What Is Kelp? You may have seen this marine plant at the beach. Kelp is a type of large brown seaweed that grows in shallow, nutrient-rich saltwater, near coastal fronts around the world. It differs slightly in color, flavor, and nutrient profile from the type you may see in sushi rolls. Nutritional Benefits Because it absorbs the nutrients from its surrounding marine environment, kelp is rich in: vitamins minerals trace elements enzymes According to nutritionist Vanessa Stasio Costa, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.N., kelp “is often considered a ‘superfood’ due to its significant mineral content. It’s especially concentrated in iodine, which is important for optimal thyroid function and metabolism.” The National Institutes of Health (NIH) say that seaweed such as kelp is one of the best natural food sources of iodine, an essential component in thyroid hormone production. A deficiency in iodine leads to metabolism disruption and can also lead to an enlargement of the thyroid gland known as goiter. Stasio Costa also notes that kelp contains notable amounts of: iron manganese calcium magnesium copper zinc riboflavin niacin thiamin vitamins A, B-12, B-6, and C The benefits of these vitamins and nutrients are substantial. B vitamins in particular are essential for cellular metabolism and providing your body with energy. According to UCSF Medical Center, kelp has more calcium than many vegetables, including kale and collard greens. Calcium is important to maintain strong bones and optimal muscle function. Helps in Weight Loss: Since kelp is rich in iodine, it helps in regulating the thyroid function. The most important benefit of kelp is, it helps in refining the metabolism and strength. An iodine deficiency will result in weight gain. So, if iodine is taken at the right quantity it will help in the weight loss process. Kelp will also act as a diuretic and flush out the unwanted toxins that remain in the body.