Have you heard of Sea Moss (a.k.a. Irish Moss)? Don’t worry if you haven’t, you’re not alone. Though if you’re from the Caribbean, particularly Jamaica, then I’m guessing this is something you’ve known about for awhile. I’m going to give you the complete break down on what Sea Moss is, its benefits, side affects, and the best ways to consume it.
Before we jump in, a lot unique food items in the Caribbean claim to be natural aphrodisiacs or male libido enhancers. Sea Moss is one of them. Sorry guys, but there is no research that proves it will turn you into a bedroom rockstar. It does make for good conversation in local rum shops or beach bars though.
This plant has grown popular in the health and wellness market. Supporters claim that it does everything from improve your skin and joints to helping with digestion and immunity. So does it live up to the hype?
Let’s find out
What is Sea Moss?
To get started, we need to know what sea moss is. It’s a type of Red Algea that can be found around the shores of Caribbean islands, Europe and the east coast of the United States.
The Irish and Jamaicans have been using it in medicines and cure-alls for generations. It contains vitamins and minerals like magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K, and omega-3 fatty acids. So it likely fits more into the supplement niche rather than being an actual medicine. It’s important to know that most, if not all supplements are not FDA approved and can only claim the benefit might happen, not will happen.
Today, sea moss is typically taken in pill or capsule form, or added to things like smoothies, shakes, gels, and drinks. I’ll give you recipes and show you how to make the gel in a bit.
Sea Moss Benefits. What is it good for?
Sea Moss is popular for its many health benefits, which include:
Healthy Skin and Joint support
Can help with nasal congestion
Possible improvement of mental function
Emotional health support
Could help with respiratory issues
This wonder-plant is said to also help with antiviral properties that aid in fighting respiratory infections such as sore throats and even the flu.
What nutrients does it have that makes it so healthy? Out of the 102 minerals that make up the human body, sea moss has a whopping 92 of them.
Benefit 1 – It may help with digestion.
It’s a mucilaginous food, meaning its soothing to the body’s mucus membranes. So it helps the respiratory and digestive systems.
Benefit 2 – Could improve thyroid function
Irish moss can be full of iodine which the thyroid needs for proper function. It contains a type of iodine called DI-Iodothyronine, which can be used to treat thyroid disorders.
Benefit 3 – Might help energy levels
I think we all know the body needs B vitamins for energy. Sea moss contains B2 (riboflavin) and B9 (folate). Riboflavin helps the body break down proteins, carbs, and fats, while folate supports good DNA health.
Benefit 4 – It could be good for immunity
It has potassium iodide, which is great for clearing the body’s airways. It’s also rich in amino acids, vitamin C, antioxidants, as well as a host of antiviral and antimicrobial agents.
Benefit 5 – Supports skin health
Due to the gel-like quality, many people use it to soothe dermatitis, burns, psoriasis, and eczema. Studies have found that citrulline–arginine, a compound found in Irish moss, helps releases amino acids that are essential for protein and collagen production.
Sea Moss Side Effects
We told you in the benefits section that iodine can be good for a number of reasons, but you should know that it could be risky for people with autoimmune thyroid conditions. For example, with Hashimoto’s disease, too much iodine can trigger hypothyroidism, a disorder that occurs when the thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Other possible side effects are burning of the Stomach, throat and mouth, fever, and vomiting. So, moderation is key. Don’t go over board on your daily use of sea moss.
How Much Sea Moss To Take Daily
Wondering how much to take daily? Dosage largely depends on what you’re using it for, though there are recommendations for general use.
As mentioned previously, Irish moss is loaded with nutrients and minerals – one of the most abundant being iodine, which plays a key role in thyroid function.
It’s important to remember that our bodies function best when there is a perfect balance of necessary nutrients. Too much iodine can throw that balance off just as much as too little iodine could.
Although, a regular diet makes it hard to get too much iodine, so that’s generally not a concern. With all this in mind though, you don’t want to overdo it.
