How to burn fat with sea moss? Sea moss is a seaweed (also known as sea vegetables) that grows in the North Atlantic region, including Iceland and Scotland. Because sea moss is not found in other countries it has started to become popular around the world lately.
What is Sea Moss?
Sea moss is also known as Irish moss or Chondrus crispus. It’s a red seaweed that commonly grows on the Northern Atlantic coasts of Ireland, Iceland, and Canada. It’s rich in various minerals, including iron, calcium, iodine, and magnesium.
Sea moss could be supportive for a variety of bodily needs. For example, you need calcium for healthy bones and iron for building muscle. Sea moss could potentially provide you with these minerals and, in effect, help support healthy body function. Sea moss is also used as a home remedy for cold symptoms, like congestion and sore throats.
You may be surprised to learn that you’ve likely consumed or come into contact with sea moss. It’s often harvested because of its unusually high carrageenan content. Carrageenan is a substance that’s commonly used to thicken foods, like almond milk. You can also find it in cosmetics, in which it acts as a stabilizer.
Sea Moss for Weight Loss
Multiple studies show that using sea moss for weight loss could be effective. Interestingly, there are several ways that it can help you lose weight, from improving your digestion to helping you stay fuller for longer.
1. Reduces Body Fat
Animal studies on red sea moss suggest that its carrageenan content could help lower body fat and prevent weight gain. This may be due to a reduction in the creation of fat cells, lowered fat absorption via diet, or an increase in the breakdown of stored fat. There is some evidence that it may also promote brown fat’s “fat-burning” effects.
These results could potentially help reduce obesity. In one study of 78 obese adults, researchers determined that participants who consumed 1,000 mg of red seaweed extract experienced a significant reduction in total body fat mass and body weight when compared to the placebo group. While more studies are needed to confirm these results, it’s a promising start.
2. Improves Feelings of Fullness and Satiety
Seaweed has a very high fiber content which can help you feel full for longer periods of time than foods lacking in fiber. This feeling of satiety could help you avoid overeating.
The carrageenan in seaweed is actually undigestible, as is common with fibrous foods. Because of this, it acts as a soluble fiber once it enters your digestive tract. There, it absorbs water, forming a jelly-like substance that slows your digestive process.
While it speeds up the rate at which food moves along your digestive tract, it also slows the contents of your stomach as they empty. This is what leads to that feeling of fullness.
3. Prevents Binge Eating
Although it is possible to continue eating after you’re full, it isn’t easy, and it certainly results in feeling uncomfortable. Since sea moss makes you feel nice and full, you’re less inclined to binge eat.
It’s important to note that Binge Eating Disorder is real and affects millions, and sea moss is not a cure. However, it could help the average person resist overeating.
4. Supports Gut Health as a Prebiotic
Your gut is home to millions of bacteria that help you absorb nutrients. Their presence is key to your overall health, but it is possible for the bacteria to become unbalanced due to diet and other factors.
Meanwhile, there’s some evidence that your risk of obesity could be linked to the composition of your gut’s bacteria. Researchers propose that certain types of bacteria can affect energy storage and expenditure, thus impacting your weight.
Prebiotics are groups of fibrous foods that feed your gut bacteria. They can help improve the health of your gut, which could potentially help manage your weight. There’s some research that carrageenan, like from sea moss, can improve the composition of the gut. Ultimately, this means that sea moss could potentially help balance the bacteria in your gut, improving gut health and lowering your risk of obesity.
Additional Sea Moss Health Benefits
Sea moss isn’t just for weight loss. Chock full of vitamins and minerals, it offers many additional benefits for your overall health.
1. Good Source of Iodine
When we don’t consume enough iodine, it can lead to a variety of symptoms like low heart rate, cold sensitivity, goiter, and hypothyroidism. This is because our bodies need iodine to make thyroid hormones, which control metabolism and are involved in proper brain and bone development during pregnancy and infancy.
2. Improves Gut Health
As discussed above, sea moss can act like a prebiotic in the gut, feeding and balancing your gut microbiota. Your gut health can impact your overall health, so it’s important to maintain the bacteria.
The gut also uses hormones and nerves to communicate with the brain via the gut-brain axis. This links the peripheral intestinal functions with the cognitive and emotional centers of the brain. When your gut health is balanced, your mental and emotional health improves.
