What is Sea Moss and is it Good for Your Health?
Last updated on January 18, 2023
If you’re following the latest health supplement and weight loss trends online, you may have come across sea moss, the new superfood everybody is talking about.
But what is it exactly? What is sea moss good for? How to take it? Is it safe to use? Here’s a complete guide about sea moss.
What Is Sea Moss?
Sea moss is a type of red algae commonly found along the rocky Atlantic coasts of Northern Europe, Northern America, and the Caribbean region. Scientifically known as Chondrus crispus, sea moss is often referred to as Irish, Jamaican, or Caribbean moss. All these names refer to the same sea vegetable.
Related article: Sea moss vs. Irish moss vs. Jamaican moss: does it really matter?
There's a widespread mistaken belief that there are two species of sea moss: Gracilaria and Eucheuma cottonii. Botanically, it's nonsense. These seaweeds are similar in many ways but do not belong to the same classification.
Sea moss is an edible seaweed with a sponge-like and haphazard structure with thin and frilly branches somewhat resembling red leaf lettuce. It can sometimes be confused with other edible seaweeds like Nori, Kelp, Dulse, or Wakame.
Related article: How is sea moss different from other seaweeds?
While most sea mosses are gold or yellow, you may come across green, purple, red, brown, or even black sea moss. The color is greatly influenced by the environment in which the plant has grown and the nutrients it has absorbed.
Related article: The differences between gold, purple, and green sea moss.
Sea moss uses
There are two main uses for sea moss. Historically in Northern America, it was harvested mainly for its abundant carrageenan extract used as a thickening agent in the food industry for ice creams, cottage cheeses, non-dairy milk, or even baby formulas.
Meanwhile, in other regions of the World, sea moss has been part of traditional medicine for centuries. For example, the Irish and the Caribbean people have harvested it for its health properties and used it as a natural preventive and curative remedy for a plethora of various health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, thyroid disorders, infertility, respiratory illnesses, and more.
Sea moss health benefits directly come from its exceptionally high nutrient variety and density.
Today's most popular way to use sea moss is to take health supplements (capsules). The sea moss capsules we’ve formulated at Organics Nature are enriched with Bladderwrack and Burdock root for even more health benefits.
But sea moss can also be consumed raw, turned into an edible gel, ground into a fine powder, or added to gummy bears. Sea moss gel is a very popular product. You can eat it alone or incorporate it into your smoothies, soups, or foods to increase the nutritional value of your meals. Many also use sea moss gel as a topical solution for skin, hair, and nails.
Sea moss nutrition facts
Many rumors and fake data regarding sea moss nutrition facts are circulating online. Its increased popularity in the health and wellness sector and the recent endorsement by numerous celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, Erykah Badu, Angela Yee, Tabita Brown, and others, have made everyone wants to have a say in it. But not everyone is a qualified nutritionist!
Although it has specificities, sea moss (Chondrus crispus) is nutritionally similar to other edible seaweeds like kelp, nori, or wakame.
On average, one serving of sea moss (2 tbsp / 10 grams) contains the following:
- Calories: 4.9
- Fat: 0.016 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 6.7 mg
- Carbohydrates: 1.23 g
- Fiber: 0.25 g
- Sugar: 0.061 g
- Protein: 0.25 g
Simply put, sea moss is very low in calories, low in fat (it contains only heart-healthy ones), low in sugar, and high in dietary fiber. It’s an all-natural and safe ingredientsuitable for pretty much any diet, including low-sugar, weight-loss, keto, gluten-free, and vegan diets.
The essential point about sea moss nutritional information is its incredibly high content of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins (see below) which gives it numerous and potent health properties.
However, nutrition facts vary from one sea moss seaweed to another, depending on each plant's specific nutrient composition. For example, wildcrafted sea moss is generally very nutrient-rich, whereas the pool-grown kind (fake sea moss) has little nutritional value.
Related article: Zoom in on sea moss’s actual nutrition facts.
Minerals & vitamins
Rumor has it that sea moss has 92 of the 102 minerals our body needs to function. While this data has to be taken with caution and is not always true, sea moss is definitely one of the most nutrient-rich foods on earth!
