Sea Moss, commonly referred to as Irish Moss in the Caribbean is one of the most powerful superfoods in the Ocean. Apart from its powerful anti-inflammatory effects, this red algae is packed with Protein, Fiber, Selenium, Iodine, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorus, and Zinc.
Before we get into the amazing health benefits of Sea Moss/Irish Moss, let's touch on the basics. The Latin name for this algae is "Chondrus crispus", other names for it include Carageen Moss. You might also notice the ingredient Carrageenan in ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese or other processed foods. This is an extract from Irish Moss that's used as a thickening agent or emulsifier with no nutritional value. While it's a useful addition, these products are missing out on the true advantages gained only by using the whole algae.
Irish Moss/Sea Moss Benefits
When it comes to marine superfoods, the benefits of Sea Moss surpass almost every other algae. They include healthy mucus membrane support, digestive health, thyroid support, healthy weight management, mental and reproductive health. Below, we go in-depth into each one.
1. Help Rid the Body of Excess Mucus
In addition to its heavy mineral count, Sea Moss is full of Potassium Chloride, Omega-3 fatty acids and Chlorophyll, the main nutrients responsible for dissolving inflammation or mucus in the respiratory and lymphatic system . This makes Sea Moss a natural decongestant. Even better, Sea Moss contains anti-viral and antimicrobial compounds that can help the body fight off infection and support the immune system. It's a must have for anyone with frequent allergies, or experiencing cold or flu like symptoms.
2. Thyroid Support
Most women are diagnosed with Thyroid issues in their pubescent years. Since the Thyroid is mainly responsible for regulating hormones, an imbalance can lead to fertility issues, menstrual problems and/or fibroids. These Thyroid disorders are typically caused by a lack of iodine and/or selenium. This is where Irish Moss elevates itself. It is packed with more iodine and selenium than any other food on the planet. In the Caribbean, Irish Moss is part of the local diet, it explains why significantly less women are diagnosed with Thyroid Disorders.
3. Digestive Health
Because of the soothing effects of Sea Moss on the mucous membranes in the body, it works as an amazing digestive aid. It helps to coat the stomach. In addition, it may help to alleviate acid reflux by providing probiotics for improved gut health. Sea Moss is also packed with fiber that helps to regulate bowel movement and alleviate gas.
4. Mood Enhancement
Sea Moss Benefits would not be so wide spread if it wasn't for its high essential mineral content. Potassium helps our body maintain healthy mental and emotional function. A lack of it can lead to anxiety, irritability, and depression. Because Potassium can't be stored, we need an adequate supply from our food. Irish Moss packs more potassium than two bananas. This makes it the premier food to help boost mental health and uplift mood.
5. Support Reproductive Health
In the Caribbean, Irish Moss is commonly used as a tonic for men. It is touted as a potent endurance builder. The rich zinc content makes it ideal for helping to support hormone balance and performance.
So does Sea Moss really increase sexual health?
It depends on who you ask--nutritionally, the rich zinc content along with all the right vitamins and minerals make a convincing case. I've also heard many in-person stories and consume Sea Moss regularly, so personally I believe it. You've got nothing to lose from trying it out, it benefits your whole body and its great for both men and women. In addition, when prepared properly, and blended with a few ingredients, it tastes quite delicious. Scroll to the bottom to find my favorite recipe with preparation instructions.
6. Healthy Weight Management
Irish Moss's iodine content supports a healthy metabolism and energy levels. In addition, its ability to absorb moisture and increase bulk creates the feeling of fullness, that may help to control appetite. The gentle laxative effect of Sea Moss, also helps to process waste through the body faster, and can aid weight management .
7. Packed with Essential Nutrients
Our bodies are made up of 102 essential minerals. Irish Moss contains 92 of them! In addition, it is packed with protein, beta-carotene, B-Vitamins, Pectin, Taurine ( an amino acid usually lacking in vegan or vegetarian diets) and Vitamin C--all essential nutrients that promote healthy body functions.
8. Support Healthy Iron levels
A lack of oxygen in the blood results in lower hemoglobin levels and decreased red blood cell count. This condition is usually diagnosed as anemia. Irish Moss, which is rich iron helps to promote a healthy red blood cell count, and support healthy Iron levels.
