The rocky beaches around the North Atlantic offer a precious secret in the form of sea moss, a type of seaweed harvested for supplementation and commercial use in food items and cosmetics. Sea moss is readily available year round, along the rocky coasts lining American as well as European shorelines.
Let’s get to know the high and mighty sea moss a little bit better with these 10 little known facts about the nutritious whole food:
- Sea moss is known by many different names. It’s referred to as Irish moss, purple moss, red seaweed, and intertidal seaweed, to name a few. The superfood actually comes in a whole slew of colors, from red and brown to yellow and green to purple and even black! Don’t be confused when you get sold a sea moss gel or raw form called by one of these various names; the supplement, though, is often a formula of sea moss with other extracts like bladderwrack and burdock root.
- It’s a natural thickener. The spiny, often slimy leaves of sea moss contain a gelatinous carbohydrate known as carrageenan, used as a thickening agent in food for hundreds of years now. This is why sea moss is added in stews and soups, baked goods, dressings, and many other foods.
- It makes you go and glow. Sea moss provides energy, such that when you are feeling fatigued, its iron content may help address a potential deficiency in the mineral. It also helps make skin glowy, doing wonders through its anti-inflammatory properties and collagen-boosting action. This is why sea moss is a big hit against acne, psoriasis, eczema, and other disorders that often plague your skin.
- It’s a fertility and libido booster. Sea moss is part of a famous love potion in Jamaica, where it’s accessed freely since ancient times, to help improve zest for lovemaking. It’s also found in research to improve fertility, with a long history of use in fertility boost in traditional medicine.
- What can you get with a serving of sea moss? According to Healthline, a 4 tbsp serving offers plenty of carbs, protein, vitamins, as well as essential nutrients. For just 10 calories and no fat, you get iron, calcium, magnesium, iodine, phosphorus, copper, and zinc – all playing an important role in optimal health.
- Yes, it has a side effect – albeit a rare and easily avoidable one. You can actually get too much iodine from sea moss consumption. This can cause issues with thyroid function and nasty side effects like nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Iodine toxicity is rare, however, and exceeding the tolerable level of iodine means you’d have to consume 286 grams (or about ⅔ pound) of sea moss daily.
- It can help lower your glucose levels. Interesting sea moss studies have been done on pigs, showing that the whole food can help lower blood sugar. This action is attributed to two compounds known as alginate and fucoxanthin, typically found in certain kinds of seaweed. The hope is the same favorable results can be seen working in human subjects.
- You don’t have to buy ready sea moss all the time. Instead, you can make sea moss gel from the dried form if you want to! Here are three easy steps: (1) Rinse your sea moss and soak it in water for 24 hours. (2) Pour off the excess water. (3) In a blender, blend the sea moss and some water until you get a smooth consistency. Note, though, that it thickens as it sits. Refrigerate the entire batch and use it as needed on your soups or smoothies.
- It can help you stay strong. Rich with 92 of the 102 essential minerals that the human body needs, sea moss supports your immunity like no other. Its formidable lineup of nutrients and antioxidants does a lot of wonders in warding off everyday infections and more.
- Wild over artificially grown sea moss is your best bet. Beware the suppliers in the market that grow the algae in artificial salt pools, which usually produce nutrient and mineral deficient sea moss. Artificial pools may also give the sea moss a salty taste and a chemical smell. Check the supplement or raw form packaging for wild sea moss and a reputable source and production process.