What are the health benefits of sea moss — and how to have it

Sea moss has a host of benefits such as building immunity, and thyroid. Read on to know how to consume it.
Sea moss
Sea moss offers a sea of benefits, but must be had with caution. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Anjuri Nayar Singh Updated: 7 May 2024, 06:21 pm IST
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When Kim Kardashian posted about drinking a sea moss smoothie, it became quite a rage! Also known as Irish moss or red seaweed, sea moss is popular for the sea moss gel that comes out of it. From strengthening immunity to getting you glowing skin, sea moss comes with many health benefits.

Vegan and gluten-free, this algae seems to be a top-favourite when it comes to healthy eating. Sea moss, which is also used as a carrageenan, a substance used to thicken other foods, can also have serious side effects if not consumed in the right manner and quantity. Read on to know all about sea moss, its benefits and the right way to eat it.

What is sea moss?

Sea moss is a sea vegetable which is said to be full of minerals as well as vitamins. It is used to make many health supplements and also to thicken commercial foods. It grows on the coastal line in North America and Europe. Edible in nature, seas moss is available in many different colours such as yellow, red, purple and black. However, the most common one is red, and is known as Irish sea moss.

Sea Moss nutrition

According to the US Department of Agriculture, 20 grams of seas moss includes:

  • Calories: 10
  • Protein: 0.5 grams
  •  Total fat: 0 grams
  •  Total carbs: 3 grams
  •  Fiber: 0.5 grams
  •  Total sugar: 0 grams
  •  Calcium: 1% of the Daily Value (DV)
  •  Iron: 10% of the DV
  •  Magnesium: 7% of the DV
  •  Phosphorus: 2% of the DV
  •  Zinc: 4% of the DV
  •  Copper: 3% of the DV
Sea moss smoothie
Sea moss can be made into a smoothie by sprinkling the powder in a beverage or in yoghurt. It can also be eaten raw or in gel form. Image courtesy: Pexels

Uses of sea moss

Sea moss constitutes of 80 percent water. It is a good source of iodine, and also has other vitamins and minerals. As far as uses go, it is used to cure symptoms of fatigue and exhaustion, a deficiency of iodine. It is also great to relieve pain, especially muscle aches. However, more research is needed on other ways sea moss can be used for the human body.

Sea moss supplements are available that are said to be full of vitamins and minerals. Meanwhile, it is also used commercially as a food thickening agent. It contains carrageenan, food thickener used to ice creams, baby formula and no-daily milk, reports this study, published in Critical Reviews in Toxicology.

Health benefits of sea moss

Here are some benefits of sea moss:

1. Helps with thyroid

One of the biggest Sea moss benefits  is that it is often used to help build up iodine in the body. According to this study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, sea moss helped out iodine insufficiency in people after daily-consumption for a period of two weeks. Iodine is necessary for a healthy thyroid function.

2. Helps build immunity

When it comes to strengthening immunity, that is what is sea moss good for. A study, published in Frontiers in Physiology, suggests that sea moss helped build immunity in Atlantic salmon, and that it contains immune-stimulants. However, more research on human subjects is needed in this area.

3. Helps with Parkinson’s disease

Sea moss is able to slow down the effects of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is degenerative brain condition. Patients experience loss of cognitive function, tremors in hands and feet, muscle stiffness, and imbalance in the body. A study, published in the journal Neuroscience Letters, talks about sea moss being a cure for the disease.

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4. Helps with gut health

Sea moss is supposed to have live bacteria, which can help out gut health function smoothly. A study, published in Marine Drugs, talks about the presence of probiotics in sea moss. It adds that sea moss can help with conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and some cancers due to its bioactive compounds.

5. Helps thin blood

Sea moss is also a blood thinner, as well as used to decrease cholesterol. This study, published in Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, suggests that the algae has low lipid content, and is also a good-quality protein. It spoke about how it reduced bad cholesterol or LDL.

6. Helps lower blood sugar

Sea Moss can be useful in blood sugar management. A study, published in Journal of Nutritional Science, states that seaweed such as sea moss contains fucoxanthin, a carotenoid, which has many health benefits, one of this being reducing blood sugar.

A woman holding an elderly's man's hand
Sea moss can help slow down the effects of Parkinson’s disease. Image courtesy: Pexels

Side effects of sea moss

More research on human subjects is needed when it comes to sea moss. However, over consumption of sea moss can lead to too much iodine in your body. This study, published in Nutrients, blames sea weed as a source of iodine over-consumption. This is a risk that all consumers of sea moss must be aware about as too much iodine can lead to hyperthyroidism. There are also some claims that sea moss over-consumption can cause stomach problems, but research is yet to determine if this is true or not.

How to eat sea moss?

Here is how you can consume sea moss:

  • As a supplement: Sea moss is easily available in stores in a form of a health supplement. You get it as a gel, powder, or a capsule and gummy as well. It is also combined with other natural agents to help thyroid, immunity as well as other processes in the body.
  • Preparing gel: You can buy raw sea moss from the market, and soak it in water over night. Rinse the moss the next day, and blend it. Now, place this in an air tight container and refrigerate overnight. This should be used in about 3-5 days.
  • As a powder: Sea moss powder can be added to many food items and beverages. So you can sprinkle it in your smoothies, or add it over your yoghurts.
  • Eat it raw: Yes, if you are okay with the taste, and texture, sea moss can also be consumed raw.
  • As tea: Sea moss can be steeped in a form of a tea as well. You can use dried or powdered sea moss for this.

How much sea moss can you eat everyday?

When it comes to daily consumption of sea moss, as a supplement, you should not consume more than four grams of it, reports this study, published in Environmental Science and Pollution Research International. However, it is very important to run your plans of taking sea moss by your doctor to understand the frequency and dosage that is apt for you.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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