Kelp is the best natural source of iodine available and generally a positive alternative to salt. Kelp contains less sodium than salt, along with additional minerals required by the human body and a salty taste. Kombu is the Japanese name for kelp. In Japan, Kelp is presented as a strip used to make dashi, a broth that serves as a base for many soups. In New Zealand and many other non-Asian countries, kelp is presented as a seasoning because it more compatible with western methods of food preparation.
All brown seaweed are rich in iodine, with kelp being the richest of these. Iodine is key to a healthy metabolism and has a direct impact on all the body systems. Kelp is so strong in iodine that 1/4 tsp per day is sufficient to meet the ‘recommended daily intake’ (RDA) suggested for the maintenance of body functions. Pacific Harvest prepares kelp as a seasoning for ease of use and because of the small amount required to maintain health.
There is controversy as to how much kelp a person needs – everybody is unique in its requirements. Much has been written on the subject and there are many views on methods to assess iodine levels in a person, and even more opinions regarding what represents a healthy iodine level. We encourage you to read and conduct your own research on the subject; there are many sources, Dr. Brownstein has written a substantial amount related to this debate. He writes: “It has been estimated that the mainland Japanese ingest approximately 13.8mg of iodine per day, which is over 100 times the RDA. Japanese from the coastal areas ingest more iodine than the average inland Japanese consume. The mainland Japanese receive much of their iodine from seaweed, which is known to concentrate iodine.” (IODINE, why you need it why you can’t live without it, 3rd edition, p.87)
In addition to high levels of iodine, kelp and other brown seaweeds contain a number of special compounds that are now being researched for their positive role in the fight against degenerative diseases – alginate and fucoidan, supporting detox from radiations & environmental toxins and the fight against cancer; laminarin & lignan to support balanced cholesterol, sugars and estrogen hormone in the body; and also a number of powerful anti-oxidants.
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