The term “superfood” gets thrown around alot, and while some foods are more super than others, some really do have the nutrient density to deserve the title. With high amounts of Vitamins A, E, F, and K as well as calcium, potassium, sulfur, and iodine, Irish Sea Moss certainly earns its place as a superfood. In fact, during the height of the potato famine in Ireland, sea moss became a nutritional staple thanks to these and other qualities, and it had been widely used as a traditional medicine for years before that.
Also known as carrageen moss or chondrus crispus, Irish sea moss is actually a species of red algae that grows in rocky coastal areas of both Europe and North America. While there is plenty of definitive evidence on the health benefits of seaweed, a close relative of sea moss, researchers are just beginning to understand the many upsides of Irish sea moss and other edible algae. What we do know is that the undeniable nutrient density of Irish sea moss has a high correlation with a long list of positive health effects.
For a long time, gaining these benefits has meant eating Irish sea moss straight, or mixed with milk, cream, and even Irish whiskey. Fortunately, it’s now easy to take full advantage of this superfood in a convenient, and more palatable, supplement form.
No matter how you take it, here is a just brief sampling of the potential health benefits that Irish Sea Moss can offer.
Supports Respiratory Health
The high potassium chloride content of Irish Moss can help your respiratory system in a meaningful way. Specifically, potassium chloride works as an anti-inflammatory and by helping dissolve phlegm that can clog up the lungs. Multiple studies have shown the positive effects of potassium chloride on patients with severe pulmonary conditions.
Promotes Heart Health
Sea moss may help raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL,) the “good cholesterol” that carries other forms of cholesterol to the liver, helping to flush it out. Like seaweed, sea moss is also high in fiber, which can benefit the heart in several ways, including helping to regulate blood pressure.
It May Help with Weight Loss
The fiber content present in sea moss can also help manage your appetite. Fiber helps you feel more full for a longer period of time. By curbing your appetite, it’s easier to stick to a healthy diet and a weight loss plan.
Boosts Your Immune System and Increases Gut Health
A study of Atlantic salmon that consume Irish sea moss demonstrated a stronger immune response and disease resistance. Although scientists are looking for a causal link between human immune support and Irish sea moss, it may have to do with gut bacteria. Once again, because of the high fiber content, Irish sea moss can act as a prebiotic, helping to create a good environment for healthy gut bacteria to thrive.
Helps Build Muscle and Recover from Workouts
Irish sea moss is rich in amino acids and proteins that help with muscle growth and recovery. Specifically, the amino acid known as taurine has been isolated in sea moss and other edible algae. Although it is not dense enough to be a protein supplement in itself, Irish Sea Moss can boost amino acid levels as part of a broader healthy diet and lifestyle.
Improves Skin Health and Complexion
The vitamin A present in Irish Sea Moss is associated with skin health and collagen production. Collagen is the magic ingredient that helps keep our skin looking young and elastic. Collagen levels begin to drop off as we age, but vitamin A has been shown by doctors to promote collagen production, even in older people.
What to Know About Irish Sea Moss Supplementation
There are many Irish Sea Moss and edible algae supplements on the market today. Leading supplement maker, Double Wood Supplements, has created an all natural Irish Moss Extract to help people realize the extraordinary health benefits of Irish Sea Moss in an easy-to-swallow capsule form.
Double Wood’s supplement is a nutrient-dense extract from the moss itself, which results in a very high concentration of nutrients in each capsule. This makes their Irish Moss Extract a great natural alternative to synthetic multivitamins.
Recommended dosage is two to four 600 mg capsules per day, for a total daily dose of between 1200-2400 mg. Irish Moss Extract should be taken with food, as some of the nutrients are not water soluble. For best absorption, take these capsules with a healthy source of dietary fat.
It is not recommended to exceed four capsules per day, but those fighting severe nutrient deficiencies can take up to six capsules without issues. Irish Moss Extract is very well tolerated with few side effects, mainly GI discomfort or diarrhea, but it should be avoided in a few specific circumstances.
The largest potential contributor to side effects if using Irish Moss Extract is excessive iodine. Although this is a low likelihood for people using it at recommended dosages, people who take other iodine supplements should take precautions. Due to the mild anticoagulant properties of Irish Sea Moss, it should be avoided by people taking blood thinners.
Always consult with your doctor and keep him or her informed of any supplements you are taking.