3. Supports Proper Digestion
Your digestive system is incredibly important for your overall health. It’s responsible for breaking down all the food you consume and absorbing its nutrients. This is key for cell repair, energy, growth, and more. When your digestive system isn’t functioning properly, you may experience nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and issues with your overall nutrition.
Since sea moss can act as a prebiotic, nourishing your gut health, it also helps you digest food properly. Plus, its high fiber content also promotes a healthy colon.
4. Boosts Immunity
The gut doesn’t just interact with the brain and control digestion. When healthy, it also contains immune cells. The gut can utilize good bacteria to remove bad bacteria and fight off viruses and fungi. The dietary fiber in sea moss also helps your gut flush out chemicals and toxins, improving your overall health.
5. Supports Heart Health
Sea moss’ high fiber content is what gives it many of its superpowers. While most vegetables contain some fiber, sea moss has even more. Fiber can help lower bad cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
Studies also show that sea moss can help lower blood pressure, which is another factor for your heart health. It can also improve your blood sugar control, helping you avoid diabetes.
6. Boosts Workouts
Since sea moss has so much fiber, it can provide you with ongoing, sustained energy, which is great for a hard workout. Sea moss is also a good source of iron. Low iron can make you feel tired and sluggish, so consuming enough iron via sea moss could help you get the energy needed for exercise.
It also contains iodine, which is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones. In turn, these thyroid hormones control your metabolism. By consuming sea moss, you can ensure that you have proper metabolism function, which is responsible for burning calories before and after your workout.
7. Improves Hair, Skin, and Nails
Your hair, skin, and nail health can depend on a variety of factors. Diet is especially important, but it can be difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals you need through food alone. In particular, vitamins A, E, and D, as well as iron, are vital for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Sea moss happens to be vitamin-rich, containing 13 different vitamins, including A, B, C, D, E, and K. It also contains iron, making it a solid supplement for healthy nails, skin, and hair.
8. Contains 92 Minerals
Sea moss actually contains 92 of the 110 minerals that the body’s made of, including many that are key for healthy cell function. This level of nutrient density is rare. Some of the minerals found in sea moss include:
Still, it’s important to remember that, just like vegetables, each piece of sea moss may vary in quality. A varied diet will always be the best way to get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. However, if you’re concerned about your nutrient intake, supplementing with sea moss could potentially ensure you’re getting your fill.
You can use sea moss for weight loss alone, but it can also act as an essential part of your overall supplement routine. Not only can it support a healthy exterior via your hair, skin, and nails, but it can also help your internal systems function properly.
The real superpower within sea moss is its fiber. This is what gives it such great weight loss and digestive benefits. The fiber also supports the gut, boosts immunity, and encourages heart health. With minerals like iodine for thyroid hormone function and iron for energy, there’s little downside to consuming sea moss.
The science behind sea moss for weight loss
It seems like there’s always some weight loss miracle ingredient of the moment. There was celery juice, lemon juice, and who can forget the cabbage soup diet?
Now it’s sea moss’ turn, and there’s a little bit of science behind its weight loss benefits.
Might make you less hangry
Since your bod can’t digest the carrageenan in sea moss, it acts like soluble fiber in your digestive tract. This type of fiber absorbs water and forms a jelly substance that slows digestion. Basically, it helps food move through your digestive tract faster and makes your stomach empty slower.
As a result, you might feel full for longer, and that can help you eat fewer calories. One study even found that soluble fiber supplements could lower body mass index (BMI).
Could help reduce obesity
Some research suggests that red algae can help reduce obesity. In a study of 78 adults with obesity, scientists concluded that adding 1,000 milligrams per day of red seaweed extract helped reduce body weight and total body fat mass compared to a control group.
Animal studies suggest that eating algae may reduce body fat accumulation and prevent factors that lead to obesity like insulin resistance and fatty liver buildup. It also might:
- lower dietary fat absorption
- reduce fat cell creation
- break down stored fat
- promote fat burning
More research is needed, but so far the science is lookin’ pretty good.
Seems to support a smooth digestive tract
Sea moss is full of prebiotics, a type of plant fiber that your gut’s “good bacteria” love to eat. And making sure the good stuff in your tum is well fed helps your digestive tract run smoothly.
According to a 2015 study, the prebiotics in red sea moss may improve gut health. Other research also found that regular prebiotic and probiotic consumption may help prevent and treat obesity.
But getting too much of a good thing could be a bad idea. A 2017 study (performed on tissue samples) suggests that a diet rich in carrageenan is linked to gut inflammation and even intestinal damage.
