17 Aug 2023 • 10 min read
With over 900 million views on TikTok, sea moss is really having its moment in the spotlight.1 Thought to be a powerful superfood2, sea moss is packed full of minerals, but what actually is it, should you eat it and how can you add it to your diet?
Here, we’ll give you the lowdown on sea moss and 5 easy ways to add it to your routine.
Sea moss, also known as Chrondus crispus, is an edible seaweed or algae, that grows along the coast of the Atlantic in places like North America and Europe.3 Like other types of seaweed, sea moss is a rich source of many nutrients like calcium, iodine, magnesium, iron, zinc and many more.4 5
You probably think of the colour green when you think of seaweed and algae, but sea moss can be a variety of colours, from green or yellow to red, black, or brown.6 Red sea moss is the most common and this is often referred to as Irish moss.7
The possible benefits of sea moss are thought to be varied, but there is very little research available, so its effects on health and wellbeing aren’t completely clear. Before you take sea moss in any form, speak to your GP to make sure it is safe for you to do so.
From the little research available, it’s thought that four of the possible benefits of sea moss include:
Supporting your gut health 8 9
Helping to keep your blood sugar balanced10
Supporting your immunity11
Supporting your heart health12
Whilst it contains many essential minerals that can be beneficial, sea moss won’t provide you with all the nutrients you need to keep your body healthy. Instead, if you decide to add sea moss to your diet, you should use it alongside a healthy, balanced diet.
Sea moss is generally used by food manufacturers as a thickening agent, but you can find sea moss in supplement form too.13 From a powder to capsules and tablets, sea moss is a versatile superfood that can be used in so many forms.
Here are five ways you can add sea moss to your diet:
You can buy sea moss as a gel, which is perhaps the most common and one of the easiest, methods of taking sea moss. If you can get your hands on some raw sea moss, you can make sea moss gel at home too. A natural way to eat sea moss, there are no ingredients other than sea moss and water.14
It contains plenty of potassium, which works to support muscle contraction and help control your blood pressure, but you should start small.15 Try one teaspoon of sea moss gel first and increase gradually, although you should never take more than the recommended serving size.
With a slightly fishy taste (it's seaweed after all), and a slick, slimy texture, which means many people prefer to blend their sea moss gel into a smoothie or drink.16 Sea moss gel can be taken on its own, though, but it is an acquired taste!
If you’re looking for a fuss-free, quick way to add sea moss to your daily routine, sea moss capsules are for you. By taking a sea moss tablet, you’ll get a dose of sea moss vitamins and minerals, but by only taking one small, easy-to-swallow capsule.16
You should always read the instructions before taking sea moss pills and follow the directions on the specific product to make sure you’re using them safely. Each capsule is pre-dosed for precision, so unlike sea moss powders or gels, the measuring work is already done for you.16
Sea moss powder is made up of sea moss that has been dried through various methods. Once all the moisture has been absorbed, the dried sea moss is ground into a fine powder.17 This is the same method used to manufacture sea moss capsules, except here, the powder isn’t encapsulated and is packaged up into tubs or jars instead.
Sea moss in a powder form is often used to thicken food products like ice cream, but it can be easily added to drinks, smoothies, soups, and stews as a simple way to reap the benefits of sea moss.18
Unlike sea moss capsules or sea moss gel, sea moss powder should be mixed with food or drink to be consumed, but it's thought to have a higher bioavailability (the ability to be absorbed by your body19) than sea moss gel.
You can sometimes find sea moss in a drink form too. In fact, in Jamaica, the sweet, spice-infused sea moss drink is thought to be a strong aphrodisiac and is often referred to as a love potion.20
This tropical, nutritious drink is a delicate blend of sweet and spicy, containing sea moss gel, milk or honey, vanilla, and delicious spices. The result is a refreshing and healthy drink that is perfect for making the most of the benefits of sea moss.21
Sea moss can also be consumed raw, in its most natural form, without any form of processing.22 It’s usually available as either, fresh or dried, but both forms are perfect for adding to savoury recipes like salads or soups.
Raw sea moss has a very strong, oyster-like taste that can be really salty, and a gelatinous texture that's sometimes disliked.23 But, when combined with other ingredients, raw sea moss can go unnoticed. Dried sea moss is often the preferred choice for many as it's easier to store, use and has less of an unusual texture and flavour.23
There is the belief that sea moss should be taken in the morning, as it’s thought to support your energy throughout the day due to its iron content.24 However, when to take sea moss is actually up to you. You can take it in the morning if that works for you, or you can take it before bed if that works better.25
There’s very little research surrounding sea moss and how much you should take. As a powerful natural ingredient, it’s best to stick to the recommended serving size and dosage instructions on the packaging of the product you choose.26
You should never exceed the recommended dosage and it’s worthwhile to check with a medical professional before adding it to your routine.
Some people experience bloating and discomfort after consuming sea moss, but there are other side effects to be wary of before you add sea moss to your diet.17
Sea moss contains a high concentration of iodine and heavy metals, like other forms of seaweed.27 In some cases, consuming too much sea moss can lead to iodine poisoning, leaving you feeling unwell.28 Heavy metals found in sea moss, likely absorbed from polluted sea water, not toxic in small amounts, can have effects when consumed in large quantities.29
To avoid any unpleasant side effects, stick to the recommended dosage on your product and always stop taking sea moss if you start to feel unwell. You should also check with your GP before taking it to make sure you’re safe to do so.
The superfood sea moss could be a great addition to your supplement routine and can be taken in so many formats. Why not try a sea moss smoothie or sea moss tea?
It's always worth remembering though, that there's very little scientific research out there to confirm the benefits of taking sea moss daily, so taking it should be approached with caution. You should always check with a medical professional before adding sea moss to your diet, so you know that you are safe to do so.