Kelp, the kale king of the sea. This marine algae more commonly known as seaweed, is a brilliant vegetable to include in our diets as it’s basically pure energy! Here’s why:
The downlow: what’s in it?
As it comes from the ocean Kelp rocks a high amount of minerals magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and calcium as well as vitamins A, C, E and niacin. But wait, there’s more, it is also a source of antioxidants, amino acids, omega-3 fats and phytonutrients (compounds found in plants that help protect its vitality). What makes kelp king however is it iodine offering. Many foods have iodine but nothing compares to kelp.
How does kelp help
Iodine is an essential element of the hormones made in the thyroid gland and it assists in the thyroid’s regulation. These hormones help to control the production and regulation of energy in nearly every cell of the body, so pretty crucial to our health.
Proper regulation of your thyroid gland garners strong, healthy hair and nails and glowing skin, while maintaining your body’s energy and brain metabolism. It is also great a mopping up toxins that may have accumulated in the body.
Seaweed also contains glutamic acid, which our bodies know as glutamate – vital to the central nervous system, brain function, learning, memory and aspects of cognition.
Balancing iodine levels is important as too little or too much can each have unwanted effects on the thyroid including hypo or hyperthyroidism.
When low tide hits and exposes kelp to light and atmosphere, kelp gets a little stressed out and it deals with this stress by releasing iodides (single negatively charged ions) that provide a protective sheild over the seaweed to protect it from chemical naturally forming environmental threats like free radicals and hydrogen peroxide. Scientists suggest this may be the most chemical simple antioxidant ever discovered.
Rainbow kelp noodle salad with lemon almond ginger dressing
If you haven’t tried kelp noodles get on the train! These are light, slightly crunchy, look like glassy rice noodles and are pretty much flavourless so they can be combined with all sorts of tasty things to make like raw salads, soups, pad thai and in spring rolls.
for the lemon almond ginger dressing
1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked for 1 hour, water reserved
1/2 cup reserved soaking water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon liquid aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon white miso
for the salad
1 package of kelp noodles, rinsed thoroughly
2 carrots, julienned
1 red bell pepper, sliced very thinly
1/4 head of red cabbage, cored and grated or very thinly sliced
3 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 cups chopped mango
chopped almonds for sprinkling
sesame seeds for sprinkling
Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend or process until smooth. Set aside.
Combine the kelp noodles, spinach, carrots, bell pepper, red cabbage, and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss until combined. Serve topped with mango, chopped almonds, and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Be sure to always rinse the kelp noodles well with warm water before using and I like to roughly chop them so the strands aren't so long.
Recipe: Keepin' in Kind.