Early this year, we got wind of the Graves family in Rochester, New York, from a news story. Their story: the woman of the house, Jamilah, began making fruit and vegetable-rich smoothies when she was pregnant. Sea moss, a type of algae and superfood that’s establishing quite a stellar reputation in the health food circles, is part of her journey.
Jamilah Graves’ smoothies are a hit even among her kids, giving her a winning combination of taste and all the vitamins and minerals the family needs for wellness. The kids are her biggest critics and are the first to tell her if something is good not, according to her interview with Spectrum Local News.
One of Jamilah’s “weapons of choice” is sea moss, a superfood packed with so many nutrients and deemed the king of all sea moss.
Now, from making smoothies for just her parents and her husband Joshua’s parents, her goal is to open SolFull Smoothies in Rochester to help beef up the fruit and veggie consumption of people in the community. Part of her vision is to also introduce sea moss.
And perhaps the question in many readers’ mind now is this: What exactly is sea moss, and what can it offer me?
Getting to Know Sea Moss
Scientifically known as Chondrus crispus, sea moss is a type of algae or seaweed growing in waters along the rocky Atlantic coasts between North America and Europe. It’s edible and resembles other algae, seaweeds, and leafy sea vegetables such as kelp. It is a spiny sea plant and can exhibit various colors such as green, yellow, brown, purple, red, and black.
Sea moss most commonly grows in the warmer waters, typically red and dubbed Irish moss. So when you come across products called Irish moss, know that they mean a sea plant that’s likely one and the same with the popular sea moss.
In popular culture, sea moss has been made most popular by a social media post from Kim Kardashian, who also showed her sea moss-laden smoothie. Prior to the Hollywood celebrity introducing sea moss to the public, Dr. Sebi used sea moss as the main part of his treatment protocol.
What’s in Sea Moss: Nutrient Facts to Know
Sea moss’ nutritional content is so astounding that it contains 94 out of the 110 minerals that the human body needs. Beyond its fantastic mineral content, sea moss and other red seaweeds contain a rich array of vitamins and minerals. What’s particularly cool is they are low in calories, sugar, and fat at the same time.
Here’s what 20 grams or 4 tbsp of raw Irish moss provides:
- Calories: 10
- Total fat: 0 grams
- Total sugar: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0.5 grams
- Protein: 0.5 grams
- Total carbs: 3 grams
- Calcium: 1% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Copper: 3% of the DV9
- Iron: 10% of the DV
- Magnesium: 7% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 2% of the DV
- Zinc: 4% of the DV
One of the special attributes of sea moss is its rich iodine content. This mineral is needed for optimal thyroid health, thus it’s used to correct low levels relating to thyroid function. It’s important to take note, however, that you can have too much iodine, so iodine-rich sources like sea moss should be used in moderation and guidance.
Sea Moss Health Benefits and Forms Used
Sea moss isn’t a rising superstar in the health world for nothing. It’s added in smoothies, sauces, sweets, and other foods and drinks for a good reason, which is its flexible health benefits. Here are some of them:
- Sea moss is rich in antioxidants, or compounds that help protect the cells from oxidative damage that can lead to disease.
- It’s an effective antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-infection agent.
- It’s a great digestive aid as a prebiotic.
- It’s a beauty aid that benefits skin, nails, and hair, making sea moss lotions, face and hair masks, and other beauty treatments much sought after.
- It helps move phlegm to help provide relief for cough and lung conditions.
- It’s traditionally used to fight off colds and flu.
- It’s wonderful for the joints and muscles.
Sea moss has a long history as a food thickening agent. It’s a natural source of carrageenan, a common found ingredient for thickening foods such as ice cream, cheese, non-dairy milk, soups and stews, puddings and desserts, and even baby formula.
Raw sea moss is used to create sea moss gel and turned into this useful form as food. However, sea moss supplements have also grown intensely in popularity. Companies in the United States as well as other countries sell sea moss as a part of a supplement formula with bladderwrack, burdock root, and turmeric. The combination is said to benefit overall wellness, with the specific health perks mentioned in the list above.
If you’re drawn to the story of the Graves family and would like to try sea moss, a good starting point is a sea moss smoothie that will complement a healthy diet and smart lifestyle choices. However, if you don’t have access to a pure raw sea moss source, then perhaps you’re better off exploring sea moss supplementation for convenience and quality.