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Be Smart About Using Sea Vegetables...

Veggies3The human body is made up of mostly water, both fresh and salt water. To help us maintain a healthy internal liquid environment we need to eat foods that come from the ocean.

Many cultures around the world have experienced numerous benefits from eating sea vegetables; aka seaweed.

Energetically, sea vegetables are cooling (like all vegetables) and can help counteract “hot” conditions in the body such as inflammation, swelling, hot flashes, and high blood pressure.

Vegetables from the sea contain high concentrations of calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, magnesium, copper, chromium, and high levels of iodine that is needed for thyroid health.

Both too little iodine and too much iodine can lead to thyroid problems.

Clients with hyperthyroid, graves or hashimotos often believe they need to stop eating iodine rich foods and, it’s not necessarily true. When I was first healing my thyroid I had both hyperthyroid and a goiter. I ate an iodine rich diet that included sea vegetables, and it helped heal my condition.

I’ve had many clients with goiters that have reclaimed a normal sized neck by including sea vegetables into their diet on a regular basis, or about one to two times per week.

One of the great qualities of sea vegetables is that they can bind with heavy metals and help eliminate them from the body.

BUT, I do want to caution against using kelp tablets. I’ve seen lots of people actually develop goiter or hashimotos thyroiditis by using kelp and other seaweed tablets. It is too much concentrated iodine at one time, and is not balanced by other nutrients to make it more absorbable.

Sea vegetables contain alginic acid that can bind with toxins and radioactive waste in our body and allow their elimination. According to a 1964 McGill University study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, kelp can reduce the intestinal absorption of radioactive strontium-90 by up to 80%.[1]

I had a client that came to see me for asthma, not thyroid disease. She had a dry hacking cough. We altered her diet and lifestyle and incorporated sea vegetables to help moisten and lubricate her lungs and intestines to help her breathe easier.

She really enjoyed eating sea vegetables and said she was craving them like crazy! So, she began eating them on a daily basis. Her lungs showed improvement and she was using her inhaler less often.

But, three months into her new eating regimen, she said, “Something terrible has happened! My thyroid got re-activated.”

I said, “Wow that’s amazing!”

She said, “No, it’s not! Five years ago my doctor gave me RAI (radioactive iodine) because I had hyperthyroid. My thyroid is supposed to be dead!”

I said, “You could be the poster child for how food can heal the body. The sea vegetables must have drawn the radioactive residue from your body, and the high iodine probably made your gland start functioning again. We should celebrate!”

She said, “No! My doctor said I need to take another dose of the radioactive iodine or I will have a heart attack.”

I said, “Awwh, your thyroid gland wants to live after being radiated. That’s pretty darn amazing. Please ask your doctor if you can take some time to think about it.”

The next time I saw her she she told me that the doctor convinced her she would die without taking RAI the second time. And, she was scared, so she took it.

I gave her a big hug and told her that she did what she needed to do to take care of herself.

A few weeks after that, she told me she felt guilty about taking the second round of RAI.

Everyone is on their own path doing the things they need to do for their own survival. While you’re healing, try not to have any guilt about anything that has happened to you or your body. Always do what YOU believe you need to do to take care of yourself, regardless of what anyone says to you – including your doctor, and including me.

I know sea vegetables may be foreign to some of you, but they can be a wise addition to a healing diet.

The one thing I would caution against right now is sourcing sea vegetables from Japan and it’s surrounding areas. Since the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in 2011, there have been numerous reports of high levels of radiation still leaking into the ocean.[2] [3]

Even decades after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, radiation levels remained high and people suffered with high rates of thyroid cancer, anemia, reproductive disorders and weak bones.[4] [5]

Let’s send our brothers and sisters in Japan a heap of healing love, but let’s source our sea vegetables from cleaner waters for the time being.

Some sources for sea vegetables include Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, Maine Seaweed from Larch Hanson (the Seaweed Man) and Ryan Drum Island Herbs.

You could use sea vegetables in soups, with beans, sautéed or roasted. You could even sprinkle dulse on salad.

However you decide to eat them, just listen to your bodily needs and enjoy them. They are nourishing the water element in your body (kidneys/bladder) as well as your endocrine system and thyroid.

Healthy_Happy_Thyroid_front coverWant more amazing information about healing the thyroid naturally? Pick up my latest book: Happy Healthy Thyroid – The Essential Steps to Healing Naturally

 

[1] http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/fallout-foods-that-block-radioactivity/

[2] http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/10/japan-fukushima-radiation-idUSL1N0I003120131010

[3] http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/10/japan-fukushima-radiation-idUSL1N0I003120131010

[4] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040902085844.htm

[5] http://epirev.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/2/187.full.pdf

  • Lorraine Miller

    Great article – thank you Andrea! What are your thoughts on liquid iodine supplements? Some practitioners recommend it including Christiane Northrup. Also what do you think about spiruluna?

    • @Lorraine Miller – I’m not a fan of iodine supplementation in general. As mentioned in the blog above, it’s too much iodine and not balanced by other foods to make it absorb better in your system. Have a miso soup, or something like the recipe above.

  • Shana Sweeney Health Coach

    I am also curious about spirulina and algae (E3 live for example) and that type of thing. This info is spot on for me. I am fine with iodine from food but as for supplementing not so fine.

  • Hillary

    I know you briefly mention it in the article, but i have read a little about iodine being detrimental for hashimoto. i get most of my iodine from food but noticed that many vitamin/mineral complexes also have iodine and while vit d, selenium and zinc are good for hashimoto, iodine is probably not. what is your opinion? is it ok to eat seaweed regularly for someone with hashimoto?

  • Esther

    Good day

    I hear a lot about the quality of the water you drink is healing to the body. What type of water would a person drink ? There are so many brands .

  • DeeDee

    This is a wonderful article, Andrea! I was reading and it says some of your clients incorporate the sea vegetable one to two times a week. That had goiters and now retain a normal sized neck. I was wondering how much sea vegetable at a time in a recipe? In the turkey chili recipe, you have it calls for 2 inches of the kombu sea vegetable. I was wondering as for one week what is good to help get good thyroid results? Thank you:))

    • @disqus_lUazQtEd41:disqus – it depends on the recipe. Some recipes call for more and some call for less. Click on the recipe links in the blog for some examples.

  • Terri Carroll

    Hi Andrea, I have been reading so much about sea vegetables, and am kind of confused as to whether the obvious health benefits are worth the contaminants present in them. I saw a study that showed the levels of heavy metals, but not hormones, other contaminants, or fuel residues from oil spills. In your opinion, are sea vegetables worth adding to my diet, in spite of these concerns, and what is the best clean source of them? Thank you.

    • @terricarroll:disqus it’s a valid concern. And, it’s important to source from cleaner waters. I use Maine Coast Sea Vegetables and Larch Hanson, The Seaweed Man. Both are “clean” sea veggies. http://amzn.to/2aggFtU

      • Terri Carroll

        Thank you!