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Nutrient-rich Irish moss—a type of sea moss that grows in chilly northern water—is becoming an increasingly buzzy superfood, as many tout its benefits. But that doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to work: “Although it power-packs some vitamins and minerals, the science is not there to support whether this has a benefit on our health,” says Amanda Kirpitch, RD, of Nutrition Perspective.
Related: The Health Benefits of Moringa
What Constitutes Irish Moss
Officially known by its species name as Chondrus crispus, Irish moss can also be referred to as red algae or sea moss, says Kirpitch. The thin, flat, reddish-purple leaves branch out in a repeating pattern from a central stem and the plant grows primarily in the colder waters of the eastern and western northern Atlantic ocean. The plant also produces a thickening agent called carrageenan—inspiring another nickname, carrageen moss—which offers a vegan alternative to gelatin, though