Sea Moss (Irish Moss) Health Benefits
If you are looking for a way to boost your immunity to disease and illness, or you’re just following the alkaline diet, sea moss has the ability to offer a variety of benefits, and can be consumed in a few different forms. Let’s take a closer look at what Sea Moss is, and how it could help to improve your everyday health.
What is Sea Moss?
Sea Moss, otherwise known as Irish Moss, is a red algae that can be found on Caribbean islands, and on the coastlines of Europe, such as Ireland, which is where it gets the name “Irish Moss”.
According to folklore, the Irish Moss has been used for many years due to its anti-viral properties, treating tuberculosis, and pneumonia.
Now, this salty vegetation has made somewhat of a comeback in the health community, as recent studies have shown that the benefits of sea moss are still useful today.
Today, you can find sea moss in a variety of forms. Some of these include skin products, cooking ingredients, and daily dietary supplements in pill form. The main reason for this, Sea moss doesn’t have much of a taste.
You can easily mash, soak, or dry sea moss into other forms. These forms include pastes, gels, and even food toppings. Before we go any deeper into how you can use sea moss, you should first read deeper into the benefits.
Sea Moss Health Benefits
Sea moss contains nutrients that are vital to improving digestion, boosting immunity, and even increasing metabolism. The nutrients in sea moss include sulfur, bromine, calcium, magnesium, iodine, phosphorus, manganese, phosphate, potassium, selenium, beta-carotene, protein, zinc, pectin, vitamin-B, and vitamin-C. Let’s look closer at how sea moss helps your body benefit from all of these nutrients.
- Thyroid Function: The thyroid is a gland located in your neck just below the adam’s apple. This gland is responsible for increasing the strength and rate of your heartbeat in order to maintain a healthy flow of blood throughout your brain.
The blood flow to your brain can have a direct effect on your sleep and even your ability to think, which is why it’s extremely important to have a properly functioning thyroid. Iodine is a mineral that is commonly used to promote proper thyroid function, and can be found in abundance within sea moss.
- Helps Digestion: Due to the gel-like consistency, sea moss has a way of soothing your pain from inflammation in your intestines. Not only that, it also extracts toxins as it passes through you. Because it can relieve pain, and detox, sea moss is a great method for treating issues such as gastritis, indigestion, constipation, and ulcers.
- Increased Metabolism: The more you take sea moss, the better your blood is going to flow. This is going to have a direct effect on your metabolism. Metabolism is typically determined by 3 functions of your body.
These include your ability to convert food into energy, the ability to convert those foods into building and recovery elements for your cells, and the ability to discard the waste after running through your system. So by increasing thyroid function, you are helping to increase your metabolism.
- Helps Relieve Soreness in Muscles: We know that sea moss is dense in nutrients and minerals. This can directly help those looking to relieve muscle soreness from intense workouts. During exercise, your body is using a lot of nutrients, because sea moss is dense in nutrients, it can help to replace those lost during a workout. This can also help you exercise for a longer period of time.
- Appetite Suppression: If you are looking to lose a little bit of weight, or you’re having trouble losing weight, sea moss can be a great appetite suppressant. Because sea moss is a dense nutrient filled algae, it fills you up quickly. If you add sea moss to your diet, the meal will become more nutritious, and filling.
- Skin Nourisher: Because sea moss contains a variety of minerals, this makes it a viable option for skincare. It can be applied to your skin easily in gel form, which is great for sunburn pain, or softening your skin, similar to lotion. You can also add sea moss to your bath for a soothing soak.
- Immune Booster: Properties such as antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, and anticoagulant can all be found in sea moss. These are great for fighting off illness, and helping to boost your immune system.
- Better Sex: Among the other studied benefits of sea moss, this one is the most interesting, and fun. Sea moss is high in zinc and other essential minerals that support healthier reproductive functions. This includes increasing sex drive. Blood circulation plays a big role in healthy sex, with the anti-inflammatory properties of sea moss, you could see signs of increased bloodflow throughout your body, and yes that includes below your belt.
Now that you know the reported benefits of sea moss, you can start using this red algae to nourish your skin, or even as an ingredient in your foods.
How to Use Sea Moss
Sea moss can be used in a variety of forms, including supplements to skincare, but the most common use seems to be an ingredient for cooking. Knowing how to prepare sea moss is the first thing you must do before using it as an ingredient. This can also depend on whether your sea moss is fresh or dried.
If your sea moss is fresh, you won’t have to prepare too much. All you have to do is give the moss a good rinse, and get straight to cooking. If your sea moss is dried, you’re going to want to soak the moss in water for a few hours. This can help remove any excess sand.
After your sea moss is rinsed, all you have to do is simmer in water until the moss is tender. Once tender, the moss can be mashed into a paste. This paste can be used as an ingredient in foods such as..
- Nut/Seed Milk
- Salad Dressings
- Raw Desserts
- Nut Cheese
You can also use sea moss in non-dairy elixirs, which are sweet medicinal drinks.
If you aren’t one to prepare sea moss, then you can still take advantage of it’s benefits. Sea moss can be found in a variety of forms, and this includes tasteless capsules.
Side Effects of Sea Moss
Like any other new ingredient, or supplement that you’re about to take, you should always do some research on the possible side effects. If you aren’t sure about how sea moss will affect you specifically, we recommend you contact your primary physician.
A few years back, sea moss got a bad reputation due to Carrageenan. Carrageenan is an additive which is extracted from irish moss, but I can assure you that it’s not the same thing as whole food irish moss.
Carrageenan is used typically as a stabilizer or thickener in a wide variety of foods. Because this extract is considered a carcinogen in animals that were lab tested on, they consider it a possible carcinogen for humans.
Does this mean we should avoid sea moss? No, Carrageenan and sea moss are two totally different substances.
Sure, there are concerns that revolve around Carrageenan, but comparing the two would be like comparing a fresh orange to orange Jell-O. Also, chances are you have consumed Carrageenan in many of the foods you’ve eaten throughout your life.
As you can see, sea moss can be a great source of vitamins and minerals for your everyday diet. It can help boost your immune system, relieve your muscle soreness, curb your appetite, and even improve your sex life.
Beyond the amazing benefits you could experience when taking irish moss, it’s also very easy to prepare, and can be used in many different forms.
As far as finding sea moss, we recommend searching local West Indies grocers, or searching the web.
If you use sea moss regularly, we would love to know how it works for you. If you have any questions or information to add, please feel free to leave us a comment below. Thanks for reading!