Do you frequently scan the health food aisle just to see what might catch your eye?
Keeping track of what foods contain which nutrients, and how much of them to eat every day just to get enough of what your body needs is a commitment not all of us have the energy to maintain. Here’s to hoping that multivitamin actually works, right?
So, here’s what’s making waves lately. Because whether or not you believe our earliest ancestors came from the sea, it’s hard to deny that much of the vitamins and minerals we need are found in seawater.
That’s how sea moss, or mineral-rich sea algae, absorbs nutrients. It was only a matter of time before sea moss benefits were recognized and, as a result, commercially grown. It’s true. This nutritious superfood lives up to its name!
In this article, we’ll talk about different types of sea moss, sea moss risks and benefits, and how to get the most from this fantastic sea vegetable. Spoiler alert. Some studies suggest sea moss may even level up your skincare routine, haircare, and sex life. Cheers to that!
Are There Benefits of Sea Moss?
As we’ve mentioned, sea moss is truly a superfood, and the sea moss benefits we talk about here are well documented or otherwise show promise as further research unfolds. One thing is certain, sea moss or marine algae are packed with vital nutrients the human body needs to survive. Check out the table below for the vitamin and mineral composition of sea moss.
|Sea Moss Vitamins||Sea Moss Minerals|
In addition, sea moss has protein, fiber, and antioxidants.
All those nutrients, and that’s still not the end of it. Sea moss has been studied for its potential medicinal properties, like
- Antiviral properties
- Antihypertensive potential
But what is sea moss exactly?
If you’ve searched around a bit, you might have walked away more confused. The thing is, sea moss is a general name for seaweeds. Going further, seaweed is a broad term used to refer to several classes of algae or sea moss. Specifically green, brown, and red algae. Many types of algae grow worldwide, so we’ll try to break them down to the ones most commonly used for their health benefits.
Red algae are the largest class of sea moss, followed by brown, then green. Different variants are growing in different regions ranging in colors from yellow to dark brown, red, purple, and green. Pigments cause color variants in the algae, which correspond to different types of nutrients. While all algae contain vitamins and minerals derived from the sea, they’re all a bit different.
Red and brown sea moss, for instance, is consumed in Japanese, Korean, and Icelandic cultures as food and can be eaten with a meal, as a snack, or paired with soups and salads. Because sea moss benefits have become more mainstream in recent years, sea moss benefits are packaged up and sold as supplements. One of the most common types of sea moss you may notice being sold in supplement form is Irish sea moss, or sometimes red algae.
But if you’ve ever spent time researching and comparing supplement labels, then perhaps you’re aware that nutritional value can vary drastically from one source to the next. Sea moss, like most supplemental nutrition, can vary in quality and nutritional composition, depending on how and from where it was grown.
How to Eat Sea Moss
To give you a better sense of how to work this superfood into your diet, check out several ways you can consume it in the table below.
|Sea Moss Supplement Type||How to Consume it|
|Gel||Add it to thicken soups or sauces|
|Capsule||Follow the directions on the bottle to take it as a daily supplement. Sea moss benefits are often comparable to taking a multivitamin, just be sure to check the quality first.|
|Powder||Sea moss powder may be blended up with other fruits and veggies and added to smoothies|
|Raw||If you enjoy salty seafood flavors, you may enjoy eating sea moss raw. One way you can find it prepared is dried and packaged as thin sheets to be consumed as a snack.|
|Liquid||You can consume it straight according to the recommended dosage (usually several tablespoons, but this varies), or, you can blend it with a smoothie or mix it in with the juice.|
If you like the idea of adding sea moss to your recipes at home, try a high-quality sea moss gel. We found True Sea Moss, a small company that makes a Wildcrafted Sea Moss Gel which you can get on Amazon. The company buys its sea moss from small, organic family farms, then crafts their product in the US. The sea moss gel is GMO-free, certified organic, and uses only three ingredients, sea moss, lemon juice, and water.
Certain types of sea moss may not grow year-round and others require a very specific, cold-water environment to thrive. This makes some harder to find than others. It may also give the impression that Irish moss is superior to other types of sea moss and perhaps even healthier. There’s partial truth to this, but not because one moss is inherently better.
