Medicinal plants

Benefits of sea moss and side effects

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Discover the benefits of sea moss and side effects.

Sea moss has become popular for its interesting nutritional value. What properties are attributed to it? In this space we detail them.

The marine moss or Irish moss ( Chondrus crispus ) is a type of algae whose main habitat is the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean.

It shares many characteristics with the rest of seaweed or sea vegetables, such as kombu, sweet, or nori.

Sea moss: nutrients, benefits and recommendations

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It can be found in different colors, but the one that is most often consumed is red. In addition, commercially it has been used for a long time in the food and cosmetic industry as a thickener and nutritional supplement.

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Its growing popularity has to do with some of the benefits that scientists have given it.

In particular, it is associated with weight loss, increased energy, and muscle mass gain. Are you interested in knowing more about its properties?

Some common nicknames for sea moss include:

  • carrageen moss
  • irish moss
  • irish sea moss
  • irish red moss
  • red moss
  • red algae
  • Chondrus crispus (its official botanical name)

Sea moss is found in abundance along the Atlantic coast, especially in rocky areas, Coogan explains.

Whether you call Chondrus crispus sea moss, red moss, or Irish moss depends on where it grew. Sometimes sea moss refers to a completely different species.

Nutrition facts of sea moss

In general, algae contain a wide variety of nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.

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They are light, with a lot of fiber, and rather low in protein and fat. In the case of dry raw sea moss, every 10 grams provides the following :

Energy: 50 kilocalories.

Water: 81.3 grams

Protein: 1.5 grams.

Lipids: 0.16 grams.

Carbohydrates: 12.3 grams.

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Fiber: 1.3 grams.

Iron: 8.9 milligrams.

Magnesium: 144 milligrams.

Zinc: 1.95 milligrams.

Copper: 0.149 milligrams.

In addition to this, the presence of antioxidants is also remarkable. However, it should be noted that algae are consumed in small quantities, so 100 grams of product is a high portion.

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In the case of Irish moss, a tablespoon or two a day is sufficient.

Sea moss contains fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit health.

Health benefits Irish moss

Most of the people who use Irish moss do so seeking positive health effects. And in recent years there has been some scientific evidence about it.

Even so, it is necessary to emphasize that many of these are derived from the consumption of algae at a general level and, therefore, more research is needed on sea moss in particular. Its main effects are the following:

It provides dietary fiber, which has a prebiotic effect that improves the health of the intestinal microbiota.

In turn, the latter is related to the proper functioning of the immune system. Some studies in salmon and mice link the ingestion of sea moss with a better immune response.

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Seaweed has a potential application in the loss of body weight and the improvement of some metabolic markers.

This has been determined by studies in animals,  so it is necessary to carry out studies in humans to corroborate it.

As a nutritional supplement, Irish moss can be used for recovery after physical exercise. It is said to help relieve fatigue and muscle pain.

Its vitamins and antioxidants allow it to regenerate, nourish and hydrate the skin. For this, it is possible to use it both internally and externally.

Consuming sea moss provides some health benefits. Similarly, the use of extracts with pharmaceutical functions has also been studied.

This is the case of an investigation published in the journal Marine Drugs whose conclusion is that “the extract of the alga Chondrus crispus has neuroprotective activity”.

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Protection was also found against Parkinson’s disease markers.

Side effects of sea moss

Seaweed is generally considered a safe food. Few references are found of health problems derived from its intake.

Still, some considerations should be taken into account before introducing them into the diet.

On the one hand, there is the possibility of an excessively high iodine intake.

This situation can lead to some problems, such as inflammation or cancer of the thyroid gland.

To avoid this, it is enough not to exceed the recommended daily dose.

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On the other hand, there is a risk of contamination by heavy metals.

Marine plants can also accumulate these harmful compounds found in the environment. However, at the moment the risk of toxicity in algae appears to be below.

How to use sea moss

On a dietary level, getting acquainted with Irish moss is fairly straightforward, as it can be added to almost all your favorite recipes.

It is used in a dry and raw form. It is then transformed into a liquid or gel and added to your desired dishes.

To prepare this gel it is only necessary to immerse the algae in water for a few hours (or a whole night).

Afterward, it has to be rinsed and mixed again with new water. Finally, cover and reserve a few more hours in the refrigerator to gel.

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Some of the dishes in which you can taste Irish moss are smoothies ( smoothies ), yogurts, or oatmeal porridge. It is also possible to include them in rice dishes, stews, soups, and all kinds of sauces.

Gelled moss keeps well for about 5 days in the refrigerator. Thus, it is ready for use at any time.

If the marine smell is bothersome, just soak the algae in water with lime for a few minutes. Thus, it is reduced or eliminated.

Beyond cooking, some companies market it in the form of a dietary supplement.

The types of presentation are varied, such as gel, liquid, powder, or capsules. Sometimes it is combined with other ingredients to increase its medicinal properties.

Sea moss is ideal to accompany various dishes. In addition, it is available in supplement form.

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Where can I get sea moss?

Check the labels on some of your favorite foods. From plant-based milks and ice creams to salad dressings, you might see sea moss (by any name!).

You can find sea moss at your local health food store, larger supermarkets, or online.

Whenever you buy a supplement, consider these questions: How is the supplement produced? Is it processed without harmful solvents or other additives? Does the company have a reputation? Do they offer proof of the tests they perform (including verification that what’s on the label is really what you’re buying and that they’ve tested for microbes, heavy metals, etc.)? Are they making claims that sound too good to be true?

Keep in mind that supplement companies must adhere to industry standards for their claims, which are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. Be sure to discuss any supplements you’re considering with your doctor.

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Here are some sea moss products available on Amazon:

  • Caribbean flavors, dried sea moss
  • Swanson Premium Brands, Full Spectrum Irish Moss, 400mg Capsules
    Herb Therapy, Sea Moss Plus, 1500mg Capsules.

Conclusion

Many of the edible seaweeds are foods with a high nutritional value.

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However, despite their composition and their beneficial properties for health, it is not advisable to abuse them as a source of nutrients.

The ideal thing is to consume them from time to time or add them in small amounts to the daily diet.

In addition, before taking any food supplement, or if you have any doubts, it is advisable to consult a specialist.

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Tags: advantages benefits contraindications dangers disadvantages health medicinal plant nutrition side effects uses virtues

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