Goodness of the Sea
Seaweed is the common name for the extensive variety of plants and algae that grow in the oceans, rivers, and lakes of our beloved Mother Earth. The fastest growing plants on the planet, these ’forests of the sea’ provide nearly seventy percent of the Earth’s oxygen. These sea forests are the natural habitats for numerous marine creatures including fish, plankton, and other tiny organisms.
Revered internationally for their natural health and beauty benefits all seaweeds contain a plethora of amino acids, antioxidants, essential fats, minerals, and vitamins.
Dulse aerial (Rhodymenia palmata) is a red algae that grows in abundance along the Northern coastlines of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Red algae (Rhodophyt) are considered ‘atotrophs’ - they contain neither leaf, stem, nor roots and must live in or very near to water. These algae are multicellular and comes in a variety of beautiful red pigments.
Red algae (including Dulse) are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s) Omega 3 and Omega 6. PUFA’s are which are essential for the health of both the brain and nervous system.
Seaweeds (including Dulse) contain virtually all of the minerals found in the ocean including calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium and selenium. Trace minerals are imperative for health, longevity, and vitality, These minerals are easily absorbed and utilized by the body making Dulse and other sea vegetables an excellent natural wellness choice.
Calcium supports muscle and heart contraction as well as bone density. Copper is present in all of the body tissues and plays a essential role in the formation of connective tissue. In addition, it supports the normal functioning of muscles, the immune system, and the nervous systems.
Iodine nourishes the endocrine system including the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands. Iron is essential for the health of the blood and the ability to magnetize light and oxygen to the muscles. Magnesium helps with bone density as well as having a calming effect on the nervous system. Potassium is necessary for heart and muscle contraction as well as digestion and water balance in the body.
An excellent source of protein, four ounces of Dulse provides approximately twenty grams (40% of FDA requirements) of usable plant-based proteins. The first recorded use of Dulse comes to use from Iceland (961 AD) here is it known as söl where it has a long history was being enjoyed as both a snack food and an accent to dishes such as soups and stews.
Peer reviewed studies show that Dulse contains a number of antioxidants including Vitamins A, C, and E. Antioxidants protect cells against the harmful effects of environmental pollutants and other damage created by oxidative stress. Vitamin A is essential for the health of eyes, bones, teeth, and skin, Vitamin C supports the production of collagen which is a necessary component in maintaining elasticity of the skin. In addition, Vitamin C is a key element in supporting the immune system and its functions. Vitamin E in natural forms helps to mop-up oxidative stress from the cells and is an essential component in the structure of cell walls.
Dulse is high in all of the B Vitamins including the elusive Vitamin B-12. This makes Dulse an excellent wellness choice for vegetarians whose nutrition program may be lacking in these key B vitamins.
Research shows that Dulse can help with the formation of probiotics in the gut and in this way is a fantastic tool for good digestive health.
In many ways, one can consider Dulse a superfood that is indicated in almost every beauty, wellness, and nutrition program. Enjoy Dulse in a convenient supplement form of ass an accent to soups and salads. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Dr. Michelle, ND holds a BS in Kinesiology, a master’s in Education, and a doctorate as a Naturopathic Physician. In addition, she is a licensed Massage Therapist for both humans and animals. She leads wellness play-shops and retreats.
Read more blogs from Dr. Tara Michelle