With its long history in Japanese cuisine, Kombu is a staple ingredient in the Japanese diet to make the quintessential broth called ‘dashi’.
Kombu is a type of brown kelp seaweed that is mainly found in Japan, Russia, China, Tasmanian Islands, Australia, South Africa, Scandinavia and Canada. Most of the kombu harvested in Japan comes from Hokkaido, which is grown in the seas, which are rich in minerals. The kombu is then sun dried and processed to be ready for consumption.
There are 6 types of kombu - Ma, Rishiri, Rausu, Hidaka, Hosome and Naga - that are all used in creating dishes in Japanese cuisine. Kombu is a versatile and healthy ingredient and can be used to make soups and stews, eaten with rice, as a snack, and other dishes.
Kombu seaweed contains glutamic acids, which form the basis of “Umami” - the fifth taste. It is usually combined with different acids present in meat, shiitake mushrooms and other ingredients to give rise to the unique flavour profile called Umami, which is an element of Japanese cuisine.
Kombu in Japanese Cuisine
Kombu is an essential ingredient in the Japanese diet, as it is not only used for making dashi - a typical broth flavoured with kombu and bonito (dried tuna flakes) which is used for many dishes.
When cooked, kombu can be soft and chewy or firm and crunchy. However, it tends to bring out the flavour of the other ingredients that it is cooked with, making it a valuable ingredient to any dish.
Kombu is known to be low in calories, packed with vitamins and minerals, and an overall healthy ingredient with a flavour that is distinct and irreplaceable by others.
Health Benefits of Kombu
Kombu is also known for its great nutritional content with high levels of minerals like potassium, calcium and iodine, as well as several vitamins that are very beneficial for your health.
Supports a Healthy Immune System
Kombu contains a variety of essential vitamins, including vitamin A, B1, C, E, and K, which support essential body functions and a healthy immune system.
Vitamin A - Supports your vision, immune system and reproductive system. It also helps your heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs function properly.
Vitamin B1 - Improves brain function, heart health and energy levels.
Vitamin C - Involved in many body functions, such as repair of body tissues, absorption of iron, maintenance of cartilage, bones and teeth.
Vitamin E - For healthy skin and eyes, and supports your immune system
Vitamin K - Makes proteins of healthy bones and normal blood clotting
Helps With Gut Health
Kombu is also known as a source of fibre which can improve gut health and increase the amount of ‘good’ bacteria in your digestive system.
Moreover, kombu contains glutamic acids that can help to break down starches found in foods like beans. It is also able to help minimise the amount of gas produced when breaking down these foods, with less bloating and better digestion.
Supports Thyroid and Hormone Health
Kombu is high in iodine, which is used to support normal hormone production and thyroid function. These systems are essential in regulating metabolic processes in the body. As iodine cannot be made in our body, it is important to ensure we consume enough of it in our diet. Having an iodine deficiency could lead to dry skin, hair loss, hypothyroidism and fertility issues.
Contains Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Kombu has anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight against chronic oxidative stress. This can make it helpful in terms of lowering risk of abnormal growth cells and cancer. It is thought that kombu and seaweeds have been linked to longer life expectancy in Japan, due to the lower rates of certain cancers like breast and prostate cancer.
Helps with Anaemia
Kombu is rich in iron, which supports the body in the production of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. This is beneficial for those suffering from anaemia, who have a lack of iron in their bodies, leaving them tired and with low energy.
Maintains Blood Sugar Levels
Kombu contains fucoxanthin that may help to improve blood sugar control, and lower your risk in developing type 2 diabetes.
Good for Heart Health
Kombu also consists of potassium and alginic acid, which are said to decrease high blood pressure and lower your risk of stroke.
Get All the Benefits of Kombu with Nature’s Glory Kombu Balls
Despite all the health benefits stated above, most of us do not eat enough seaweed or kombu in our daily diets, so it’s also good to obtain this through supplementation with Nature’s Glory Kombu Balls.
Made with deep sea kombu and plum concentrate, Nature’s Glory Kombu Balls are good for your hormones, metabolism, cholesterol, blood pressure, and digestive system. They support healthy menopause, hormones and breast health, bone health, healthy thyroid function, healthy immune system, promotes shiny hair and good skin, resists harmful absorption of strontium and cadmium, improves digestion and cognitive function, and have anti-tumour properties.
Lightly sweetened with honey, the Kombu Balls are another one of our Nature’s Glory essential food-based supplements to be added to your daily routine. The supplements are safe and easy to suck, chew or swallow, so you get all the intended health effects. You can consume 10 to 15 balls or more daily after meals.
Click here to learn more about our Nature’s Glory Kombu Balls.