We include kelp in all of our ZIWI Peak recipes. Kelp is a great source of bio-available nutrients including iodine and minerals, which not only help maintain a healthy metabolism but when used as a supplement can also help to eliminate fleas naturally and reduce skin itchiness.
What is Kelp?
Seaweeds and kelps, as a class of plants, have the broadest spectrum of trace minerals and vitamins of any plant group in the world. As such, they lend themselves to being a very good natural multivitamin and mineral source. The reason they contain this wide range of nutrients is because of their ability to absorb minerals directly from ocean water. Unlike land plants, kelps and seaweeds do not have root systems to absorb minerals. Instead, they absorb minerals directly through the plant tissue from the mineral-rich sea-water they are living in.
Kelp is the largest plant in the seaweed family, usually found and cultivated as dense forests of kelp usually found 8m to 30m under water. Since kelp absorb mineral content from the ocean, the more pristine the source of ocean water, the higher the quality the trace minerals are in the plant.
Nutritional benefits of Kelp
Kelp is one of the richest natural sources of amino acids; kelp is 25% protein and 2% fat. Full of bio-available vitamins and minerals, these sea vegetables contain iodine, which is essential for healthy thyroid function, and iron to support circulation.
There are a variety of edible sea vegetables, but kelp is the most nutritious for dogs. There are 60 different vitamins, minerals, and trace elements as well as 21 amino acids. Kelp is rich and natural source of numerous growth hormones. However, kelp is most known for is its iodine content which helps to support your dog’s glandular system as well as his metabolism. Benefits associated with kelp include the following:
- Regulates glandular activity in the adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid glands.
- Great for skin allergies, as it helps reduce itching and inflammation.
- Contains protein and amino acids that help tissue repair.
- Iodine content helps to stimulate thyroid activity, speeding metabolism and weight loss.
- High-fibre content helps digestion.
- Can help reduce dental plaque and tarter build-up.
More information about Kelp
- Kelp supplements have been found to reduce dental plaque and tarter build-up in dogs. Swedish studies have shown that kelp supplements reduce dental plaque and tarter build-up in dogs within a few weeks. Some English research indicates the effect may be due to bacteria, Bacillus lichenformis that resides on the surfaces of the kelp and releases an enzyme that breaks down the plaque coating on the teeth
- Kelp is rich in iodine. Iodine is a chemical element necessary (at least in trace amounts) to prevent a condition called hypothyroidism in dogs (it is called goitre in human beings.) The rich mix of iodine and other minerals in kelp makes it an ideal supplement to keep your pup's entire glandular system, particularly the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands, in healthy working order. This in turn ensures your dog's metabolism works efficiently, which is an important element in maintaining a healthy weight.
- Kelp contains a rich natural source of salts and minerals. The variety of salts and minerals (including iodine, magnesium, potassium, iron and calcium) in Kelp help keep the dog's entire glandular system, the pituitary gland, the adrenal gland, as well as the thyroid gland, the glands that regulate metabolism, healthy. When the glands don't function properly, the anal gland may function improperly causing unpleasant odours. Kelp can be just what you need to reduce the incidence of nasty smell in your house.
- Kelp reduces itchiness and skin conditions. There is substantial evidence that kelp in the dog's diet will repel fleas. Kelp can be an important natural addition to the organic or chemical flea-fighting treatment you have chosen for your dog. Kelp reduces itchiness in dogs with skin allergies and improves the general condition of skin and coat. If your dog has itchy skin and seems always to be scratching, kelp supplements may make your dog's life a lot more pleasant.
- Kelp is high in iron and calcium. It can supplement other nutrients in food to prevent iron deficiency and improve the ability of the blood to distribute oxygen to the cells. Dogs on Kelp supplements may heal from injury faster because of the iron enrichment. The calcium may help prevent arthritis and bone conditions.
- Kelp contains natural amino acids. The amino acids, especially glycine, alanine, arginine, proline, glutamic, and aspartic acids in natural kelp supplement may support tissue repair. The Japanese have long maintained that eating seaweed (which is customary in Japan) improves longevity.
- Kelp also supports many of your dog's other body functions. It cleanses the digestive system and keeps its juices balanced. Because it is high in iron it fortifies the blood, which then helps the heart to pump more efficiently. In older dogs especially, it is recommended for strengthening the immune system. Also, dogs on kelp supplements are thought to heal faster from surgery, because the amino acids in the seaweed support tissue repair. And it could help you and your dog to live longer.