Have you heard of all the incredible health benefits of purple sea moss yet? Also known as Irish moss, purple sea moss has gained popularity in the health and wellness world because of its impressive list of purple sea moss benefits.
From boosting your immune system and gut bacteria to supporting healthy skin and hair, this seaweed has been a go-to ingredient for generations and is now a must-have addition to smoothies, skincare routines, and more.
But some people may confuse purple sea moss with gold sea moss and wonder which one is better. We’re going to cover that today!
On this page… (JUMP TO)
- Gold vs purple sea moss: what’s the difference?
- Purple sea moss benefits
- Ways to use purple sea moss
- Reality check & precautions
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Gold vs purple sea moss: what’s the difference?
If you’ve just started looking into sea moss, you may have come across two different varieties: gold sea moss and purple sea moss. While these two types of seaweed are very similar, they do have some key differences.
For starters, gold sea moss is a golden-brown color, while purple sea moss is, as you’d expect, a vibrant shade of purple.
Nutrition and benefits
Nutritionally, both varieties are highly nutritious and offer the same benefits, but the vitamin and mineral ratios between the two vary. Purple sea moss has higher levels of iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium, while gold sea moss contains higher levels of calcium and zinc.
Purple sea moss also offers more vitamin K and vitamin E, as well as other beneficial compounds such as carrageenan over gold sea moss.
What does this mean? Purple sea moss offers more nutrients to support overall body health, including healthy bone and muscle development, wound healing, and immune function. Gold sea moss on the other hand, with its higher levels of calcium and zinc, gives it an advantage when it comes to boosting the immune system specifically.
Texture and taste
There are also slight differences in texture and taste between the two varieties. Gold sea moss has a thicker, more gelatinous texture, while purple sea moss is smoother. Gold sea moss has a slightly nutty flavor, while purple sea moss can be slightly sweeter.
Purple sea moss is often sourced from Ireland or other parts of the Atlantic coast, while gold sea moss is more commonly found in the Caribbean. The different sources of sea moss are what impact its quality, taste, texture, and even nutritional content.
Overall, both purple sea moss and gold sea moss both offer tons of health benefits. However, purple sea moss tends to offer more essential minerals and vitamins. So, if you’re looking to maximize the benefits of sea moss, purple sea moss may be the better choice.
RELATED: Check out our sea moss lemonade recipe for a deliciously nourishing and refreshing treat this summer!
Purple sea moss benefits
This incredible superfood has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its numerous health benefits, and it’s not hard to see why.
These studies, although very promising, are preliminary and further research is still needed to fully understand the benefits of purple sea moss. Here is what is known so far, though most are still theoretical until confirmed with further research:
1. It’s packed with nutrients
Purple sea moss is known for its range of wonderful vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are essential for our health. It’s rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, calcium, zinc, vitamins A and C, as well as other beneficial compounds like prebiotic fiber.
Iron plays an important role in blood circulation and oxygenation, whereas magnesium promotes bone and muscle health and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Zinc is important for supporting immune function, wound healing, and healthy skin.
Plus, purple sea moss is also a good source of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health, and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from oxidative damage.
2. Improves digestion
Our gut is home to trillions of bacteria that play a crucial role in our overall health and well-being. Purple sea moss contains prebiotic fiber that can help promote the growth of good bacteria in our gut.1
By supporting the growth of these bacteria, purple sea moss can help aid digestion and reduce the risk of constipation and other digestive issues.
Plus, a healthy gut microbiome has been linked to so many other health benefits like improved immune function, better mental health, and even a reduced risk of chronic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes!
3. Boosts immune function
Purple sea moss can help support a healthy immune system and give your body an extra defense against infections and diseases.
For example, the high levels of antioxidants in purple sea moss can help prevent oxidative stress and inflammation, which can lead to the development of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Vitamin C is essential for immune function since it helps stimulate the production of white blood cells, which play a vital role in fighting infections. Also, zinc helps keep your immune system healthy, and iron helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body and help fight infections.
Sea moss is also packed with phytochemicals that are known to improve immune response. These compounds have been studied for their potential to fight off infections and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.2
4. Enhances thyroid function
Purple sea moss is a rich source of iodine, which is essential for maintaining a healthy thyroid gland. The thyroid gland plays a vital role in regulating important bodily functions like your metabolism and energy production.
Without enough iodine, the thyroid gland can become underactive, leading to symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, and depression. But with the right amount (don’t overdo it), you can keep your thyroid gland functioning at its best.3
There is a risk of absorbing too much iodine, and sea moss are high in iodine, so be sure to consume it in the right doses (more on this below).
5. Better skin health
If you’re looking for a natural way to support healthy and youthful-looking skin, purple sea moss is worth considering! While there’s no direct research on the benefits of this Irish moss for skin health, the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids it contains are known to promote healthy skin, reduce inflammation, and support collagen production.