How to Harvest Sea Moss
There are two methods of harvesting sea moss:
- Picking it wild straight from nature wherever it’s found
- Growing it in a controlled, natural space
It follows that there are two types of controlled environments that are used for harvesting:
- Ocean-farmed: grown in a controlled area of the sea without further interference.
- Pool-grown: grown and controlled in a replicated, artificial sea environment.
While wild-picked sea moss comes from wherever it grows naturally, ocean-farmed sea moss is grown in a controlled area of the sea and then left alone to do its thing until it’s ready to pick. On the other hand, pool-grown sea moss is planted and grown in an artificial environment meant to replicate the ocean. Then, it’s picked, processed, and sold.
The problem is that replicating a nutrient-rich sea environment isn’t easy.
The sea is what packs sea moss with powerful nutrients. For instance, marine rocks directly boost sea moss benefits by infusing them with minerals like magnesium and zinc. Other sea moss benefits, like B-12 and other vitamins, for example, come directly from ocean water.
But because pool-grown sea moss isn’t grown in a natural sea environment, it may be less nutritious. To compensate, pool-grown sea moss may have more additives like salt, often in high amounts. Therefore, pool-grown sea moss is sometimes referred to as fake sea moss.
Factors that can influence the nutritional composition of sea moss and hinder potential sea moss benefits include
- Growth stage when picked
- Temperature of water
- Intensity of available light
- Concentration of nutrients in the surrounding environment
While naturally derived sea moss may be more or less nutrient dense depending on factors like whether it was picked during the summer or during the winter, it’s more often the case that trying to replicate an ocean environment in a pool results in lower quality sea moss and less potent sea moss benefits.
Some cold-water sea moss is more difficult to replicate. Consequently, it’s less common to come across fakes, making it seem as though certain species of sea moss are better than a more common variety. But ultimately, all sea moss is a nutrient-rich type of algae that offers an abundance of health benefits when derived from the wild or grown in favorable, natural conditions. However, it doesn’t mean all algae is exactly the same either.
Sea Moss Health Benefits
As a good rule of thumb, when you want to get maximum sea moss benefits, be aware of how and when it was grown and produced. This is more important than searching for a particular type of sea moss. Consider buying only wild-grown or ocean-farmed sea moss varieties.
Know the difference between real and fake sea moss! Fake sea moss (pool-grown) is usually a faded yellow-tan color and the stems are thin without any variation in thickness. Real sea moss has a mix of thick and thin stems, ranging in shades of brown, gold, or purple.
Sea Moss Benefits for Women
One of the most common health risks to women is heart disease. Factors specific to women that may contribute to heart disease include
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Sea moss is rich in minerals like potassium and magnesium, which help with regulating blood pressure. In addition, sea moss has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation that’s present at low levels agitates blood vessels and increases the risk of having a stroke or a heart attack.
Women are most frequently low in specific vitamins and minerals which may include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin b-12
Yep, sea moss has all of the above vitamins and minerals in addition to helping the body fight against cardiovascular disease. Moreover, due to its abundance in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, sea moss can help curb bipolar and postpartum depression.
Sea Moss Benefits for Men
Superfood is a buzzword that’s arguably overused in the health and beauty industry, but here’s why sea moss has potentially earned the title. Besides containing nearly all the essential vitamins and minerals we need daily, studies show sea moss benefits may extend to prostate health. While the research is still in its infancy, some of the findings show promise.
Several studies have found sea moss to have anti-cancer properties, and that information could be used to explore the extent of sea moss benefits in fighting prostate cancer. The findings may be helpful to fuel ongoing research.
Sea Moss Benefits for Skin
Besides consuming red algae to get all the awesome sea moss benefits, you can use sea moss topically as part of your skincare regimen. Sea moss benefits have been noted in cosmetics and skincare products. Studies have shown certain species of sea moss can help the skin fight against UV and UVB damage.
Also, because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, sea moss is particularly helpful for treating redness and dry skin and offering anti-aging benefits. As inflammation can wreak havoc on skin by damaging the outer structure composed of collagen, sea moss can help prevent swelling and free-radical damage by protecting the skin and promoting collagen production.
