It’s 2021: year two of a global pandemic, a time of great political movement worldwide, a drastically changing environment, and people becoming more health-conscious by the minute. With so many health trends around – keto, gluten-free, yoga in many different Western forms and all – here’s an emerging superfood that you should likely not miss.
Sea moss is a type of algae that’s being hailed for its iodine content, for being an excellent beauty ingredient, and for its health benefits traditionally enjoyed by cultures around the Caribbean. Before we investigate it, let’s delve into what it takes to be a superfood.
What Is a Superfood?
Superfoods are basically just foods, mostly fresh, plant-based ones with the addition of some fish and dairy products – that are chock full of nutrients and thought to have outstanding health effects. Foods that have garnered this label include acai, kale, salmon, and virtually every type of berry available.
An important component of superfoods are antioxidants, which fight free radicals in the body and are believed to have cancer-fighting potential. Superfoods also contain healthy fats, which have built a reputation for being heart-friendly and for assisting in effective weight management.
Superfoods include dark leafy greens, a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and phytochemicals; nuts like walnuts and almonds, a source of plant protein and monounsaturated fats; olive oil, a source of vitamin E, polyphenols, and monounsaturated fats; whole grains for soluble and insoluble fiber, and a source of B vitamins and phytonutrients; and yogurt, a source of calcium, protein, and probiotics.
Sea Moss, the Latest Superfood in Town
Here comes sea moss, which was catapulted to much greater prominence when Kim Kardashian posted the microalgae on social media as the main ingredient of her breakfast smoothie.
Also known as carrageen and by other names like Irish sea moss, this type of algae grows on the Atlantic coast’s rocky parts, as well as in parts of North America, Europe, and the Caribbean, such as Jamaica.
Rather than being eaten plain, sea moss is usually taken as a gel, which is from boiling raw or dried forms in water. Sea moss is also a thickener in foods like desserts and sauces; it’s a vegan version of gelatin and can be added to create sponge cakes and gooey puddings. Just like Kim K, many drink it as their breakfast smoothie, boiled with water and mixed with milk and a sweetener. Of course, there’s sea moss supplement products available in the market today as a fast, convenient way to get this superfood into their diet.
The Healthy Obsession: Irish Sea Moss and Health Benefits
So, just what are the benefits of this superfood that’s making waves in 2021?
People worldwide are fast becoming obsessed with sea moss for its nutritional composition. Imagine something that’s able to supply 92 of the 110 minerals that the human body needs. Sea moss is so nutrient-dense that during the Irish Potato Famine that took place in the 1800s, sea moss helped boost health during a challenging time to be healthy and let alone survive.
Here are some of specific sea moss health benefits:
- Optimum iodine source – Sea moss is thought great for thyroid health because it’s rich in iodine. Your thyroid’s healthy functioning is crucial for many bodily processes, including metabolism and energy production. Take note, though, that there’s such a thing as having too much iodine, so you have to watch your sea moss intake if you already have it in excess or suffer from a condition such as hyperthyroidism.
- Trace elements the body needs – Sea moss is packed with magnesium, zinc, potassium, selenium, phosphorus, and other trace elements that keep you at your best. It’s also rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K.
- Moving excess mucus in the body – Due to its potassium chloride, sea moss may help improve congestive and move excess mucus. It’s also a known antiviral and antibacterial, helping ward off the cold and allow you to breathe easier.
Digestive support – Sea moss is a prebiotic, which is a type of dietary fiber that helps enhance the health of your gut. It’s thought to be a boon for digestion and regular bowel movement. Sea moss may also help prevent some forms of cancer, specifically bowel cancer, with its support for short-chain fatty acid development in the colon.
- Skin, hair, and nail improvement – Sea moss provides nutrients that positively affect the health and function of cells, particularly your skin, hair, and nails. Its magnesium and vitamins like folate, for instance, benefits these areas of health, thus sea moss’ popularity as a natural beauty aid. Irish sea moss also boasts of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, thus its favorable action against acne, wrinkles, eczema or dermatitis, and skin aging. Small wonder why sea moss has been used as a lotion, facial mask, and added into shampoo, for example.
How to Use Sea Moss
Sea moss readily offers a gelatin-like consistency and can be added to foods like morning smoothies and breakfast bowls. More than the thick texture it provides, sea moss also dissolves in water, tending to act like a soluble fiber. These fibers dissolve in water and turn into a soft gel that keeps you full as well as helps stool move through the gastrointestinal tract.
Irish sea moss can also be applied topically for the benefits to your skin, hair, and nails – a natural beauty maintenance tool.
In the name of convenience and getting your optimum fix of this superfood, organic sea moss capsules are also available. It’s vital to get sea moss pills from a reputable manufacturer. Remember, too, that it is possible to have sea moss in excess, and that sea moss isn’t a magic bullet. Combine it with a good diet and smart lifestyle choices for the best outcomes possible.