Sea moss, or as some might know it as Irish moss or red seaweed, is the new hype in the health sector. This spiny variety grows all year round in inlets and tidepools. It is commonly known as the spiny sea vegetable, primarily harvested in New England for its use in commercial foods as a thickening agent and health supplements.
It is the newest secret weapon for the immune system, which people have seen a lot on their way into the ocean but have never paid much attention to. Because until a few years, no one knew exactly what sea moss benefits are to humans.
History: Going back in time
This Irish sea moss, also known as Chondrus crispus (scientific name), has been around maybe since the dawn of civilization. It is a species of red algae that mostly grows along with the Rocky parts of the Atlantic Coast of North America and Europe. It varies in color, ranging from greenish-yellow, red, to dark purple, and is very soft and cartilaginous.
It is an edible sea plant, just like the other seaweeds, and has recently gained a lot of popularity in terms of health.
How is Sea Moss Useful?
Raw sea moss is extremely rich in natural minerals, iron content, and anti-oxidants. Sea moss contains all the necessary nutrients to provide health benefits and be used as supplements.
And since Hollywood fame Kim Kardashian posted about drinking sea moss smoothies, health enthusiasts have taken research into considerations to find more information on how exactly sea moss benefits us.
People have been eating sea moss for a long time now, but they were not aware of its benefits until now. Now is the time when scientists have begun researching the health benefits of sea moss.
Earlier, like less than two centuries ago, sea moss was used to treat pneumonia and tuberculosis.
6 Interesting & Fun Facts About Sea Moss
1. Greeks used sea moss for healing purposes long back
Did you know that even before the hype of sea moss in health and skincare lines, the Ancient Greeks used it? The Greeks used sea moss during baths to pull out toxins and rejuvenate their skin.
2. Gives about 70% of the world’s oxygen
About 70% of the world’s oxygen comes from algae and seaweeds alone. Therefore, scientists believe sea moss or seaweed to be a part of the solution to climate change.
3. 2 million tonnes of seaweeds are consumed by Asia on an average
Over 2 million tonnes of seaweed is consumed alone by Asian countries. In fact, in many Asian dishes, seaweeds are used. Common seaweeds that are used in Asian dishes are Wakame, Kombu, and Nori.
4. These are not plants
Some might confuse sea moss with being a plant variety, but these are not plants. Sea mosses are a type of algae that don’t have any roots, leaves, or stems. The only similarity between seaweeds and plants is that they both use photosynthesis for the production of food.
5. Over 12,000 different species are present
Well, seaweed is a generic name for other algae and marine plants. Scientists have discovered over 12,000 different species of seaweeds, which come in various categories such as red, green, and brown.
6. It has a taste!
Most of you might think seaweed doesn’t have any particular taste. And to some extent, this is true; most of the sea mosses have very little flavor. However, some researchers from the Oregon State University once grew a strain of seaweed that tasted somewhat like Bacon.
This discovery was made in 2015, and since then, it has been hype in the vegan market. All thanks to seaweed, we now have a healthier and delicious alternative to bacon.
These are some interesting facts about sea moss, and now let’s check the nutrients in sea moss.
Nutrients in Sea Moss: Sea Moss Benefits
Sea moss is also known as a superfood because of the various nutrients content it has. It contains a wide range of minerals and vitamins. Moreover, sea moss is naturally low in fat, sugar, and calories, and they also contain a small amount of plant-based protein.
These red seaweeds are also a good source of iodine, the perfect amount, neither too much iodine nor less. And iodine is one of the micronutrients which is essential to support thyroid health.
Further research into sea moss has provided such information regarding the amounts of nutrients supplemented by 20g serving:
- Protein- 0.5 grams
- Total Carbs- 3 grams
- Total Fat- 0 grams
- Fiber- 0.5 grams
- Calcium- 1% of DV (Daily Value)
- Iron- 10% of Daily Value
- Calories- 10 grams
- Sugar- 0 grams
- Phosphorous- 2% of DV
- Copper- 3% of DV
- Zinc- 4% of DV
- Magnesium- 7% of DV
The anti-oxidants present in sea moss benefit your cells. It helps protect your cells from disease-causing oxidative damage. Anti-oxidants help cope with your oxidative stress.
Sea moss is mainly rich in Vitamin C and A and essential amino acids. In fact, sea moss has 92 out of the 102 minerals that our body needs.
Well, now you know enough about what sea moss is, so it’s time to hop on to our main topic, which is different sea moss benefits. We have made a list of all the major sea moss benefits that are known to date.
Let’s then have a look at all the amazing sea moss benefits.
