What Are the Benefits of Kelp?

We all know certain foods are essential to incorporate into our diet to keep our bodies nourished and healthy. Leafy greens, whole grains, lean proteins and more are considered to be fundamental to a well-balanced diet. However, countless lesser-known foods can also have a positive impact on your overall health.

One of the most surprisingly nutritious foods is Kelp — the thick green seaweed found in oceans worldwide. While it might not look appetizing when you come across it at the beach, this sea vegetable is packed with valuable vitamins and minerals.

If you want to include new nutritious foods in your diet, Kelp and other food and nutrients in the sea are great options. Below, we’re taking a detailed look at how Kelp is beneficial to your health, as well as some ways to introduce it to your diet.

What Is Kelp?

Kelp is a large brown seaweed belonging to the brown algae family. It’s characterized by its long, flat blades that often look like swaying ribbons in the saltwater and grows in underwater kelp forests along rocky coastlines, where waters are shallow and nutrient-rich.

Marine ecosystems often rely heavily on Kelp, as it provides food and habitat for many animals, including fish, crabs, and sea otters. It has also been utilized by humans for centuries for a variety of purposes — as a source of food, as fertilizer, for its medicinal properties and more.

Kelp can be found all over the world in places like the North American Pacific, the coasts of Japan and Korea and the coasts of South Africa. Cultures close to waters that grow Kelp often integrate it into their cuisines — the Japanese call it “kombu” and use it in many dishes.

What’s Inside Kelp?

Kelp is a rich source of many different nutrients that all play a role in human health — below are a few examples:


Iodine is an essential mineral that must be obtained through diet and/or supplementation, as your body cannot synthesize it on its own. It’s involved in many processes within the body but is most associated with thyroid, hormonal, and metabolic health. Kelp may support thyroid function and thyroid hormones due to its iodine content.


Iron is another heavy metal that’s critical to overall health and wellbeing. Specifically, it supports blood health and aids in how the body transports oxygen to organs. 

Iron can be difficult to obtain through diet for vegetarians and vegans, as red meat is a main source. Kelp can be helpful for those following certain lifestyles to maintain healthy levels of this essential mineral.


Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is stored in our bones. Again, you must get it through diet and supplementation because the body cannot produce it. 

It has many functions, but its main job is supporting bone health, cardiovascular health, the muscular system, and the nervous system.

Dietarysea kelp supplements and edible seaweed often also contain natural sources of potassium, vitamin K, magnesium, folate, glucose, vanadium, cadmium, sodium alginate, and manganese. 

What Are the Benefits of Kelp?

These are the top ways Kelp can have a positive impact on your health and wellness:

It’s a Source of Iodine

One of the most beneficial aspects of Kelp is that it is a rich Iodine source, vital for many essential bodily functions. Iodine deficiency can be correlated with various adverse side effects. 

Here are a few ways in which Iodine can support you:

  • It supports thyroid gland function (the thyroid is a gland that controls, regulates, and produces several vital hormones in the body)
  • It helps support healthy body metabolism
  • It supports brain health and mental function
  • It helps to maintain general wellbeing

It Supports Skin and Hair Health

Hair follicles require support from the body to produce healthy hair shafts, and the skin status also significantly impacts hair health and healthcare. Kelp is rich in several nutrients and antioxidants that all support skin and hair health by relieving feelings of oxidative stress. These include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and minerals such as selenium and iodine.

It Soothes and Calms the Body

Kelp contains certain compounds, like fucoidan and laminarin, which have a calming and soothing effect on the body, support overall wellness, and help protect your health.

It Supports the Immune System

The immune system is responsible for protecting your body against harmful microbes and foreign invaders. Kelp contains specific nutrients and compounds that support immune function and support how your body manages foreign microbes.

These nutrients include vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and fucoidan. Incorporating Kelp into your diet is a fantastic way to protect your health.

