Updated: Jun 26, 2022
For decades health professionals and dieticians have recommended that the public eat a diet rich in a diversity of fruits and vegetables. However, in recent years, the consumption of marine vegetables for their numerous health benefits has grown in popularity. Beneficial plant consumption is no longer limited to terrestrial plant life, as costal populations have known for centuries. Sea moss, also known as Irish sea moss or Chondrus crispus, is a cold-water seaweed found in the shallow marine waters of the British Isles, around continental Europe and in the costal regions of the north Atlantic Ocean of North America (2020).
Sea moss is full of nutrients
This species of red algae are nutrient dense sources of omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin A, K, folate, calcium, iron, phosphorous, iodine and beta carotene (Jaspars & Folmer, 2013).
Great for the microbiome
These algae contain polysaccharides such as carrageenan’s, agar, and alginates. These complex, mucilaginous polysaccharides are fermented by colonic bacteria when ingested, or in other words, act as prebiotics. This fermentation creates short chain fatty acids that nourish the enterocytes in the colon, bolsters local and systemic immunity, prevents inflammation, and helps to prevent colon cancer. It also helps prevent the colonization of pathogenic bacteria in the colon while promoting the growth of mutually beneficial strains such as bifid bacteria and lactobacilli (Roberfroid et al., 2015).
The carrageenan polysaccharide is used as an emulsification stabilizer and thickener in various food products. As well, seaweed incorporated into various food products can inhibit the growth of bacteria, and so can be used as an antimicrobial preservative of natural origins (Jaspars & Folmer, 2013).
The omega 3 fatty acids Irish sea moss contains, has the potential to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, brain health and inflammatory conditions. This potential is because a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA that are highly prevalent in marine sources. These fatty acids, notably EPA, are precursors to so called eicosanoids that have many physiological roles such as being anti-thrombotic, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and are vasodialtory. These actions are highly cardio protective.
The phytochemicals and antioxidants in sea moss help protect the body from oxidative damage and inflammation from reactive oxygen species that are responsible for numerous diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. There is even preliminary evidence to suggest that sea moss supplementation may lower cholesterol, blood glucose levels and may even have potential as an anti-obesogenic agent (Brownlee, Fairclough, Hall, & Paxman, 2012).
To conclude, the consumption of seaweeds such as the Irish sea moss is a healthy, tasty, and savory addition to anyone’s diet that could confer some serious health benefits. In combination with a balanced diet and lifestyle, the consumption of sea moss may mitigate disease risk. Fortunately, you can purchase a concentrated supplemental blend of seaweed including Irish sea moss and bladderwrack and a terrestrial root called burdock root. Our super blend is called “Viu Nutrition”.
To shop our selection of sea moss, visit our shop.
Roberfroid, M., GR. Gibson, M., M. Vrese, J., YX. Yang, M., P. Coccorullo, C., JZ. Xiao, S., . . . B. Sircar, L. (2015). Prebiotic effects of diet supplemented with the cultivated red seaweed Chondrus crispus or with fructo-oligo-saccharide on host immunity, colonic microbiota and gut microbial metabolites. Retrieved July 04, 2020, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12906-015-0802-5
Jaspars, M., & Folmer, F. (2013). Sea Vegetables for Health [Review].
Brownlee, I. A., Fairclough, A. C., Hall, A. C., & Paxman, J. R. (2012). The potential health benefits of seaweed and seaweed extract. Sheffield Hallam University Research Archive, 1-18. doi:http://shura.shu.ac.uk/4980/1/The_Potential_Health_Benefits_of_Seaweed_and_Seaweed_Extracts.pdf
Seaweed, Irish moss, raw Nutrition Facts & Calories. (2020). Retrieved July 04, 2020, from https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2616/2
The Marine Life Information Network - Carrageen (Chondrus crispus). (2020). Retrieved July 04, 2020, from https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1444