Sea moss might just be the coolest kid on the block right now. Also known as Irish moss, this seaweed found on the beaches along the Atlantic seaboard as well as the Caribbean hold unique benefits for health and wellness, making it one of the hottest superfoods today. Let’s have a look at sea moss benefits as well as the side effects that users should know.
The good side: sea moss benefits
The wonders of sea moss is no longer news for cultures located where it naturally grows. For generations, it has been used in countries like Ireland, Scotland, and Jamaica not just as food but also as folk medicine, a therapy for stronger immunity and fighting off colds. Now, word about its benefits has spread outside of the Atlantic coast, the British Isles, Europe, and North America, and sea moss is sold as a food item or nutritional supplement in the form of capsules, gels, and powders.
Most people don’t consume sea moss plain, but instead as a gel produced through boiling raw or dried forms in water. It’s also used as a thickening agent or drink, something boiled with water and then mixed with a sweetener and milk.
Here are some of the leading benefits of sea moss:
- Optimum mineral count – Sea moss has the singular ability to provide 90% of the nutrients we need. Specifically, it has 92 of the 110 minerals that the body is made of, alongside nutrients such as vitamins A, B, and C. This nutrient composition helps ward off disease and keep the body working optimally.
- Effective immune booster – Sea moss strengthens the immune system and helps prevent sickness, especially at a time when a global pandemic rages on. It helps the body fight back against aging and inflammation. It also provides a barrier against bacteria and viruses that can strike and invade your system when your immune system is working less than optimally. For example, the potassium chloride in sea moss helps lower inflammation and the risk of infection.
- Digestive helper – Sea moss may help digest food better. Since it’s a mucilaginous food, the texture of sea moss makes it a wonderful soothing agent for the mucus membrane, including the digestive system.
- Weight loss and management – Sea moss is known to contain iodine in impressive amounts. This mineral is found in limited amounts in food but is important in making the thyroid hormones, which govern many bodily processes including metabolism and weight loss.
- Skin, hair, and nail nourishment – Sea moss is chock-full of vitamins and minerals that assist in skin, hair, and nail health. This explains why there are so many sea moss face masks, lotions, and topical preparations available – for the beautifying effects that come straight from nature!
Since we have talked about the benefits, the potential downside or side effects of sea moss are also worth discussing.
- The iodine factor – Iodine can promote health in some people, but they can pose risks for patients of autoimmune thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s is where the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, and too much iodine in this case can trigger hypothyroidism, where there isn’t enough thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid gland. This means moderation is key when it comes to iodine, where prevailing recommendations are set at 150 mcg per day.
- Potential food allergy – Sea moss is generally safe to take, but individuals react to it differently. At the first sign of a food allergy – an itchy throat or nausea – stop taking sea moss and consult a doctor. Watch out for signs of irritation such as burning of redness, particularly in topically applied sea moss products.
- Product potency and quality – Supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting a quality product. The labels should come with stamps reflecting third party testing for impurities and that the label matches what’s inside the supplement bottle. Go for reputable manufacturers and those who create their products in a GMP-certified facility in the United States.
Perhaps an important point to make is that sea moss is not a miracle product – nothing is. There’s no magic bullet for good health and to make all sickness disappear. What you need is a balanced diet, exercise, and smart lifestyle choices. Only then will superfoods like sea moss will provide maximum benefits with any adverse effects!