7 Benefits of Purple Sea Moss That You Should Be Aware Of

benefits of purple sea moss

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Seafood is generally considered the healthiest type of food you can eat. Fish, clams, mussels, and shrimp, to name a few, contain many vital minerals and nutrients to support optimal health. However, next to marine life, there is another superfood you can find hiding in saltwater — purple sea moss.

This versatile sea plant has recently earned a lot of attention because of its numerous health-promoting properties. So, if you’re curious to learn more about the benefits of purple sea moss, stick around for a complete breakdown of this humble sea plant.

What Is Purple Sea Moss?

Moss

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If you’ve ever dabbled in Asian cuisine, then you know that eating seaweed is more than just the latest food trend. The savory plant has been a staple food in many cultures worldwide. Purple sea moss, in particular, is a common ingredient in many Irish and Jamaican dishes, both because of its unique flavor and health properties.

Known scientifically as Chondrus crispus, this nifty sea plant comes in two varieties — red and purple. Both sorts are inexpensive sources of many beneficial nutrients, chiefly carrageenan. Carrageenan is a type of complex carbohydrate that is most commonly used to thicken food.

It was a valued part of traditional Irish medicine because of its supposed ability to treat ailments such as the flu. Likewise, farmers relied on the plant during the Irish Potato Famine to brew a nutrient-dense drink to supplement their poor diet. This seaweed has been a common ingredient in many Irish foods ever since. Nowadays, manufacturers use it to thicken puddings, chocolate milk, and some frozen foods.

7 Benefits of Purple Sea Moss

Purple Sea Moss

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Not only is purple sea moss a useful food thickener, but it also has many incredible health benefits too! Granted, a lot of these claims are still largely unproven. However, the research that exists so far definitely makes including this seaweed in your diet worthwhile.

1. A Good Source of Important Minerals

Like all types of seaweed, purple sea moss is a veritable nutrient bomb. The moss has numerous minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, folate, potassium, iodine, and zinc. All these minerals help support vital bodily functions, including a regular sleep cycle, balanced hormones, and good metabolism.

2. It’s Protein-Packed

Purple sea moss is a surprising source of protein, packing around 6g of protein per 100g. What’s more, the protein in this seaweed is classified as complete, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids.

Complete proteins are vital for building and maintaining muscle, and they’re usually only found in animal sources. Therefore, sneaking some purple sea moss into your diet is a great way to bulk up if you’re currently eating plant-based.

3. It’s Low Calorie

In case you’re looking to shave off a few inches off your waist, purple sea moss is the weight loss snack for you. With just 5 calories per tablespoon, the seaweed is the perfect alternative for when you’re craving salty snacks like chips.

Simply coat it in a bit of oil, add a sprinkle of sea salt, and fry it up in your oven for when the munchies hit you.

4. Supports Heart and Brain Health

Since it’s loaded with so many minerals, it’s not surprising that purple sea moss supports heart and brain function. In a study done on worms, sea moss extract significantly decreased α-synuclein levels. Having elevated levels of this soluble protein can cause damage to your nerve cells and result in degenerative brain diseases like Parkinson’s.

Likewise, the bioactive compounds in purple sea moss appear to have anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, consuming purple sea moss could potentially lower your blood pressure and keep your heart pumping strong.

5. May Help Reduce Allergies

Perhaps the most surprising property of purple sea moss is its ability to reduce allergies. In a 2006 study, participants who regularly consumed purple sea moss found their instances of allergic reactions dropped dramatically. However, a single study isn’t enough to conclusively prove sea moss’ advantages as an anti-allergen.

6. Maintains Gut Health

In case you suffer from indigestion, then purple sea moss is just what you need to get things moving again. The seaweed is loaded with fiber, a type of indigestible carbohydrate that helps support gut health. It also promotes regularity and feelings of fullness, which can have a positive impact on your weight.

7. Keeps Your Skin Healthy

Spending a lot of time in the sun can seriously harm your skin and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. However, including a purple sea moss supplement in your daily regimen can help combat this.

This seaweed contains sulfur, a mineral that can help soothe inflamed or damaged skin. What’s more, it contains a solid dose of vitamins A, K, and E. All three of these nutrients play a vital role in keeping your skin moisturized and elastic.

3 Side Effects of Purple Sea Moss

Side Effects

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Though purple sea moss is a nutritious food item, it does have a few potential downsides you should know about.

1. It’s a Potentially Toxic Carcinogen

Carrageenan has recently come under fire for being a potentially toxic compound. However, it’s important to distinguish between food-grade carrageenan and degraded carrageenan, also known as poligeenan.

It’s the degraded version that is not safe for consumption. Animal studies routinely showed that poligeenan triggered gut tumors, inflammation, and ulcers. In some animals, it even contributed to the development of colon cancer.

In contrast, there isn’t much evidence to show if food-grade carrageenan has the same effects. For now, researchers have placed the compound on a list of possible human carcinogens and are performing further tests to confirm its safety.

2. It May Cause Gut Issues

Purple sea moss can help those suffering from incontinence. However, there is also the chance that it can cause stomach issues in people with sensitive guts. An animal study found that carrageenan triggered inflammation and IBD when consumed in large quantities. What’s more, because of the seaweed’s high fiber content, it worsened symptoms in IBS sufferers.

Therefore, you should consult with your doctor about adding purple sea moss to your diet. That way, you’ll avoid aggravating any conditions you currently have.

3. It May Not Be Safe for Pregnant People and Those on Medications

The high iodine content of purple sea moss can make it unsuitable for pregnant and lactating people. Likewise, there currently aren’t any studies showing if the seaweed can interact with other pharmaceuticals. So, you should always ask your doctor about taking seaweed supplements if you’re already on other medications.

How to Use Purple Sea Moss

Use

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The beauty of purple sea moss is that you can consume it in various forms. You can add raw sea moss to your smoothies and milkshakes or even bake it into various desserts. If the idea of eating this seaweed doesn’t sound appealing to you, you can also take it as a dietary supplement. Purple sea moss comes in several varieties, including capsules, gels, and a fine powder.

Alternatively, if you want softer skin, you can also use beauty products like lotions or soaps enriched with purple sea moss.

Where to Buy Purple Sea Moss

Since purple sea moss has only recently become popular, it may not be as widely available. Some Walmarts stock it on their shelves, but if it’s not available at your local store, then your best bet is to order online.

You can find it in raw or powdered form on Etsy for prices ranging from $5‒$25. Another option would be to order the moss from Amazon or vendors who specialize in selling various types of seaweed.


Featured image source: Pinterest.com

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