The Ocean Wonder: Irish Moss
What is Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus) ?
Sea moss has a long history of being used for purported nutritional and medicinal benefits. Some evidence points to the use of sea moss in Chinese medicine as far back as 600 B.C., and by 400 B.C., it had become a food source across the British Isles. Sea moss proved an important source of nutrition in Ireland during the Great Famine in the mid-19th century, and Irish immigrants later established seaweed farms in the United States. Following agar shortages during World War II, sea moss increased in popularity as a replacement food thickener and emulsifier.
Sea Moss Nutrition Facts
Irish moss is rich in iodine, among other vital nutrients. As a result, it may offer health benefits including improved heart health, improved blood sugar regulation, and reduced risk of cancer. Nutritionally, sea moss is also calorie-free and contains iron and phosphorus.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture lists the following nutrition facts for 2 tablespoons (tbsp) of sea moss:
Dietary fiber: 0.13g
Calcium: 7.2 milligrams (mg)
Vitamin A: 0.6 microgram (mcg)
Vitamin C: 0.3mg
Vitamin K: 0.5mcg
Key Characteristics of Sea Moss
Sea moss is packed with essential nutrients including vitamins (such as A, B, C, D, E, and K), minerals (such as iodine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sulfur), trace elements, amino acids, and antioxidants. These nutrients are beneficial for overall health and well-being.
2. Potential health benefits:
Sea moss is believed to have various health benefits, including supporting thyroid function due to its iodine content, promoting digestive health, boosting immunity, improving skin health, and supporting weight management. However, more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits.
3. Digestive health:
Irish moss contains natural mucilage, a type of soluble fiber that can help soothe and support digestive health. It may help to promote healthy bowel movements and support gastrointestinal health.
4. Immune system support:
The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in Irish moss may help support a healthy immune system, protecting the body against infections and illnesses.
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