As I approach 30, I find more and more that my diet affects me; not just my waistline, but my energy levels, pain, swelling, and stomach aches. I’ve never been someone that could eat whatever they wanted without it showing on the scale, but I never paid too much attention to how my body felt after eating certain foods. Although, realistically, I probably should have.
Beginning in my teenage years, I developed odd health problems. Western medicine never found anything conclusive, so I went to holistic doctors who wondered if the physical symptoms I was experiencing had something to do with my diet. Then, as I entered my mid-20s, I became more aware of how I felt after consuming certain foods. For example, I noticed headaches and body aches after too much bread and stomach cramping and bloating after too much cheese.
After a few years of paying attention to my body, I’ve isolated what foods I can eat with no problem and those I must keep an eye on, consuming in moderation. That awareness has helped me maintain a baseline of feeling healthy. As I continue gravitating toward a healthier lifestyle, I’ve started incorporating natural supplements into my daily routine.
I take the usual vitamins but recently found the best sea moss to add to my weekly regime. Yes, you read that correctly, sea moss! Until recently, I don’t think I had ever thought of sea moss in any context, let alone as a supplement that I’d be regularly consuming. Sea moss is often referred to as Irish moss, a type of red algae rich in carrageenan.
The benefits of Chondrus crispus (its official scientific name) have been shown to extend to heart health, muscle recovery, weight loss, gut health and skin health. But what exactly about this year-round Atlantic algae makes it a rising star in the health and wellness community? Let’s break it down!
It’s been consumed by the Irish since the 1840s (and was discovered over 2,500 years ago).
While sea moss is seeing a resurgence in popularity, it’s not a recent discovery. The Potato Famine in Ireland wreaked havoc on potato crops between 1845 and 1852. As a result, around one million Irish died from starvation and related illnesses, and another million fled the country. Those who remained turned to the sea for nutrients, including sea moss. It was believed that the carrageenan from the red algae was the cure for colds and the flu and is still regularly consumed by the Irish and people from the Caribbean. But the oldest recorded use of the algae’s medicinal benefits dates back to 600 BC.
Research suggests sea moss may boost immunity by improving gut health.
A study published in 2018 showed the effects on Atlantic salmon after they consumed sea moss. The study found that those that ate the moss had a higher immune response than those salmon that didn’t. While comparing humans and fish is like apples and oranges, the algae have high levels of iron and antioxidants, which are key nutrients associated with a healthy gut, contributing to immune health. You can find sea moss in capsule or powder form!
It makes a great addition to your recovery shake.
If you work out regularly, you no doubt have your go-to recovery shake that you immediately reach for after a high-intensity gym session. Odds are, your favorite brand includes taurine, an amino acid that your body uses to help build muscle. Taurine is abundant in sea moss, helping to repair those little tears in your muscles you get from working out. The algae also have a decent amount of protein. So adding a shot of sea moss to your shake is bound to give you an extra natural boost.
Sea moss helps cleanse and moisturize the skin.
Sea moss is sulfur enriched, which has antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. That’s welcome news for those people (me included) who produce high levels of sebum in the skin. Sebum is a natural oil, but those who produce it in excess often deal with skin irritation, inflammation and acne. The sulfur in the algae has been shown to help reduce the severity of acne.
Finally, it has nearly all the essential elements in the human body and is easy to consume.
Both the human body and sea moss contain zinc, iodine, iron, calcium, potassium, B-complex vitamins, sodium, sulfur, silicon, and iron. Finding the best sea moss for you gives you a boost across every part of your body, its biological construction being so closely mirrored to yours. It’s also incredibly versatile and can be found in capsule, powder or topical form. As an Irish gal, my body is extremely thankful I stumbled upon the superfood.