Purple vs Gold vs Green Sea Moss: What Different Sea Moss Colors Mean?

Jan 24, 2023

4 min 26 sec

K. Browne- by K. Browne

What is Sea Moss?

Sea moss (Gracilaria gracilis) is an edible red seaweed found in the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean, South Asia, and southern Africa.

It is different from Irish sea moss (Irish moss).

Read: Irish Moss vs. Sea Moss

Sea moss is a highly nutritious superfood used for centuries in traditional medicine and as a food source.

You can find sea moss in different colors, including purple sea moss, green sea moss, and gold sea moss. 

What's the difference between purple sea moss, green sea moss, and gold sea moss?

The different colors of sea moss are due to the region of the world they are found in, their growing conditions, and the drying process.

All three types of sea moss have some of the same nutritional benefits, including essential minerals like:

  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc

And vitamins like:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B6
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate)
  • Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
  • Choline (similar to vitamin B complex)
  • Beta Carotene (converted into vitamin A by the body)

And while all three types provide some of the same nutritional benefits and the same vitamins and minerals, they also have some differences worth noting.

Green Sea Moss

Green sea moss has a unique color and is a rare colored sea moss that grows wildly along the shores of the Caribbean.

It is high in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and has a stronger ocean smell and taste than purple or gold-colored sea moss. 

It is dried in a dark room to keep its healing properties and natural green color.

One of the key features of green sea moss is its high concentration of chlorophyll, which is the pigment that gives it its green color.

Chlorophyll is known for its ability to absorb sunlight and convert it into energy, and it is also a powerful antioxidant that can help protect the body from free radicals.

Chlorophyll offers various health benefits, such as helping to boost red blood cells, healing skin damage, helping with weight loss, and helping slow cancer growth

Green sea moss also helps as a natural body deodorizer and detoxifier.

It contains compounds that can help to neutralize odors and remove toxins from the body.

Purple Sea Moss

Purple sea moss, found primarily in the Caribbean islands of St. Lucia
and Jamaica, is renowned for its distinctive deep purple hue.

This coloration is due to a high concentration of anthocyanins, potent antioxidants also found in blue and purple fruits and vegetables like red cabbage, red onions, eggplant skin, black and red grapes, cherries, and pomegranates.

These anthocyanins imbue purple sea moss with several health benefits, including antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.

They contribute to heart health by preventing blood clot formation, delay cellular aging, and have been linked to a reduction in risks for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and certain cancers.

Additionally, anthocyanins aid in strengthening bones and lowering inflammation.

Among the varieties of purple sea moss, the moss from Jamaica and St. Lucia are the most wanted.

Gold Sea Moss

Gold sea moss, also known as golden sea moss, is another type of sea moss native to the Caribbean.

Gold sea moss grows in warmer waters on rocks, and like purple moss, it is very popular in St. Lucia and Jamaica.

It gets its gold color from phytonutrients, chemicals that keep plants alive. 

This type of wild sea moss smells and tastes milder than other dark colors and is always available throughout the year since it grows in all seasons. 

Because it is always available, it is often the more affordable sea moss compared to purple and green sea moss.

Pool-Grown Sea Moss

Pool-grown sea moss (fake sea moss) is grown in a controlled environment, usually in a tank or pool.

While growing in a controlled environment allows for easier harvesting and more consistent quality, it may have different levels of nutrients than a wild-crafted sea moss species.

It may also smell different.

Wild-crafted sea moss will smell like the ocean and may have a fishy or sea-like smell, compared to pool-farmed sea moss, which has a very minimal smell.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sea Moss

What Color of Sea Moss is the Best?

There is no "best" color for sea moss, as it can vary depending on the strain and the conditions in which it is grown.

Some people may prefer a particular color based on personal preference or cultural associations, but all shades of sea moss are equally nutritious and beneficial.

What Sea Moss is the Healthiest?

No scientific evidence suggests that one color of sea moss is inherently healthier than another.

All strains of sea moss, regardless of color, are a rich source of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that can benefit overall health.

The color of sea moss can vary depending on the specific strain and the conditions in which it grows, such as the water's temperature, pH, and nutrient levels.

Some people may prefer a particular color of sea moss based on personal preference or cultural associations, but all colors are equally nutritious and beneficial.

Does the Color of Sea Moss Matter?

The color of sea moss does not generally matter regarding its nutritional content or health benefits.

While some people may prefer a particular color of sea moss based on personal preference or cultural associations, all colors are considered equally nutritious and beneficial.

What should I look for when buying sea moss?

  1. Quality: Look for sea moss free from contaminants, such as heavy metals or other harmful substances. It should also be fresh and free from any off-odors or unusual colors.
  2. Source: Choose sustainably sourced sea moss from a reputable supplier. This will ensure that the sea moss has been harvested in an environmentally responsible manner.
  3. Certification: Look for sea moss that has been certified organic or sustainably harvested. This will provide assurance that the sea moss has been grown and processed according to strict standards.
  4. Form: Sea moss is available in various forms, including whole dried moss, flakes, sea moss gel, and powder. Choose the form that best meets your needs and preferences.
  5. Price: Compare prices from different sources to find the best value for your money. Keep in mind that higher prices do not necessarily equate to higher quality.
  6. Storage: Store sea moss in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. If stored properly, sea moss can last for several months.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, green sea moss, purple sea moss, and gold sea moss are all types of red algae that are highly nutritious and have a variety of healthy benefits.

While they are similar in many ways, they differ in color and nutrient content.

K. Browne

About the author

Kester is a husband, a father, and a sea moss enthusiast. He created this blog to help people concerned about their health to learn about the wonderful benefits of sea moss.

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