This is preliminary research and a lot more is needed to confirm they’re directly related, but it’s still important to note before you start downing sea moss en masse.
How to use sea moss for weight loss
You can buy sea moss that’s dried or ground, and you can find supplements in pills or liquid form. You might have to get it online or at a specialty health food store though.
While there’s currently no recommend dosage for sea moss, one study found that taking 4 grams per day doesn’t pose a health risk.
Sea moss gel
Ready to give it a try? Sea moss gel is an easy way to add some sea moss to your diet. Here’s how to make it.
- Start with dried sea moss.
- Soak it in some fresh, clean drinking water for 12 to 48 hours.
- Remove the sea moss from the water and put it in a blender.
- Add a bit of fresh water and blend until it forms a smooth consistency.
- Pour it into a jar, put a lid on it, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
You can add sea moss gel to your favorite smoothies, applesauce, oatmeal, or whatever sounds good to you.
Because of its high iodine content, you shouldn’t have too much sea moss in a day. (Too much iodine can lead to probs like thyroid cancer.)
And iodine isn’t the only issue. Like other seaweeds, sea moss may contain toxic metals like mercury, arsenic, and lead. Those all pose potential health risks if you get too much.
Play it safe by getting no more than 4 grams of sea moss per day.
There’s not much research on how sea moss affects certain populations. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should skip the sea moss, just in case.
Sea moss may also have blood-thinning properties, so don’t take it if you’re on blood-thinning medication.
If you notice any problems or have an allergic reaction after eating sea moss, don’t take any more and talk with your doc right away.
Other weight loss tips
Not sure about snacking on sea moss? No worries. There are plenty of other ways to achieve the weight that’s right for you.
- Don’t shun strength training. You don’t need to be a body builder to pump iron. Building muscle actually helps burn fat and that can play a major role in your weight loss journey. If dumbbells aren’t really your thing, you can also try using resistance bands.
- Commit to cardio. Cardio doesn’t have to be complicated. Try doing some mountain climbers while you watch “Shameless” or take a few walks around the block while on a work call. Incorporating cardio into your day is a sustainable way to stay active.
- Start a food diary. Maybe you already know to eat your lean protein, veggies, fruits, and complex carbs. But sticking to your meal plan is easier said than done. Consider starting a food journal or downloading a food app to understand what foods make you feel good.
- Make good habits easy. Habits are a lot easier to stick to when you make them as easy as possible. Scientific research even supports the idea that habit formation is more important than self-control when it comes to positive life outcomes. Whether that means working out in your living room instead of driving 5 miles to the gym or keeping sugary treats out of your pantry, take measures to make healthy habits simple and seamless.
Side effects and dosage
Consuming large amounts of sea moss is not recommended, due to its high iodine content
Excessive iodine intake may have a poisonous effect and lead to: goiter, thyroid cancer, and hyper- or hypothyroidism
It may also cause fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as a burning sensation in the mouth, throat, and stomach
Additionally, seaweeds such as sea moss may accumulate toxic metals like arsenic, mercury, and lead — a potential health risk
What’s more, evidence suggests that sea moss may have potent anticoagulant or blood-thinning properties. That’s why you should avoid consuming it if you’re taking blood-thinning medication
Due to a lack of research on specific populations, pregnant and breastfeeding people should avoid consuming it.
Finally, there’s no official recommended dosage for sea moss.
However, one study found that taking 0.14 ounces (4 grams) per day doesn’t pose a health risk. Frequent users suggest limiting its intake to 2 tablespoons (10 grams) per day
Sea moss is available in capsule, powdered, dried, and gel form.
Consult with your doctor before adding it to your diet and don’t exceed daily serving suggestions listed on the label.
Large amounts of sea moss may lead to excessive iodine intake, which may have detrimental health effects. Pregnant and breastfeeding people and those taking blood thinners should avoid consuming it. More research is needed in this area.
The bottom line
Sea moss is a red seaweed low in calories but rich in carrageenan. This polysaccharide acts as a soluble fiber, and it’s responsible for sea moss’s potential weight loss effects.
It may aid in weight loss by:
- promoting feelings of fullness
- influencing fat metabolism
- improving your gut microbiota
However, there’s currently no determined safe dosage, and high intakes of sea moss may be detrimental to your health. It may cause iodine toxicity and also interfere with medications, such as blood thinners.
Remember to always consult with your health care provider before adding sea moss to your diet.