Purple sea moss is rich in vitamin C for collagen synthesis, promoting skin elasticity and reducing fine lines. Its mineral content, like magnesium and potassium, may also reduce inflammation related to skin issues like acne and eczema. Also, the amino acids present in sea moss support healthy skin cells and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier.
One study showed that when used topically, sea moss has been found to be more moisturizing than even hyaluronic acid!4
6. Improves heart health
The bioactive compounds in purple sea moss have been shown to have impressive benefits for your heart.
For starters, studies have found that consuming purple sea moss can help improve cholesterol levels by reducing levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol that can build up in your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease).
On top of that, purple sea moss is also a great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce inflammation in your body – a key risk factor for heart disease.
Some research has even suggested that the bioactive compounds in purple sea moss can help lower blood pressure, another major risk factor for heart disease.5
7. Increases energy
If you’re looking for ways to naturally boost your energy, this may help. Purple sea moss has a range of vitamins and minerals that can help boost energy levels and reduce fatigue.
Purple sea moss is high in iron content, which is crucial to help transport oxygen throughout your body. If you’re feeling tired or lethargic, it could be a sign that you’re lacking in iron.
It’s also rich in potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B12, all of which are essential for maintaining good energy levels. Magnesium helps produce energy and reduce fatigue while potassium regulates your body’s fluid balance.6 Vitamin B12 is needed for the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body.
8. It’s anti-inflammatory
The compounds in purple sea moss have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties. It can help reduce the risk of chronic inflammation and associated conditions such as arthritis, asthma, and cancer.
One of the key compounds in purple sea moss is carrageenan, a type of complex carbohydrate that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.7 Carrageenan works by inhibiting the production of certain proteins that trigger inflammation in the body.
Purple sea moss is also rich in antioxidants, which can help fight oxidative stress and further reduce inflammation. Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and tissues in the body.
9. Supports brain function
Purple sea moss may support brain health, improve cognitive function, and reduce cognitive decline thanks to its high potassium content and other nutrients.
One study suggests that sea moss may delay the effects of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis.8
Also, other studies suggest that high potassium may help improve brain function and reduce cognitive decline in adults.
In addition to potassium, sea moss also contains other important nutrients such as iodine, magnesium, and vitamins A and C. These nutrients can help support overall health and may contribute to improved brain function.
10. Faster weight loss
The nutritional profile of purple sea moss appears to help in weight loss efforts, although research on this has been limited.
It’s low in calories and high in fiber, so it helps you feel fuller, reduce hunger, and consume fewer calories overall. Purple sea moss is a good source of dietary fiber, with about 1 gram of fiber per tablespoon!
Plus, purple sea moss has a variety of vitamins and minerals that support overall health and wellness, which could indirectly help with weight loss. Some research suggests that consuming enough of certain nutrients, like vitamin D and magnesium, may be associated with lower levels of body fat.
11. Muscle recovery
Purple sea moss contains amino acids which are helpful for repairing and building muscles. This makes it a great choice for athletes and regular exercisers.
Arginine, one of the key amino acids found in purple sea moss, helps to improve blood flow to the muscles during exercise, which can boost performance and reduce muscle fatigue.
Purple sea moss is rich in cysteine, another important amino acid, that helps to protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals produced during exercise.
And let’s not forget about the other nutrients it contains, such as magnesium for muscle and nerve function, and vitamin K for bone health.
12. Eliminates mucus
Purple sea moss has natural antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help eliminate mucus from the body. The bioactive compounds in purple sea moss can help reduce mucus and soothe your respiratory system, making it easier to breathe and feel better overall.
It is especially great for helping reduce congestion and clearing out phlegm buildup in the lungs, making it great for fighting colds.
13. Anti-Tumor Effects
Exciting research has suggested that Irish moss may possess anti-tumor properties due to its unique algal polysaccharide content. While scientists are still exploring exactly how this works, there are some intriguing possibilities.
One theory is that the polysaccharides in Irish moss enhance the body’s immune system and antioxidant activity, both of which are crucial in fighting off tumors. In fact, some laboratory studies have found that Irish moss extracts can help inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells.9
Ways to use purple sea moss
You have several options if you want to use purple sea moss. My favorite is to make a gel as needed from raw dried sea moss since it is so versatile and easy to scoop into other recipes.
Raw dried purple sea moss
Eating purple sea moss raw will give you all of the natural nutrition it has to offer. The downside? it can be tough to eat on its own. Instead, most people prefer incorporating it into drinks or soups to reap its nutritional benefits.
Purple sea moss gel
Another popular option is purple sea moss gel, which can be made by soaking the seaweed in water and blending it. It’s a very versatile option for getting your vitamins and minerals. You can use it to prepare ice cream, soups, stews, protein shakes, and many other meals, or even use it as a face mask! It’s also great as a substitute for eggs in baking – just add 1 tbsp for every egg needed.
