Dulse has remarkable nutritional benefits, which have been enjoyed for centuries in Europe and off the East Coast of North America. Dulse is to the Irish, what Nori is to the Japanese – a key pantry staple. Its scientific name ‘Palmaria’ refers to its fan-like shape.
Dulse is usually harvested from late spring to mid-autumn, and as with all seaweeds, the nutritional profile can change depending on a number of factors including location, time of harvest, drying method.
Although all seaweeds contain rich levels of minerals & vitamins, they do so in various ratios. Dulse has relatively high levels of iodine, calcium, potassium, manganese & iron compared with other sea plants. In addition, it has good levels of Vitamin A , C & B12, high levels of fibre & omega-3 fatty acids. Including Dulse flakes or Dulse seaweed leaves in your daily diet can help in the following areas:
- Improved thyroid health: Including Dulse in your diet is an easy way to increase iodine consumption naturally. Iodine is essential for thyroid balance and also protects the body from absorbing the radioactive iodine present in our environment.
- Healthier blood and blood flow! Potassium is a well known as a vasodilator (medicines that dilates blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily), potassium can help reduce the strain and damage to blood vessels & arteries caused by high blood pressure and protect against coronary heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks. Potassium can also help increase blood flow to the brain and capillaries. Potassium plays an important role in balancing body fluids, helps your heart maintain a steady beat and is needed for proper muscle contraction.
- Increased fibre to improve digestion and cleansing: Dulse contains 35%+ fiber, with 10% soluble and the rest insoluble. Seaweed fibres are different to those in land based plant foods because they contain fibrous polysaccharide substances such as alginic acid, which helps to detoxify heavy metals and radioactive isotopes from the body. (Kelp seaweed and other brown seaweed varieties are particularly abundant in alginic acid or algin, but Dulse also contains this polysaccharide in adequate amounts). Because seaweed polysaccharides work to detoxify the liver, the cleansing actions they provide naturally helps encourage healthy looking skin.
- Healthier nervous system. Dulse contains Omega-3, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), not only important for heart health, but also for the functioning of the brain and nervous system. Studies have linked high levels of omega-3 fatty acids with improved brain and nervous system function. Omega-3 is also anti-inflammatory, an important benefit in the Western world were there is excess consumption of omega-6 fats.
- Increased folate/B12: Vitamin B-12 is found mostly in animal foods – such as meat, poultry, milk, fish and eggs – so eating dulse is an excellent way for vegans & vegetarians to get sufficient vitamin B-12. (A 99g portion of fresh dulse contains 6.6 micrograms of vitamin B-12, which is more than 100 percent of the daily value set by the FDA.)
- Stronger Bones: Dulse contains a wealth of minerals found including calcium, magnesium, and iron, all of which contribute to bone mineral density. Calcium is crucial for long-term bone & joint health.
- Improved eyesight: Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant and prevents free radicals from damaging the tissues of the eye and causing macular degeneration. It can also slow the development of cataracts, acting as an all-around vision booster. Dulse also contains Vit. C and the carotenoid antioxidants, like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, all of which are known to be good for healthy eyesight, reducing free radical damage and decreasing the risk of some chronic diseases.
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Disclaimer: This material is provided for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This information is generic and should be verified by a qualified health practitioner for specific & individual needs & requirements.