Sea moss: Health Benefits, Nutrition Value, & Preparation.
Sea moss is a marine vegetable harvested for use in dietary supplements and as a food thickener. This article examines its advantages and disadvantages.
Sea moss is a spiny sea vegetable harvested primarily for use in dietary supplements and as a thickening ingredient in commercial foods.
If you’ve heard of sea moss supplements, you may be wondering how to use them and if there are other ways to consume sea moss.
This article explores the potential benefits and drawbacks of sea moss, including its nutritional content and preparation.
What is sea moss?
Sea moss is a kind of algae or seaweed that is recognized by its scientific name, Chondrus crispus. It grows in waters along the rocky Atlantic coast, mainly between North America and Europe.
It is an edible marine plant, similar to other seaweeds, algae, and other well-known leafy vegetables such as kelp or dulse.
Sea moss grows in a variety of colors, such as different shades of green, yellow, purple, red, brown and black.
The most common varieties, which grow in warmer waters, are generally red and are often referred to as Irish moss.
Sea moss is a spiny marine plant that resembles other seaweeds and algae. The most common variety in commercial products is red and is often referred to as Irish moss.
Nutrients for sea moss
Red seaweeds, like sea moss, contain a number of vitamins and minerals. They are naturally low in calories, fat and sugar and contain a small amount of vegetable protein.
A serving of 4 tablespoons (20 grams) of raw Irish sea moss provides the following:
- Calories: 10
- Protein: 0.5 grams
- Total fat: 0 grams
- Total carbohydrates: 3 grams
- Fiber: 0.5 grams
- Total sugars: 0 grams
- Calcium: 1% of the daily value (DV)
- Iron: 10% of the daily value
- Magnesium: 7% of the daily value
- Phosphorus: 2% of the daily value
- Zinc: 4% of the daily value
- Copper: 3% of the daily value
Like other sea vegetables, sea moss is a naturally good source of iodine, a micronutrient necessary for thyroid health.
In addition, red seaweeds like sea moss are full of antioxidants, which are compounds that protect your cells from disease-causing oxidative damage.
Sea moss is low in calories and fat and contains a small amount of protein. It offers a variety of vitamins and minerals and is a good source of iodine and antioxidants.
Use of sea moss
Nowadays, sea moss is mainly used as a source of vitamins and minerals to improve overall health.
You’ll most often find it in supplement form. Some supplements sell it in raw form, as a gel or powder, or as an oral capsule or gummy bear.
Companies also sell sea moss as an ingredient in supplements combined with turmeric, bladderwrack, and burdock root, claiming that the combination promotes overall wellness, especially immunity, thyroid, digestive, and joint health.
Sea moss has long been used as a food thickener. It is the only natural source of carrageenan, a thickening agent that manufacturers use in foods such as ice cream, cottage cheese, non-dairy milk, and even baby formula.
People harvest sea moss mainly for its carrageenan, a natural food thickener. It has a high micronutrient content, so companies also use it to make dietary supplements and gels for consumers.
Potential benefits of sea moss
The supposed health benefits of sea moss have led to its widespread use. However, it is important to note that many of the benefits of sea moss are anecdotal and lack solid scientific evidence.
There are more studies on the health benefits of seaweed and algae than on seagrass itself. However, some of these benefits may also apply to sea moss, as they grow in similar environments.
However, scientists need to do more research on sea moss to study its particular effects.
The following are a few of the key advantages of using sea moss:
- Sea moss may support thyroid health. Seaweed is rich in iodine, a micronutrient necessary for healthy thyroid function.
- Sea moss may support immunity. A study with salmon found that additional algae improved immune modulation and response. Scientists need to do more research to see if it also supports immunity in humans.
- Sea moss may improve gut health. A healthy gut microbiota is supported by both the living bacteria and fiber found in seaweed.
- Sea moss can help with weight loss. Seaweed and microalgae are rich in fiber, which can help you feel full and prevent overeating. Fucoxanthin, a substance found in seaweed, has been demonstrated in studies to encourage rats’ fat metabolism.
- Sea moss may promote heart health. Some studies have found that seaweed lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and acts as a blood thinner, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Sea moss may improve blood sugar management. One study found that the compound fucoxanthin in seaweed lowered blood sugar levels. According to a different study, the seaweed chemical alginate prevents blood sugar from rising in pigs.
- Anecdotal fertility benefits. There is no proof, either in men or in women, that sea moss specifically increases fertility. On the other hand, some individuals use it as a conventional fertility treatment. Scientists need to investigate this further.
- While the potential health benefits of sea moss are promising, it is important to note that most of the research is based on seaweed and not specifically on sea moss. The studies were also conducted in test tubes or animals, not humans.
Hence, much more research on the impact of sea moss on human health is required.
Animal and test tube studies on seaweed, not sea moss specifically, suggest that it may benefit weight loss, heart health, and blood sugar control, as well as thyroid, gut, and immune health. Scientists need to study the effects of sea moss on humans.
How to prepare sea moss?
Sea moss can be prepared in many ways.
Many health food stores and online retailers sell sea moss in its raw, dried form. You can make a gel from this at home. This may be one of the most popular ways to consume it.
To prepare a sea moss gel, simply soak raw sea moss in water overnight, then rinse and mix with new water until smooth. Put it in a container with an airtight lid and store it in the refrigerator overnight to gel.
Some supplements also offer sea moss that has already been prepared as a gel. According to the manufacturer, you can consume this form directly or add it to food and drinks.
Other ways to consume sea moss include mixing sea moss powder into drinks, sprinkling it over yogurt or oatmeal, and adding it to other meals.
The shelf life of sea moss depends on the form in which you purchase it.
While scientific evidence is lacking, many sea moss proponents say prepared sea moss gel should be kept for a few weeks in the refrigerator, or you can freeze it.
However, it is probably best to be cautious and store it for only 3-5 days, as with most prepared foods and refrigerated leftovers, to minimize the risk of foodborne illness.
You can consume sea moss in supplement or powder form, or use raw sea moss to make a gel at home. You can consume this gel alone or add it to smoothies and other foods and drinks.
Sea moss, or Chondrus crispus, is a spiny sea vegetable that resembles seaweed and sea algae.
People harvest it for its carrageenan. Companies also use it as a natural thickener in commercial foods and in consumer supplements. You can also use it to make a gel at home or simply add it to foods and drinks.
Sea moss is a source of a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants that can benefit overall health. However, the nutrient composition can vary, and if you consume it in large quantities, you may ingest high levels of iodine or heavy metals.
In sum, scientists need to do more research on the health effects of sea moss on humans to determine its effectiveness in consumer health products. Nevertheless, some of the benefits appear promising based on algae and seaweed studies.