What You Really Need to Know About Hemp
Hemp is a plant which produces seeds used to produce a variety of healthy foods. Hemp seeds are the latest food to hit the superfood spotlight, and for very good reason. Hemp is sometimes confused with marijuana. They belong to the same family, but the two plants are very different. Marijuana contains high amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Hemp contains only a trace amount of THC. Hemp seeds are very safe to eat. They can cost more than chia seeds, which makes them an expensive purchase. So, are they really worth the extra expense?
NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF HEMP SEEDS
Hemp seeds are packed with nutritional goodness, so some would say ‘yes’ they are worth the extra expense. Hemp seeds offer a slightly better nutritional profile than chia seeds. However, chia seeds have a bit more fiber than hemp seeds, with five grams of fibre per tablespoon. Hemp seeds are full of a complete protein and all the goodness of essential fatty acids. Our bodies require a good source of healthy fats for optimal health. Hemp seeds give you an excellent source of essential fatty acids, which may help arthritis, eczema, brain development and other inflammatory health conditions. The essential fatty acids that hemp seeds contain are omega 3, omega 6 and gamma linolenic acid (GLA).
As a complete source of protein, hemp seeds contain all 10 essential amino acids, making them an excellent plant-based protein for vegans and vegetarians. Like most other nuts and seeds, hemp seeds are a good source of magnesium, fibre, folate, potassium, zinc, iron, vitamins D3, E and A. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, two tablespoons of hemp seeds contain:
- 6.3 g of protein
- 9.8 g of fat
- 1.7 g of carbohydrates (including 0.8 g of fiber and 0.3 g of sugar)
HEALTH BENEFITS OF HEMP
Due to hemp seeds’ high magnesium content and excellent nutritional profile; they may offer relief for inflammation, many health conditions, and premenstrual symptoms including: breast tenderness, insomnia, weight gain, bloating and leg swelling. A deficiency in magnesium may also be linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and osteoporosis.
HOW TO ADD HEMP SEEDS TO YOUR DIET
There are many delicious ways to enjoy hemp seeds in your diet. Hemp seeds have a mild, nutty flavour. Use them to make hemp milk, hemp oil, hemp cheese substitutes and hemp-based protein powder. Hemp oil has a strong "grassy" flavour which makes a delicious salad dressing. Sprinkle the seeds on salads, vegetables, smoothies, yogurt, breakfast bowls, bread and muffins.
HOW TO STORE HEMP SEEDS
Try to keep hemp seeds in a cool, dry place and in an airtight container. Once opened, keep them refrigerated. To avoid damaging the fatty acids, shelled hemp seeds should not be heated above 350°F.
Don’t know about you, but I’m off to buy some hemp seeds.
Written by Nic Makim
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.