from the WebMD Ingredients Guide
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
- Vitamin C0%
- Vitamin B60%
- Vitamin D0%
- Vitamin A0%
Sea moss, also known as Irish moss or red seaweed, is a type of seaweed that grows year-round in tidepools and inlets.
Sea moss is commonly harvested in New England to extract carrageenan, a gelatinous carbohydrate used in baked goods and cosmetics. But sea moss can also be eaten on its own, and it is often used to thicken soups and stews.
Sea moss gel
Sea moss gel is a natural, nutrient-rich product derived from sea moss. It is high in minerals such as iodine, potassium, and calcium, and is a good source of hydration and hydrocolloids. It is often used as a thickening and stabilizing agent in food, cosmetics, and medicine.
Let’s take a look at the health benefits of this intertidal seaweed.
Sea Moss Benefits
Ever since Kim Kardashian posted about drinking a sea moss smoothie, the healthy eating community has been bursting with information about this superfood, claiming that sea moss can help with everything from your skin to your immune system. But how many of those benefits are based on science and how many are just hearsay?
May prevent Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is the second-most-common degenerative disease found in older adults.
It causes tremors, stiffness, and slowness of movement, and there is no cure. But early research shows that sea moss may be able to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
In a study done with worms, extract from sea moss was shown to reduce stiffness and slowness of movement. This could mean promising things for people with Parkinson’s. But more research is needed to see if sea moss has the same effect on humans that it has on worms.
May improve the immune system
Early studies suggest that sea moss can boost the immune system and may even protect the body from contracting salmonella.
One study showed that sea moss can stop the growth of S. enteritidis, the bacteria that causes salmonella in humans. But this is a very early study and has not been reproduced in animals or humans. More research is needed to determine whether sea moss could help prevent or treat salmonella in humans.
Sea Moss Nutrition
One of the reasons sea moss has been touted as a superfood recently is that it’s a vegan, gluten-free source of many nutrients. Some of the nutrients in sea moss are:
- Vitamin B2
Nutrients per serving
2 tablespoons of sea moss contain:
- Calories: 5
- Fat: 0 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
- Sodium: 7 milligrams
- Carbohydrates: 1 gram
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Protein: 0 grams
When it comes to using sea moss, remember that a little bit goes a long way. A serving of sea moss is just two tablespoons, so it doesn’t take much to start adding it to your diet.
Sea moss is a source of iodine, which is something you can eat too much of. Having too much iodine in your diet can lead to a goiter, or enlarged thyroid gland, which can require surgery to resolve. To prevent this, be sure to stick to no more than one serving of sea moss per day.
Sea Moss Side Effects
Although Irish moss offers many health benefits and can improve your body’s overall function, some studies have shown that carrageenan may have negative effects.
Under certain circumstances, carrageenan can be converted into “degraded carrageenan,” or poligeenan, which is known to be toxic and may cause several health problems. There is no scientific evidence to show that your body can convert carrageenan to poligeenan. But some seaweed can contain poligeenan naturally.
May cause intestinal inflammation
Poligeenan can lead to inflammation of the intestines, causing problems with nutrition absorption. This can also lead to discomfort and bloating over time. It may also be linked with colitis and symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
May cause stomach ulcers
In large amounts, poligeenan has also been shown to cause stomach lesions and ulcers in animal studies. More poligeenan is generally connected to larger ulcers.
May lead to stomach and bowel cancer
Finally, poligeenan has also been linked to polyps that may become cancerous. Poligeenan appears to cause problems in the digestive tract that lead to cell mutations commonly found in cancers, particularly in cases where ulcers are found.