If you have been following health updates, you must have read about Irish moss. It may be new to people in the tropical part of the globe as it grows in the rocky Atlantic coastlines of North America and Europe, including Ireland. Irish moss or Chondrus Crispus is actually not moss, but seaweed. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, this seaweed has been used for hundreds of years in traditional cooking.
While Irish moss is now trending as a superfood, it was not long ago when it was feared that this red alga contains carrageenan, a substance that can cause inflammation and a possible carcinogen to humans. However, the International Food Information Council (IFIC), FDA, International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the Joint (FAO/WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives ruled out that carrageenan does not cause any disease and is safe for human consumption.
Irish moss is not carrageenan in itself. It is whole food. And it has been found out that it is rich in vitamins K, E, A, and folate, and various minerals that include magnesium, calcium iron, iodine, and phosphorus. These beneficial elements of Irish moss make up the following benefits of this seaweed.
It Helps With Digestion
Irish moss is a mucilaginous food, like chia seeds, okra, and aloe which have a snooty or gelatinous texture. This texture of this plant-based food make an efficient soothing agent for the mucus membranes in the digestive and respiratory systems of the body. Accordingly, sea moss is an excellent prebiotic, which is needed by the good bacteria in the gut. When taken regularly, it can help increase SCFA or short-chain fatty acids. SCFA is responsible for motility, immunity, and overall gut health.
It Aids in Thyroid Function
This red alga is packed with various iodine compounds. Iodine is an essential element for the normal functioning of the thyroid glands. With iodine, the thyroid can make hormones responsible for the regulation of metabolism, mood, and digestion. One of the most used elements present in the Irish moss is the Dl-iodothyronine. This is a powerful substance that is used for thyroid disorders
It Improves Energy Levels
Irish moss has a sufficient amount of vitamin B2 or riboflavin which is needed by the body for protein, carbohydrates, and fats breakdown. This seaweed is also rich in folate which helps to form DNA and other genetic materials. It is also extra helpful when combined with vitamin B12 as it can help produce RBCs.
It Boosts Immunity
Irish moss is also known to fight infections because it is packed with amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamin C. It possesses antiviral and antimicrobial properties. When having clogged airways, Irish moss can be of help because of its potassium iodide. This substance is best known for its phlegm-dissolving abilities.
It Nourishes the Skin
It is not surprising that Irish moss is being used as masks to soothe burns, dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema. This is because of its gelatinous texture which is rich in vitamins and minerals. With its citrulline-arginine content, cell growth and metabolism can be increased. Citrulline-arginine also releases essential amino acids that synthesize protein and collagen. When there is enhanced collagen synthesis, skin, hair, and nails become healthier.
It Enhances Emotional Health
Magnesium and potassium are natural mood boosters. These minerals are found sufficiently in Irish moss. Both minerals also play important roles in the proper functioning of the brain. Magnesium is excellent for brain development, memory, and learning. On the other hand, potassium can help in neurotransmission.
Indeed, with these benefits, it may be unwise not to consider it in our diet. Irish moss can be bought in gel form or raw. If you buy it raw, make sure that you wash it thoroughly. It is ideal to soak it for a day before you can toss it into your blender until the right consistency is achieved.
Irish moss has been used as a great substitute for gelatin for the thickening of food. It is plant-based, with many vitamins and minerals, so it is truly an excellent option. It is also tasteless, so you can add it to any food you want to without any fear that the flavor will change. Some options where you can use Irish moss are cakes, ice cream, smoothies, juices, stews, and sauces. But it is not limited to these. You can combine it with other foods as you wish. Remember, it is tasteless but packed with benefits.