Super Seaweed


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What is Dulse?

Dulse is a dried sea vegetable.  I’d read about the benefits of seaweed years ago but the best I did to incorporate them into my diet at that time was a sprinkle of kelp powder on my salads here and there.  And probably not nearly enough for my body to even notice it!  I was reacquainted with sea vegetables (seaweed) again when I started receiving acupuncture therapy and began to do a lot of reading on Traditional Chinese Medicine and healing, alkaline foods.  According to Paul Pitchford in Healing with Whole Foods, “Sea plants contain ten to twenty times the minerals of land plants… In addition to a wealth of minerals, vitamins and amino acids, seaweeds are especially excellent sources of iodine, calcium and iron.”  They assist in detoxifying and alkalizing the blood.

Another great read,  The Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier, further sold me on this group of superfoods, especially when I read that they contain “10 times the calcium of cow’s milk and several times more iron than red meat” not to mention that they are the “richest source of naturally occuring electrolytes.”

Why Do I Eat Dulse?

Having struggled off and on with iron-deficient anemia since high-school, the information about the iron and mineral content of seaweed was important to me, especially because I’d stopped eating meat.  And moreso because I am a runner.  Runners have a higher tendency toward anemia due to the destruction of red blood cells each time their feet make impact while running, often known as footstrike anemia.  Typically when I end up at the doctor’s office feeling really fatigued and low, it’s due to the anemia and it’s almost always around spring when the weather turns nice and I’m out a lot more often for runs on concrete and pavement.  Now that I’ve been through this ‘cycle’ a few times, I know to really boost my intake of foods with naturally occuring iron in them whenever my running mileage increases.

I also liked the idea that sea vegetables are rich in calcium, since cow’s milk dairy is something I don’t typically consume anymore either.  Additionally it has a great potassium:sodium ratio.  Take a look at the nutrition facts from the package:

Dulse Nutrition Facts (sorry for the blur!)
Dulse Nutrition Facts (sorry for the blur!)

Dulse happened to be one that I found at the local health food store and thought I’d start with it first .  I like this one so much that I haven’t tried others yet.  But I should because there are so MANY from which to choose!

How Do I Eat Dulse?

Currently, the main way I eat my dulse is as an add-in for my salads.  I’ll pull a palmful from the bag and tear the strips into bite-size pieces.  When you see photos of my big “Shari Salads” that dark purple stuff you see is the dulse.

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The package says you can bake it into chips, but I didn’t care for it that way and ended up using what I’d baked as a crumbled topping on my salads.  Dulse gives a great ‘salty’ flavor to your salads without the need for adding any extra salt.  You can add it to stir-fries, to soups or broths, or sandwich fillings.  Pretty much anywhere you’d use another leafy green.  The book I referenced earlier, Healing with Whole Foods, even has a recipe for Sauerkraut with Dulse. 🙂 Not sure how soon I’ll try this one, but if/when I do, I’ll let you know!

I hope this dulse info interests you enough that you’ll try some in your next salad!  It’s inexpensive, about $5.00 for the size bag I buy – but it lasts me quite a while.  I’d say that’s a bargain for the amount of nutritional punch packed into such a tiny food.

Today’s questions:  Have you tried dulse or some other version of sea veggie?  What made you try it initially?  If you don’t currently eat seaweed, do you think you might now? 

— Shari B. =)


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