What Is Sea Moss Gel?
I have to be honest, I was a little skeptical when Chef Ari and I first started using sea moss in recipes. I thought there would be a real fishy taste that would make its way into the recipe. I knew there must be something to using sea moss gel though, with the hundreds of juice bars and wellness cafes that are selling homemade sea moss gel, increasing profit for their business and improving the health of their customers!
I was pleasantly surprised that it ended up being pretty tasteless and really worked well in smoothie recipes like our "Autumn in the Caribbean" inspired smoothie. Today's plain homemade sea moss gel recipe (a collaboration with Scotts Wholistic, our trusted sea moss source), calls for the use of lime juice to ensure there isn't any fish or oceanic flavor in the finished gel product.
Sea moss gel is a nutrient-dense product made from sea moss, a type of red algae, specifically Chondrus crispus, that grows naturally on the ocean floors of the Atlantic Ocean. It is also commonly referred to as Irish moss or red seaweed. Sea moss has been consumed for centuries in various cultures for its potential health benefits and nutritional value.
Sea moss gel is created by blending soaked and rehydrated sea moss with water to form a smooth, gel-like substance. This gel can be consumed as a dietary supplement or used in a variety of culinary applications.
Here are some key points about sea moss gel:
- Nutrient-Rich: Sea moss is considered a nutrient-dense food, containing essential vitamins and minerals such as iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and E.
- Gelatinous Texture: When sea moss is soaked, rehydrated, and blended, it develops a gel-like consistency. It is often use as a vegan alternative to gelatin, as it can thicken without the need for animal-based ingredients.
- Culinary Uses: Sea moss is used in various culinary applications, including as a thickening agent in soups and stews, as a base for smoothies, and in desserts like pudding.
- Potential Health Benefits of Sea Moss: Some people consume sea moss for its potential health benefits, which may include improved thyroid function, digestive health, and skin health. It is also touted for its potential immune-boosting properties.
- Natural Carrageenan Source: Carrageenan, a common food additive used as a thickener and stabilizer, is derived from certain types of red algae like sea moss. However, commercial carrageenan production often uses a different species of red algae and is highly processed, which some scientists believe can cause digestive issues.
How Much Sea Moss Gel to Take Daily
Studies show that a serving size of two tablespoons (roughly 5 calories) of sea moss is safe, but your appropriate daily dose of sea moss gel might vary depending on individual factors, including your health goals and overall dietary needs. Sea moss gel is a concentrated form of sea moss, and it's essential to use it in moderation to avoid excessive intake of certain nutrients.
Here are some general guidelines for determining your daily dose of sea moss gel:
- Begin with a Small Amount: If you are new to sea moss gel, it's a good idea to start with a small amount to see how your body reacts. A teaspoon to a tablespoon per day is a common starting point.
- Assess Your Health Goals: Your daily dose may vary depending on your specific health and wellness goals. Some people use sea moss gel as a dietary supplement for its potential health benefits or specific nutrients, while others may use it in culinary applications for texture and thickness.
- Consult with a Healthcare Professional: If you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or a registered dietitian, before adding sea moss gel to your daily routine. They can provide personalized guidance based on your individual health needs.
- Consider Your Nutrient Intake: Sea moss gel is nutrient-dense, particularly in iodine and potassium. Be mindful of your overall nutrient intake, as excessive consumption of certain nutrients can have adverse effects. Excessive iodine intake, for example, can adversely affect thyroid function, while a healthy amount is essential for proper thyroid function.
- Quality and Purity: Ensure that the sea moss gel you use is of high quality and sourced from a reputable supplier to avoid contaminants and impurities.
It's important to remember that while sea moss gel may offer potential health benefits due to its nutrient content and is called a "superfood" by some, scientific research is ongoing, and its effects can vary from person to person. A balanced and varied diet is generally the best approach to obtaining essential nutrients. If you decide to incorporate sea moss gel into your daily routine, do so in moderation, and pay attention to how your body responds.