Benefits of seaweed explained

However, there have been numerous clinical trials investigating the benefits of other types of seaweed that are closely related to sea moss, and the few early studies on sea moss using animals have shown promising results. While there aren’t many human studies showing sea moss’ benefits, we do know that the nutrients in sea moss are linked to health and longevity, explains Jennifer Scheinman, a registered dietitian and consultant at Timeline Nutrition.

These nutrients include vitamin B12, calcium, iodine, magnesium, potassium, calcium, amino acids, omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, iron, and more.

immune health

As mentioned before, there’s really not enough evidence that consuming sea moss will improve your overall health, including immune function. But research shows that consuming other types of seaweed and algae can boost your immune system and even help prevent viral and bacterial infections. A study has found that dietary seaweed contains a variety of components that can directly or indirectly exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects by improving intestinal microbiota, investigating the potential of seaweed to combat COVID-19 infection.

However, the study noted that the bioavailability of nutrients in seaweed depends on multiple factors, making it impossible to make normative recommendations. Since the jury is still out, you’re probably best off just eating a nutritionally balanced diet containing known immune system boosters (such as turmeric) and practicing practices that support a healthy immune system, such as getting enough sleep.

thyroid health

Seaweed is a natural source of iodine, a micronutrient critical for supporting thyroid health. Since the body does not produce iodine itself, consuming iodine through food is essential and can prevent hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones to regulate metabolism. But experts warn that those with thyroid disease should definitely consult a medical professional before starting a seaweed feeding frenzy, especially if they are already taking thyroid medication. McAleer said sea moss comes directly from the ocean and is therefore affected by the changing environment. Since seawater contains high levels of iodine, caution should be exercised in consuming large amounts on an ongoing basis.

digestive health

Sea moss contains fiber and prebiotics, both of which promote good gut health. One study found that sea moss does have multiple prebiotic effects, such as affecting the composition of the gut microbial community, improving gut health, and immune modulation, but it’s worth noting that this study was only conducted on rats. Other human studies using seaweed instead of seaweed have concluded that more research must be conducted: A recent study noted a lack of available data in the literature on human dietary intervention studies of seaweed polysaccharides, polyphenols, and peptides. So while seaweed may not harm your gut health, the jury is still out in terms of proven benefits.

skin health

We all know that consuming vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids is critical for skin health, so it makes sense that consuming nutrient-dense seaweed would only help, but we don’t have enough data to support this yet. Assumption. However, studies do show that bioactive compounds in seaweed can help prevent hyperpigmentation, photoaging, and acne, but these studies only tested topical applications of these compounds. In another study looking at seaweed collected from the Red Sea, impressive levels of flavonoids, polyphenols, and tannins were found, as well as significant anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties, enough to warrant a recommendation. Charcoal extract has been further studied for its pharmacological applications in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, especially cancer in humans.

So, should I eat seaweed?

While sea moss may have some benefits, most are anecdotal or inferred. But there’s nothing wrong with eating small amounts of high-quality, carefully sourced seaweed. Experts recommend sticking to recommended serving amounts: no more than one to two tablespoons per day in gel form and no more than 1,000 mg in capsule or powder form. The main concern with sea moss is overdosing on iodine, which can lead to symptoms ranging from gastrointestinal upset to confusion and severe thyroid disease. And since most of us already get enough iodine from eating fish, dairy products and iodized salt, this is a cause for concern. Sea moss can also contain toxins like mercury: Scheinman warns that pregnant and breastfeeding women should be especially careful with sea moss because it comes from the ocean and can be contaminated with heavy metals.

Most importantly, enjoy the seaweed-infused Erewhon Skin Glaze Smoothie once in a while, but don’t overdo it. And don’t expect seaweed to replace a healthy diet consisting of a variety of proven foods. When it comes to taking care of your health, sea moss can be a useful tool, but the science isn’t there yet. And it’s definitely not a magic bullet.

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