It Can Aid in Weight Management

Kelp is unique because it is a low-calorie food but extremely nutrient dense. This means that consuming Kelp can help you feel fuller and more satisfied for longer without adding a significant amount of calories or carbohydrates to your daily intake. It is also rich in fiber, which supports healthy digestion and metabolism.

It Supports Cardiovascular Health

Heart health is fundamental to overall wellness — the heart requires all sorts of nutrients to function smoothly. Kelp contains the compound fucoxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids, which both support the heart and cardiovascular function.

How Do You Eat Kelp?

Here are some fun and creative ideas to enjoy this deep sea powerhouse:

Kelp Noodles

One of the most creative and popular ways to get this vegetable's benefits is to eat Kelp noodles. Pre-packaged and sold in grocery stores, these glassy noodles are simply made from Kelp, salt, and water. 

The Kelp is cleaned and shredded before being molded into a noodle shape. It’s an extremely popular option because Kelp noodles surprisingly have no taste, which gives you freedom and flexibility with sauces and seasonings. 

Pair these nutritious noodles with Pesto and Parmesan for an Italian spin on your dish. For a delicious dish that can be served hot or cold and is bursting with flavor, pair your noodles with a spicy tahini sauce and crunchy, bright vegetables. 

Kelp Powder in Smoothies

If you are interested in the significant health benefits of Kelp but aren’t interested in adding new food to your diet, you can use Kelp powder. Kelp is first dried and processed before being blended into a nutrient-dense powder. 

If you prefer to take your food on the go or prefer quick-to-make meals, you can use Kelp powder in a variety of ways. The most common way to use Kelp powder is by adding it to your smoothie. With a combination of leafy greens, fruit, milk and nut butter, you won’t even notice the subtle taste of this nourishing powder. 

Crispy Kelp

If you prioritize satisfying textures in your meals, you might choose crispy Kelp as a nutritious boost to your diet. You may have noticed crispy seaweed sprinkled on your favorite Chinese or Japanese takeout dishes — this ingredient is easy to make and use at home. 

Mix Kelp with sesame seeds, Chinese five-spice powder, chili, sugar, and salt to recreate a classic, delicious Chinese side dish. Then, fry it in your air fryer or bake it in the oven until it’s nice and crispy. 

You should be able to find seaweed snacks and crumbles at most Asian markets, which can be used in a variety of ways. Take a piece of crispy seaweed and pile on rice, fish, and avocado, crumble it into your bowl of popcorn, or enjoy the sheets on their own as a light snack. 

Soup Ingredient

Try adding Kelp to your ingredient list to add a salty, umami flavor to your favorite soups and stews. Miso soup, a traditional Japanese dish, is one of the most popular soups that highlights the rich flavors of seaweed. One type of seaweed, kombu, is used for both, while another type, wakame, is used as a floating ingredient in the soup. 

Kombu is a member of the Kelp family and is responsible for giving your miso soup broth its decadent flavor. 

Can You Supplement With Kelp?

Supplementing with the powerful seaweed is also a great option. It's an easy and reliable way to integrate all the beneficial nutrients and antioxidants into your daily routine, and JSHealth has you covered.

Our Hair + Energy formula contains Iodine sourced from our exclusive JSHealth Kelp™. This high-quality Kelp comes from the pristine ocean waters off the coast of Nova Scotia and Brittany, where it is harvested using environmentally sustainable methods. It’s the perfect daily supplement to boost your hair health, energy levels, and overall wellness.

The Hair + Libido formula also contains our sustainably sourced Kelp, but it’s combined with Tribulus and Ginkgo Biloba. These two nutrients work together to support a healthy libido and sexual function.


Kelp is a type of seaweed packed with a host of essential vitamins and minerals. Its health benefits include skin and hair health support, immune system support, and cardiovascular support. 

It’s a reasonably versatile ingredient used in various dishes, and you can consume it in multiple forms. One of these forms is supplementation — an easy and convenient way to boost your Iodine levels and support your overall health.


Iodine | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The Importance of Iron in Your Body | American Red Cross

What Is Umami, Exactly? | Reader’s Digest