Sea Moss: The "Superfood" of the Sea
Sea moss is a type of edible seaweed that grows naturally along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean in Southern America, Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. For centuries, sea moss has been used for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and immunity-boosting properties, and it's recently gained popularity as a supplement and ingredient in smoothies and tea blends.
In this article, we will explore the types, benefits, and different ways to consume sea moss. So, let's dive into the fascinating world of sea moss and discover all the fantastic things this seaweed offers!
What is Sea Moss
Sea moss, also known as Irish moss or Carrageenan moss, is an edible seaweed packed with nutrients and used for centuries for its health benefits. It’s considered a nutrient-rich food which are a good source of minerals, vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, and K), essential minerals (calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and fluoride), dietary fibers, protein, essential amino acids, and polyphenols.
What is Sea Moss Gel?
Sea moss gel is a stabilizer or thickener made by soaking and blending sea moss with water. When sea moss is soaked in water, it becomes soft and pliable, allowing it to be easily incorporated into various recipes.
Types of Sea Moss
There are various types of sea moss, but the most common is Chondrus crispus. Other types of sea moss include Gracilaria (Jamaican Sea Moss) and Eucheuma Cottonii (gusô), typically found in warmer waters.
1. Irish Moss/ Chondrus crispus
Sea moss that grows in warmer waters is often darker in color, such as Irish Moss. Thanks to its nutritional profile and versatile culinary applications, it has gained popularity as a valuable ingredient in various food products and supplements.
Also known as Carrageenan moss, Irish moss is typically harvested in the Atlantic coast of Europe and America. It is characterized by its greenish-yellow to dark purple or red color and high nutrient content. Irish sea moss is often used as a natural thickener in ice cream, soups, stews, and sauces and can also be added to smoothies.
Although various other types of sea moss are available, Chondrus crispus stands out as the most common and sought-after variety. It helps balance thyroid hormones because of its high iodine content, soothes inflammation, and supports respiratory and digestive health.
2. Gracilaria / Jamaican Moss
Gracilaria, commonly known as Jamaican sea moss or purple sea moss, is another type commonly used in food production. It is typically found along the warmer waters and is characterized by its red, purple, and greenish-yellow color, delicate fronds, and slender branches. Jamaican sea moss is often used as a natural thickener in desserts, such as puddings and custards, and can also be added to smoothies or consumed as a gel. It helps hydrate the skin, soothes a sore throat, and boosts immunity.
3. Eucheuma Cottonii
Eucheuma Cottonii is a sea moss variety widely used to produce carrageenan. It is typically found in Southeast Asia and is characterized by its greenish-brown or yellow-orange color. Gusô is often used in cosmetics, food, textile, and paint. Adding it to food offers potential health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and preventing chronic diseases.
Difference Between Gold, Purple, and Green Sea Moss
Generally speaking, the differences in the sea moss color has to do with where it is grown, the phytonutrient content, and what it does in the body. Sea moss that is dark red or purple in color is a potent source of antioxidants called anthocyanin. Green Sea moss high in chlorophyll and is a natural body detoxifier that supports liver health and red blood cells. Yellow or Gold Sea moss is high in phytonutrients which helps in cellular communication along with many other reported benefits. Gold Sea Moss is the most widely available and is sun-dried. The taste and smell are also minimal compared to the other colors (check out VIP Gold Sea Moss). In short, no matter which color, you are getting a nutrient-dense product!
Sea moss is not only prized for its culinary uses, but also for its potential health benefits. This seaweed is rich in vitamins, minerals, and is a potent source of protein, peptide, and SP (sulfated polysaccharides.
Potential Benefits of Sea Moss:
Sea moss is rich in minerals and nutrients making it a popular choice for those seeking to improve their health. Here are some of the ways that sea moss gel can support your overall health and well-being:
1. Promotes healthy digestion: Sea moss gel is a good fiber source, a prebiotic mucilage, that can help promote healthy digestion and provides food with beneficial gut microbe.
2. Increased Energy: Sea moss contains a high iron content and other essential minerals that can help improve energy levels and reduce fatigue associated with anemia.
3. Skin Health: Irish Moss is a potent source of protein that helps in collagen production, which may support skin and heart health.
4. Boost Metabolism: The peptides in sea moss help boost metabolism.
5. Supports immune function: Sea moss gel is rich in antioxidants and other essential vitamins and minerals that can help support a healthy immune system. These compounds can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, which are associated with various health conditions.
6. Reduce inflammation: Sea moss gel possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Several health conditions are associated with chronic inflammation, including arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
7. Supports thyroid function: Sea moss gel is exceptionally high in iodine, crucial in producing thyroid hormones that help regulate metabolism and support digestive, muscle, and heart health.
8. Weight loss: Despite being low in calories, sea moss contains a high level of soluble fiber called carrageenan that can slow down the digestion of food, promote feelings of fullness, and may help with weight loss.
Ways to Consume Sea Moss:
Sea moss can be consumed in several different ways, including:
• Raw: Sea moss can be soaked in water to make gel which can be added to smoothies or other or added as a thickener to soups or other recipes. Can also be eaten in raw, clean form plain or as a salad topper.
• Tea: Sea moss can be added to teas to provide an additional boost of nutrients and minerals.
• Desserts & Other: Sea moss can also be used to make desserts like puddings or ice cream.
So, whether you prefer to use it as a natural thickener in soups and stews, eat plain, or blend it into a smoothie or tea, incorporating sea moss into your diet may be a delicious and healthy way to support your overall health and well-being.
Dr. T’s Tea Talk Tips:
Sea moss is a natural, nutrient-dense, plant-based option that could be added to your wellness routine. This versatile superfood can be a part of your diet or used topically for skin and hair. Sea moss has been used for centuries for its reported health benefits and was used to combat nutritional deficiencies in the 1800s during the Irish Potato Famine.
Sea moss may carry heavy metals such as mercury and lead when grown in areas that do not account for pollution, so it’s important to get from a reputable source. The benefits must be balanced and safeguarded against the potential of excessive intake of salt, iodine, and heavy metals. As always, with any product you ingest, make sure the quality is to the highest standard.
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