- What is organic sea moss?
- What are the health benefits of organic sea moss?
- What is organic sea moss good for?
- You don’t need to eat sea moss to reap nutritional rewards
Eating a spoonful of viscous seaweed gel to cure acne, reduce inflammation and lose weight is not the first wacky idea to have swept TikTokers into a frenzy.
Nor is it surprising that ingesting organic sea moss in gummies, pills and powder, has little, if any, scientific basis.
That hasn’t stopped it becoming TikTok’s latest wellness wave though.
According to the app, there are over 448 million views for videos using the hashtag sea moss, a slime spectacle that has pulled the likes of Cardi B and Kim K into its current.
Whether you’re new to the funky fad or adding sea moss powder into your yoghurt as we speak, let’s take a look at what really lies beneath the surface of this supposed superfood.
What is organic sea moss?
Organic sea moss, scientifically known as chondrus crispus, is a form of red algae or seaweed that most commonly appears in shades of yellow, gold, purple.
Native to rocky coastal areas, the mid-intertidal plant is usually found basking on the Atlantic coastlines of North America, Europe and the Caribbean in semi-exposed locations.
But don’t be fooled into believing that use of the plant is limited to the current age of TikTok.
According to archaeologists, humans have actually been harvesting this nutritious specimen for over 14,000 years, long before the dawn of ancient Egypt and Kim Kardashian’s organic sea moss smoothie.
And whilst we have little clue as to how the plant was used in prehistoric times, evidence of primitive medicinal uses of red seaweed date back to China’s Zhou Dynasty when marine plants were identified and utilised for food and remedies.
Known historical uses of sea moss specifically include the stewing the seaweed in teas, a practice adopted by Irish people during the potato famine to boost their nutritional intake.
It was this consumption of the plant that is said to have bestowed it with the nickname Irish sea moss.
What are the health benefits of organic sea moss?
Word on the social grapevine advocates organic sea moss as 2022’s medicinal marvel, a cure-all that can boost your immune system and give your skin a glow-up.
But given most TikTok trends should be taken with a large pinch of sea salt, how much of this craze can we really believe? Is organic sea moss good for you?
Let’s look at the science.
Like other sea vegetables, sea moss boasts a whole host of vitamins and minerals.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that sea moss can contain large amounts of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A and calcium, a mineral which one study found higher quantities of in sea moss than milk.
Researchers have also illustrated the antimicrobial properties of red algae, which is to say that a species like sea moss could have the power to kill off nasties in the body.
Nutritionist Kerry Torrens revealed in her BBC Good Food article that organic sea moss is so dense in rare nutrients it could even support immunity, thyroid health and heart health.
According to Torrens, sea moss can be considered a prebiotic due to the high quantity of a specific fibre that stimulates the production of healthy bacteria.
To stoke the fire of TikTok’s health gurus even more, registered dietician Johna Burdeos, R.D. revealed that sea moss is also low in sugar and contains a type of healthy, polyunsaturated fat which could help to keep your cholesterol levels in check.
What is organic sea moss good for?
During the 20th century, sea moss was collected for its carbohydrate carrageenan which was and continues to be extracted and used in food production as a thickening agent.
It’s this gelatinous carb which has taken over TikTok videos, and the substance that cosmetic companies have used in eczema treatments, shampoos, hair care products and more.
People have even tried putting whole clumps of the stuff into their cuppa, an experience that food journalist Clare Finney compared to a slimy, juiced oyster.
You don’t need to eat sea moss to reap nutritional rewards
Hey Fresto! offer a range of nutritionally balanced meals packed full of good stuff, so you don’t have to eat sea moss (unless you want to!) every day.