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 10-gram serving of sea moss contains the following 12 essential minerals in significant amounts (average content):
- Calcium: 7.2 mg
- Copper: 0.02 mg
- Iodine: 47 µg
- Iron: 0.89 mg
- Manganese: 0.037 mg
- Magnesium: 14.4 mg
- Phosphorus: 15.7 mg
- Potassium: 6.3 mg
- Selenium: 0.07 µg
- Sodium: 6.7 mg
- Sulfur: data not found
- Zinc: 0.195 mg
The same serving also contains plenty of vitamins, including:
- Vitamin C: 0.3 mg
- Vitamin A: 11.8 IU
- Vitamin E: 0.087 mg
- Vitamin K: 0.5 µg
- Vitamin B6: 0.007 mg
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1): 0.002 mg
- Niacin (Vitamin B3): 0.059 mg
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 0.047 mg
- Vitamin B9 (folate): 18.2 µg
- Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5): 0.018 mg
- Choline (similar to vitamin B complex): 1.29 mg
- Beta Carotene (converted into vitamin A by the body): 7.1 µg
- Vitamin B12: traces
- Vitamin D: traces
- Retinol (a form of vitamin A): traces
Besides, depending on the water in which sea moss has grown and its quality, it may contain traces of another 80 minerals and elements.
All that goodness in one wholesome food item! In many ways, taking sea moss is like taking multivitamins, but more naturally and efficiently.
Related article: The complete list of minerals and vitamins in sea moss.
Not only is sea moss rich in vitamins and minerals, but it is also a great energy source. There is about 20.5 kJ (kilojoule) energy in 10 grams of sea moss. As a comparison, a single espresso shot contains about 16kJ.
Most regular consumers report a significant energy boost shortly after eating sea moss and, in the long term, after two weeks of taking it daily.
Related article: How does sea moss give you more energy?
Real vs. fake sea moss
Before consuming sea moss, we strongly recommend you check the product's origin. Unfortunately, following this superfood's big boom in popularity, the market is flooded with fake sea moss.
Contrary to wildcrafted organic sea moss harvested in its natural environment (the ocean), fake sea moss is industrially grown in giant pools. But these attempts at farming sea moss in pools the fastest way possible fail at replicating the conditions of the ocean, like the back-and-forth of the waves, the rocks, air, sunshine, salts, and nutrients naturally found in the oceans.
Eventually, the sea moss that comes out of these artificial pools has nothing to do with wildcrafted sea moss. The quality isn’t there, and the final product is nutritionally inferior compared to natural sea moss. Ultimately, there are few health benefits to reap from fake sea moss.
Besides, pool-grown sea moss often contains traces of chemicals and toxic products used by farmers to grow it faster. So, just like you should avoid processed food, you’d be better off staying away from fake sea moss.
Learning to spot fake sea moss and tell the truth from the real one is crucial to ensure you’re getting high-quality products with actual benefits for your health.
Related article: Wildcrafted and pool-grown sea moss: real vs. fake.
Another way to make sea moss is ocean farming. Ocean-farmed sea moss is man-grown in the ocean, its natural environment. While the ecological impact should be considered, ocean-farmed sea moss is nutritionally similar to wildcrafted sea moss.
Sea Moss Benefits for Health
It’s important to understand that sea moss is not magic. Instead, its positive impacts on our health are directly linked to the minerals and vitamins it contains.
Most of today's chronic physical and mental health disorders are caused by nutrient deficiencies and exposure to toxins. By supplementing our body with essential nutrients and detoxifying it, sea moss plays a major role in preventing and treating numerous conditions.
The list of sea moss's potential health benefits is quite extensive and includes but is not limited to the following:
- Weight loss
- Thyroid support
- Heart health
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar and diabetes
- Gut health
- Energy boost
- Numerous benefits for skin
- Hair growth
- Sex benefits
- Women's health
- Menstruation cycles
- Pregnancy support
- Anxiety and depression
- Sleep quality
- Respiratory conditions
- Muscle building and recovery
- Cancer prevention
Related article: 18 sea moss benefits for your health and wellness.
We’ve detailed and explained most of these benefits for health in the related articles listed above, but let’s focus on a few specific ones that make sea moss such a unique health supplement.
Improves thyroid function
Thyroid support is one of sea moss's strongest and most recognized benefits. Like most seafood and sea vegetables, sea moss is rich in iodine, an essential mineral for our body to function.
