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DULSE – Nutrition and Wellness

Dulse for sale at markets in New-Brunswick, Canada

Dulse's benefits in nutrition & wellness properties have been relied upon for centuries in Europe and East Coast North America. It is to the Irish people what nori is to the Japanese. Its scientific name "Palmaria" refers to its hand-like or fan-like shape. Dulse is usually harvested from late spring to mid-autumn and as in all seaweeds, the nutritional profile can change slightly between seasons.

Although all seaweeds contain all minerals & vitamins, they do so in various ratios; Dulse's mineral strenght lies with iodine, calcium, potassium, manganese & iron. In addition, it has good vit A , C & B12, high levels of fibre & omegga-3 fatty acid.

Some of the nutritional properties & therapeutic benefits offered by Dulse are explained briefly below:

  • Iodine: Dulse can be a natural way to increase iodine in the diet. Great to remedy an under-active thyroid - a condition on the increase, due to deficient soils, mal-absorption of iodine or metal toxicity. Iodine is essential to thyroid balance and also protect the body against absorbing the radioactive iodine present in our environment.
  • Potassium: Well known as a vasodilator, it can help reduce the strain and damage to blood vessels & arteries caused by high blood pressure and protects against atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks. Potassium can also help increase blood flow to the brain and capillaries. Potassium  also plays an important role in balancing body fluids, helps your heart maintain a steady beat and is needed for proper muscle contraction.

  • Fibre: Dulse contains 35%+ fiber, with 10% soluble and rest insoluble. Seaweed fibres are a bit different than most plant-based foods, however, as they contain fibrous polysaccharide substances like alginic acid which additionally help 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.
  • Omega-3: polyunsaturated fatty acids -PUFA- are 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Build Strong Bones: There is a wealth of minerals found in dulse, including calcium, magnesium, and iron, all of which contribute to bone mineral density. Calcium is crucial for long-term bone & joint health especially if there's a concern about developping osteoporosis
  • 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.
    The carotenoids alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, are all present in Palmaria palmata. These are beneficial nutrients for not only protecting against harmful free radicals, but are important antioxidants for nourishing the eyes and maintaining vision.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15539310  nutritional value of proteins in dulse
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557026/  protein & carb beneficial  to microbiata
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3131239/ omegas impact on inflammation, cardiovascular diseases and mental disorders
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22938939 effects of o-3 pufa on dementia
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16554116  anti-cancer

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.

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