Sea moss, also known as Irish moss, is a highly nutritious edible seaweed that offers various health benefits. It contains a rich array of minerals, including calcium, zinc, and magnesium, which are vital for the body. Sea moss is also a natural source of iodine, crucial for thyroid function.
Sea Moss Nutrition Facts:
Sea moss is a nutrient-dense food, providing 90% of the minerals found in the human body. It contains 92 out of the 102 essential minerals, such as iron, potassium, selenium, and silicon, necessary for maintaining bone, hair, and skin health. Sea moss also contributes to improved circulation, sugar control, diabetes management, and arthritis protection.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a serving of two tablespoons (10 grams) of sea moss contains notable amounts of essential minerals:
- Phosphorous: 15.7 milligrams (mg)
- Magnesium: 14.4mg
- Calcium: 7.2mg
- Potassium: 6.3mg
- Zinc: 0.2mg
- Iron: 0.9mg
- Manganese: 0.04
- Copper: 0.02mg
In addition, the macronutrient composition of the same serving size (10 grams) includes:
- Calories: 4.9
- Protein: 0.15 grams
- Carbohydrates: 1.23 grams
- Fiber: 0.13 grams
- Sugar: 0.06 grams
Sea moss also provides key vitamins in small amounts:
- Vitamin C: 0.3 milligrams
- Vitamin B-6: 0.007 milligrams
- Vitamin E: 0.087 milligrams
- Vitamin K: 0.5 micrograms
Health Benefits of Sea Moss:
Sea moss, or red seaweed, offers several nutritional advantages. It is commonly harvested for an ingredient called carrageenan, a natural additive used to preserve, emulsify, and thicken various food products such as yogurt and ice cream.
Consuming sea moss can potentially provide the following health benefits:
Supports healthy weight: Sea moss contains zinc and magnesium, which play crucial roles in maintaining a healthy insulin response and promoting weight management. It also contains a component called fucoxanthin, which may increase fat metabolism and possess anti-obesity properties.
Boosts immunity: Compounds in sea moss have been found to enhance the immune system's function, offering protection against certain diseases. Soluble fibers, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins D3 and B12 found in sea moss exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral effects.
Improves gut health: Sea moss is rich in dietary fiber and oligosaccharides, acting as prebiotics that support healthy digestion. Research suggests that sea moss may positively impact gut health by providing multiple prebiotic effects.
Enhances thyroid health: Sea moss is a high source of iodine, a mineral essential for proper thyroid function. Adequate iodine intake is important for thyroid hormone production, which regulates metabolism and supports brain and bone development.
Supports heart health: Sea moss has been recognized as a nutraceutical product with positive effects on human health, including autoimmune, ocular, and cardiovascular diseases. Being a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, sea moss can contribute to cardiovascular well-being. Additionally, it contains electrolytes like sodium and potassium, crucial for healthy circulation and heart function.
- The U.S Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Seaweed, Irish moss, raw. 4/1/2019.
- Ohio Department of Agriculture. Sea Moss.
- National Library of Medicine. Fucoxanthin from edible seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida, shows antiobesity effect through UCP1 expression in white adipose tissues. Published 2005 Jul 1.
- National Library of Medicine. Immunomodulatory Effects of Dietary Seaweeds in LPS Challenged Atlantic Salmon Salmo salar as Determined by Deep RNA Sequencing of the Head Kidney Transcriptome. Published online 2018 Jun 1.
- National Library of Medicine. Metals in Edible Seaweed. Published 2017 Jan 12.
- Potential benefits of dietary seaweeds as protection against COVID-19: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7798825/
- Seaweeds as nutraceuticals for health and nutrition: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00318884.2019.1640533
- Prebiotic effects of diet supplemented with the cultivated red seaweed Chondrus crispus or with fructo-oligo-saccharide on host immunity, colonic microbiota and gut microbial metabolites: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4535385/
- An Overview to the Health Benefits of Seaweeds Consumption: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8232781/
- Salt and Sodium: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/