Our body uses iodine to produce thyroid hormones and regulate metabolism (converting food into energy for cell growth and function). Iodine deficiency is associated with severe health problems. Because the body can't produce it on its own, it needs to be brought through the foods we eat. That's why the table salts in the U.S. are iodized!
By providing the body with a safe amount of iodine, eating a serving of sea moss daily significantly helps support thyroid function and ensure our metabolism can work properly.
Warning: Always stick to the recommended dosage of sea moss. Too much iodine could have the opposite effects and be dangerous for your health.
Supports weight loss
Sea moss is known to be an excellent ingredient to support your weight-loss journey. Weight loss is one of the most popular benefits of sea moss.
Chondrus crispus is naturally rich in fiber, which helps regulate the appetite and increases the feeling of satiety to prevent overeating.
That is why it’s often recommended to add sea moss to your morning coffee or tea.
Sea moss also contains a natural compound called fucoxanthin which breaks down and metabolizes fats. Besides, it's considered a potent prebiotic that balances the gut microbiome, which ultimately also helps boost weight loss.
Like any supplement, there’s no magic here, only science! Sea moss can help you lose weight only if consumed with a healthy and nutritionally balanced diet and physical exercise.
Related article: The right way to use sea moss for weight loss.
Balances gut microbiome
Gut health is another big reason why so many people take sea moss. The dietary fiber in sea moss makes it a great source to feed the gut's healthy bacteria.
Healthy bacteria are great for the intestines and your gut microbiome. Acting as a prebiotic for your body, sea moss helps support and keep your gut healthy by feeding the good bacteria to crowd out the bad ones.
Related article: Does sea moss make you poop more and other digestive concerns.
Boosts immune system
Immunity boost is a long-term benefit that comes with taking sea moss daily. Seaweeds in general and sea moss more particularly are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and mineralswith powerful immunity-boosting properties.
Taking two tablespoons of sea moss gel daily during autumn and winter is of great help to strengthen your immune system and go through these seasons virus-free!
Because of its positive impact on the immune system, sea moss helps lower a person's risks of viral and bacterial infections. In fact, sea moss has been used by the Irish and British as a preventive natural remedy for flu-like viruses for centuries.
Related article: Is sea moss effective against Covid-19 and other viruses?
Lowers blood pressure
Blood pressure benefits also come with consuming sea moss daily. First, Irish sea moss is one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids essential for a healthy heart and lowering high blood pressure.
But how sea moss helps lower blood pressure also comes down to substituting your table salt and increasing your heart-healthy minerals intake.
High blood pressure and hypertension are related to two main nutritional issues: too much sodium and not enough potassium.
Sea moss is a crucial ingredient here. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one serving of sea moss (2 tbsp / 10g) contains, on average, 6.7 mg of sodium and 6.3 mg of potassium. Conversely, the same serving of table salt contains more than 8,000 mg of sodium and nearly 0 mg of potassium.
Substituting sea moss for table salt within a healthy diet rebalances the sodium/potassium ratio, which significantly helps lower blood pressure.
Related article: Why is sea moss good for blood pressure and heart health?
Skin and hair benefits
A well-known benefit of sea moss is skin health and appearance. The gel extracted from sea moss is an excellent skin moisturizer that deeply nourishes the skin with essential nutrients. It's also a potent anti-aging ingredient that acts as a tightening agent to prevent the signs of aging like wrinkles and loss of elasticity.
Related article: What are sea moss benefits for your skin?
PICTURE COLLAGEN POWDER
You can also use sea moss for your hair, especially if you suffer from hair loss. Sea moss's high Vitamin E content also helps combat oxidative stress, the primary underlying cause of hair loss. It can also be a natural conditioner that leaves your hair smooth, shiny, revived, and healthy!
Related article: 6 benefits of sea moss for your hair.
How to Use Sea Moss
If you're ready to give sea moss a try and start benefiting from its health properties, there are several ways you can do so. First, remember that although sea moss is a safe all-natural ingredient, it must be consumed in moderation. It's very potent, and overconsumption could negatively affect your health (learn more about sea moss side effects below).
Related article: 8 ways to use sea moss gel in your daily routine.