Purple Sea Moss Benefits
Purple sea moss is a type of red algae called Chondrus Crispus, or more commonly, Irish sea moss. It grows around the coastal parts of Europe, Ireland, Iceland, Canada, and parts of the US., particularly California. Purple sea moss contains carrageenan which causes its jelly-like consistency when boiled.
The jelly component has anti-inflammatory properties when consumed or used in cosmeceuticals (health-promoting cosmetics).
Purple sea moss is commonly used as a thickener in foods like ice cream or beer. If you want to add sea moss benefits to the food you cook, purple sea moss may be a good way to do it. Because it’s easy to transform into a gel, it can be used to thicken stews and sauces. Like other types of sea moss, the nutrient composition of purple sea moss depends on where it originated and when it was gathered.
You can get the same benefits from sea moss in a capsule, too. Finding the right sea moss supplements takes time, high-quality brands aren’t easy to spot right away. Luckily, they do exist! Like this Purple Sea Moss from Maju Superfoods. It’s pure sea moss and that’s it. Wild harvested in Atlantic waters, the sea moss is left alone to grow naturally, meaning it gets to thrive in its own environment and soak up plenty of vitamins and minerals before it’s picked. It’s loaded with nutrients that help support immune, heart, and thyroid health. You can get Maju Superfood’s Wildharvested Purple Sea Moss through Amazon.
Purple sea moss absorbs vitamins and minerals from the rocks on which it grows in addition to the water from the area around it. Purple sea moss benefits also come from its purple color in the form of rich phytonutrients. The deep purple hue comes from anthocyanins. A compound thought to be full of antioxidant properties. It’s also what gives red cabbage, cherries, and currants their deep reddish-purple color.
Sea Moss Benefits for Hair
Sea moss contains biotin and vitamin E which are both important nutrients that can help promote hair growth. Have you ever noticed how fast your nails begin to grow after taking a multivitamin for a while? The same concept applies here. The powerful nutrients are a natural boost to hair health. You can also mix some sea moss gel with your regular conditioner for extra luster and shine that can ease frizziness and help prevent ends from splitting.
Sea Moss Sexual Benefits
One study wanted to know whether sea moss had a positive effect on fertility and sex drive. The results showed that sea moss might have a positive impact by promoting sexual activity and increasing fertility in men.
Another study looked at sea moss sexual benefits for women. A number of environmental or physical problems can lead to infertility, including cell damage due to free radicals and other toxins in the environment. Sea moss, specifically green marine algae, can help repair damaged cells and may play a role in regulating reproductive hormones when used as an alternative therapy for infertility.
Sea Moss Benefits for Vegetarians
A cobalamin deficiency, aka vitamin B12, is especially common in vegetarians and vegans. The problem is that fruits and vegetables found on land don’t require B12 and therefore, they don’t synthesize it. That makes fruits and vegetables inefficient sources for getting enough B12, and sea moss is one of the only dietary alternatives. Without enough B12, you may experience symptoms like
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle weakness
- Nerve issues
- Memory loss
How Long Does it Take to See Sea Moss Benefits?
Every individual body is different with respect to daily nutrition, nutrition deficiencies, and general health prior to starting a sea moss benefits plan. So while some people, particularly those who are more iodine deficient, may start to see sea moss benefits within just a few days. However, on average, any noticeable changes usually take effect from 3 to 6 weeks.
Risks Related to Sea Moss Usage
Sea moss benefits are found in its consumption as a supplement to overall health. So, when sea moss is consumed in excess, risks increase and benefits decrease. Sea moss contains iodine, a heavy metal. In high amounts, iodine increases the risk of thyroid gland inflammation and dysfunction in people who have preexisting thyroid problems.
Consuming more than the upper intake level increases the risk of toxicity. Symptoms of iodine toxicity include a burning sensation in the mouth, coughing, stomach pain, diarrhea, fever, weak pulse, or nausea. In very high doses coma can occur. The maximum limit of Iodine for the general population is about 1100 micrograms per day. Anything above may cause toxicity.
Sea moss has long been consumed for its abundance of key nutrients and continues to attract attention today for the same reason. Sometimes called nature’s multivitamin, sea moss is loaded with most of the essential nutrients the human body needs. In other words, sea moss benefits are the real deal! Love our nutrition-related content? Head over to this article and discover the benefits of spearmint tea!