Purple sea moss capsules
For those who prefer a more convenient way, purple sea moss capsules are a great option. Though they may take longer to digest, the nutrients in the capsules are still great for your body.
Powdered purple sea moss
Another popular form of this seaweed is powder. It’s made by crushing dried seaweed into a fine powder and is most often used in smoothies, shakes, soups, yogurt, gel, and tea. It can also be used as a topping on several meals, making it a versatile option.
Purple sea moss soap
A growing number of skincare products use sea moss, including soap! It can help transform dry, patchy skin into glowing and hydrated skin since it’s rich in minerals and nutrients. If you’re interested, try this awesome purple sea moss soap recipe I found by Alkaline Vegan Lounge.
Purple sea moss oil
Sea moss oil is made from purple sea moss extract that is used for promoting healthy hair growth, improving skin hydration, and reducing inflammation. You can apply sea moss oil directly to your skin, mix it with your favorite moisturizer or conditioner, or use it as a massage oil.
Reality check & precautions
While it can be a fantastic addition to your diet, it’s important to remember that good health requires a balanced lifestyle. There are no shortcuts!
Also, not all sea moss is created equal. Some companies grow it in pools instead of harvesting it from the ocean, which creates lower-quality sea moss that lacks in nutrients and minerals.
Lastly, consuming too much sea moss can lead to health issues due to its high iodine content. This can cause thyroid dysfunction or other serious health problems, so always be sure to remain within the recommended daily dose of 1-2 tablespoons (or 4 to 8 grams) of purple sea moss per day.
Also, it’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider before adding any new supplements to your routine, particularly if you have any underlying health conditions or take medications.
If you have allergies to seaweed or algae, it’s best to avoid purple sea moss altogether.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How much purple sea moss should I have daily?
Start with a small amount, such as 1-2 teaspoons per day, and gradually increase your intake as your body adjusts if you’d like. DO NOT consume more than 1-2 tablespoons (or 4 to 8 grams) of purple sea moss per day.
What does purple sea moss taste like?
Purple sea moss has a chewy texture and a subtle taste that is slightly salty and reminiscent of the ocean. Some people describe a nutty or earthy flavor, while others find it tasteless.
What colors of sea moss are there?
The colors of sea moss or Irish moss are found in gold, purple, green, and red. All colors of sea moss contain the same health benefits, with slightly different ratios of nutrients. Purple sea moss, for example, has more antioxidants.
What is the nutritional content of purple sea moss?
The exact nutrient content of purple sea moss will change depending on where it’s grown, and how it’s harvested and processed.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the key nutrients found in purple sea moss:
Purple sea moss is a rich source of vitamins A, C, E, K, and B-complex vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9 (folate). These vitamins play important roles in supporting immune function, promoting healthy skin and vision, supporting energy metabolism, and maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
Purple sea moss is particularly high in iodine, which is essential for thyroid function and maintaining a healthy metabolism. It also contains other important minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and selenium, which play key roles in maintaining healthy bones, supporting nerve and muscle function, and supporting immune function.
As we mentioned earlier, purple sea moss is a good source of amino acids, including arginine and cysteine, which can help support muscle health and recovery.
Purple sea moss is also high in fiber, which can help promote feelings of fullness and support healthy digestion.
Purple sea moss contains several bioactive compounds with antioxidant properties, including flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C. These antioxidants can help protect the body’s cells and tissues from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can contribute to chronic diseases and aging. For example, antioxidants can help support cardiovascular health, improve cognitive function, and even reduce the risk of certain types of cancer!
- Prebiotic effects of diet supplemented with the cultivated red seaweed Chondrus crispus or with fructo-oligo-saccharide on host immunity, colonic microbiota and gut microbial metabolites (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4535385/)
- Exploring the multifocal role of phytochemicals as immunomodulators (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332220311513)
- Mechanisms of thyroid hormone action (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22945636/)
- Chemical composition and moisture-absorption/retention ability of polysaccharides extracted from five algae (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0141813013000846)
- Anticoagulant, Antioxidant and Antitumor Activities of Heterofucans from the Seaweed Dictyopteris delicatula (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3116195/)
- An Overview to the Health Benefits of Seaweeds Consumption (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8232781/)
- Carrageenan: Drug Delivery Systems and Other Biomedical Applications (https://www.mdpi.com/1660-3397/18/11/583/htm)
- The Seaweed Diet in Prevention and Treatment of the Neurodegenerative Diseases (https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6890/435de6a7394243dbd3031f65acec905bfa62.pdf)
- Anticancer Effects of Different Seaweeds on Human Colon and Breast Cancers (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4178489/)
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or health professional. This blog does not provide medical advice and is intended for informational purposes only.