Different forms of sea moss
Sea moss supplements come in different forms, and you can eat raw sea moss, sea moss gel, capsules, powder, or even gummies. Each form of sea moss has its pros and cons, but all allow incredible health benefits.
Related article: Sea moss gel vs. capsules vs. powder: which is better?
Sea moss gel is the most popular way to consume this seaweed. It’s obtained simply by blending raw sea moss with water. The carrageenan in the alga gives it a gel-like substance that's easy to swallow alone or incorporate into any food or drink. Unlike raw sea moss, which is also edible but can have an unpleasant taste for most people, the gel is almost tasteless.
Then come sea moss capsules, another convenient way to take sea moss daily. Sea moss pills are made with fine sea moss powder that's been precisely dosed out and encapsulated. The main advantage is that they're easy to carry around, so that you can take them on your travels. The ones we’ve formulated at Organics Nature are enriched with bladderwrack and burdock root powders for enhanced properties.
Related article: Sea moss, bladderwrack, and burdock roots synergy benefits.
Pure sea moss powder is another great option to mix with your foods and drinks. Gummies are also excellent, especially for sea moss beginners or people who don't like eating sea moss.
Sea moss gel is a gentle, non-comedogenic ingredient with numerous nutrients that deeply nourish the skin to keep it healthy. Sea moss is also one of the best plant-based sources of collagen, keeping the skin young and elastic.
Besides, its high sulfur content makes it a powerful acne-fighting agent.
Use sea moss gel on your skin, apply it directly, make a sea moss face mask, mix it with your daily face cream or beauty products, or use a gentle sea moss soap.
Related article: How to make a sea moss face mask: 5 recipes!
But that’s not it! Sea moss gel is also great for your hair! Whether ingested or used as a natural hair product, you'll notice significant changes in your hair growth, health, and appearance within a few days.
How much sea moss to take
How much sea moss to take is one of the most frequently asked questions about sea moss. While Chondrus crispus is generally considered a safe ingredient, it’s a potent one that must be consumed reasonably, primarily because of its high iodine content.
Consuming sea moss for health and wellness is more about regularity than quantity. As with many supplements, a small amount brings lots of benefits.
Here are examples of safe and efficient daily dosages we usually recommend to our customers:
- 2 tablespoons of sea moss gel
- Or 2 sea moss capsules
- Or 2000 mg of sea moss powder
- Or 4 to 8 grams of dehydrated raw sea moss
Related article: Find out how much sea moss you can take daily!
The benefits of Irish moss may take a few days or weeks to be noticed, so it’s usually recommended to take sea moss every day until you reach the desired effects. Start with a low dosage and gradually increase, always staying within a safe dosage.
Related article: Is it best to take sea moss at night or in the morning?
Sea Moss Side Effects
Again, sea moss is an all-natural and safe product for most people. But introducing a new ingredient into your diet often requires your body to get used to it.
Meanwhile, sea moss beginners can sometimes experience some mild side effects and discomforts, including bloating or gassiness, the sensation of being full, mild diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or skin reaction when the gel is applied topically.
Although rarely, sea moss may also cause the following mild or severe side effects: headaches, vomiting, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, low blood sugar, fatigue, hyperthyroidism, iodine poisoning, heavy metal intoxication, allergic reactions, etc.
Most sea moss side effects are down to taking too much of it or poor-quality products. So, always stick to the recommended daily dosage. Also, seek your doctor's advice if you notice any symptoms that don't go away after a few days of taking sea moss.
Only buy organic and wildcrafted sea moss products from trusted companies.
Related article: The truth about sea moss side effects and how to avoid them.
Interaction with other medications
Sea moss may interfere with some of your medications. Some people should not consume sea moss without their doctor’s approval and supervision, including:
- People with thyroid disorders
- People taking thyroid medications
- People taking blood thinning medications
- People taking blood pressure medications
- People with iodine intolerance
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Related article: Why your kids should eat sea moss too!
Where to Buy Sea Moss
If you have not yet added sea moss to your diet, it’s time you do!
Organics Nature has the best products for you. We only use organic, wildcrafted sea moss from Saint Lucia, the best quality you can find on the market today.
Browse through our sea moss products catalog and get 15% off your first order with the code "BLOG" – with a 30-day money-back guarantee!