What Is Sea Moss?
Sea Moss is one of the most potent red algae in the world. According to experts it contains powerful healing potency and has many benefits for your skin, hair, gut health and more. Touted as the best new superfood and beauty ingredient, it is becoming extremely popular.
Facts About Sea Moss
In its simplest terms, sea moss — aka Seaweed AKA Irish Moss — is believed to boost your health and enhance your skin and is a form of red algae. A lot of experts claim it has unique advantages and many cultures especially the Asians who place a premium on great skin health have used Sea Moss for years to improve health. Sea Moss is also extremely popular in places like Ireland, Scotland, Jamaica and Africa in food and as folk medicine. The popular term in Europe is Irish Sea Moss however there are many types of Sea Moss.
While a lot of experts, nutritionist, health gurus and celebrities vouch for the benefits of Sea Moss, there has not been significant scientific research to back up most of these claims. What is significant is that Sea Moss is getting very popular and its only a mater of time before its recognized as an invaluable superfood with the necessary nutrients and minerals that the human body needs.
Some of the popular benefits of Sea Moss
- Sea Moss Contains Iron known to boost Energy levels.
Sea moss is packed with iron, which is very rare for a plant-based product. Iron is commonly found in animal foods like meat, poultry, and seafood. Sea moss is known to have 9 times more iron than chicken. Iron helps your body create red blood cells to move oxygen from your lungs to your cells.
- Sea Moss helps improve skin.
Compounds in seaweed may help protect the skin from damage caused by UVB rays from the sun.
It has anti-inflammatory properties and contains natural minerals like magnesium and zinc, which have been known to help improve the appearance of redness in sensitive and hypersensitive skin. It also shields the skin from harsh environmental conditions by creating a protective barrier.
They may also help prevent wrinkles, sunspots and premature skin aging seaweed can help soothe skin conditions associated with inflammation, like acne and rosacea.
Some seaweed has shown to decrease oil production, while others have shown to decrease the bacteria involved in acne formation, making this a potential ingredient for anti-acne activity.
- Sea Moss Contains More Than 90% of Nutrients Our Bodies Need.
Sea moss has 92 of the 110 minerals the body needs for a healthy function, " Sea moss contains beta-carotene, vitamin B, vitamin C, and sulfur as well as minerals like magnesium, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. All these contribute to healthy cell functioning in the body.
- Sea Moss Promotes Healthy Weight Loss.
according to a study by the National Institute of Health. Iodine a mineral found in a limited number of foods but abundant in Sea Moss is needed in moderation for our body to produce thyroid hormones. These hormones control the body's metabolism and many other important functions. The body also needs thyroid hormones for proper bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy," Sea Moss contains high levels of iodine, the key is to get the right amount, however, and not too much.
Sea Moss contains the vital thyroid hormone important for healthy thyroid function and body's metabolism. People have used Sea Moss to regulate thyroid functionality to aid in weight loss. However, before using sea moss to boost thyroid hormones or as a weight-loss supplement, please check with your doctor. Moderation is the most important thing with thyroid function.
- Sea Moss Can Help You Build Strong, Lean Muscles.
The seaweed is rich in protein with 6 grams of protein per 100 grams of sea moss. Specifically, it contains an amino acid called taurine, which helps the body burn fat and build muscle. Taurine can make the body burn fat instead of carbs during cardio.
- Sea Moss Strengthens the Immune System
Sea Moss also helps the body fight back against everyday aging and inflammation, in what could be called "the anti's:" Anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral. seaweed promotes the production of white blood cells, the cells that are responsible for fighting off invasive bacterial and viral infections. That’s because it contains marine plant compounds believed to have antioxidant, anti-allergenic and disease-protecting properties.
Eucheuma Cottonii, Gracilaria and Chondrus Crispus are some of the more popular species commercially available on the market today. They are all referred to as ‘sea moss’ but they are very different from each other.
