The superfood movement continues to thrive in 2021, officially year two of the pandemic and a super challenged season for just about anything. All these increase the appeal of yet another superfood that can be accessed both as food and high-quality supplement: Sea moss, also known by names like Irish moss and its scientific name Chondrus crispus. Let’s demystify this superfood and its long line of benefits a bit more.
First, What’s Sea Moss Anyway?
If you’ve been living under a rock – or not really, but maybe just not a Kim Kardashian follower – sea moss is a type of algae hailed for its rich nutrient content and excellent beautifying effects. Kim K. once posted her sea moss smoothie on her social page, and things just went crazy for the superfood from there with a lot of social media searches and mentions.
Here’s a crash course on superfoods. In the basic sense, they are fresh, plant-based foods, with some fish and dairy items thrown into the category, that are filled with nutrients and believed to have outstanding health benefits. Think of kale, acai, blackberries – foods that have earned the superfood label and have been produced and promoted by food companies into a wealth of products.
In the case of the great sea moss, it’s known to be a rich source of iodine. It also supplies 92 out of the 110 minerals that the human body needs. Imagine that astounding nutrient profile! It has not been recognized as part of cultures for generations, including those around the Atlantic Ocean and specifically in Jamaica. The algae grows on the Atlantic coast’s rocky parts and in parts of North America, Europe, and the Caribbean.
Sea moss is barely eaten plain. On the contrary, it’s usually taken as a gel, which is derived from boiling raw or dried forms in water. Sea moss is in fact a thickening agent in desserts and dishes, from sponge cakes to puddings to sauces. The breakfast smoothie is a popular way to consume sea moss, and then there’s the convenient way to take sea moss: as a high-quality supplement.
Sea Moss Health Benefits to Remember
Let’s have a closer look at what sea moss brings to the table:
- Sea Moss Nutrition Facts – There’s a growing obsession with sea moss worldwide for its nutritional profile. Sea moss also has a good profile for those managing their weight, containing only 5 calories, 7 mg of sodium, 1 g of carbs, and zero fat, cholesterol, and sugar, to name a few.
- Sea Moss Vitamins and Minerals – Sea moss is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K. Imagine it being able to supply 92 of the 110 minerals that the human body needs: calcium, magnesium, chromium, sulfur compounds, iodine, bromine, selenium, manganese, potassium, iron, zinc, and so much more. Sea moss is in fact so chock full of nutrients that during the Irish Potato Famine in the 1800s, it helped boost survival and health among affected communities. Sea moss is also used as a thyroid booster because it’s rich in iodine. However, you can possibly have too much iodine, which can result in a new set of thyroid issues, so there’s such a thing as having too much iodine, so you have to watch your sea moss intake for optimum results.
- Digestive Aid and Support – Sea moss is a prebiotic. This is a kind of dietary fiber that helps enhance gut health and wellness, which influences so many other bodily processes. Sea moss may boost digestion and regular bowel movement. It has also been shown to help prevent some types of cancer, bowel cancer in particular, with its support for the development of short-chain fatty acids in the colon. What’s more, sea moss has been investigated to help relieve acid reflux, a common stomach problem in the modern world and its diet.
- Support for Skin, Hair and Nails – Irish moss is also a known provider of nutrients that benefit the health and function of cells, particularly of the skin, hair, and nails. Magnesium and vitamins such as folate ramp up the process and enhance sea moss’ popularity as a beauty aid. Sea moss features anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties as well, therefore potentially helping fight acne, eczema, wrinkles, and skin aging. It’s not surprising why sea moss is widely used in home recipes and commercially as lotions, facial masks, shampoos, and scrubs, to name a few.
- Moving Excess Mucus – Because it is sticky and thick, sea moss helps soothe the mucus membranes in the body, helping it get rid of excess mucus. This is specifically wonderful for reducing congestion and clearing up the buildup of phlegm in the lungs. Again, it’s no wonder why ancient cultures near the rocky beaches of the Atlantic use sea moss for conditions such as colds and the flu.
The jury might still be out on the single biggest benefit of sea moss. After all, people use it for many different things, from everyday colds to their thyroid issues that need a boost of iodine in the system. But if there’s one important step to take, it’s to get a high-quality source of sea moss. If you don’t have direct access to pure, raw sea moss that you can process on your own at home, then you might benefit best from a safe, high-quality sea moss pill produced by a reputable manufacturer and containing an optimum amount of the algae.