Kelp is a form of seaweed that is often overlooked in the grand scheme of ocean life. It meets the growing demand for a sustainable form of food and medicine and is considered to be one of the ocean's most essential species. Whether you are looking for something to snack on while fishing or trying to solve a health problem, kelp is there to meet your needs.
What is Kelp?
Kelp is a popular type of seaweed found in cold, shallow waters of the ocean. It belongs to the brown algae family and can grow up to 300 feet tall. Kelp is packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates that makes it an ideal snack for sea life and humans alike. In addition to its nutritional value, kelp provides a range of environmental and economic benefits.
Kelp plays a critical role in coastal ecosystems by protecting coastlines from wave erosion and providing shelter for other marine life. It forms part of the food chain when some fish use them for their homes, and whales feed on its abundant nutrients. By forming a fence along the shoreline, kelp also helps to reduce pollution and can even mitigate human impacts from storms, high tides and repopulate an area when harvesting has occurred. Together with the help of other ocean plants, its presence also enhances water quality, helping fish and other aquatic species to thrive.
The Benefits of Kelp
Kelp has a plethora of benefits that can’t be overlooked. Not only is it a nutrient-rich food source but it is also an excellent remedy for a range of ailments. You can find it being used in various over-the-counter products for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting properties. The seaweed is full of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals that can play an important role in promoting a healthy diet. It has been shown to reduce triglycerides (blood fat) levels, lower blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of heart disease and even improve bone health.
Kelp is also a sustainable food source. Its growth rate is incredibly fast, allowing it to rapidly replenish itself after being harvested. Since kelp grows in shallow waters and is exposed to sunlight and the oxygen within the water, it is able to reproduce quickly and is capable of becoming a viable food source in a short period of time. Unlike other harvestables like fish, kelp doesn't need to be located miles away from land, making it easier to harvest while still preserving the health of the ocean.
Kelp has also been utilized for food since ancient times, an example being its use as an ingredient in Japanese soups. Today it is enjoyed in popular dishes such as sushi, salads, and noodles. You can even find it as an ingredient in various health foods and supplements, like meal replacement bars or powder shake drinks.
Kelp is also used for its medicinal properties. Because it contains high contents of chlorophyll and iodine, it can act as an anti-inflammatory and can help to balance hormones. It is a key ingredient for various health remedies, such as Chinese and Japanese traditional medicines, and can help to reduce the symptoms of illnesses, such as the common cold.
Kelp has been found to be an effective natural fertilizer with its ability to release essential mineral elements into the soil. It is often used as an organic fertilizer and soil conditioner. In some areas, farmers have successfully applied kelp powder to their crops, resulting in more yields and improved soil fertility.
Kelp is an important part of the ocean ecology and is one of the most beneficial organisms in our seas. Its fast-growing nature makes it a sustainable and renewable resource. For those living in coastal areas, kelp can provide a variety of food and health benefits. Whether you’re looking for a nutritious snack or a medicinal remedy, kelp is there to meet your needs.