Norwegian kelp which has the scientific name ‘ascophyllum nodosum’ is brown algae. This seaweed is found along the North Atlantic coast from Svalbard (a group of tiny islands in the northernmost part of Norway) right down to Portugal. Other names for Norwegian kelp are egg wrack, knotted wrack, rockweed and knotted kelp. The fronds of the Norwegian kelp can grow up to 2m in height. Apart from these regions, ascophyllum nodosum is also harvested in other regions like off the Maine Coast in the United States.
Norwegian kelp is rich in nutrients just like other types of seaweed. It contains minerals like potassium, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, sodium, manganese, zinc, iron, copper, nitrogen. It also contains polysaccharides, amino acids, proteins and organic acids. All these provide many benefits to both humans and animals. All types of kelp are beneficial for various health conditions. Norwegian kelp and kelp which is harvested along the coasts of Iceland, Hawaii, North West United States and Canada are considered to be less contaminated by toxins since these waters are protected, clean and pristine.
Benefits of Norwegian Kelp
Norwegian kelp is used as fertilizers and alginates to manufacture food for human and animal consumption. This organic fertilizer provides many benefits and is widely used by agriculturists. Norwegian kelp is also used to package lobster and baitworm for export from New England to other International locations.
The rich iodine content in Norwegian kelp means that it helps optimal functioning of the thyroid. Thyroid hormones and iodine are said to promote physiological health, like reproductive functions and good metabolic rate. Deficiency in iodine can result in thyroid disorders, other abnormalities and brain damage.
Norwegian kelp contains 14 essential vitamins like vitamin K, folate, niacin, etc. Vitamin K maintains healthy brain and heart and prevents arterial blood clotting. Folate helps with cell division and growth and helps with the production of red blood cells.
Sodium alginate content in Norwegian kelp helps to protect the body against radioactive elements like Strontium-90. It also detoxifies the body and flushes out heavy metals like barium, cadmium and plutonium. Those working in close proximity to these metals can get contaminated by them.
Many coastal regions along the Mediterranean, Pacific Ocean and Ireland use kelp in baths. This is said to soothe muscles and joints as well as help with skin conditions like eczema, swelling of the prostate and ectoparasites.
Kelp supplements can benefit anyone who wants to follow a balanced diet. Kelp is available as powder, meal, capsules and liquid. The high iodine content in sea kelp can also benefit weight loss programs. Sea kelp can be used in Asian cuisine like sushi or miso soup, salads, soups or casseroles. It can be purchased at grocery or health food stores.
Before iodine was added to salt, kelp was used as a sea salt substitute and is even used to this day. Just use some sea kelp powder and warm water to get rid of accumulation of phlegm and sore throat. Sea kelp can also treat goiter, liver, lung and kidney problems. It can reduce edema to legs and the body and improve urination. Sea kelp like Norwegian kelp can build up pH levels in the body which fights off viruses. Iodine content in sea kelp also benefits breast tissue. The high calcium levels in Norwegian kelp are sufficient to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and strengthen bones and muscles.
Kelp meal can benefit animals too. Sprinkling kelp powder in animal food provides similar benefits as those humans enjoy. It can improve stamina, fight allergies, improve glandular functioning and relieve arthritis. It can improve the coat of dogs by making it thick and lustrous, reduce shedding and restore natural fur color in older animals which are graying around the muzzle. When included in bird feed, it can improve feathers too.
Norwegian kelp and other kelp products must be used in moderation. Use kelp supplements alternating with other supplements. It is recommended that you take it with periodic breaks to avoid an overdose of iodine. Iodine overdoses may trigger autoimmune diseases and hypothyroidism. Check with your doctor before taking any Norwegian kelp supplements.