Irish Sea moss is widely known as a superfood that works well when added to shakes and smoothie bowls. But this hard-working ingredient has much more to offer. The health benefits of sea moss start with increased immunity. Moreover, sea moss extract can also transform your skin by boosting its collagen production capacity.
What Makes Irish Sea Moss So Powerful?
Despite what its name suggests, sea moss is not truly a moss but a specific type of algae from the seaweed family. It is more closely related to kelp than moss.
According to WebMD, sea moss may prevent Parkinson's disease and improve the immune system. The essential nutrients Irish sea moss contains are:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1 and B2
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C, D, and A
- Vitamin K
A study from the National Institutes of Health shows that Vitamin B12 is essential for the body to create DNA and also provide nutrients to the blood and nerve cells. The average adult needs 2.4 micrograms of B12 per day.
Another good plant-based (vegan) source of vitamin B12 is nutritional yeast.
Above and beyond vitamins and minerals, sea moss also contains bioactive compounds that act as anti-inflammatories and are full of antioxidants.
Health Benefits of Irish Sea Moss
The health benefits of sea moss derive directly from its ample stores of vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds. Those benefits include:
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- Improved muscle growth and injury recovery
- Healthier Microbiome
- Vegan source of B12
- Enhanced immunity
- Reduced inflammation
- Source of antioxidants
- Dietary benefits: weight loss and fiber supply
- Natural collagen booster
1. Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Its high fiber content makes sea moss such a heart-healthy superfood. In fact, sea moss beats most other vegetables when it comes to fiber content.
As a supplement to your diet, it helps control and lowers cholesterol levels thanks to its phytosterols. Plant sterols" (phytosterols, phytostanols, and their fatty acid esters) are cholesterol-like substances that occur naturally at low levels in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cereals.
When eaten at the recommended amount, between 2 and 3 grams a day, plant sterols can reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in our blood. Most people obtain between 150 and 360 milligrams of plant sterols daily, depending on diet.
Sea moss also improves your body's ability to control blood sugar levels. As a result, your risk of developing chronic heart disease or conditions like diabetes drops significantly.
Researchers are only just starting to look more closely at sea moss. But it has become clear already that its ability to control blood pressure and cholesterol makes it stand out among vegetables and superfoods.
2. Improved Muscle Growth and Injury Recovery
Sea moss is packed with the amino acid taurine. Taurine helps the body burn fat and build muscle. Exercising hard creates small muscle tears. As they heal, they build more, stronger muscle fibers. Taurine and other amino acids support this process.
At the same time, the anti-inflammatory properties of sea moss limit the inflammation that goes hand in hand with an injury. As a result, you heal faster, and your body builds muscle more efficiently.
Remember not to rely on sea moss alone for a healthy recovery, though. Your body needs lots of hydration and rest days, as well as a balanced diet to work at its optimum.
3. Healthier Gut Microbiome
It is impossible to overstate the importance of digestive health for our overall health. A healthy gut is filled with so-called good and bad bacteria.
Sea moss contains live bacteria which help maintain the balance of the gut microbiome. Its gelatin-like characteristic helps minimize and soothe gut inflammation. As a result, sea moss can relieve and help heal intestinal disorders like nausea, heartburn, and indigestion.
Research has found that sea moss supplements can protect against stomach ulcers and help your body absorb nutrients more efficiently.
4. Vegan source of B12
Irish Sea moss is perhaps the best-kept secret when it comes to eating a healthy vegan diet. This unassuming superfood not only contains all the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil. It is also a balanced source of the fatty acids EPA and DHA.
Sea moss also provides a vegan alternative to gelatin. The moss contains a substance called carrageenan, which is an excellent alternative to animal-derived collagen. To get all the benefits and nutrients, avoid buying carrageenan extract. This has been thoroughly processed and lost most of the nutrients of the original plant.
5. Enhanced Immunity
Atlantic salmon that ate sea moss showed a better immune response than salmon that had a different diet, according to one study. Granted, one study is not a lot, and humans are not fish, but we can still draw a few conclusions.
Irish Sea moss is proven to improve gut health. A well-balanced gut microbiome is critical for a strong, healthy immune response. Plus, sea moss is rich in antioxidants as well as iron, both of which support our immune system.
