Sea moss naturally comes in several colors ranging from gold to purple. Red sea moss is often referred to as Irish sea moss and can be found growing in warmer waters. Sea moss can also be yellow, green, brown and darker shades of black.
We know that when it comes to the different foods we eat, color matters. These colors indicate the presence of valuable nutrients and antioxidants in some foods.
This article will take a closer look at the various colors of sea moss and the differences between them.
What are the different colors of Sea moss?
The main colors of sea moss include gold, purple, and green. The purple variety (Chondrus crispus) is often called “red” as well. This is a common variety often found in warmer waters. Gold sea moss (Genus gracilaria) is another common species. Green sea moss is a less common Chondrus species thought to grow in more shallow waters.
These three shades of sea moss come in a spectrum of colors. For example, the purple sea moss may look redder in hue and the gold sea moss may appear more yellow at times.
The green sea moss may look brown depending on different conditions.
Why is Irish/Sea moss different colors?
Just like our fruit and vegetables, sea moss is different colors because of different compounds in the plants. It is worth noting that colors may depend on other factors such as the region, growing conditions, and drying process.
You can learn more about the unique properties of each color below:
Why is Sea moss gold?
Gold sea moss gets its color from phytonutrients. These phytonutrients are an important compound in gold sea moss and have been studied for their role in cellular communication.
Gold sea moss is a common variety and looks a bit different in structure than some other types of sea moss. It is often thinner and stringier than some other colors.
Gold sea moss is usually more readily available than some of the other varieties. This is because it grows year round.
Due to its availability, golden sea moss is sometimes more affordable than other colors. Gold sea moss may have a milder smell and taste than some of the darker colors.
Why is Sea moss green?
Green sea moss gets its color from flavonoids called anthocyanins and chlorophyll. The chlorophyll and flavonoids in green sea moss help to detoxify the liver, as well as increase hemoglobin in the blood.
Green sea moss is often wild harvested along the coasts of the Caribbean. This type of sea moss often has a stronger smell (it smells like the ocean) and taste when compared to other colors.
However, the stronger smell may also be due to the fact that in order to get the colors to stay vivid, this sea moss is not rinsed off as thoroughly as gold. Additionally, it is more carefully dried to retain the bold color.
Why is Sea moss purple?
Purple sea moss, sometimes called “Jamaican purple sea moss” or “Irish sea moss,” gets its rich color due to the presence of antioxidants in the plant. Antioxidants are an important phytonutrient for eliminating free radicals in the body that could lead to issues.
One interesting factor concerning purple sea moss varieties is that they are more difficult to grow. This is because this species generally grows on rocks and is found during the summer months.
It is hard to duplicate this growing process, which is a big reason why this plant is rarer than gold sea moss varieties. The good thing is that you won’t have to worry about whether or not your purple sea moss was farmed in a pool.
What are the differences between the various colored Sea moss types?
There are several differences between green, purple, and gold sea moss. These include levels of antioxidants, chlorophyll, and other phytonutrients responsible for giving the plants their unique hue. Other differences include the region they are found, the conditions in which they grow, and the way they are harvested/processed.
Purple Sea Moss has a higher antioxidant content than other colors. They are also harder to farm, so most of the purple and red sea mosses you can buy are wildcrafted. Wildcrafting a plant means it is harvested in the wild. Purple sea moss is often collected along the coasts and tide pools where it grows on rocks.
Gold Sea Moss is easier to come by than other colors. This is because this variety grows year round. The drawback to this is that it may be easier to grow this color of sea moss in pools, upping your chances of buying sea moss that lacks the nutrients of wild sea moss. Gold sea moss can sometimes have other hues in it, ranging from darker brown to purple. The fact that it can take on other shades means it may be hard to distinguish which species you have.
Green Sea Moss is higher in chlorophyll, a pigment found in most green plants that help them make food using carbon dioxide and water.
This plant nutrient is popular in the health world because it is thought to be a rich source of vitamins, antioxidants, and cleanse the blood.
Darker varieties like the green and purple sea mosses are often harvested and dried in a way that preserves the bold colors. This means they are not washed or soaked too much and they are not dried in the sun.
What Color should Sea moss be?
There is no single color to look out for when it comes to sea moss. Since it comes in several different colors, there is no “standard” color to look out for. Each color of sea moss possesses its own merit and benefits.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for sea moss:
When buying sea moss, make sure you know where it was harvested. Look into the region the sea moss was harvested to find out whether or not the waters are clean or polluted. Also, most pool grown sea moss is lighter in color.
This means that the gold or yellow variety is at a higher risk of being pool grown. Pool grown mosses lack the nutrients of those grown in the open ocean. This doesn’t mean you should completely avoid gold or yellow sea moss, but make sure you know where it is sourced from.
You should also look for a color to suit your therapeutic needs. All sea moss, regardless of color, contains vitamins, minerals, iodine, and other nutrients.
However, there are some differences in antioxidant content and other compounds when it comes to the various sea moss colors. If you are looking for sea moss with a high antioxidant content, try purple varieties.
If you are looking for sea moss with more phytonutrients like iron, phosphorous, zinc, and magnesium, gold sea moss may be your best bet. If you need something for blood cleansing and detoxification, green sea moss is a better choice.
What Color of sea Moss is best?
The best sea moss isn’t necessarily indicated by color, but rather by the location in which it was harvested. Sea moss that is harvested wild from clean coastlines in Jamaica and other Caribbean islands is a great choice. Sea moss from China, Japan, or Singapore often comes from polluted, dirty waters.
In addition, sea moss from these areas may be pool grown.
A large determining factor in determining what kind of sea moss you are getting is price. If you come across sea moss that is much cheaper than other sea mosses available, this may be a sign that it is pool farmed or from a polluted area of the world.
Look for sea moss that has thin branches and avoid sea moss that has thick branches and extensions. This is one way to spot real versus “fake” sea moss.
Sea moss that has been farmed in brine water is often referred to as “fake” or “pool grown” sea moss. No matter what color you choose, knowing where your sea moss came from is key to getting the best quality.
Differences between Gold and Purple sea moss
One difference between gold and purple sea moss is the level of antioxidants. The purple color may have slightly more antioxidants than the gold variety, but the gold variety still has many important and useful phytonutrients.
Other differences may include the location they were harvested, as the purple tends to come from Jamaica. Gold sea moss has actually been known to turn purple when exposed to more sunlight.
This is called light processing, and can make it hard to distinguish between various sea moss species.