9. Joint Health
Sea Moss's anti-inflammatory properties may help to support healthy joints. In addition, it can soothe the soft tissue and promote motility. This algae is a go-to for anyone suffering from joint discomfort or even athletes desiring to speed recovery after intense workouts.
10. May aid recovery after surgery
New research has demonstrated Sea Moss' ability to aid connective tissue, and support recovery associated with invasive procedures. Its rich nutrient profile supplies all the essentials for rebuilding and strengthening the body.
11. Support Overall Health
In people overall, the gentle laxative effects of Sea Moss may help to cleanse the body, and support a healthy elimination process. Irish Moss' high iodine content can also help to support healthy organ function.
How to Prepare Sea Moss
Below is a simple way and effective way to prepare Irish moss in less than 15 minutes! After refrigeration, the final product is a delicious Sea Moss Gel that can be added to a variety of recipes.
1. Wash thoroughly with water to remove salt or other impediments (Sea Moss grows wild in the ocean).
2. Blend 6 oz of Irish Moss with 32 oz of hot water for a few minutes (initially blend at low speed to prevent splashing as blender cuts through the moss).
3. Add two cinnamon sticks, a teaspoon of ginger root and blend for a few more minutes until smooth.
4. The gel can be stored up to 10 days in the refrigerator. It can also be added to smoothies or other recipes as a thickening agent.
Sea Moss (Irish Moss) time! Blend up washed raw Irish moss with a few cinnamon sticks and hot water. When smooth and creamy, pour out and store in the fridge. Simply scoop out a few tablespoons and add to your favorite smoothie or recipe for the ultimate superfood boost! 😋 #seamoss #irishmoss #irishmosssmoothie #superfood #natural #vegan #natural #juicebar #smoothie #smoothiebar #smoothieking #jamaicaherbal
How to use Sea Moss/Irish Moss
After preparing Sea Moss with the above method, now comes the fun part! Sea moss can be added to smoothies, dressings or sauces, baking recipes and even raw deserts. It acts as a nutrient packed thickening agent. Below is my favorite way to use it.
Irish Moss Smoothie Recipe
We use this recipe every day at our Juice Bar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
- 3-4 oz of Sea Moss Gel
- 12 oz of almond milk
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of ice
- 4 tablespoons of honey
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
Blend for 2 minutes, or till creamy
Where to purchase Sea Moss/Irish Moss
Sea Moss is usually available at your local Caribbean super market or health food store.
However, if you can't find it, I recommend you try it from our sister company, Atlantic Naturals.
They sell Organic Sea Moss capsules that are wild harvested from the Atlantic Ocean.
Irish Moss Precautions
- Though there are no reported long term effects of Irish Moss, it does have some blood thinning properties. If you are taking anticoagulant medication (blood thinners), please consult a physician before adding Sea Moss to your Diet.
- Pregnant or breast feeding mothers should abstain from consuming Irish Moss as the effects are not yet researched.
Health Concerns about Carrageenan
As of late there have been negative feedback about Carrageenan, terming it a food additive. While Carrageenan is extracted from Sea Moss, it is very different from whole food Sea Moss and does not possess the many amazing health benefits.
Carrageenan is typically derived from the red seaweed and is degraded before use. This degraded variation of Carrageenan can be classified as a possible carcinogen.
Another negative property of degraded Carrageenan is it is inflammatory and has negative effects on the colon. It is actually used to induce inflammation in lab animals to test out anti-inflammatory drugs.
Most food processors today claim that food-grade Carrageenan is undegraded, therefore not inflammatory. However, studies as of late have demonstrated a link between food grade Carrageenan and inflammation or colon cancer in animals.
Should we stop consuming Sea Moss?
Absolutely not! Whole food Sea Moss has nothing in common with chemically processed Carrageenan. Comparing Sea Moss to Carrageenan is like comparing raw corn to high fructose corn syrup. The chemically processed after product is nothing like the healthy nature intended ingredient.
It is the same with Sea Moss, this nutrient rich Sea Weed is a superfood we can't afford to miss out on.