10 Surprising Sea Moss Benefits You Probably Didn’t Know About
Well, by now, you must have known that sea moss is used primarily to benefit your overall health as a source of vitamins and minerals.
Mostly you will find sea moss in supplement form, and supplement companies sell it in all forms like sea moss gel form, sea moss powder, and even as oral capsules.
Some companies also use sea moss as a component of supplements and are combined with burdock root, turmeric, and bladderwrack. They claim it to be beneficial for joint health, digestion, immunity, and thyroid.
In addition to that, sea moss is the only natural source for an element known as carrageenan, which is used as a thickener in certain foods like non-dairy milk, baby formula, cottage cheese, and ice cream.
Other than these, many people use sea moss in their daily lives for its potential health benefits. However, it is important to note that most sea moss benefits known to people lack solid scientific proof.
More research into sea moss is going on to investigate specific benefits; however, various research has already been done on seaweeds and algae. Since all of them are of similar kinds and grow in the same environment, sea moss is believed to possess the same benefits to some extent.
Here are some of the potential benefits of sea moss:
1. Sea Moss Benefits: Helps improve your overall mood
The overall mood has a lot to do with your mental and emotional health, and potassium is one mineral that keeps a check on your mental and emotional health. That is why potassium deficiency in your body can lead to anxiety, depression, fatigue, and nervousness.
It is important to note that our body does not store potassium for longer periods, so it is vital to regularly replenish your body with the needed amount of potassium. And how do we do that? Well, of course, by snacking on foods that are rich in potassium.
And it so happens that sea moss has exactly what we need. Interestingly, sea moss has twice the amount of potassium as in a banana and almost twice fewer calories. So if you are thinking of adding something to your diet that will keep you light on your weight, then sea moss is what you need.
2. Sea Moss Benefits: It promotes healthy weight loss
We have already mentioned that sea moss contains a good amount of iodine, and iodine is one such mineral found in a really limited number of foods but is vital to our body to produce thyroid hormones.
Thyroid hormones control our body’s overall metabolism and other functions and are most vital during infancy and pregnancy for brain and bone development. But it would be best if you had it in the right amount to function properly.
And one of the major sea moss benefits is that it contains the precursors for thyroid hormone, which are important for healthy thyroid function. And when your thyroid is not functioning properly, it aids in weight loss, which is healthy weight loss.
So, one can use sea moss as a weight-loss supplement. In addition to that, the fiber content in sea moss prevents overeating and makes you feel full, so ultimately you lose weight as you eat less. There have been animal studies where a compound present in seaweeds known as fucoxanthin has promoted fat metabolism.
3. Sea Moss Benefits: It is great for your skin
Sea moss has a high vitamin and mineral content which is known to you by now. But did you know these high levels of vitamins and minerals can be of great help to your skin?
The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of sea moss help ease various skin problems. Ranging from acne outbreaks, burns, dermatitis, eczema to psoriasis. Moreover, sea moss has a quite rich and creamy gel-like texture that feels soothing to the skin.
Sea moss benefits for skin have reached a peak that sea moss facials are a trend now. Even people are making their face mask too from sea moss. You can also buy sea moss face masks from the market.
4. Sea Moss Benefits: It helps ease joint swellings
Sea moss contains fatty acids and fish oils which are excellent anti-inflammatory agents. In turn, these can help improve your body’s flexibility and overall mobility and reduce joint swelling.
Due to these properties, some specific groups of people can benefit from sea moss, like older adults, people with arthritis, and athletes. The anti-oxidants compounds in sea moss reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines, which is a major part of the cause of arthritis.
So adding sea moss to your diet might help to some extent.
5. Sea Moss Benefits: It might help you have more energy
Sea moss is rich in its iron content, and this mineral is lacking in vegetarians as it is mostly found in animal foods. However, sea moss has about nine times more iron than meat.
Iron helps your body to create RBCs (red blood cells) that move oxygen from the lungs to your cells, so if you are low on iron, there are chances you will feel low on energy or fatigued.
So add sea moss to your diet and get all the energy you need. In addition to taking supplements for iron, you can also prepare sea moss smoothies with sea moss in gel form, and you will see for yourself how energized you feel. Smoothies are healthy for you anyway.
6. Sea Moss Benefits: It supports your thyroid health
The thyroid hormone plays a vital role in your body. In worst-case scenarios, an imbalance in the thyroid hormone levels can cause fertility issues, fatigue, muscle pain, or extreme weight gain or loss. So it would help if you always looked for ways to support your thyroid health.
And one easy way to do that is by adding sea moss to your diet. Sea moss helps support your thyroid health. It has always been used as alternative medicine. The iodine content in sea moss stimulates the production of thyroid hormones, thereby benefitting thyroid health.
