9 Amazing Sea Moss Benefits
New research shows that Irish sea moss benefits make it a contender for the title of superfood. Is it worth adding to your cart?
Folk remedy or superfood? Keep reading to find out!
In this article:
- Irish Sea Moss Benefits
- What Is Irish Sea Moss?
- History of Irish Sea Moss
- Irish Sea Moss and Carrageenan | Is it Safe?
Are the Benefits of Irish Sea Moss Something to Get Excited About?
Irish Sea Moss Benefits
1. May Improve Gut Health
Studies suggest that the red seaweed is a potential prebiotic, promoting probiotics (healthy bacteria) and purging pathogenic microbes (bad bacteria). This makes Irish sea moss a promising source of prebiotics, feeding the probiotics in our body, promoting overall gut health.
An unhealthy gut may lead to a range of conditions from gas or bloating to obesity and cardiovascular disease. A study even suggests links between the gut and the central nervous system. This could mean that your gut may have an influence on your mood and brain function.
The rise in popularity of healthy living could make seaweed a reliable aid in improving our quality of life.
2. May Fight the Common Cold
Early Irish folks were correct. Rest by the warm fire and down a steaming cup of sea moss tea. It may help relieve the flu.
Studies suggest that the CGN in seaweed may possess antiviral properties, helping fight the flu. It's also helpful in dislodging mucus, providing you with much-needed relief. Algae are vitamin- and nutrient-rich, which may help you fight illnesses. This is probably one of the most relevant sea moss benefits on the list.
While there are CGN-based nasal sprays available in the US market, keep in mind that studies require further testing. While there are studies that suggest its usefulness in combating the common cold, it is not yet recognized as a form of treatment. When in doubt, pay your doctor a visit.
3. May Protect and Nourish the Skin
Chondrus crispus contains amino acids (Citrulline-Arginine) that may promote cell growth and metabolism. They are also crucial in our body's production of collagen. If you don't already know, collagen is what keeps our skin hydrated and plump – a key to anti-aging.
The red algae is a potent source of antioxidants, helping protect your skin from oxidative stress.
4. May Exhibit Anti-Cancer Properties
This is another new discovery that, while still in its early stages, shows plenty of promise for the red algae.
A study indicated that CGN may possess anti-cancer properties. Researchers found that CGN boosts immunity and may function as cancer-treating and -preventing agents. This may mean a new cure for cancer that targets only tumor cells without damaging healthy cells.
The marine environment is teeming with nutrients that may help keep us healthy. Carotenoids were also identified as having the potential in preventing cancer. Chlorophyll found in the marine environment also exhibited antimutagenic properties.
Important note: Red seaweed is not recognized by any authorized agency as a treatment for cancer.
5. May Help You Lose Weight
6. May Be Good for Cardiovascular Health
Seaweed is a rich source of fiber, topping even most fruits and vegetables. Fiber from algae are reported to prevent cardiovascular diseases along with cancer and diabetes.
In a clinical trial, CGN was able to lower cholesterol levels by 16.5% and the atherosclerotic index by as much as 36.6%.
Moreover CGN, according to a study, may help lower levels of biomarkers of inflammation.
Important note: Clinic trials treat CGN as a food supplement rather than as a treatment. Despite the outstanding potential, it cannot replace doctor-prescribed medicine. Refrain from self-medicating.
7. May Boost Your Immune System
Studies dub seaweed as a functional food and a rich source of prebiotics. Prebiotic supplements help maintain a healthy ratio between good and bad bacteria in the gut. This may help prevent allergic diseases, lower your cancer risk, and regulate your immunity.
The mechanisms of prebiotics and probiotics are understudied. While studies show the potential benefits of Chondrus Crispus as a prebiotic, there is much more we need to learn before we replace our pharmacy-bought supplements.
8. May Support Thyroid Function
Studies have documented that the iodine found in seaweed may help support healthy thyroid function. The thyroid gland modulates hormone production. Hormones regulate our muscle, heart, and digestive function. Iodine is also crucial in the early stages of life.
Because the Western diet is already rich in iodine, we are likely already consuming enough of the mineral. If you have thyroid conditions, you may want to steer clear of the red seaweed.
9. May Help Prevent HPV
New research suggests that carrageenan may help prevent the transmission of sexual viruses. This includes gonorrhea, genital warts, and cancer-causing HPV.
CGN lubricant gels available in the market were tested as inhibitors and show extremely effective results. However, while it showed an ability to block five types of HPVs, it was less effective in blocking several others.
Chondrus Crispus or Irish sea moss has been used as a folk remedy and food additive for many centuries now, and the science and research to back them up are just now coming out.
Seaweed is nutrient- and vitamin-rich and makes a great and delicious supplement to your diet – the operative word being supplement. Maintain a balanced diet and feel free to sprinkle on some seaweed for a vitamin boost and an interesting texture.
A rich source of iodine, it may support thyroid function but eating too much iodine is detrimental. When planning a healthy diet, return to the famous mantra: Everything in moderation. (Superfoods included.)
What Is Irish Sea Moss?
Irish sea moss (a.k.a. Chondrus Crispus) is a kind of red algae that grows along the Atlantic coastlines, found in the British Isles, Europe, and North America. Many claim that it carries 92 of the 102 nutrients essential to the human body, crowning it as a superfood.
Irish sea moss contains carrageenan (CGN), a popular thickener used in dairy products, frozen foods, and organic foods. But its history can be traced back hundreds of years.
History of Irish Sea Moss
The Irish have been using the moss for hundreds of years as a food source and a medicinal remedy. The seaweed was an additive in beer, tonics, flans, and in the traditional blancmange – a classic Irish pudding. The Irish believed that carrageenan (CGN), a substance, found mainly in Irish sea moss, was an effective treatment for the flu or the cold.
While the red algae continue to form part of ingredients lists today, there are agencies and groups that are protesting its inclusion in food products.
CGN, according to some studies, may induce inflammation and are linked to disease and even cancer.
The same groups have been pressuring the US National Organics Standards Board (NOSB), International Food Additives Council (IFA), and other food companies to ban it. While some food companies have heeded to the outcry of the said groups, international regulatory boards continue to vouch for its safety.
A study partially funded by the FMC Corporation and IFAC attempted to replicate the reported cellular events that suggest the links to inflammation. However, the researchers were unable to reproduce the results, suggesting that CGN is unlikely to induce inflammation.
At the time of writing, Irish sea moss and carrageenan (CGN) are still recognized as safe for consumption.
Here are the other ways how sea moss can be beneficial to your health:
Already making seaweed pudding? Share your seaweed diet with us in the comments section below!
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