):307-329. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuy066

  3. Admassu H, Gasmalla MAA, Yang R, Zhao W. Bioactive peptides derived from seaweed protein and their health benefits: Antihypertensive, antioxidant, and antidiabetic properties. J Meals Sci. 2018;83(1):6-16. doi:10.1111/1750-3841.14011

  4. Thomas I, Siew LQC, Watts TJ, Haque R. Seaweed allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2019;7(2):714-715. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2018.11.009

  5. Nationwide Institutes of Well being Workplace of Dietary Dietary supplements. Iodine.

By Malia Frey, M.A., ACE-CHC, CPT

 Malia Frey is a weight reduction knowledgeable, licensed well being coach, weight administration specialist, private coach​, and health vitamin specialist. 

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