I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the many benefits of eating seaweed. But have you ever heard of a seaweed known as Irish Moss AKA Sea Moss?
I hadn’t until I saw it as one of the first ingredients at my favorite juice bar, and I’ve been head over heels ever since!
Fun fact – its known as Irish Moss because its found abundantly in Ireland. This superfood had a hand in saving lives of the Irish during the potato famine! The Irish are also purported to carry Irish Moss with them for healing and protection.
Curious about how it can help you, too?
Here’s some info about this superfood; its benefits, how to use it, and where to find it!
Irish Moss Benefits
Irish Moss is a superfood through and through; it’s benefits are varied and many! From calming the digestive tract to boosting immune health, there’s almost nothing this crazy healthy seaweed can’t do.
Filled with nourishing vitamins and minerals
Irish Moss is chalk full of the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E, and K - meaning it helps your body to better process healthy fats and allocate nutrients throughout the body.
Without adequately high amounts of the fat soluble vitamins, your body may have trouble nourishing and protecting itself.
Irish Moss provides the vitamins that aid your body’s movement and healthy storage of nourishing fats.
Irish Moss is also rich in iron – an important nutrient that helps your body with oxygen transportation, boosting brain functioning, and bolstering musculoskeletal health.
Getting enough Iron is particularly important for vegans and vegetarians. Some other nutrients found in plenty in Irish Moss are potassium, magnesium, and amino acids. Talk about a nutrient rich food!
Calms digestive upset
Irish Moss’ anti inflammatory properties work to calm irritation throughout the body, which is particularly helpful when experiencing digestive problems. Mucous membranes are present throughout the body. Irish Moss works to calm these membranes and allow nutrients to move comfortably.
Digestive upset oftentimes comes from inflammation and unprocessed nutrients – Irish Moss mitigates these problems by helping the body allocate nutrients and detoxify wastes. Pretty amazing!
Balances hormones and Helps With Thyroid Problems
Irish Moss is very unique in its abundance of iodine; a nutrient that’s key in helping the thyroid function properly. Thyroid hormone is responsible for orchestrating the rest of the endocrine system (i.e. hormone system), so bolstering its strength is a sure fire way to balance hormones and mood! The thyroid gland releases a few hormones that are very important in balance.
The thyroid gland requires iodine, a nutrient abundant in Irish Moss, to function properly! Another form of chemical signals (known as neurotransmitters) are the chemical messengers responsible for translating signals through the brain and the rest of the body – Irish Moss’ high iron content makes it especially helpful in bolstering the activation of neurotransmitters, allowing them to effectively do their communication jobs.
Irish Moss also promotes the healthy absorption of nutrients, which allows for a more balanced hormone state and ultimately a more level, happy mood.
Rich in protein
Consuming seaweed is one of the best ways for vegans and vegetarians to sneak more protein into their diets while stocking up on nourishing vitamins and minerals. One serving has about one gram of protein – this may not sound like a lot, but in the plant world, one gram per serving can really add up!
Supports healthy immune functions
Rich in antiviral and antibacterial compounds, Irish Moss can help to ward of colds and infections, as well as treat them when they arise. Studies have shown that the polysaccharides present in Irish Moss suppress microbial activity in the body.
Irish Moss is also alkalizing, meaning it works to balance the acidifying properties of a modern lifestyle (i.e. alcohol consumption, processed foods in excess, stress, and lack of proper sleep).
The health benefits of the iron content of Sea moss can’t be underestimated – iron helps the body build red blood cells, reducing the chances of damaging the immune system through anemia. Irish Sea Moss’ soothing qualities are great during a cold or flu!
Great for skin and hair
The fat soluble vitamins present in Irish Moss provide nutrients that nourish and sustain skin, hair, and nails. The anti inflammatory properties of Irish Moss help to calm common skin problems like eczema and acne. Irish Moss reduces redness and irritation.
Promotes feelings of satiety
Irish Moss can be used as a thickening agent in soups and stews because of its wonderfully gelatinous quality. The body thrives on feeling satisfied – when we have enough fiber and nutrients, we’re better able to thrive and perform healthy physiological functions.
May lower cholesterol levels
The body does best when it’s LDL (low density) cholesterol levels are low, and HDL (high density) cholesterol levels are higher. Irish Moss is known to balance these by helping with overall stability in the body.
HOW TO USE
Before using dried Irish Moss (most commonly used method), be sure to soak it for a few hours in clean water. This will basically activate it, turning it back into its natural seaweed-y consistency.
Irish Moss is used frequently in smoothies, soups, and raw desserts, as it adds a super nice creamy texture. A few tablespoons in your favorite soup will thicken it up and boost its nutrient content, or added to your morning smoothie can increase satiety throughout the day.
If using in a smoothie, your best bet is to mix the Irish Moss in a blender. Here’s a recipe for a delicious chia pudding spiked with seaweed!
Chia Seed and Irish Moss Pudding:
- 2 tbsp Chia seeds
- 2-3 tbsp milk of choice (be sure you’re making your own nut milk or getting organic animal milk!)
- 1 tbsp Irish Moss (soaked and blended in a blender)
- A pinch of cinnamon
- A small spoonful of raw honey
Mix the chia sees, milk, and Irish moss in a small bowl and leave to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. After soaking, mix again and add in the cinnamon and raw honey. Enjoy your nutritious and totally delicious treat J
As with all things in life, consume Irish Moss with love and moderation. Irish Moss as a superfood supplement in your smoothie a few times a week is a lovely way to reap its many benefits!
Where To Purchase Sea Moss/ Irish Moss
First and foremost - be sure you’re getting high quality Irish Moss to ensure the most environmentally friendly experience, and the highest nutrient content. Just a little public service announcement here - you may have heard of Irish Moss in its hotly debated form of carrageenan. Carageenan extract is a more processed version of unpolluted Irish Moss. It’s important to ensure you’re getting top notch seaweed, not as a processed additive.