Sea moss is a type of red algae that #EatClean influencers swear is the latest and greatest way to lose weight fast. But is it legit? We found out the facts behind this saltwater supplement.
Does sea moss work for weight loss?
There’s evidence that sea moss could be helpful if you’re trying to lose weight. Some research suggests that sea moss acts like fiber in your bod, so it may help you feel full longer. Sea moss may also help prevent body fat accumulation in peeps with obesity.
Just keep in mind that sea moss contains iodine so it’s best to take about 4 grams per day or less. If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking blood thinners, it’s a good idea to skip this supplement altogether.
Also called Irish moss, red seaweed likes to grow along the Northern Atlantic coasts in America and Europe. So, why doesn’t it stay there? Sea moss is harvested because it contains a lot of carrageenan. That’s a popular ingredient in your face wash and almond milk.
Sea moss has other minerals you’d prob find in your daily vitamin, including:
These nutrients are necessary for a bunch of important things like bone health, thyroid function, muscle growth, and oxygen flow.
Traditionally, sea moss was used as a remedy to treat congestion, sore throat and cold symptoms, but more recently it’s been marketed as a weight loss supplement. People typically mix it in water, tea, or a smoothie because it doesn’t have much of a taste or smell.
It seems like there’s always some weight loss miracle ingredient of the moment. There was celery juice, lemon juice, and who can forget the cabbage soup diet?
Now it’s sea moss’ turn, and there’s a little bit of science behind its weight loss benefits.
Might make you less hangry
Since your bod can’t digest the carrageenan in sea moss, it acts like soluble fiber in your digestive tract. This type of fiber absorbs water and forms a jelly substance that slows digestion. Basically, it helps food move through your digestive tract faster and makes your stomach empty slower.
As a result, you might feel full for longer, and that can help you eat fewer calories. One study even found that soluble fiber supplements could lower body mass index (BMI).
Could help reduce obesity
Some research suggests that red algae can help reduce obesity. In a study of 78 adults with obesity, scientists concluded that adding 1,000 milligrams per day of red seaweed extract helped reduce body weight and total body fat mass compared to a control group.
Animal studies suggest that eating algae may reduce body fat accumulation and prevent factors that lead to obesity like insulin resistance and fatty liver buildup. It also might:
- lower dietary fat absorption
- reduce fat cell creation
- break down stored fat
- promote fat burning
More research is needed, but so far the science is lookin’ pretty good.
Seems to support a smooth digestive tract
Sea moss is full of prebiotics, a type of plant fiber that your gut’s “good bacteria” love to eat. And making sure the good stuff in your tum is well fed helps your digestive tract run smoothly.
According to a 2015 study, the prebiotics in red sea moss may improve gut health. Other research also found that regular prebiotic and probiotic consumption may help prevent and treat obesity.
But getting too much of a good thing could be a bad idea. A 2017 study (performed on tissue samples) suggests that a diet rich in carrageenan is linked to gut inflammation and even intestinal damage.
This is preliminary research and a lot more is needed to confirm they’re directly related, but it’s still important to note before you start downing sea moss en masse.
You can buy sea moss that’s dried or ground, and you can find supplements in pills or liquid form. You might have to get it online or at a specialty health food store though.
While there’s currently no recommend dosage for sea moss, one study found that taking 4 grams per day doesn’t pose a health risk.
Sea moss gel
Ready to give it a try? Sea moss gel is an easy way to add some sea moss to your diet. Here’s how to make it.
- Start with dried sea moss.
- Soak it in some fresh, clean drinking water for 12 to 48 hours.
- Remove the sea moss from the water and put it in a blender.
- Add a bit of fresh water and blend until it forms a smooth consistency.
- Pour it into a jar, put a lid on it, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
You can add sea moss gel to your favorite smoothies, applesauce, oatmeal, or whatever sounds good to you.
Because of its high iodine content, you shouldn’t have too much sea moss in a day. (Too much iodine can lead to probs like thyroid cancer.)
And iodine isn’t the only issue. Like other seaweeds, sea moss may contain toxic metals like mercury, arsenic, and lead. Those all pose potential health risks if you get too much.
Play it safe by getting no more than 4 grams of sea moss per day.
There’s not much research on how sea moss affects certain populations. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should skip the sea moss, just in case.
Sea moss may also have blood-thinning properties, so don’t take it if you’re on blood-thinning medication.
If you notice any problems or have an allergic reaction after eating sea moss, don’t take any more and talk with your doc right away.
Not sure about snacking on sea moss? No worries. There are plenty of other ways to achieve the weight that’s right for you.
- Don’t shun strength training. You don’t need to be a body builder to pump iron. Building muscle actually helps burn fat and that can play a major role in your weight loss journey. If dumbbells aren’t really your thing, you can also try using resistance bands.
- Commit to cardio. Cardio doesn’t have to be complicated. Try doing some mountain climbers while you watch “Shameless” or take a few walks around the block while on a work call. Incorporating cardio into your day is a sustainable way to stay active.
- Start a food diary. Maybe you already know to eat your lean protein, veggies, fruits, and complex carbs. But sticking to your meal plan is easier said than done. Consider starting a food journal or downloading a food app to understand what foods make you feel good.
- Make good habits easy. Habits are a lot easier to stick to when you make them as easy as possible. Scientific research even supports the idea that habit formation is more important than self-control when it comes to positive life outcomes. Whether that means working out in your living room instead of driving 5 miles to the gym or keeping sugary treats out of your pantry, take measures to make healthy habits simple and seamless.
Research shows that there might be link a between sea moss and weight loss. Some studies suggest it might curb your appetite and help prevent obesity, but more research is needed to be sure.
If you’re looking to use sea moss to lose weight, try to get 4 grams per day or less. It contains iodine and may even have some toxic metals like mercury so you don’t want to overdo it. You’ll also want to avoid sea moss if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or on blood-thinning meds.