The sea moss superfood is back and ready to reclaim its rightful place among the best. Rightfully so, sea moss has long been sought after for its health benefits for the last thousand years. Also referred to widely as “Irish Moss,” this type of algae was brought to the world’s attention during the 1800s when the Irish potato famine left many people deprived of vital nutrients and basic sustenance. People began to eat this sea moss during this time, which grew in abundance along the shores.
Before this, sea moss was hypothesized to date back to as early as 600 BC, and used by the ancient Chinese civilizations as a medicinal product. It was then documented as a food source in the British Isles as early as 400 BC. Needless to say, its benefits are far from a recent discovery.
While there is minimal research on the long term effects of sea moss, its historical importance is enough evidence that the benefits are worth a second look. In this article, we give you the low down on everything sea moss, from it’s benefits to its side-effects, to how much you should be taking daily.
Sea Moss Benefits
Minerals, Minerals, Minerals
There are a couple of points that skeptics can raise in regard to the academic literature on sea moss. However, there is no debate about how many minerals this superfood powerhouse contains.
In fact, there are between 90-100 vital minerals contained in different types of sea moss, including some of our favorites:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
While we are saving you the time of reading through an exhaustive list, you can find a more in-depth look at the minerals in sea moss here. While the definition of a superfood is often fast and loose depending on the product, there is no doubting the sheer number of minerals contained in this product.
Healthy Weight Loss
Finding a miracle solution for weight loss is more complicated than good marketing leads us to believe. Sea moss does contain a high iodine level, a mineral that is often lacking in many other food groups. Iodine plays an essential role in the production of thyroid hormones, which helps regulate weight loss and gain in our bodies. For those who lack iodine in their diet, sea moss can provide an adequate amount to create a more balanced and effective
Increased Energy and Immunity
Sea moss is rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, riboflavin (B2), and folate (B9). These minerals and vitamins help boost immunity in the body and increase the production of red blood cells, leading to a higher amount of free energy.
Boosts Emotional Health
Due to its high concentration of magnesium and potassium, sea moss is also thought to help with brain function and mood regulation. Potassium-rich foods are often recommended for those who suffer from anxiety or depression.
Sea Moss Side Effects
As we mentioned earlier, the long term effects of sea moss are understudied and not well documented. Along with many health trends, there are always opinions regarding the validity of various claims. We recommend our readers do their share of proper research before jumping into the deep end. That being said, there are some valid concerns regarding the overconsumption of sea moss.
Too Much Iodine
“A balanced diet” is one of those adages that will forever hold power in the health industry. While it is easy to jump on the trend trains, everything needs to be consumed in moderation. When consumed in an extremely high quantity, Iodine can cause adverse effects on the thyroid and potentially harm the body. It’s best to consult a doctor before supplementing your diet with sea moss for those who suffer from preexisting thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s disease or thyroiditis.
Food Allergies and Intolerance
Like any other dietary change, adding sea moss to your routine may induce an allergic reaction you were previously unaware of. If you begin to experience symptoms such as itchy skin, a sore throat or swelling, or nausea and vomiting, discontinue use and consult a doctor.
Sea moss is often combined with other seaweeds such as bladderwrack, which further supplement iodine, prevent thyroid issues, and help with weight loss. While not all sea moss products on the market contain bladderwrack, it is worth looking into some of the reputable products that take advantage of this combination.
How Much Sea Moss Should You Take?
For those looking to start adding sea moss to their diet, we recommend starting slowly and progressing to a maximum dosage of 1-2 tablespoons (4-8 grams) per day. For those who already have a high daily intake of iodine, a smaller dosage is recommended.
Foods such as seafood, dairy products (milk, cheese), and iodized salt contain a high amount of iodine already. Those who have a diet rich in any of these should monitor their daily iodine intake closely.
How to Consume Sea Moss
There are numerous ways of consuming sea moss, and plenty of variety to accommodate every diet and subjective taste. Below are the most common forms of consuming sea moss and the benefits of each.
Sea Moss Powder
One of the most accessible and most straightforward methods of consuming sea moss is through powder form. However, for the nutrition experts, it is worth noting that the refining process does result in a lower nutritional value than the other raw and gel forms.
Like adding protein to a smoothie, sea moss powder can be easily added to drinks or sprinkled on food. A small word of warning; most sea moss powder does have a strong seaweed taste. Be sure to check out some useful recipes to help disguise the flavor, if it’s not for you.
Sea Moss Pills or Capsule
Similar to the powder form, pills and capsules provide an easy (and accurate) way of administration. For those who track their iodine intake, taking a pill can be the safest way to ensure you do not go over your daily recommendation. For those who do not enjoy the taste of seaweed, pill form can provide an easily digestible way without the potent flavor.
In our opinion, the pill or capsule form is the most convenient way to add sea moss to your diet as it allows maximum control when establishing a balanced diet.
Sea Moss Gel
Sea moss gel is becoming a more popular way of consumption as people use the gel-like texture to add to smoothies, lattes, or even as a topical solution for the skin and hair. Gel solutions can be bought online or made at home by boiling down raw forms of sea moss.
This form of sea moss is often preferred as it adds texture, retains maximum nutrients, and contains a low-calorie count.
Sea Moss Tinctures
For those who have trouble swallowing pills or capsules, or don’t have the time or energy to prepare a gel form, tinctures are available for convenient digestion of sea moss. It’s the fastest mode of absorption and contains only the extracted nutrients. As these tinctures are often high in concentration, extra caution is needed when balancing intake.
Where can I Buy Sea Moss?
As the benefits of sea moss continue to be rediscovered and re-analyzed, numerous products are popping up on the market that can be purchased.
A quick Amazon search brings up various brands of sea moss in a wide array of consumption methods. For the lesser-known brands, we encourage our readers to give due diligence in ensuring authenticity and safety.
For those looking for a safer and more reliable option, established brands such as Nutra Remedies provide high-quality capsule sea moss, with the addition of bladderwrack and burdock root.
Bladderwrack is another form of seaweed known for its use in combating thyroid disorders, joint pain, heartburn, and weight loss. It also contains algin, a type of carbohydrate used for aid digestion.
Burdock root is a vegetable high in antioxidants and has been shown to aid in toxin removal, digestion, and skin issues. As a bonus, burdock root has also been whos to be a mild aphrodisiac.
The Sea Moss Summary
While the verdict is still out on the long term effects of sea moss on the human diet, we can take a certain amount of solace in the fact that sea moss is not a recent discovery.
With strong historical evidence that points to positive benefits, introducing sea moss to your diet could be an effective way of supplementing iodine, aiding in weight loss, and maintaining mental and emotional health.
For those starting out, we recommend starting with a product that allows safe and effective modes of consumption, reducing the risk of overdoing it. Pill and capsule forms provide easy and safe ways of monitoring your iodine intake and masking the distinct seaweed taste.
Like anything else, a progressive and balanced consumption is the safest way to begin, so we encourage our readers to supplement progressively to ensure a healthy transition.