Time for another instalment of “Dodging Dryness” – great tips to increase skin moisture even during the harsh winter season. Again, this tip is all about hydrating your diet. Last time, I talked about cutting dry starches and replacing them with spiralled veggies, packed with cellular water. This week, I’m going to writing about another common dehydrating ingredient: salt.
Mmmmmm..saaavvvoury. I tend to like salty foods more than sweets, so cutting down on salt is a hard one for me. While sodium is important for many physiological functions, in the modern wester world, we get way too much of it. A diet with too much salt is dehydrating for you body and, in turn, for your skin. Sodium also increases your blood pressure – so those of you with rosacea or sensitive skin, excess salt is also dilating to your capillaries. And if you needed any more reasons to re-evaluate your salt intake, just remember that dehydration exacerbated by high sodium consumption can lead to water-retention (ggrrrr winter water weight). But does this mean we need to be resigned to a life of bland, flavorless food? Not if I have anything to do with it! Luckily, I’ve got a healthy, complexion-loving solution with lots of beauty and wellness benefits: Dulse. Yes, dulse.
Dulse is a red seaweed that is an antioxidant, source of vitamins and minerals and also has a nice savoury taste with for less sodium than…well..salt itself! I actually grew up sprinkling dulse flakes onto my food but had long forgotten about this great little tip. My mom was pretty crunchy granola so we always bought a shaker of dulse granules from our local health food store to sprinkle on our meals. Its very versatile and I used it on my eggs, in soups – and my fav – on soba noodles (there’s something really Asian about seaweed on noodles). This childhood throwback is really great because it has a ton of fortifying constituents. Dulse contains:
– Protein, which can help with strengthening and building tissue
– Fatty acids, which help keep our skin moist from the inside out
– B12, which has been used in treatment for eczema, skin inflammation and skin infections
– A healthy dose of iron and potassium. Wanna know why iron is so important for your skin? Read this post I did on iron for glowing skin!
But lets get back to our original point: it can give you the salty you crave with far less sodium. Dulse contains 1.73 grams of sodium for ever 100 grams of the stuff. To get flavour, you only need a dash of it (which is about 1/6th of a gram?). Obviously if you were to eat a plate of it, it would be a pretty high sodium meal but as a cheeky pinch to taste, its a much better alternative to salt.