The recommended quantity and dosage of sea moss is about 1 to 2 tablespoons. That translates to about 4 to 8 grams per day.
Sea Moss and Fertility
The fertility benefit of sea moss does have a leg to stand on, unlike the claims of it being a male aphrodisiac. But there are a lot of things to consider because the benefits could turn out to be negative depending on when and where it was harvested.
Keri Gray is a registered dietitian who specializes in fertility and nutrition. She says that seaweed products in general can be a good source of folate and calcium. But she warns that the amounts may not be enough to warrant taking a supplement.
“We have to take this with a grain of salt however, because a typical serving of Irish moss would be five grams of dried [material], which is about a teaspoon. When you’re consuming a five-gram portion, the amounts of these nutrients would be pretty negligible.”
Iodine content is also something to consider. Gray notes that sea moss tends to be high in iodine, and iodine is important in thyroid hormones. But when studied, the iodine levels in a 5-gram serving can vary a great deal. The inconsistency comes from the time of year it was harvested and where it was harvested from.
Gary said, “Sometimes the iodine level is within the normal levels and that’s ok, but sometimes it can exceed the upper limit of what’s recommended by a lot.” That’s a concern, because too much iodine can contribute to thyroid problems.
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Where to buy Sea Moss?
I’ve seen Irish Moss products sold just about everywhere supplements are sold. Places like Wal-mart, CVS, Walgreens, and Target.
If you don’t fee like leaving the house, there are some really good choices on Amazon. You’ll be able to find it in its natural form or already processed and ready for drink and mix with foods. They also have it in pill form as well.
This is the nearly raw and natural product. It’s dried and lightly salted sea moss looks like what you’d take out of the ocean. Just boil it in water to create a gel, then use it as a thickener in smoothies or puddings.
Sea moss is tasteless so you can add it to a variety of dishes. In fact, it’s a great plant-based substitute for gelatin or other thickening agents. The traditional Jamaican Irish moss drink is a popular option, but you can also put it in:
Homemade ice cream
Stews and soups
Remember, since Irish moss has little to no flavor, you can get creative when it comes to cooking and mixing. So don’t be afraid to experiment. You might come up with a new,tasty recipe and the whole world will want it!
Sea Moss Gel
Here are the quick and easy steps to make your sea moss gel.
Prepare by soaking it in water until it plumps up.
Rinse it with water until it runs clear.
Blend with water until it goes smooth.
That’s all you need to do to prepare it for a variety of uses!
You can store this up to 2 weeks without any issues. If you plan to keep it beyond that, I would suggest freezing it. For convenience, freeze the gel in an ice cube tray, so you can pop a couple out at a time when you need it.
Sea Moss Drink
Traditionally a Caribbean sea moss drink is made with Irish moss gel, milk, vanilla and maybe even some alcohol and peanuts. Rum goes in everything right?
Use your hands to thoroughly wash any debris and excess sea salt from your moss. Do this several times until it looks and feels less gritty.
Place the sea moss and flaxseed in a large size bowl with the 6 cups of warm water and leave to soak overnight. The moss will expand in size and the water should thicken slightly
Use a colander to pour and drain off the excess water that was used to soak it
Place into a blender bowl and puree into a paste. The sea moss should be gelatinous in texture. Don’t worry it’s not too thick to begin with, when you store in a large jar in the refrigerator it will turn thick over time.
Scoop out the paste and transfer into a jar/bowl and refrigerate.
Add 4tbsp of the sea moss paste along with the almond milk, vanilla, spices, sweetener of your choice into a high speed blender.
Sea Moss Ice Cream
That’s a wrap on the this post. I hope you’ve found it useful in your quest for health and nutrition. If you are looking to add Irish moss to your health menu, here is a link to a wide variety products that can help you do that.
If you are looking for more Caribbean food ideas, click here so see our information on Caribbean lobster. You’ll see recipes, and learn all about the Caribbean Spiny Lobster.
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Ryan – RumShopRyan
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