Dulse is an edible seaweed. Also known as sea parsley, reddish-purple dulse is available dehydrated or fresh, packed in salt. After being rehydrated for five to 10 minutes in water or rinsed to remove excess salt, dulse can be baked, stir-fried or added to soups and salads. A 1/4-ounce serving of dulse contains only 18 calories and is fat- and cholesterol-free. While it isn't a significant source of protein, carbohydrates or fiber, dulse is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Excellent Source of Iodine
Each 1/4-ounce serving of commercially available dulse contains 1,169 micrograms of iodine. Healthy adults need only 150 micrograms of iodine per day: Eating just a small amount of dulse can easily fulfill this requirement. Your body needs iodine to synthesize thyroid hormones, though regularly consuming more than 1,100 micrograms per day may not be healthy, advises the Linus Pauling Institute. Enjoy dulse -- and all other sea vegetables -- in moderation.
High in Vitamin B-6
Vitamin B-6, or pyridoxine, aids in energy metabolism, nervous system development, and production of red blood cells, hormones and neurotransmitters. Adults between 19 and 50 years old should have 1.3 milligrams of the vitamin each day. The 0.63 milligram of vitamin B-6 in each serving of dulse would supply 48 percent of this daily requirement. A diet rich in vitamin B-6 might help lower your risk of depression, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Good Source of Iron
Dulse contains 2 milligrams of iron in each serving, which is 25 percent of a man's daily recommended dietary allowance and 11 percent of a woman's. Nonheme iron, the form of the mineral contained in dulse, is not readily absorbed by the body, though you can increase the amount you obtain by eating the seaweed with a food high in vitamin C. Try adding dulse to stews that contain tomatoes or stirring orange segments into dulse salads.
Rich in Potassium
Men and women need 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day. A serving of dulse contains 547 milligrams of the mineral, which is more potassium than you'd obtain from a medium-sized banana. This amount would fulfill over 11 percent of an adult's required daily allowance. Potassium is necessary for your heart, muscles and nerves to work properly. Regularly consuming adequate potassium may help you avoid kidney stones, stroke, osteoporosis and high blood pressure.
Watch Out for the Sodium
If you are concerned about your sodium intake, you may need to limit your consumption of dulse. Eating 1/4 ounce of the seaweed would provide you with 122 milligrams of sodium, or 5 percent of the 2,300-milligram daily limit advised for adults. If you're on a sodium-restricted diet, you should have no more than 1,500 milligrams per day; a serving of dulse supplies 8 percent of that amount. Excess sodium may increase your risk of heart disease, hypertension and stroke.
- Recipetips.com: Dulse Seaweed
- The Splendid Table: Seaweed -- It's Not Just for Wrapping Sushi
- Maine Coast Sea Vegetables: Nutritional Analysis of Maine Coast Sea Vegetables
- Linus Pauling Institute: Iodine
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Iron
- Linus Pauling Institute: Potassium
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Most Americans Should Consume Less Sodium