The newest hidden weapon in your health arsenal might just be the seaweed you stepped over to get into the sea the last time you were at the beach. Sea moss has been around since the waves first lapped the shore, but it’s growing in popularity for its powerful immune-boosting nutrients.
Sea moss is rich in natural minerals, high in iron, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, making it an all-round immune system and weight loss booster, which is why companies harvest it from beaches to Ireland and the Caribbean. and consumers are adding it to everything from smoothies to acai bowls to rice and beans.
It would be hard to identify a specific plant that contains all the vitamins and minerals your body needs, but sea moss comes close: it contains vitamin B2, vitamin B12, calcium, chromium, magnesium, zinc and other nutrients and has been used as a a natural medicine used to treat or relieve flu-like symptoms.
What is sea moss and where does it come from?
Sea moss, also called Irish moss, is an alga, a macroalgae. It’s sold in bundles that look exactly like the translucent yellow seaweed that washes up on beaches along the Atlantic coast and the Caribbean. Sea moss is sourced from both organic harvests and artificial ponds, and where it’s grown affects the composition of the plant and its health benefits. Vital Vegan believes that “wild farmed” sea moss from the ocean is better, so they only harvest their sea moss from the Caribbean, specifically Jamaica.
Less than two centuries ago, sea moss was used as a cure for tuberculosis and pneumonia. It was also used as food for people working in potato fields as it was an inexpensive source of nutrients. Because it was used by poor farmers, the seaweed was considered “poverty food” and forgotten by health seekers due to the negative association. dr Sebi, the well-known herbalist with a cult following, brought sea moss back to his followers and recommended it to his patients to treat chronic illnesses. Sea moss is now available mainstream in health markets and online through companies that grow it in sea basins and harvest it for sale.
Nutrients of sea moss
Twenty grams, or 4 tablespoons, of raw sea moss provides the following:
- Calories: 10
- Protein: 0.5 grams
- Total fat: 0 grams
- Total carbohydrates: 3 grams
- Fiber: 0.5 grams
- Total sugar: 0 grams
7 potential health benefits of sea moss
The health benefits of sea moss are explained in the video below by author and vegan herbalist Paul Otote. Sea moss for weight loss and immunity are the most common uses, alongside many others such as muscle building, reduced inflammation and more.
1. Rich in iron and increases energy
Sea moss is packed with iron, which many plant eaters lack because it’s commonly found in animal foods like meat, poultry, and seafood. Sea moss contains about 9 milligrams of iron per 100 grams, meaning sea moss contains 9 times more iron than chicken. If you feel tired or lack energy, it may be because your iron levels are low, as iron helps your body make red blood cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to your cells. In addition to taking a healthy iron supplement, try adding sea moss gel to your smoothies and see if you start noticing the difference in your energy levels. If you’ve ever been diagnosed with mild anemia, sea moss could help your body get the iron it needs.
2. Contains more than 90% of the nutrients our body needs
The tiny spiral-shaped yellow seaweed is extremely nutrient dense, it’s almost like nature’s multivitamin. Otote explains, “Sea moss contains 92 of the 110 minerals that make up the body,” and he calls it the “powerhouse.” Sea moss contains beta-carotene, vitamin B, vitamin C and sulfur as well as minerals such as magnesium, manganese, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. All of this contributes to healthy cell function in the body.
3. Promotes healthy weight loss
Sea moss is high in iodine, a mineral found in a limited amount of foods. Our bodies need this mineral in moderation to produce thyroid hormones. “The body also needs thyroid hormones proper bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy,” according to a study by National Institute of Health. However, the key is to get the right amount and not too much.
Sea moss contains the vital thyroid hormone precursors that are important for healthy thyroid function and your body’s metabolism. So if your thyroid isn’t working properly, it can be beneficial and help with weight loss. But before using sea moss to boost thyroid hormones or as a weight loss supplement, consult your doctor because you don’t want to overdo these hormonal precursors either. moderation is the most important thing in thyroid function.
4. May Help Build Muscle
Seaweed is high in protein, with 6 grams of protein per 100 grams of sea moss. Specifically, it contains an amino acid called taurine, which helps the body burn fat and build muscle. According to Otote, taurine has the ability to trick the body into burning fat instead of carbs during cardio.
5. Strengthens the immune system
Sea moss also helps the body defend itself against everyday aging and inflammation, what you might call “the anti-actives”: anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, antibacterial, and antiviral. It is used in powder form as a treatment to prevent and relieve cold and flu-like symptoms. “It can be used to prevent the common cold, but also to help with healing and recovery from illness,” says Otote. Sea moss contains potassium chloride, which helps the body reduce inflammation, and people take it to lower the risk of infection for its positive effects on the immune system. Otote sums it up as a no-lose additive: “Sea moss when you’re sick is a win and sea moss when you’re healthy is a win, it’s a win-win.”
6. Improve skin and hair health
Sea moss contains a high content of sulfur which help to balance the skin’s bioflora, build collagen, strengthen the skin and increase elasticity, according to studies. Sea moss also contains vitamins A and K, which help fight environmental stressors related to aging, acne and hair loss.
7. Seamoss is rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Algae, including sea moss, are a valuable source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which play a key role in metabolism and support cell growth and metabolic pathways, according to a study published by MPDI. Researchers also note that omega fatty acids are critical to early human development and may help prevent cardiovascular disease, including obesity and heart disease, and even protect against cancer and inflammation.
Sea Moss Side Effects
Rarely, sea moss can cause:
- Burning sensation in mouth, throat and stomach
How often to take or eat sea moss and how to use it
Seamoss can be consumed everyday in liquid gel form to add to your smoothies, acai bowls, or even apply directly to your skin or hair as a brightening treatment. The seaweed can also be used as a baking sheet for eggs, making it an easy way to add minerals to your diet through baking, so use sea moss when baking cookies, cakes and muffins. You can also use it as a roux or thickening gel in grains like rice or quinoa, farro, or when making beans. The recommended amount and dosage for sea moss is around 1 to 2 tablespoons per day, preferably with food. Watch our video tutorial on how to make it sea moss at home.
- acai bowls
- hair and skin treatment
- Egg substitute for baked goods
- salad sauce
Where to buy sea moss
One company that caught our eye is Vital Vegan, Inc., which harvests sea moss off the shores of Jamaica and sells it as dried plants and powdered supplements or in gel form. Vital Vegan sold Dietary supplements and beverages made from sea moss. “Our goal is to bring out a product in its purest and most natural form that conforms to the body,” the website reads. Vital Vegan Inc. harvests its own sea moss off the shores of Jamaica.
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