Dulse Seaweed

Dulse Seaweed

The Benefits of Dulse Seaweed  by:Karen Curinga

Dulse, also known as Palmaria palmata, is red seaweed that grows attached to rocks. It's not only rich in health benefits. This salty sea vegetable is eaten fresh and dried in foods including soups, chowders and fish dishes. Dried, dulse is used as seasoning.

Mighty Minerals

Dulse is packed with valuable minerals, including iron and potassium. A 3.5-ounce serving of fresh dulse seaweed provides approximately 33 milligrams of iron and 1,720 milligrams of potassium, which is more than 100 percent of the daily values set by the Food and Drug Administration based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. Iron helps red blood cells and muscle cells carry oxygen throughout your body and is needed for proper chemical reactions. Potassium plays an important role in balancing body fluids, helps your heart maintain a steady beat and is needed for proper muscle contraction.

Omega-3 and Omega-6

Polyunsaturated fatty acids help regulate many of your body's functions, such as blood clotting and blood pressure, and aid in proper development and functioning of your brain and nervous system. They also play an important role in regulating inflammation. A September 2022 article by Sinead Lordan et al., published in "Marine Drugs" noted that because red and brown algae are particularly rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, they may be an effective addition as part of a balanced diet.

Vitamin B-12

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 or people who don't eat animal foods to get sufficient vitamin B-12. A 3.5-ounce 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. A study led by Daniel Phaneuf and published in "Environmental Research" in February 1999 noted that algae is a good source of dietary fiber and vitamins, especially vitamin B-12.

Protein Content

Proteins not only help create new cells, but also play a vital role in the repair and maintenance of your body. A 3.5 -ounce serving of fresh dulse provides 21.5 grams of protein, which is 43 percent of the daily value set by the FDA. An article published in "The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry" in June 1999 noted that dulse may be a potential protein source in the human diet.

Dulse Nutrition

Dulse is an edible seaweed. Also known as sea parsley, reddish-purple dulse is available dehydrated or fresh, packed in salt. After being rehydrated for five to 10 minutes in water or rinsed to remove excess salt, dulse can be baked, stir-fried or added to soups and salads. A 1/4-ounce serving of dulse contains only 18 calories and is fat- and cholesterol-free. While it isn't a significant source of protein, carbohydrates or fiber, dulse is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Excellent Source of Iodine

Each 1/4-ounce serving of commercially available dulse contains 1,169 micrograms of iodine. Healthy adults need only 150 micrograms of iodine per day: Eating just a small amount of dulse can easily fulfill this requirement. Your body needs iodine to synthesize thyroid hormones, though regularly consuming more than 1,100 micrograms per day may not be healthy, advises the Linus Pauling Institute. Enjoy dulse -- and all other sea vegetables -- in moderation.

High in Vitamin B-6

Vitamin B-6, or pyridoxine, aids in energy metabolism, nervous system development, and production of red blood cells, hormones and neurotransmitters. Adults between 19 and 50 years old should have 1.3 milligrams of the vitamin each day. The 0.63 milligram of vitamin B-6 in each serving of dulse would supply 48 percent of this daily requirement. A diet rich in vitamin B-6 might help lower your risk of depression, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Good Source of Iron

Dulse contains 2 milligrams of iron in each serving, which is 25 percent of a man's daily recommended dietary allowance and 11 percent of a woman's. Nonheme iron, the form of the mineral contained in dulse, is not readily absorbed by the body, though you can increase the amount you obtain by eating the seaweed with a food high in vitamin C. Try adding dulse to stews that contain tomatoes or stirring orange segments into dulse salads.

Rich in Potassium

Men and women need 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day. A serving of dulse contains 547 milligrams of the mineral, which is more potassium than you'd obtain from a medium-sized banana. This amount would fulfill over 11 percent of an adult's required daily allowance. Potassium is necessary for your heart, muscles and nerves to work properly. Regularly consuming adequate potassium may help you avoid kidney stones, stroke, osteoporosis and high blood pressure.

Watch Out for the Sodium

If you are concerned about your sodium intake, you may need to limit your consumption of dulse. Eating 1/4 ounce of the seaweed would provide you with 122 milligrams of sodium, or 5 percent of the 2,300-milligram daily limit advised for adults. If you're on a sodium-restricted diet, you should have no more than 1,500 milligrams per day; a serving of dulse supplies 8 percent of that amount. Excess sodium may increase your risk of heart disease, hypertension and stroke.

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