Chondrus Crispus – Sea Moss
The species, Eucheuma Cottonii and Gracilaria, (shown above) grows abundantly in warmer waters, typically the:
- Caribbean Sea
- the Atlantic Ocean
- the Pacific Ocean
- Java Sea
- Celebes Sea
- Solomon Sea
The waters that Eucheuma Cottonii prefers are normally consistently flowing open ocean currents, and they tend to be much clearer waters too.
While the Chondrus Crispus seaweed species a rarer Sea Moss by comparison, tends to grow in cooler waters of the Northern Atlantic.
Ways to use Sea Moss.
Sea Moss are a very versatile marine vegetable and can be added to almost any type of dish. One of the things that most people love about sea moss is that it is a plant-based alternative to gelatin.
Sea Moss can be added to different types of dish IE Below:
- Smoothie bowls
- Added to lotions
- Added Hair care
- Added to Ointments & more
Is Sea moss a supplement or Superfood?
Sea moss is sold in several forms, including dried, ground, or in pills or droppers. Sea moss products are typically sold as a dietary supplement and are not regulated in the same way as prescription drugs. Arguments made are that it’s a form of plant highly natural with drawbacks. if taken at exorbitant levels just like any other food product, IE too much sugar or too many Eggs can have its side effects and need to be taken in moderation.
Bottom line: Adding some sea moss to an occasional smoothie or a plant-based pudding (note: sea moss has a natural thickening property) is probably fine and may offer some nutritional advantages. Most importantly, seek out an independent expert before you incorporate any supplements into your daily or regular routine.
According to Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD in an online article for health.com
“While there is a growing interest in algae as a functional food—a food with benefits beyond the nutrients it contains—there are many variables to consider. Algae may be rich in minerals and antioxidants, but the digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients isn’t well understood. In other words, how much nutrition is absorbed from the digestive tract into the bloodstream, and how accessible and usable are those nutrients to our cells? Other question marks include the variability of nutrient levels based on where and how the algae is grown, and issues related to potential contamination with heavy metals or other environmental toxins”
While it lacks significant science to back up the benefits, experts say it has some stand-out advantages, and other cultures have turned to it for years to improve health. "Irish sea moss has been used for generations in places like Ireland, Scotland, and Jamaica in food and as folk medicine," says Robin Foroutan, R.D.N., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In these cultures, it's often used to help enhance the immune system and fight off colds. (Related: 12 Foods to Boost Your Immune System)
Also known as Carrageen, this type of algae grows on the rocky parts of the Atlantic coast of the British Isles, as well as around Europe and other parts of North America, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Most people don't eat it plain but rather as a gel (created by boiling raw or dried forms in water) and often as a thickening agent. Other cultures also serve it as a drink, boiled with water and mixed with milk and sugar or honey. These days, you'll likely find sea moss in a powered or pill form.
What to Know Before You Buy Sea Moss
When it comes to your health there are often a number of factors that will influence your purchasing decisions.
There are a few different places where seaweed is cultivated around the world. Some are more favorable than others for a number of reasons. The basic considerations before choosing where to buy your sea moss from includes:
- Packaging of the end product
- The environmental conditions of the sea moss origin
- The quality of the waters that the sea moss is grown in, Fresh or salted
- The farming practices applied to cultivate and harvest the sea moss
- The quality of the sea moss as a finished product
- The prevalence of diseases that affect sea moss in those areas
- The cost of the sea moss
This Red Algae is harvested and gathered from the Indian Ocean, by the indigenous women of Tanzania.”
- Sea ‘moss’ is not a moss botanically. This name just sounds good for the marketer and buyers.
- This product is an alga, or seaweed, that contains many vitamins and minerals, and has been eaten straight from the sea, or cooked, for its contents and benefits.
- African sea ‘moss’, or seaweed, is harvested from shallow seas, as it grows attached to rocks. To store and send, it will need to be ‘processed’ or totally dried under clean conditions, possibly in the sun.
- As with any food product, you take risks buying and consuming it. However, in many countries of the world, people living near the sea have consumed seaweeds - ‘moss’ - for generations. Hope this helps.
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