Dulse: Health Benefits And Nutrition

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Dulse (Scientific name: Palmaria palmata), is an unusual red seaweed. It is a type of algae that grows in the sea.

Dulse is also known as lettuce from the sea. If you like salty foods, this is the right grocery for you.

Although dulse is a sea vegetable, its taste is somewhat similar to meat. It usually grows in cold ocean waters.

Another interesting fact is that dulse enormously helped the Irish economy when the potato crop in this country collapsed in the 1840s.

Since dulse is rich in protein, it may offer many health benefits if you add it when making bread (1).

Dulse: Health Benefits And Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Interestingly, dulse contains almost all the essential minerals needed by the human body. Dulse is cholesterol-free and has zero fat. It’s also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Hence, it helps in better heart and brain function.

Dulse is also rich in vitamin B-12, iodine, and fiber. Just 1 gram of dulse provides 66 μg of vitamin B-12, which is 2500% of the recommended daily value.

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Since it contains as much as 42.86 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, dulse is not recommended for people on a keto diet.

It’s rich in calcium, so your bones and teeth will be grateful if you use it regularly. It also contains quite a lot of iron, which may keep you away from anemia.

According to the USDA, dulse provides the following nutrients per 100 grams serving (2):

  • Calories: 271 kcal
  • Protein: 28.57 grams
  • Fat: 0 gram
  • Carbohydrate: 42.86 grams
  • Fiber: 28.6 grams – 115% of the daily value (DV)
  • Sugars: 0 gram
  • Calcium: 214 mg (21% of the DV)
  • Iron: 28.29 mg (157% of the DV)
  • Sodium: 1736 mg (75% of the DV)
  • Vitamin C: 8.6 mg (10% of the DV)
  • Vitamin A: 714 IU (24% of the DV)
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Health Benefits Of Dulse:

1. May help prevent thyroid disorders

Iodine is one of the essential minerals for our body, especially for making thyroid hormone. Deficiency in iodine may lead to thyroid disorders.

All seaweeds, including dulse, are an outstanding source of iodine. Just 2.1 grams of dulse provides your daily recommended value of iodine (3).

Therefore, regular consumption of dulse may keep you away from iodine deficiency and thyroid disorders.

2. May help prevent cancer

Dulse is a rich source of antioxidants, such as polyphenols. Polyphenols have anti-cancer properties, which may fight against the formation of cancer cells (4).

Also, research says dulse has anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it acts as a natural pain reliever, which may help reduce the inflammation in our body (5).

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3. May help reduce blood sugar levels

If you are struggling with diabetes, dulse is a great solution. Almost 60% of the dulse is filled with fiber and protein, which may slow the release of sugar into the blood.

Besides, research says the antioxidants in dulse may exhibit antidiabetic and cardioprotective properties (6).

4. May help lower high blood pressure

Another important health benefit of dulse is its ability to treat hypertension. The abundance of potassium in dulse appears to help reduce blood pressure despite its high sodium content.

100 grams of dulse provides a whopping 200% of the recommended daily value of potassium.

Also, a study on hypertensive rats has shown that the protein in dulse reduced systolic blood pressure by 34 mm Hg within 24 hrs (7).

5. May promote weight loss

Numerous health benefits come with maintaining a healthy body weight. You can achieve the same using this seaweed.

Although dulse provides as much as 271 calories per 100 grams, it seems to be an ideal solution for losing weight.

In one study on rats, dulse improved insulin response and significantly reduced weight gain. It also managed to mitigate inflammation and improved gut health (8).

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How To Eat

Today, dulse is one of the expensive food. Some of the most famous chefs in the world work with dulse. It can be used to make bread. Dulse can also be used as a powder, for example, in the preparation of smoothies.

It could be an excellent addition to soups, various stews, and salads. Be sure always to eat it fresh. The cooking of these algae should be very short. Dulse is also available in the form of flakes. It’s great for vegans because this seaweed is a rich source of protein like meats. Dulse can be eaten even raw.

Potential Side Effects

Since dulse is rich in potassium, it may increase potassium levels in your blood, which is called hyperkalemia.

Though it’s rare for people with normal kidney function, the consumption of dulse may cause hyperkalemia for people with kidney diseases.

In one incident (9), a patient with kidney disease developed symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and worsening after consuming 200 mg of dulse, which has 400% of the DV for potassium (10).

Therefore, it’s advised to consume them in moderation, especially if you have kidney disease.


Dulse is an under-researched and somewhat underestimated food. Its nutritional values are incredible. Dulse is also useful in fighting the most severe diseases, including thyroid, cancer, and hypertension. With regular use, it has a significant impact on improving health, energy, and mood.

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