(NaturalNews) Red or purple in color, dulse is considered a superfood because of its high iodine and potassium content, plus a long list of micro-nutrients and phytochemicals. Many herbalists prefer dulse over kelp in green superfood recipes because of its bland flavor. Found primarily in cold waters off the Atlantic coast of Canada, Ireland, and Norway, dulse has been used traditionally to control parasites, treat scurvy, and improve thyroid function. Dulse is a scientifically proven antioxidant, a source of plant protein, and is often suggested as a part of healing protocols to correct hypothyroid issues.
Dulse is a clinically recognized antioxidant and excellent plant protein source
Dulse extract has been clinically proven to possess free radical scavenging activity, making dulse useful as an antioxidant. The seaweed has also been demonstrated to inhibit the growth of lipid (fat) cells in the laboratory. This is extremely important as environmental toxins are believed to be causing an increase in a host of auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. The combination of constant stress, environmental pathogens, and malnutrition is burning out many people's immune systems. Utilizing dulse and other antioxidants helps to repair compromised body tissues.
Dulse may also be considered an excellent source of plant protein. Interestingly, in a 1999 study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, dulse was collected and measured for protein content over a one year time period. The study revealed that seasons affect dulse's protein levels. The highest protein count for dulse occurred in the winter and spring, while the lowest protein count for dulse occurred in the summer and fall. Digestibility of powdered dulse was measured at 56%. Anyone who would like to consume dulse powder may wish to double the dose in order to receive the full benefits.
Dulse's high iodine content may help improve hypothyroid symptoms
Dulse may be best known for its high iodine content. A natural source of iodine is critical for patients suffering from hypothyroid symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, hypothyroid symptoms include:
* fatigue * dry skin and face * muscle aches and pains * chest pains * unusual sensitivity to cold temperatures * a lower than normal basal body temperature * headaches and migraines * constipation * depression * hair loss * brittle and peeling nails * high blood cholesterol * weight gain or obesity * heavy periods in females
Many doctors miss a diagnosis of hypothyroidism because they do not see the total picture. Also, hypothyroidism can develop slowly, and remain sub-clinical for years. Often these symptoms manifest because of an iodine deficiency. Dulse and other cold water seaweeds are rich sources of natural, plant-based iodine.
Pubmed.gov. "Extracts from dulse (Palmaria palmata) are effective antioxidants and inhibitors of cell proliferation in vitro." Y.V. Yuan, et al. Food and Chemical Toxology, July 2005; 43(7):1073-81. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15833383
Pubmed.gov. "Nutritional value of proteins from edible seaweed Palmaria palmata (dulse)," A.V. Galland-Imouli, et al. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, June 1999; 10(6): 353-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15539310