Natural Sea Moss: Nutrition, Benefits, and More
Sea moss is a type of spiny seaweed that has long been considered an essential part of wellness throughout history, especially in the Ireland and Caribbean. Due to the potential health benefits of natural sea moss, many celebrities have endorsed it as one of the most nutrition-dense superfoods in the world. It’s a rich source of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, which may benefit the thyroid function, immune system, and heart health as well as other bodily functions. Keep reading to learn more about this amazing superfood.
Ahead, we’ll discuss some of the most common health benefits of natural sea moss that are backed by science. But before we get into how natural sea moss can benefit human health, it’s important to learn exactly what it is and what nutrients it contains. So, let’s dig a bit deeper.
What is sea moss?
Sea moss or otherwise scientifically known as Chondrus crispus is a type of edible seaweed or algae found growing underwater in the rocky coastal regions in the Atlantic, especially those in North America and Europe. Like other leafy sea vegetables or seaweeds, it’s densely packed with many of the harder-to-get phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that can help the human body in a number of different ways.
Natural sea moss grows in various colors from different shades of green through to brown, red, yellow, purple, and even black. However, the most common type is red which is often referred to as Irish moss.
Sea moss is often used as a vegan-friendly thickening agent, carrageenan, in the food industry. But in a domestic setting, sea moss is widely used to make various forms of dietary supplements including capsules, gels, and dried powders.
Sea moss nutrition
Natural sea moss contains a varying range of vitamins and minerals. They are commonly low in calories, sugar, and fat, and a small amount of plant protein is also present.
Major vitamins and minerals found in sea moss include:
In addition, natural sea moss is densely packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that can help protect the body from oxidative damage caused by harmful particles called free radicals.
Sea moss benefits
Sea moss has gained increasing popularity over recent years due to its potential benefits. It’s high in naturally occurring minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, which are critical for maintaining good health.
Let’s take a look at some natural sea moss benefits that are backed by science:
Sea moss may promote thyroid health and function
Sea moss contains significant amounts of iodine, a mineral that is crucial for the thyroid gland to release and use hormones that are vital for growth, repair, energy, and reproduction. One 2014 study in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that supplementation of seaweed can help improve iodine status in populations with iodine insufficiency.
Sea moss may boost the immune response
Sea moss is rich in various vitamins and minerals that are highly beneficial for strengthening the immune response, including zinc, magnesium, and vitamin C.
Sea moss may support healthy digestion
Like many other seaweeds, sea moss is also a valuable source of dietary fiber and live bacteria (prebiotics), both of which play an essential role in promoting healthy digestion and regular bowel movements.
Sea moss may aid in natural weight loss
High amounts of dietary fiber in sea moss help feel full and prevent overeating, leading to lowered calorie intake and natural weight loss. In addition, fucoxanthin, a compound found in seaweeds like sea moss, has been shown to be effective in increasing fat metabolism.
Sea moss may help reduce cholesterol levels
Studies suggest that seaweeds may act as a blood thinner and help lower cholesterol levels naturally, leading to a reduced risk of heart issuesdisease.
Sea moss may help reduce blood pressure
Sea moss is a good source of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure levels in a natural manner.
Sea moss may support brain health
Numerous minerals in sea moss such as magnesium can support overall brain health and function.
How to use sea moss
Natural sea moss can be used in a number of ways. You can prepare raw or dried sea moss and add it to your favorite recipes such as soups and stews. Powdered sea moss is also available which you can add to smoothies and juices, or sprinkle it over your favorite cereal or yogurt.
However, taking sea moss supplements is the easiest way to get the potential benefits. Nutritional content in supplements widely varies depending on the environment it is grown and manufacturing processes and so, in recommended doses as well. Therefore, consider working with a professional natural health practitioner to determine your suitable dose and method of use.
Side effects and precautions
Although sea moss is safe for most people when taken as advised, there are some risks of possible side effects as well. It is rich in iodine and consuming too much iodine may have detrimental effects on the body. This is the reason why the British Dietetic Association recommends natural sea moss or any other seaweed is not taken more than once a week, particularly during pregnancy.
Besides, sea moss may interact with certain prescription medications such as blood thinners. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to work with a professional natural health provider to determine whether sea moss is right for you, especially if you’re on medications.
Natural sea moss is one of the most nutrient-rich seaweeds that is known as a superfood for its diverse potential benefits. It has been shown to promote thyroid health, support healthy digestion, boost the immune response, and aid in natural weight management. In addition, the antioxidant properties of sea moss are highly beneficial for heart and brain health. Consider asking your healthcare provider whether sea moss is right for your specific health condition.