This week on the Blog, we’re starting a new series “ What’s in Our Smoothies”. In this post we’re taking a look at sea moss, which is also known as Irish moss or Chondrus Crispus. Sea moss is a type of red algae that is native to the Atlantic Shorelines of the Caribbean Islands, North America and Europe. It’s harvested for its carrageenan, which is an ingredient that is widely used to thicken dairy products. For example, ice cream. In fact, sea moss is the only naturally occurring source of carrageenan.
Sea moss is thought to contain 92 of the 102 minerals needed by the body, such as zinc, iodine, iron and many more. It’s also rich in amino acids, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Sea moss has been deemed a superfood due to its high nutrient content. It’s heart healthy and studies have shown that it may also help to lower bad cholesterol. It supports gut health as it’s high in fibre and good bacteria, helping to replenish good bacteria in the gut. Research posted to BMC Complementary Medicine + Therapies notes that sea moss is high in dietary fibre and oligosaccharids and supports gut health by feeding the healthy bacteria in the intestines. In addition, sea moss also has a prebiotic effect which can play a role in improving the health of the gut microbiome.
Antioxidant properties in algae may help to protect against neurodegenerative disease. Research posted to Marine Drugs found that an extract from sea moss protected against markers of Parkinson’s disease.
Sea moss a great source of iodine (which is one of the keys to a healthy thyroid). The Journal of Medicinal Food notes that it contains roughly 47mg of iodine per gram. It’s also rich in iron and antioxidants which can help to boost your immunity.
It is also thought to help build muscle and aid in workout recovery because it’s rich in taurine, which is an amino acid that helps with muscle building. A study in the Asian Journal of Medical Science found that people who were given certain types of sea moss had reduced fatigue, exhaustion and pain levels.
Because it is mucilaginous (sticky and thick), it helps soothe the mucus membranes in the body and helps your body get rid of any excess mucus. It is especially helpful in reducing congestion and clearing out phlegm buildup in the lungs, which is particularly helpful when you are dealing with a cold.
Sea Moss is available in dry raw form, in gels, powders, capsules, lotions and gummies and can be easily added to your diet. We love making a gel from dried sea moss and then adding it to our morning smoothies.
How To Make Sea Moss Gel:
- Wash your sea moss well (we recommend doing this 2 times), making sure to get rid of all the sand and debris.
- Place your cleaned sea moss in a large bowl and cover with water (spring, alkaline or filtered water). Cut up 2-3 limes and squeeze them into the water and then add the remaining lime into the water and leave to soak.
- Cover your bowl and leave it out of the fridge for 12-24 hours to soak. You will notice that the sea moss expands.
- Add sea moss to your blender (remove limes) and slowly pour in your water. Use the water that the sea moss was soaking in as it is now rich in minerals and nutrients.
- Be careful not to add too much water. You want a custard like smooth thick consistency; not watery.
- Blend until smooth.
- Remove from sea moss blend and transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. Within a few hours it should form a gel.
- The gel can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 weeks and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Pro Tip: use an ice cube tray to freeze cubes of sea moss gel that can then be conveniently added to smoothies and other recipes.
Until next time,
Stray & Wander
*Please note that this blog does not provide medical advice and is intended for informational purposes only.