There’s been a lot of buzz around sea moss lately, and with good reason! This nutrient-dense algae boasts some pretty dope health perks. But before you become a moss boss, it’s important to know the pros and cons.
Grab your goggles! We’re taking you on a deep-dive into the benefits of sea moss.
5 benefits of sea moss
Still deciding if you’re sea-rious about trying sea moss? Here are some of the biggest potential perks.
- Could support your immune system
- May promote a healthy gut
- Might help with weight loss
- May benefit thyroid health
- Could improve fertility
Sea moss (aka Chondrus crispus or Irish moss) isn’t really a moss. It’s actually a type of red seaweed or algae that can be found on both Atlantic coasts.
It’s also a superstar supplement known for having impressive amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. Here’s what’s in a 2-tablespoon serving:
- Calories: 5
- Folate: 18 micrograms (mcg)
- Iron: 0.9 milligrams (mg)
- Riboflavin: 0.07 mg
- Magnesium: 14 mg
- Zinc: 0.2 mg
- Copper: 0.02 mg
Does sea moss deserve its current street cred? Here’s what the science says.
1. Could support your immune system
Some animal studies also suggest sea moss can keep your immune system on fleek. In one study, seaweed supplementation helped improve immune response and modulation in salmon. Another study found that sea moss increased immune antibodies in rats. But again, we need proof that it works in humans.
Some of the compounds found in sea moss (like carrageenan, porphyran, and fucoxanthin) might have some anti-cancer activity. One study found that high concentrations of fucoxanthin may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer. But we need more research to show this is legit.
2. May promote a healthy gut
Sea moss can be great for your gut. Seaweeds are a solid source of fatty acids, polyphenols, carotenoids, and novel complex polysaccharides. These bioactive compounds might help promote healthy bacteria in your intestines. But again, we need more human-based evidence that this can really make a difference.
Sea moss also boasts prebiotics like digestion-resistant fibers. Fiber is fab for your overall digestive health and can help prevent poop probs like diarrhea or constipation 💩.
3. Might help with weight loss
Sea moss might help you lose some weight. A research review showed that fucoxanthin could help break down and metabolize fat. Also, sea moss’ high fiber content may also help you feel full for longer.
Another research review contained a small study involving participants who took 1,000 milligrams of red seaweed extract on the daily for 12 weeks. The peeps who took the extract lost more body fat than those who took a placebo. This is promising, but it’s not enough evidence to say whether this can def work for most folks.
4. May benefit thyroid health
Can eating a wakame salad stave off thyroid disease? No. But seaweed is chock full of iodine, a micronutrient that plays a major role in thyroid function. An iodine deficiency can prevent your thyroid from producing important hormones and can cause metabolic probs.
FYI: Adults need about 150 mcg of iodine a day, according to the National Institutes of Health. One gram of sea moss has about 47 mg of iodine, so a little bit goes a long way.
5. Could improve fertility
Sea moss has a long history as a fertility treatment for all genders, but there’s no actual research to back any of this up. What might you hear about sea moss and reproductive health?
For #TeamPeen, some folks think it can help boost testosterone levels and sperm count. For folks who have ovaries, there are claims its high nutrient content can promote egg health 🥚. Just remember, these aren’t based on scientific research.
Sea moss is generally considered safe to eat. But there are some potential risks to keep in mind.
- Seaweed can absorb high amounts of heavy metals. If you eat sea moss that contains toxic chemicals, it could harm your health.
- You may not be getting the same nutrition every time you eat it. Nutrient levels can depend on the temperature and minerals found in the growing region.
- Getting enough iodine is important for your thyroid function. But getting too much (or too little) can increase your risk of thyroid conditions like hypothyroidism.
- You may want to avoid sea moss if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. While it might be safe for you and your bébé, there’s not enough evidence to know for sure.
PSA: It’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet or supplement regimen.
There are lots of ways you can add more sea moss to your diet. You can get raw, dried sea moss at most health food stores. You can also grab some high quality products online. Here’s how you can turn it into a versatile gel.
- Soak raw sea moss overnight in water.
- Rinse it well with fresh water.
- Blend it until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- Let it chill in the fridge overnight (or until it has a jelly-like vibe).
- Store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
You can add this gel or powdered sea moss to smoothies, baked goodies, oatmeal, or yogurt.
Pro tip: Sea moss makes a stellar soup thickener.
Sea moss is a type of red seaweed or algae that grows along the Atlantic coasts. It’s been used in traditional medicine for centuries. In recent years, it’s become a trendy dietary supplement.
There’s some research to support the idea sea moss can help support immune health, gut health, weight loss, and thyroid function. But we need more studies to know for sure. Sea moss is generally considered safe to take in small doses. Just keep in mind, it can contain high levels of heavy metals and iodine, so it’s best to only use it in moderation.
Adding sea moss to your diet is super easy. You can DIY a batch of sea moss gel or buy a ready-to-go supplement at your local health food store or online.