sea moss in different forms: whole, dried and gel

Should you use sea moss for weight loss? A Dietitian reveals the truth!

Sea moss, also known as Irish sea moss, is becoming increasingly popular for its alleged health benefits. It’s being used in everything from smoothies to salads and many wellness advocates tout sea moss as a weight loss aid. But do the claims hold up? In this article, we’ll take a look at what research says about sea moss and weight loss, so you can decide if it is the right choice for your own health goals.

sea moss in different forms: whole, dried and gel

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own.

What is sea moss?

Sea moss is a type of seaweed that grows near sea beds, especially on the northern and western coasts of Europe. Rich in vitamins such as A, C, E, K and B12, sea moss has been used for centuries to treat various ailments from asthma to thyroid issues. It’s also high in dietary fiber which can help promote satiety and aid in digestion.

A 1/2 cup serving of sea moss contains the following nutrients:

– Calories: 16

– Carbs: 3.4g

– Fiber: 2.5g

– Protein: 0.6 g

– Fat: 0.1 g

– Vitamin A: 97% DV 

What are the health benefits of sea moss?

Irish sea moss in a cup

Aside from its potential weight loss properties, sea moss is rich in antioxidants that can help protect your cells from oxidative damage and promote overall health. It’s also an excellent source of minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium, which can help support your body’s natural functions. Sea moss is also believed to support immune system health, reduce inflammation and even aid in detoxification.

Can sea moss help with weight loss?

Several studies have suggested that sea moss may be beneficial for weight loss due to its fiber content and potential appetite-suppressing effects. 

As an added benefit, sea moss is low in calories which makes it a great option for adding bulk to meals to increase volume and fullness while promoting a calorie deficit for weight loss.

How does sea moss promote fullness?

Sea moss contains a type of dietary fiber known as soluble fiber, which can help increase feelings of fullness and decrease hunger. 

Soluble fiber can also help slow down the absorption of sugar and fat, which can help prevent blood sugar and insulin spikes, helping to curb cravings and promote steady energy levels.

Can sea moss reduce body fat?

Woman eating measuring tape from a bowl

Sea moss is believed to reduce body fat by helping to increase energy expenditure and promote thermogenesis (the process of burning fat for fuel). 

One form of fiber found in sea moss, called mucilage, has been shown to help boost metabolism and aid in the breakdown of fat cells

In addition, sea moss has been linked with improved insulin sensitivity, which may help reduce fat accumulation in the body.

The prebiotic benefits of sea moss

Sea moss is a natural prebiotic, meaning it provides food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut which in turn can provide a healthy balance of bacteria and improve digestion. 

Prebiotics play an important role in supporting the immune system and reducing inflammation in the gut. And since improved gut health has been linked directly with improved body weight and body composition, adding prebiotics to your diet, such as those found in sea moss, may further aid weight loss.

When your gut microbiome is in balance, it can help regulate hormones involved in appetite and satiety. This can lead to improved digestion and reduced calories consumed, which may result in weight loss over time. 

The beneficial bacteria in the gut can also help break down some of the fats and sugars that you consume, preventing them from being stored as excess body fat while calming inflammation that has been linked to obesity.

What are the side effects of consuming sea moss? 

Sea moss is generally considered safe to consume, however it can cause some side effects such as bloating, nausea and diarrhea, especially if consumed in large amounts.  

Because of the high iodine level in sea moss, you should avoid consuming large amounts. An excessive dietary intake of iodine can have a toxic impact on the body leading to symptoms from nausea and vomitting to goiters, hyper and hypothyroidism, and even increase the risk of thyroid cancer.

Care also needs to be taken when purchasing sea moss to look at the source. Sea moss can contain toxic metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic. If choosing a sea moss supplement, always be sure to choose a brand from a trusted company to ensure these metals have been removed.

Sea moss can interact with certain medications, so It’s important to consult with your doctor before adding sea moss to your diet if you have any underlying medical conditions or take medications. This is especially important for individuals taking blood-thinning medications, as sea moss may offer blood-thinning properties and can be contraindicated. 

Can sea moss be consumed raw?

Sea moss should not be consumed raw as it contains toxins that can be harmful when ingested. It’s best to soak sea moss in water overnight, then rinse thoroughly before consuming. 

Sea moss should also be cooked before eating as it may contain bacteria that can make you sick.

Who should avoid sea moss?

Woman breastfeeding

Sea moss has not been tested in pregnant and breastfeeding women, so for now, it would be best to avoid sea moss consumption during pregnancy and lactation until more research can be done.

Sea moss should also be avoided by people with existing health conditions like thyroid disorders and high blood pressure since sea moss contains high levels of iodine, sodium and potassium. 

Before making any dietary change or adding a supplement to your routine, speak to your physician and registered dietitian to see if sea moss is safe for you.

Is sea moss beneficial to type 2 diabetes?

Stacked dried sea moss

If you have been diagnosed with insulin resistance, prediabtes, or type 2 diabetes, you may want to consider adding sea moss to your meal plan. This sea vegetables has been linked with improved insulin sensitivity and may help regulate blood sugar levels. 

Since sea moss is also a natural prebiotic, it may help improve gut health and reduce bodywide inflammation. This may be beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes as it can help regulate hormones involved in appetite control, boost metabolism and breakdown fat cells. 

However, sea moss should not be consumed in large amounts or without consulting your doctor first as it may interact with some medications.

Where can you buy sea moss?

Sea moss can be purchased online or in a variety of health food stores. When it comes to buying sea moss, look for varieties that are organic, sustainably harvested and free from preservatives

You will also want to be sure to read the label before purchasing sea moss to determine whether it is raw or cooked. Sea moss should always be cooked before consuming as it may contain bacteria that can make you sick if consumed raw.

How do you consume sea moss?

Sea moss supplement capsules on a flat surface

If you want to make sea moss a regular part of your diet, there are a variety of ways to add it to your plate. One of the most common ways to add sea moss is as a supplement in capsule or gummy.

Sea moss can also be purchased in powder or gel form, which is easy to add to smoothies or yogurt. 

Sea moss can also be consumed in whole form by adding it into meals from soups to salads and side dishes for extra flavor and nutrition. However,  keep in mind sea moss should always be cooked before consumption as it may contain toxins and bacteria that can make you sick if consumed raw.  

The bottom line on sea moss and weight loss

Sea moss is a nutrient rich, high fiber sea vegetable that may offer multiple health benefits, including weight loss. The properties found in sea moss may help to reduce hunger and increase satiety while providing compounds that can boost metabolism and promote thermogenesis (the process of burning fat for fuel). 

However, sea moss alone is not a miracle cure for obesity. Including sea moss into a balanced, calorie-controlled diet is key to long term weight loss success. 

Although sea moss may offer health benefits, the research on this sea vegetable is still preliminary and there is not conclusive research to link sea moss to long term weight loss and body composition improvements.

Large intakes of sea moss may have potential side effects from gastrointestional discomfort to interactions with certain medications. Before adding sea moss to your diet, you should discuss with your physician if it is right for you and your health goals.

If you do add sea moss to your diet to promote weight loss, be sure to include it as part of a holistic lifestyle approach that includes a well-balanced meal plan, regular movement, stress management, and improved sleep quality. This winning combination will promote sustainable change, which is the ultimate goal when it comes to achieving long term health improvements.

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