Sea moss isn’t part of the standard American diet. It is, however, likely a staple in the diets of those who grew up in Ireland, Jamaica, or other parts of the Caribbean.
Now the word is out: sea moss is an emerging superfood that’s been featured on social media by no less than Kim Kardashian, added in her smoothie. There’s a good reason for this, as this type of microalgae is so nutrient-dense and supports immunity as well as overall health.
But not everything said about sea moss is factual or accurate. Here are five myths about the superfood that we’d like to straighten out:
1. Sea Moss Tastes So Bad, You’ll Actually Gag.
Nope. Sea moss is actually tasteless that you can add it to a wide variety of dishes. Sea moss is a great thickener in desserts and a plant-based substitute for gelatin. Besides the traditional Jamaican sea moss drink, sea moss can also be added in smoothies, juices, sauces, dressings, cakes, ice cream, and soups. Since it has little to no flavor, there’s so much creativity in store in reaping the benefits of this algae.
2. Sea Moss Used in History Is Overvalued.
On the contrary, sea moss or Irish moss has had so many traditional dietary and all-around uses in different cultures. In the famine of the 19th century, it was used in Ireland as cattle feed, mattress stuffing, and even as a thickener for colored inks used in printing. Irish folklore also has it that people carried sea moss on their trips for safety and protection, mainly from pneumonia and tuberculosis. The algae also had its uses in leather curing, soap making, paper marbling, and the manufacture of line and paper. Similar to its non-food uses today, sea moss used to be incorporated in lotions, creams, and toothpastes by older generations.
3. It’s Just Carrageenan Extract.
No, sea moss carrageenan is different from carrageenan extract. In the former, 55% of sea moss is made up of carrageenan, giving it its rubbery texture. The latter, on the other hand, is chemically processed. Since carrageenan extract is already processed, it loses its natural nutrients that are very well intact in sea moss. During processing, for instance, cellulose is removed and what’s added is 5% to 8% potassium.
4. You May Consume As Much Sea Moss As You Want.
Definitely not – there’s such a thing as consuming too much sea moss. It’s a rich source of iodine, which helps create thyroid hormones. These hormones govern a lot of different processes in the body, including metabolism. When it comes to iodine, the goal is to consume just the right amount since both too little and too much of it can spell trouble for your thyroid hormones. So make sure to find the Goldilocks zone and know that too much isn’t better than too little. Be careful not to overdo it when consuming sea moss.
5. We Already Know Enough About Sea Moss.
While it’s part of cultures around Ireland, Jamaica, the Caribbean, and some parts of North America, sea moss isn’t a staple in the American diet. There’s recently growing interest in algae as a functional food, and as part of the modern diet there are a number of variables to consider. One is digestibility and then bioavailability of nutrients present in a formula. The issue of where and how the algae is grown is also important, making sure the source of sea moss is free of toxins and contamination. This makes it vital that you choose a high-quality sea moss supplement or raw sea moss source that you can trust.
To add to these myths that we’ve just debunked, take note that sea moss is no magic bullet or cure-all. It offers a lot of nutritional advantages that give it an edge over most other foods, but when seeking out its benefits, quality and purity are crucial considerations. You can also have too much of sea moss, so use it prudently. It’s still best to seek out professional health care advice before using it, particularly if you have a special condition.
Raring for more sea moss information? Keep posted and we’ve got the good stuff to deliver about this superfood.