I try to eat seaweed occasionally. I like to hear people say, “Eeeeew. You eat that?” Actually, it’s because I cut out the bleached, processed, iodized sodium chloride in favor of sea salt. I’m not picky. Himalayan pink. Celtic gray. Just give me color.
But I do worry about iodine. There’s not much in sea salt; I personally don’t believe there’s enough iodine in sea salt for my family and me to be at top health (or even fair health). I don’t care what you think, but if you haven’t looked it up, I hope you will. I want you to benefit from any “healthy” choices you’re making and not be making yourself “unhealthy” in the long run! Luckily, several of my family members and I like seaweed, and we all like shrimp and other salt water fish, sources of iodine.
Iodine needs surge in pregnancy and lactation so I think this is a time to be extra aware of what really does and does not contain iodine. Especially if you shun iodized salt, seaweed, and seafood (which is easy to do in the first trimester!).
I picked up a bag of dulse months ago and it sat there until I finally read the package and figured out what to do with it. That’s a good thing about dried seaweed; it keeps a long time! I opted for a quick flash fry which is easy to do for breakfast. The taste and crunch remind me of the morel mushrooms we picked and ate in my home state of Indiana each spring (we liked them crispy). Someone asked me once, “The hallucinogenic kind?” Um. No.
Heat just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a skillet over medium heat.
While oil is heating, tear off some pieces of dulse from the clump in the package and separate pieces and place in pan in a single layer, after a quick inspection for any rocks and such.
Season quickly with some salt (sea salt).
Flip the pieces of dulse over.
You’re looking for a subtle color change in the dulse. When it starts to undergo a barely perceptible change to a lighter brown, remove it. This does not take long!!!! Don’t burn it!! Get it out of there! (If you look at the photo at right, you can see some have a lighter color at the edge or end of the strip. Don’t wait for it all to turn lighter. As soon as I shot this photo, I scrambled to get the dulse out!)
I seasoned with a touch more sea salt.
Eat it alongside your scrambled eggs. Not bad!
Each bite counts. Make them full of nutrition, not just calories.
I seem to recall reading that the reason our government forced companies into adding iodine to salt was to replace the iodine that was lost in the processing — and the iodine they added to salt is only about 10% bio-available — another reason to stick with natural salt (I like Himalayan pink myself).
I’m not versed much in this area. I was under the impression that goiters from iodine deficiency were fairly common back in the late 1800s/early 1900s, particularly in your neck of the woods (Great Lakes area). The soil is iodine poor. It was then discovered that supplemental iodine experimentally added to salt resolved this issue. Eventually salt became iodized to keep this problem at bay–not to mention the exceptionally high risk of a hypothyroid mother (secondary to low iodine) on a developing fetus.
It does not appear by anything that I can find that naturally occurring sea salt has enough iodine to support our needs. We must get it from other sources, as well. The processing to make it refined salt would make it even lower/nil. I have also read that iodized salt may not contain the amount of iodine assumed/labeled for various reasons.
I have decided for my family that we must make it a point to consume foods to meet our iodine needs. Like you, we stick with sea salt. We much prefer the taste of sea salt, too. I like them all, particularly the coarse Himalayan from my grinder! But I think people need to know that this is not enough–at least in my opinion.
From Celtic Sea Salt’s site:
“Celtic Sea Salt® has a naturally occurring, trace amount of iodine at around 0.68 parts per million. Even though it is an important mineral component, our salt is not considered a significant source of daily iodine. However, it is an all-natural, pure source of iodine that is quickly absorbed and stored in your body!” http://www.celticseasalt.com/faq/
I could write more, but I’ll stop. My five year old is wriggling on my lap, saying, “This is not fun. You said only a second…” 🙂
Love this!!! I am a little worried about contamination of our local fish and seaweed, but I keep our iodine up by taking iodoral every day. You should write more about iodine and the symptoms and diseases caused by lack of iodine. Great post!
Thank you Irish Mum. I knew from Terry Wahls, MD that I needed to incorporate seaweed into my diet. I then recently read the Perfect Health Diet by the Jaminets and they really hit hard on lack of iodine. I guess it drove it home for me. So I read about it a little. They even suggest supplementation–but I’m not read-up enough to be convinced of that for most of us. Perhaps over the next year I could find time to read and write on it. It gets so tricky because you have people talking about excess on one hand and others talking about deficit on the other. So I’ll need my brain back (it’s still coming and going on its own volition–I think maybe this baby is taking it all. She’ll be one smartie-pants.) I’d love to research more on hypothyroidism–but that gets really “thick.” Contamination with mercury seems okay with selenium intake–I need to read about other contaminations.
I have read lots about hypothyroidism, I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and the iodine link. interesting stuff, and so many opinions!
We are so near Fukushima that some of our fish has to be contaminated, but we still do eat fish, mostly wild caught salmon and shrimp.
Haha, yes that is going to be one smart baby!!
Z, chad, and I all love seaweed. We often eat it for snacks. I never really thought about making sure we get enough iodine in our diets, but luckily we eat tons of fish and other seafood almost everyday so I think we are ok. At least until we get back to the states and have to pay exorbitant prices for seafood. 😦 we will enjoy it for now at least.
Fascinating. Interestingly the new Dr I just saw who does Holistic health reckons just about everyone is low in iodine these days…I wish there was a tastier way to get it!!!!
OH, how I love salt 🙂 I’m sure there is a reason my body craves it…I tend to have low blood pressure. Just wanted throw out this product I absolutely love because I’ve tried every type of salt out there. I like that there are 60 trace minerals and the nutrition info is on the salt, too. It also contains Iodine:
So do you like it’s flavor a lot? Thanks for the rec! Does the label say how much iodine? I found this link from them but it doesn’t say. ( http://realsalt.com/sea-salt/does-real-salt-have-the-iodine-we-need/ )
I don’t think that any sea salt that doesn’t have something like seaweed added will have “enough” iodine. The end of their post says, “So, instead of using chemically-processed, unhealthy salt in order to get iodine, we like to stick with Real Salt and get naturally occurring iodine from other delicious sources like kelp, yogurt, eggs, strawberries, and mozzarella cheese. Yum!” Which isn’t a bad statement–I try to get it from multiple sources, too (seaweed and shellfish).
My curiosity has just been raised so much about iodine by certain comments I’ve read and heard now! Good stuff.