If you’re into health and wellness trends, you’ve probably seen sea moss gracing your Instagram feed or the shelves of your local nutrition store.
Sea moss began to grow in popularity among health and wellness enthusiasts during the early days of the pandemic when the world was searching for ways to boost their immunity. The trend has only continued to gather steam, with many people reaching for the spiny sea vegetable to tap into its health benefits.
Curious about trying this salt-water wellness trend? Let’s dive into the potential benefits of adding it to your diet.
What Is Sea Moss (and What Does It Taste Like)?
Sea moss is a type of seaweed or algae most commonly found on the rocky coasts of the Atlantic, between North America and Europe. It grows in a rainbow of colors, including green, yellow, purple, red, brown, and black.
Wellness enthusiasts first introduced the sea veggie as a vegan substitute for gelatin in certain puddings or jellies, but many people now take sea moss as a supplement in different smoothies, much as they would with other superfood supplements.
But be warned: If you’re not a fan of fish, you might not like the taste of sea moss. It not only tastes like seafood, but it also has a slimy texture. In fact, the most popular form of sea moss comes in a gel-like consistency, similar to applesauce or jelly.
So, if you’re comfortable eating a fishy-tasting jam, you may benefit from using sea moss as a supplement.
What Are the Health Benefits of Sea Moss?
Whether or not you’re a seafood enthusiast, sea moss can benefit your diet in many ways. Sea moss is:
- High in fiber: Sea moss contains a higher fiber content than most vegetables. This additional fiber in your diet could aid in gut health and weight loss.
- A tool for weight loss: The higher fiber content in sea moss may support satiety and, ultimately, weight loss and management. The higher the fiber count in your diet, the fuller you feel after eating.
- A good source of vitamins: Sea moss can be an excellent source of several vitamins, including Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Chromium, Magnesium, and Zinc; it’s also a vegan and gluten-free source of these nutrients.
- A good source of iodine: Iodine is one of the vital elements of having healthy thyroid function. Iodine also aids in cognitive function and fertility health. Your body doesn’t make iodine on its own, so you need to source it through your diet. If you don’t get iodine from sea moss, you’ll likely get it from dairy products, other seafood, or iodized salt.
- An immunity booster: The vitamins found in sea moss can help boost your immunity. Sea moss also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce your risk of infection. The iron and antioxidants found in sea moss are especially helpful for improving your immune system.
Meanwhile, nutrition scientists have continued to investigate other benefits of the seaweed superfood. While the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t yet approved it as a supplement, this early research seems promising.
For example, in some preliminary studies, researchers have demonstrated that the properties found in sea moss could help treat and prevent Parkinson’s Disease by slowing its symptoms.
Although sea moss may be trending, certified nutrition specialist, licensed dietitian/nutritionist, and Arootah consultant Alesia New cautions us that we still need to conduct a lot of human research to classify sea moss as a “superfood.” Most published studies regarding the benefits of sea moss are based on seaweed or algae and aren’t sea moss specific, New notes.
Simple Ways to Incorporate Sea Moss into Your Diet
While you may not want to scuba dive to source your own sea moss, there are plenty of ways to incorporate it into your diet, via:
You can add different types of sea moss supplements to your water, beverages, and food dishes, in addition to simply taking these supplements by themselves.
Gels are one of the most popular forms of sea moss. You can add them to smoothies or drinks and many companies supplement them with other flavors to offset the fishy taste.
Additionally, some people use sea moss topically in the form of creams or lotions for an added benefit to their skin.
Potential Side Effects of Sea Moss Supplements
We’ve talked about the benefits of sea moss. But before you dive in headfirst, consider the possible side effects of taking the sea veggie.
- Consuming too much iodine: If you overconsume sea moss, there’s a possibility you’ll ingest too much iodine. Having too much iodine in your system could potentially lead to an enlarged thyroid gland, known as a goiter.
- Heavy metals: Sea moss can absorb some of the heavy metals in which it grows. While having small amounts of these metals in your system isn’t toxic, it’s important not to overconsume them.
- Unpleasant taste and texture: While its strong taste and unique texture aren’t side effects of consumption per se, we’re including them here as one of the downsides to sea moss supplements. Although many kinds of seafood or sea supplements offer immense benefits, the fishy taste and slimy texture are often too much for some people to stomach.
As with any new supplement or change to your diet or wellness routine, be sure to talk to your healthcare practitioner before trying anything new.
The Bottom Line
Although sea moss research might be in its infancy, early research shows it could be a valuable supplement to your diet. The key is to follow dosing instructions and listen to your body.
Have you tried sea moss? What’s your favorite form of taking this supplement? Tell us in the comments!