What’s with Different Kinds of Sea Moss like Gold and Green?

Sea moss comes in various colors, including gold, purple, red, yellow, green, brown, and black. Interestingly, the color of a food can indicate the presence of essential nutrients and antioxidants. Let’s examine the different colors of sea moss and their differences, like green and gold sea moss.

The Main Colors

There are three primary colors of sea moss- gold, purple, and green. The purple sea moss (Chondrus crispus) is often called "red" as well. This variety is common in warmer climates. Gold sea moss (also known as Genus gracilaria) is another common type, while green sea moss is less common since Chondrus species are thought to grow in more shallow waters.

These three colors of sea moss come in a variety of hues. For example, the purple sea moss may appear redder, and the gold sea moss may appear more yellow. At times, green sea moss may look brown depending on different conditions. 

But First, Why Do They Have Different Colors?

Irish or sea moss comes in different colors because of the different compounds in the plants. Like our fruit and vegetables, the colors of sea moss depend on factors such as the region, growing conditions, and the drying process. 

Learn about the unique properties of each colored sea moss below:

What Gives Gold Sea Moss Its Color?

Gold sea moss gets its hue from phytonutrients. These phytonutrients are an essential compound in gold sea moss and have been studied for their role in cellular communication. 

Gold sea moss is a standard variety and looks slightly different in structure than other sea moss types. They are often thinner and stringier than some others.  

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.  

What Gives Green Sea Moss Its Color?

Green sea moss gets its color from flavonoids called anthocyanins and chlorophyll. The chlorophyll and flavonoids in green sea moss help detoxify the liver and 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 more pungent smell (it smells like the ocean) and taste than other colors. 

However, the more pungent smell may also be because this sea moss is not rinsed off as thoroughly as gold to keep the colors vivid. Additionally, it is more carefully dried to retain the bold color.  

And What Gives Purple Sea Moss Its Color?

Purple sea moss gets its color from the antioxidants in the plant. These antioxidants are essential for eliminating free radicals in the body, which can lead to health issues. An interesting tidbit about purple sea moss is that they are much more challenging to grow than other types of sea moss. This is because it grows on rocks and is only found during summer.

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