We all know that kelp is a nutrient-dense superfood, with amazing health benefits. It’s known to be particularly rich in iodine, and a fantastic source of other essential vitamins and minerals. However, another awesome property of seaweed is the powerful effect it can have on weight management. We’ll be looking at how exactly this works, and what it could mean for you!
1. Balancing thyroid function
Iodine deficiency in the diet is a leading cause of an underactive thyroid. This lowers the body’s energy and metabolism, allowing salt and excess fat to accumulate. Because of this, one of the main symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid is weight gain. Unfortunately, according to the World Health Organisation, approximately 2 billion people worldwide are deficient in iodine. The rich iodine content of seaweed means that it provides balance to thyroid function and helps to maintain a healthy metabolism.
2. Seaweed has a rich nutritional profile
Our seaweed contains a high concentration of vital minerals, including iron, magnesium, calcium and iron. We’ve also got your essential vitamins covered, including vitamins A, B12, C and E. Mineral deficiency is a risk factor associated with obesity. These nutrients can indirectly impact on weight management by assisting with metabolic processes as well as regulating other bodily functions.
When fat cells are overloaded, the tissue surrounding them can become inflamed. This accumulation of cell fat inflammation is something which can exacerbate weight gain. However, seaweed is rich in omega-3 acids, which is ideal for targeting and reducing this inflammation.
3. Seaweed promotes digestive health
Seaweed is plentiful in viscous dietary fibres, such as alginate, fucoidan and fucoxanthin. These stimulate the digestive enzymes, such as amylase, pepsin and lipase. These can prevent the activity of other enzymes such as alpha glucosidase, which is used to break down carbohydrates into simple sugars. Lowering this activity has a positive impact on blood sugar levels, as simple sugar absorption from the intestine is limited.
The antioxidant compound fucoxanthin in seaweed has a particularly positive impact on enhancing metabolism and keeping the bowels moving. It stimulates production of the protein UCP1 which helps to increase the burning of fat. Fucoxanthin is also super helpful for lowering cholesterol levels. Alginate is useful for limiting the absorption of fat into the body, due to its inhibitory effect on lipase. These fibres produce feelings of fullness by swelling upon entering the stomach, then absorbing water and nutrients.
So there you have it! These are just a few of the ways in which seaweed is the perfect partner for your weight journey. It’s nutritional profile, plus its rich iodine and fibre content, mean that seaweed can do amazing things for our digestive and metabolic health. If you want to reap these benefits yourself, visit www.oceanandgreen.co.nz for more!