Is Brown Seaweed Good For You?

Is Brown Seaweed Good For You?


For years my (now ex) partner used to attempt to force me out of my comfort zone with food by introducing me to numerous varieties I would never have gone anywhere near…before I met her!

In most cases she failed – I’m a little bit too squeamish for some of the diverse options she put in front of me, but I did sample, and in some cases enjoy, a small percentage of these options…one of which was seaweed.

Living next to, and being brought up by the beach – I was interested in seeing what this slimy marine algae tasted like, and I was also interested in it’s apparent health benefits…

So, is brown seaweed good for you, and if so, what are it’s health benefits?

Let’s take a closer look…

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Brown Seaweeds

These types of seaweed are usually found in the Northern Hemisphere waters where the temperature is nice and cold. Not all forms of this type of seaweed are that palatable – Kelp is the only one that is regarded as a traditional food source.

Kelp is also known to have a handy variety of health benefits…


Brown Seaweeds


Taking On Cancer

A study that took place back in 2012, discovered that brown seaweed was high in levels of Fucoidan. This compound could well help prevent metastasis of lung cancer.

This report also suggested that Kelp could well be the force behind lower incidents of breast cancer and other hormone-related cancers among Asian women.


Weight Loss

In January 2010 a study took place using a derivative of brown seaweed known as fucoxanthin on obese participants. This derivative was mixed up with pomegranate seed oil and given to the patients over a 16 week period.

The results pointed to an average loss of 7.7 pounds and increased resting metabolic rate in each participant. There were also indications that fat deposits in the liver were reduced.


Your Own Personal Hazmat Suit!!!!

Yep – you read that heading correctly…

Brown seaweed can act as a natural version of a nifty Hazmat suit!

Nutritionist Phyllis Balch, author of the book Prescription for Dietary Wellness: Using Foods to Heal, firmly believes that brown seaweed can protect you against certain forms of radiation exposure.

Balch is under the impression that the sodium alginate that is found in brown seaweed, has in the past prevented the absorption of radioactive strontium from contaminated milk.


Vitamins and Minerals

Brown seaweed varieties usually contain a diverse group of vitamins and minerals, including iodine, iron, and calcium. Some types can even contain high amounts of vitamin B12. On top of that – it’s a good source of omega-3 fats (very good for the heart!).

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Conclusion – Is Brown Seaweed Good For You?

There’s no getting away from it – brown seaweed definitely has A LOT of health benefits…but it’s also worth noting that it’s a great dietary source of iodine, which helps support your thyroid gland…

But too much of this iodine can also harm your thyroid function.

What are your experiences with this diverse cuisine?

Do you have any tips or nice recipes you would like to share with us here?

Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.

10 thoughts on “Is Brown Seaweed Good For You?

  1. Hey there! Thanks for all of this information about brown seaweed. I never knew that it was good for weight loss and fighting cancer. I also like that it might be able to provide our bodies with protection from radiation and other potentially harmful things or particles in the air. Where can I buy some of this?

    Thanks for sharing!


    1. I would always recommend Amazon Marlinda. You get the best range of suppliers there and the best range of prices (depending on where you live, of course!). 

  2. Thanks for the interesting post.  I live in Northern California and actually SCUBA dive in Monterey.  I’ve climbed on, swam around and under Kelp but never considered ingesting it.

    I have a few questions for you:

    1) How does one prepare Kelp?

    2) What does it taste like?

    3) Is it best to source it yourself (and is that legal) or do I need to buy it from a reputable dealer and, if so, are there any dealers you recommend?

    4) I know I’ve focused on Kelp but, as you stated, it’s not the only brown seaweed.  Are there others you’d recommend?

    Now I’m curious about it and want to give it a try.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Scott,

      As far as preparation – my partner always deep fries it (or at least fries it in a lot of olive oil). But there are many ways of preparing it (each to their own!). 

      It tastes lovely to me – but again, each to their own! 

      I wouldn’t really source it myself, as the waters you are in may not exactly be ‘clean’ enough for sourcing this sort of thing (just a thought!). 

  3. Hello Chris. I have to tell you that brown seaweed looks pretty unappetizing to me! But I do like the benefits you mentioned, like Iodine and potassium and especially the low sodium, something I continuously look for in products. I have never tried the brown seaweed but I spent my early years in Nova Scotia where I ate Dulse, which is a seaweed and you could get it by the bagful everywhere! Still, I can’t say I found it tasty!

    I too would like to see some recipes incorporating brown seaweed and maybe some of your other readers will be willing to share them with you. Thanks for an informative article on the not so appetizing looking but good for you seaweed.

    1. Yeah we’re hoping in time to get a few seaweed recipes in the comment section here Mary Ann – would make the article killer! 🙂

  4. I’m not really into sea foods like algae or seaweed especially when prepared fresh but I love dried black seaweed; often times I eat them like chips, other times I eat them with Japanese rice, like eating sushi. Seaweed was first introduced to me by a Japanese friend and from then on I regularly visit Japanese shops just for black seaweed.

    I didn’t know there’s brown seaweed. I wonder if they are also sold in packs like black seaweed. I know that sea foods like seaweeds are great sources of iodine but I never thought that they are good in combating cancer and act as protective hazmat. Thanks for a valuable read.

    1. They are very similar in taste and look at the end of the day Alice – I’m pretty sure you can pick up the brown versions in packs like the black variety. 

  5. What an interesting article! I love to try unusual foods and this is definitely something I would seek out after reading your post. I love that nature has provided us with so many healthy, tasty food sources and I appreciate people like yourself, who take the time to research them and bring that knowledge to others. 

    The health benefits you have highlighted are pretty amazing! I believe that if more people were willing to incorporate more of these slightly unusual foodstuffs in to their diet, they would reap the benefits in their health and wellbeing. 

    Do you know if it’s easy to find in supermarkets or would I need to find a more specialist shop? Does it have to be eaten in its original plant form to be beneficial or can it be taken as a supplement? I would love to see some recipes that I could use it in. 

    Thanks again for a well thought out, informative post. I have learned something new today.

    Warm regards,


    1. Hi Sharon, 

      I’ve had luck in the past with finding it in supermarkets – but it depends on what supermarket you are visiting. The best bet would be to use an online route like Amazon. 

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