Pepper Dulse Benefits

Pepper Dulse
Latin Name

Osmundea pinnatifida

Also Known As

Truffle of the Sea, Spice of the Sea, Bull Huss

Origin

Sheltered rocky coves around Britain and Europe

Parts Used

Whole plant

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Known as the “Truffle of the Sea” by chefs the world over, Pepper Dulse is a spicy, ruby red seaweed that makes a truly delicious and indulgent ingredient. It has a taste and smell akin to pepper and garlic with a hint of aromatic fungi.

Pepper Dulse has been consumed for thousands of years, not only for its amazing taste but for its many nutritional benefits.

Pepper Dulse Benefits

Thyroid Health

Like all seaweeds, Pepper Dulse is rich in iodine. Due to ongoing soil depletion, sea vegetables have long overtaken land vegetables in the iodine department, with Pepper Dulse being no exception. As most people are low in iodine and the RDI is just a recommendation, this boost of iodine will in turn boost one’s health as long as there are no underlying problems with iodine.

Iodine is critical to the thyroid; it forms a part of the thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) which are used in every cell of the body to regulate metabolism and weight by controlling the burning of fat for energy and heat. These hormones are directly responsible for controlling the body’s “base metabolic rate” which affects the efficiency and efficacy of many of the body’s organ systems, and regular processes including the absorption and biosynthesis of food into usable energy. Iodine is literally "food for the thyroid".

Iodine also displaces dangerous "halides" such as; fluoride, bromide and chlorine in the thyroid. It is antioxidant, promotes proper hormone balance, protects from radiation and kills bacteria and fungi.

When the thyroid is compromised, symptoms can include unexplained weight loss/gain, fatigue, hair loss and dry skin.

Heart Health

Pepper Dulse is high in the heart healthy mineral magnesium. This important mineral helps to regulate heart rhythm, co-ordinating the activity of the heart muscle and the nerves that initiate heartbeat. Low magnesium levels can cause heart palpitations and arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).

Magnesium also helps to keep the coronary arteries from having spasms that can cause the intense chest pains known as angina. It is relatively well known that a deficiency in magnesium is the most common cause of these spasms.

Also keeping blood pressure in check, magnesium relaxes the muscles that control blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow more freely. This can help to reduce high blood pressure – an important factor in decreasing the risk of a heart attack of stroke. Magnesium’s effect on high blood pressure is further enhanced because it helps equalize the levels of potassium and sodium in the blood.

Healthy Teeth and Bones

Pepper Dulse is rich in calcium as well as magnesium, minerals that are essential to the integrity of bone structure and strong, healthy teeth.

Calcium forms a part of hydroxyapatite, the mineral complex that makes bones and teeth hard and maintains bone density. Roughly half of the body’s magnesium is stored in the bones where it acts as a cofactor with calcium and vitamin D to maintain and strengthen the bone structure and teeth. Teeth can only form hard enamel from calcium if magnesium is available.

Pepper Dulse is also high in protein and provides many essential amino acids. These amino acids work with calcium, magnesium and vitamins D and K to create strong and healthy bones.

Typical Use

Organic Pepper Dulse

Pepper Dulse is the perfect ingredient to use in place of salt, pepper and spices in many savoury dishes. It goes especially well with eggs and fish.

Folklore and History

Red seaweeds are around 2 billion years old, with their complex forms evolving before even the dinosaurs roamed the earth!

The taste of Pepper Dulse is so unique that scientists recently tried to pin down exactly which factors define particular traits. Dr Michael Stanley from the Scottish Association for Marine Science said, “The chemical make-up and flavour of Pepper Dulse is markedly affected by environmental and growing conditions and nobody has sat down and looked at this in a scientific manner, until now.”

Dr Gordon McDougall, from JHI’s environmental and biochemical sciences group, said, “If you eat it raw it has got a peppery kick but the flavour varies, and some have a real garlicky undertone. When it is dried you get the umami taste."

Pepper Dulse
Precautions

People with an iodine allergy should not consume seaweed. If you are taking any prescription medications, especially in the case of thyroid disorders, please consult your healthcare professional before consuming Pepper Dulse Seaweed.