One study showed that sea moss might help speed up thyroid treatment among American women.
7. Sea Moss Benefits: It helps boost your immune system
Sea moss also helps with your immune health; it helps boost your immune system and helps your body fight back against inflammation. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties.
When you have strong immunity, it helps prevent and relieve cold and flu-like symptoms, which can easily be done when you eat sea moss. Mostly sea moss in the powdered form is preferred.
Additionally, sea moss also contains potassium chloride; this element helps your body reduce inflammation and lowers the risk of infection. Sea moss positively impacts the immune system, so people take it to boost their immune health.
8. Sea Moss Benefits: It helps improve gut health
You already know now that sea moss has a thick and rich texture. Now this texture alone helps soothe the mucus membranes present in the digestive tract. This texture acts like a protective coat for each membrane in the gut and protects each from various diseases such as an ulcer.
Sea moss is also a good source of fiber and live bacteria, which helps boost gut immunity. It has prebiotic benefits that support a healthy gut microbiome—the prebiotics function by removing the bad gut bacteria and producing short-chain fatty acids.
Moreover, the healthy amount of fibers in sea moss are important to flush out harmful toxins and chemicals from your body.
9. Sea Moss Benefits: It helps build strong muscles
What do you need for strong muscles? A good amount of protein mostly, right? Sea moss is very rich in protein. Sea moss contains a specific amino acid known as taurine, which helps burn body fats and build strong muscles.
This amino acid can burn fats instead of carbs. There are 6 grams of protein present per 100 grams of sea moss. So, you can imagine how much protein you are going to get from eating sea moss alone.
10. Sea Moss Benefits: It helps improve sexual performance
Sea moss is also rich in zinc content, which helps stimulate the production of sex hormones, which ultimately plays a role in boosting libido levels. Libido is defined as a person’s overall sex desire or drive. It is affected by the hormone levels in the body.
The Caribbean people have been using sea moss as a natural aphrodisiac for many years now. In addition to the zinc content, the iron content helps with improving your endurance.
It helps pump your body with hemoglobin and keeps the oxygen flowing.
Well, these are some of the best sea moss benefits that are known yet. Research is still going on, on sea mosses to support more benefits with scientific evidence.
Now that you know all about the sea moss benefits, it is only fair that you know how to add sea moss to your diet, too, so you can make the best use of it. You can have sea moss in different forms and food items. Below we will discuss a few easy and healthy recipes to blend your sea moss.
How To Prepare Sea Moss?
Sea moss can be prepared or used in various ways, depending on how you would like it. Many companies sell sea moss as tablets or capsules so that you can have it that way also. You can also prepare your sea moss with different dishes to enjoy at home.
You will find raw sea moss or the dried form from which you can make prepare a gel. Formulated sea moss gel is one of the easiest and common ways to consume it.
Sea moss gel:
Preparing a sea moss gel is quite simple. First, you have to soak raw sea moss overnight in water. Next, rinse and blend the sea moss with fresh water until a smooth texture appears. After this, transfer the contents to an air-tight container and refrigerate it overnight to form the gel.
You will also find the sea moss gel ready-made in the markets. You can directly consume this gel or add it to food and drinks in delicious ways. You can add this gel form to your smoothies.
Uses of sea moss gel
Sea moss gel comes in handy in many things, as you can add it to a variety of foods, like smoothies, juices, salad dressing, or even as a dip for fruits.
You can also use this gel as face masks and hair masks.
Sea moss powder:
Using the powdered form is even easier than preparing the gel. You can buy the sea moss powder and sprinkle it over your meals or add it to your beverages.
By the end of this article, you are now well aware of sea moss, its benefits, and even how to use and prepare sea moss.
Sea moss is a source of everything healthy that you need to keep your body in check. It has everything, from minerals to vitamins. It has been already in use as a health supplement for some time now. However, it has recently been the hype.
Although sea moss has many benefits, it has a few downsides too, and it is important to be aware of those; otherwise, it might put you at risk. You know that sea moss has a good iodine content, but overconsumption of iodine can even be problematic. And the iodine content of sea moss highly varies, so you need to know how much you need to consume.
Overall, we can say that it is best to consume sea moss in moderate portions. And it is for your benefit only to talk to your physician before adding sea moss to your diet. Scientists still need to do more research regarding the potential effects of sea moss on humans.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article on sea moss benefits and how to prepare it. Some of the benefits of sea moss so far have managed to be promising, based on the studies done. If there’s anything, you would like to include, drop a comment on the comment section below.
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