Sea moss is generally considered safe, although no extensive research is found on its safety aspects. Sea moss is deemed safe to consume during pregnancy when taken in moderation. Sea moss contains a lot of health benefits, like being a good source of folate, iron, and iodine. Sea moss is also known to help stabilize raging hormones during pregnancy, stabilize elevated blood pressure, and also help in boosting your immune system during pregnancy.
But if sea moss is consumed too much, it can cause hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid. This is because sea moss contains iodine, and consuming too much iodine can cause thyroid disorders.
Whether it’s our first pregnancy or third, we always want to consume what’s best for the baby’s growth. From avoiding all junk foods to drinking and eating healthy smoothies and salads, we do everything to benefit our kids and us.
But in a world where everything on the shelves is marketed as “healthy” or “organic,” we can find many false claims and dupes. So, women nowadays have gone back to trying out the traditional ways of eating and staying healthy during pregnancy, one of which is eating sea moss.
Sea moss is claimed as an excellent dietary supplement for both getting pregnant and during pregnancy because it is a natural source of good nutrients, but the actual question one has to ask is – is it safe? Are the claims valid? Does it have any health benefits?
First, let’s find out what exactly sea moss is!
What is sea moss?
Sea moss, aka Irish moss, is scientifically known as Chondrus crispus, is mainly grown in the northern areas of the Atlantic Ocean and is harvested in the northeastern United States and Europe.
This Irish moss is a red seaweed also used as a thickening agent in foods like smoothies, ice creams, baked goods, and baby formula.
The sea moss can also be found in the Caribbean islands, where it’s considered an aphrodisiac for men and is also believed to help women become more fertile.
In nature, it shows off a deep purple or brown, and when air-dried, it’s almost yellowish green.
Benefits of sea moss
Now, jumping on to the benefits of sea moss. This newly buzzed sea vegetable is full of natural and nutritional benefits.
Sea moss is believed to consist of 92 of the 102 minerals which our body makes naturally. Women believe that it has nutritional benefits, but it also helps foster a healthy pregnancy.
The main benefits are:
Folate (Vitamin B-9)
Folate boosts the red blood cells formation in the bone marrow and healthy cell growth and function.
Pregnant women are advised to take folate to prevent pregnancy complications or reduce the risk of congenital disabilities like spina bifida (this defect occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly).
Folate during pregnancy helps in:
- Reducing the risk of congenital disabilities of the spine and brain
- Increases production of genetic material, i.e., RNA and DNA
- It helps in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy
Now, talking about iron. Every 100gm of sea moss contains about 9mg of iron.
You must have always heard iron is essential for growth, so eat your leafy vegetables, which stands true. Iron is vital for blood building and transporting oxygen from the lungs to the other parts of the body.
You need double the amount of iron during pregnancy compared to a non-pregnant woman. If you get enough iron, the risk of being anemic reduces drastically.
I remember the doctor prescribing me multiple tablets, some for iron, some as folic acid, some for calcium.
Iodine is a mineral that is vital for the fetus’s brain development and physical growth.
Iodine helps normalize the function of the thyroid, a gland in your neck. The thyroid, in return, helps regulate the hormones controlling your heart rate, metabolism, and other core body functions.
If you get enough iodine, it helps the baby develop a healthy thyroid. If a fetus is born with an underdeveloped thyroid, it can lead to adverse effects like developmental delays, low IQ, deafness, and other such problems.
Iodine also helps during lactation. Iodine is present in your breast milk which is passed onto your baby.
Sea moss is considered to be the natural source of the mineral iodine.
Sea moss also helps in stabilizing vitals
We all know how our hormones are during pregnancy, and along with the hormone rage, sometimes pregnancy can increase our blood pressure.
Sea moss is also known to stabilize our raging hormones, normalize our blood pressure, and can even help to reduce the increased blood sugar levels. In addition, sea moss is also considered to help boost our immune system.
Sea moss is rich in potassium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, bromide, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, B, C, D, and omega 3 fatty acids.
When sea moss is taken orally, it helps in:
- Restoring essential vitamins
- Improving immunity
- Improving digestion
When sea moss is applied topically, it helps in:
- Treating minor wounds
- Skin texture improvement
- Skin protection
Side effects of consuming sea moss
Although you’ll find more pros than cons to consuming or using sea moss, one of the harmful side effects of consuming too much sea moss is the increase in the iodine levels in our body.
Sea moss contains large amounts of iodine, and an abnormal increase in iodine can cause thyroid disorders and even result in thyroid cancer.
Consult your doctor immediately and stop consuming sea moss if you experience any side effects like:
- Rashes or irritated skin
- Burning or reddening of the skin
Is it safe to consume sea moss during pregnancy?
Being rich in naturally sourced minerals and vitamins, the sea moss, can prove to be quite beneficial for pregnant and lactating women on the condition that you consume it in moderation.
I won’t tell you to go ahead and eat that sea moss because it’s excellent for you and your pregnancy. Unfortunately, it’s not that black and white. It would help if you research first, ask your doctor, and then decide. Just because a few online store websites told you that their sea moss is the best for your unborn baby doesn’t mean it’s true.
How to take sea moss
Sea moss capsules or pills
Long gone are the days when you have to harvest it yourself after going to faraway places and eat it by cooking it on your own. Modern science has made it easy for you.
You can now get sea moss pills or capsules quickly in the market. Keep in mind that you only take the recommended dosage administered on the package.
Sea moss powder
The easiest way to include sea moss in your diet is through sea moss powder.
You can purchase the powder in your nearest health store, and you can add it to your smoothies, soups, sprinkle it over your yogurt, cereal, stews, and baked goods.
Sea moss gel
Sea moss gel is usually made from unprocessed sea moss and is less in calories while maintaining the nutritional benefits.
How long does sea moss gel last?
Sea moss gel can last for up to 1 month in the fridge. You can also store it in the freezer for 3 months.
How do you know if the sea moss has gone bad?
If the sea moss has spoiled, you might notice a difference in the color and smell.
Which is the best form to consume sea moss?
Sea moss gel is an excellent option for people who cannot swallow pills. The gel can be added to your smoothies, juices, or deserts.
When you’re pregnant, it’s best not to take any risks or make decisions based on what the internet shows you. Every pregnancy and each body are different. What may work for someone isn’t necessary to work for you.
So, it’s better to consult your doctor first and if you get a safer option, an option that is well-researched and studied, then make an informed decision accordingly. No information on the internet should be believed blindfolded unless you get an opinion from a professional.