6. Reduced Inflammation
Irish Sea moss contains a few key compounds to reduce inflammation Potassium chloride is one of those, on top of the omega 3 fatty acids and the chlorophyll content of the plant. All three of them reduce inflammation once it has started in your body and promote healing.
In addition, the high fiber content has been shown to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.
The potassium content of sea moss has another key role to play. A lack of potassium has been associated with mood disorders. So, adding sea moss to your diet can also improve your mental health.
7. Source of Antioxidants
Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals that cause damage to your cells. It is hard to avoid free radicals. Our bodies produce them when we break down food or when we are exposed to pollutants, including tobacco smoke. Left unchecked, free radicals contribute to heart disease and even cancer.
Irish Sea moss is packed with antioxidant compounds such as vitamin C and E. These compounds help control and eliminate free radicals before those can cause lasting damage.
8. Dietary Benefits: Weight Loss and Fiber Supply
We already mentioned the high fiber content of sea moss. Apart from helping prevent heart disease, this is also a factor in weight management and weight loss.
Fiber-rich foods are filling. That means you eat smaller portions which keep you full for longer. You limit your risk of overeating at mealtimes. Because you feel full, you are less likely to reach for sugary snacks in between meals, too.
Adding sea moss to your diet can not only help you lose a few pounds; it is one step towards improving your entire diet for the better.
9. Natural Collagen Booster
With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it is already clear that Irish sea moss is a great way to achieve healthier, younger-looking skin.
Irish Sea Moss is one of the most effective plant-based collagen builders.
Collagen production is the key to anti-aging. Our bodies naturally produce collagen, but the process slows down as we get older. Sea moss supports your skin cells in producing collagen, one of the most important building blocks of supple, healthy skin.
This alga's high amounts of vitamin K also supports skin health. Vitamin K allows the skin to retain its elasticity as you age and prevents unsightly sagging. At the same time, wrinkles may appear less deep and the dark circles under your eyes are reduced.
10. May Improve Acne and Promote Healthy Skin
With the benefit of Irish Sea Moss's antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, your skin may see an improvement.
Combining Irish sea moss with other collagen boosting ingredients like aloe vera, biotin, hyaluronic acid, tremella mushrooms, silica, and vitamin c, helps promote elasticity and overall healthy skin.
A History Of Healing
While humans have used sea moss for medicinal purposes for centuries, From 1845 to 1852 a fungus-like organism quickly spread throughout Ireland, destroying up to three-fourths of their potato crops. Roughly one million people lost their lives. To avoid starvation, people gathered algae from the rocks on the shore and discovered the essential basics of its nutritional value; it can sustain human life. Thus this alga is called Irish Sea Moss.
Although this article focuses on prevention, rather than cure, a short detour is worthwhile to understand the potency of the health benefits of sea moss.
The potassium chloride in sea moss has a soothing effect on tissues, which helps heal respiratory conditions like pneumonia and bronchitis. The potassium chloride dissolves phlegm and reduces inflammation caused by the illness. You don't need to have bronchitis to benefit from this ability of sea moss. Try it the next time you catch a cold.
Sea moss's antiviral properties have also helped treat coughs and flu, as well as sore throats. Plus, it supports your recovery from viruses including influenza B and mumps.
Are there any Downsides to the Health Benefits of Sea Moss?
Sea moss contains iodine, which helps regulate proper thyroid function and an immune defense by killing fungi and bacteria. However, too much iodine (more than 1100 mcg per day for adults) for long periods of time can cause thyroid problems. If you experience issues with your thyroid, consult a physician before consuming foods or supplements containing iodine.
For children, daily iodine consumption should NOT exceed:
- Ages 1 to 3 - 200 mcg
- Ages 4 to 8 - 300 mcg
- Ages 9 to 13 - 600 mcg
- Teens - 900 mcg
Most relevant studies consider seaweed as a whole family of plants or selected types of seaweed. They do not specifically investigate all of the superpowers of Irish sea moss.
However, there is another type of evidence to consider when you are changing your diet. Whether you are adding supplements or choosing certain foods over others, check-in with yourself. How is your body reacting, and are you benefiting from the changes you made?
This is where the evidence stacks up in favor of sea moss. Whether you are looking to boost your immune system to avoid illness or would like to have healthier skin, Irish sea moss is an excellent choice. Its powerful plant compounds support collagen creation, whilst also fighting inflammation throughout your body. This superfood is an incredible multitasker for anyone looking to improve their health.
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