5 Little Known Health And Wellness Benefits Of Sea Moss

The popularity of sea moss in supplements and ingredients has increased over recent years thanks to its wealth of health benefits and status as a superfood. So, what exactly is sea moss, and how can it help you?

By Debbie Woodliffe3 min read
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Shutterstock/Marina Demeshko

Sea moss is a hot topic right now – and you’ve likely already consumed it without realizing it, as it’s a popular ingredient within the food manufacturing industry. The commonly known sea moss, Irish moss, or carrageen moss, has the scientific name Chondrus crispus. It’s a natural and edible form of seaweed found in coastal regions of Europe (such as Ireland) and North America. While you may expect sea moss to be green, it can appear reddish, brown or even black, depending on the harvesting location. In its culinary form as a thickening agent, sea moss is usually referred to as carrageenan.

However, while many have been using sea moss as an ingredient for years, we’re only now starting to really explore the potential health and wellness benefits of this superfood. 

What Nutrients Does Sea Moss Contain?

It’s thought that sea moss can offer a wealth of health benefits thanks to its density of certain nutrients. Like many other vegetables, sea moss usually has high fiber and high iodine levels and is high in omega-3 fatty acids and minerals. The levels can depend on the location and environmental makeup of where the sea moss is harvested, and the nutritional values can also vary based on how the sea moss has been stored and processed. But generally, sea moss contains a nutrient mix of:

  • Magnesium

  • Zinc

  • Vitamin B2

  • Vitamin B12

  • Calcium

  • Chromium

  • Iron

In its culinary form as a thickening agent, sea moss is usually referred to as carrageenan.

What Are the Potential Health Benefits of Sea Moss?

Sea moss is considered to be a superfood by many, and is also thought to be beneficial in supporting your health in different ways. It's the condensed levels of nutrients that make sea moss so beneficial, and its superfood status is making it a trending item on the health food market. While there is still plenty of research to be done to confirm these benefits, here are some of the suggested ones:

1. Thyroid Support

Your thyroid relies on iodine to stay healthy, and this can only come from your diet. Most people get this in the form of iodized salt, dairy products, and seafood – so sea moss may be particularly beneficial to those on a vegan diet who are limited in their dairy and meat intakes.

2. Heart Health

Getting enough fiber in your diet may help the heart in many ways, from lowering cholesterol to reducing the likelihood of certain diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. So, sea moss is certainly up there on the healthy heart chart. Additionally, sea moss benefits from omega-3 fatty acids, which can further support the cardiovascular system.  

3. Gut Balance

If the balance of bacteria in the gut becomes unstable, it can cause a range of uncomfortable issues like gas and bloat. Sea moss has been said to help to boost the levels of “good bacteria” in the gut, effectively acting as a prebiotic

Sea moss has been said to help to boost the levels of “good bacteria” in the gut, effectively acting as a prebiotic. 

4. Boosted Immunity 

One study shows some sea-moss-munching Atlantic salmon had a far better immune response when compared to other salmon. This may be because sea moss is rich in phytochemicals, which have been said to improve the immune response, while iron and antioxidants can contribute to overall immune system health. 

5. Muscle Recovery

Sea moss contains the amino acid taurine, which is commonly used to aid muscle building and post-workout recovery. However, you shouldn’t rely on taurine alone to recover when exercising – make sure you drink plenty of water and rest your body between workouts too. 

Can Sea Moss Help with Weight Loss? 

Sea moss is a high-fiber food that can make you feel fuller for longer. Consuming a healthy amount of fiber can be beneficial when it comes to losing weight, although you can’t rely on sea moss alone. 

Maintaining a calorie deficit is supposed to be the best way to lose weight, but it can leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied. Eating high-fiber foods like vegetables and sea moss can help you to feel satisfied and fuller for longer. Other examples of high-fiber foods include flaxseeds, asparagus, beans and legumes, brussels sprouts and oats. 

Sea moss may help with certain aspects of weight loss, but it should be used in conjunction with a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle as opposed to being viewed as a quick fix. Its other health benefits can add up to supporting weight loss too; for example, having a healthy gut may help to prevent cravings for certain types of foods, while feeling fuller for longer may help to reduce binge eating. 

Sea moss is a high-fiber food that can make you feel fuller for longer.

How Can I Use Sea Moss?

There are a few different ways to consume sea moss, and it all depends on the outcome you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you want to add extra nutrients to your food, you may consider consuming it in powder form. 

The powdered form of sea moss is widely available and can be added to all sorts of recipes such as drinks, soups and sauces, or you could use fresh sea moss to help your smoothie pack a punch. 

However, if you don’t want to get too involved with making recipes or learning to prepare sea moss, you might consider taking supplements that are ready to consume without any prep. 

Using sea moss directly as an ingredient might make it hard to stay on track of your nutrient consumption and can pose a danger to those with thyroid issues, so only use fresh or powdered sea moss if you need to keep track of the nutrient value. 

Can You Take Sea Moss Every Day? 

Your body needs a certain amount of iodine to maintain healthy thyroid function, but consuming too much of it can cause undesired or even dangerous side effects. That’s why, before you begin to consume or supplement with sea moss, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to ensure it won't cause any problems or unwelcome medication interactions. 

One study suggests four grams a day is usually safe if you aren’t suffering from any health issues, but be careful otherwise, especially if they are heart or thyroid related. It’s also worth noting that there is evidence to suggest seaweed can collect heavy metals from the water in which it grows, so you should proceed with caution to ensure you don’t consume too much. 

Closing Thoughts

From aiding those on a vegan diet to supporting a healthy gut, there are lots of potential benefits of sea moss, whether as part of your diet or in supplement form. However, it does depend on your circumstances and health, so it's best to check in with a healthcare professional or nutritionist before adding any new supplement to your routine. 

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