About 74% of American adults are overweight, so it’s fair to say that most of us could stand to lose at least a few pounds. While diet and exercise will always reign supreme, there’s an interesting new trend floating around the health space: sea moss for weight loss.
Research suggests that sea moss can potentially help you lose weight via a variety of health benefits. Let’s take a closer look to find out whether the headlines measure up to all the hype – here’s what you need to know.
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.
Center for Wellbeing Weight Loss Solutions
While adding sea moss to your diet could certainly be helpful for weight loss, it’s best alongside a foundational diet plan. Your weight is a complex subject – it depends on factors like your age, gender, height, lifestyle, genetics, and more. If your self-guided attempts to lose weight haven’t worked, it might be time to seek the help of a professional.
At Center for Wellbeing, we specialize in offering weight loss programs that help you lose 20 to 40 pounds without any required exercise. We offer a combination of healthy meal plans and proprietary blends of supplements to maximize fat burn and suppress your appetite to help you finally lose those stubborn pounds.
Not sure if you can stay on track? Our weight loss program includes frequent check-ins with one of our doctors. We teach you how to integrate the plan into your day-to-day lifestyle and provide customized tips and tricks.
If you’d like even more one-on-one coaching, our health coaching program could be right for you. We teach you how to make self-care a priority, helping you understand your body so you can feel confident in choosing the right foods.
The ultimate goal with our health coaching, as well as all of our programs, is to increase your overall happiness. When your health is on track, you feel better – and the Center for Wellbeing is here to help you get there. Contact us today to get started.