The seaweed Chondrus crispus, a red algae otherwise known as Irish moss, is a little known superfood that grows along the Atlantic coast of North America and parts of Europe. What does this have to do with superfoods? And why is it so GR8? I myself had never heard of the plant-based food and was skeptical about whether or not it’s worthy of consumption. However, it turns out that it has significant health benefits, and you may want to incorporate it into your diet.
Hear me out on this one.
What is Irish Moss?
“I don’t want to eat moss,” you’re probably thinking to yourself. I thought the same thing. However, don’t be fooled by the name. Irish moss is a nickname for a species of seaweed. Many of us already consume various forms of seaweed, whether it be in sushi rolls, salads, or stir-fries.
Irish moss got its name during the great potato famine of the 1800s when individuals in the country became so hungry they began to eat the seaweed directly off the rocks on the seashores. The name carries on today, though we now know that it’s loaded with nutrients and good for the body. More than a food of famine, it’s now known among health enthusiasts as a food of fortune.
It’s also no stranger to modern food manufacturers. You probably already consume it regularly without even noticing. A moss of many names, others call it carrageen moss, and it’s a common thickening agent in processed foods. When we think of processed foods, the word “unhealthy” often comes to mind.
But when you separate Irish moss from these unhealthy products and consume it in its natural form, there are many GR8 health benefits.
The Benefits of Sea Moss
Irish moss, in all its many names, is a sea moss full of nutritional value. It’s high in potassium, can help repair mucous membranes in those with respiratory infections, and may aid healthy digestion. It’s packed with amino acids, lectins, peptides, and can act as an anti-viral and anti-coagulant, which is GR8 news for both the immune system and heart health.
Additionally, it’s loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals attack the healthy cells in the human body, and researchers believe that the damage they cause may lead to cancer, accelerated signs of aging, and arterial damage. When you look at the wonderful food and all of its components, you’ll see that the benefits of sea moss seem almost endless.
If that’s not enough to get you excited about the health benefits of sea moss, there’s more. Since the red algae is also rich in iodine compounds, it helps regulate your thyroid hormones. A hormonal imbalance can lead to a variety of health issues, such as low libido, weight gain, fertility issues, and gastrointestinal problems.
Where to Get Irish Moss
Okay, so by now, you’re probably sold on the health benefits of sea moss, a.k.a. Irish moss, but have you ever seen it at your local grocery store? I haven’t. And how do you eat it, anyway? I don’t know about you, but taking a big bite of raw red algae doesn’t sound so GR8 to me.
But to reap all its benefits, you have to consume some. The superfood of the sea is rising in popularity among health enthusiasts, making it more widely available than ever before. You don’t have to take a trip to the Atlantic Sea of North America or Europe to find some.
Now, many health stores and supplement shops stock the product in a much more appealing form than the Irish consumed in the 1800s. You can find it dried, in powder form, in tablets, capsules, tinctures, and even gels. This means you can add it to your daily routine without the “ick” factor. Mix it in a GR8 morning smoothie recipe, or take it with a glass of water at mealtime.
Irish Moss Recipes
However, if you are an adventurous cook and are looking to try something new, countless recipes incorporate true, raw Irish moss. If you’re following a vegan diet, it’s an excellent way to make sure you get enough of key vitamins and minerals.
Look in health-oriented grocery stores, as well as specialty food stores to find dried Irish moss. Many chefs recommend soaking the seaweed overnight and then rinsing thoroughly to remove any salt.
Check out some of the best Irish moss recipes here.
A Note from GR8NESS
Irish moss is not intended to treat or cure any disease or medical ailment and is not a substitute for physician care. As a supplement, it has not been evaluated by the food and drug administration for efficacy regarding the health claims touted by enthusiasts.
Here at GR8NESS, we are not medical professionals, nor is our advice or information intended to supersede any that is provided to you by a doctor. Before adding Irish moss, or any other new supplement, to your diet, always consult your treating physician. This is especially true if you do have underlying health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, auto-immune disease, thyroid problems, and more.