Let me just say this – if you’re not eating sea veggies you are missing out. We talk a lot about super foods; but I can say with absolute certainty there are few foods that rival the nutritional benefits from seaweed.
There are many varieties of sea veggies; Kelp, Nori, Wakame, Irish Moss – the list goes on and on. Some of them are savory and slightly sweet, others more bitter or earthy tasting. One of the most beneficial kinds of sea vegetable for my money is Dulse (Palmaria palmata) a vegetable that grows in the North regions of the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.
Dulse has a really nice umami sort of taste to it, and some folks even use it as a plant-based substitute for Bacon flavoring. Ever tried a DLT (Dulse, lettuce and tomato) sandwich? Try it and you might be surprised.
In addition to being a very flavorful food, Dulse has a host of health benefits. Like all sea veggies, it contains a wide variety of beneficial trace minerals, including energizing electrolytes and the essential nutrient Iodine. A growing body of research suggests that Americans may be largely deficient in Iodine, some even going so far as to label the deficiency a public health crisis.
But it isn’t just the minerals, like Iodine, that Dulse contains. Scientific research published in the journal Food Research International indicates that the phycobiliproteins and chlorophyll in Dulse contribute to an anti-inflammatory effect. Inflammation is one of the leading cause of negative health outcomes, and a major contributor to pain and discomfort in the body.
Another study showed that these same compounds in Dulse can inhibit ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme). The Mayo Clinic says this about ACE inhibitors “Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors help relax blood vessels. ACE inhibitors prevent an enzyme in your body from producing angiotensin II, a substance in your body that narrows your blood vessels and releases hormones that can raise your blood pressure. This narrowing can cause high blood pressure and force your heart to work harder.”
When you add a sea vegetable like Dulse into your diet, you aren’t just satisfying your taste buds – you also satisfy your hunger (iodine being a major factor in normal thyroid function), you are re-energizing your entire system with trace mineral nutrients that work on every level of the human body to help promote balance. You’re also quite possibly helping to relax blood vessels and fight inflammation at a cellular level.
In short – if you don’t have Dulse in your cupboard, you might be missing out!