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Why Hemp Food?

Hemp the true superfood!

Introduction

The hemp plant, native to Asia, may be ancient (records mentioning the plant go back more than 10,000 years), but our ancestors definitely had the right idea.

These super seeds supersede others in terms of nutrition. Loaded with essential fatty acids, plant-based protein, vitamins, and minerals, hempseed is a rich, nutty way to bump up the nutrition in your diet.

With potential health benefits ranging from a healthier heart to clearer skin, hempseed is the dietary food you never knew you needed.

Although technically a nut, hemp seeds are highly nutritious. Hemp is considered to be a complete protein as it’s a powerhouse of nine essential amino acids present in quantities enough to meet the body’s needs. This makes hemp a good alternative protein source for vegans and vegetarians.

Hemp is exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, namely, omega-6 and omega-3. It also contains gamma-linolenic acid, a nutrient linked to a broad range of health benefits. Hemp seeds are a great source of vitamin E, as well as minerals including potassium and phosphorus, hemp seeds can be consumed cooked, raw or roasted, and hemp seed oil is considered very healthy for dietary intake. Learn more about the health benefits of hemp seeds on our blog.

hempleafplant
Hemp Plant Leaf

Introduction

The hemp plant, native to Asia, may be ancient (records mentioning the plant go back more than 10,000 years), but our ancestors definitely had the right idea.

These super seeds supersede others in terms of nutrition. Loaded with essential fatty acids, plant-based protein, vitamins, and minerals, hempseed is a rich, nutty way to bump up the nutrition in your diet.

With potential health benefits ranging from a healthier heart to clearer skin, hempseed is the dietary food you never knew you needed.

Although technically a nut, hemp seeds are highly nutritious. Hemp is considered to be a complete protein as it’s a powerhouse of nine essential amino acids present in quantities enough to meet the body’s needs. This makes hemp a good alternative protein source for vegans and vegetarians.

Hemp is exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, namely, omega-6 and omega-3. It also contains gamma-linolenic acid, a nutrient linked to a broad range of health benefits. Hemp seeds are a great source of vitamin E, as well as minerals including potassium and phosphorus, hemp seeds can be consumed cooked, raw or roasted, and hemp seed oil is considered very healthy for dietary intake. Learn more about the health benefits of hemp seeds on our blog.

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Hempseed Packs A Nutrition Punch

The saying “big things come in small packages” couldn’t be any truer in regard to hempseed. These small seeds pack a big nutrition punch.

Three tablespoons of hempseed offers 136 calories of rich, nutty flavour that some liken to sunflower seeds.

They’re particularly rich in essential fatty acids linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) fatty acids, which are important for immune function and can help fight heart disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease and even symptoms of depression.

Hempseed is also a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA.

And don’t forget about the vitamins and minerals. Hempseed is a great source of magnesium, zinc, and iron, and also offers some potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, which are all necessary for normal body function and development.

With 6 grams of protein in 1 ounce (about 3 tablespoons), hempseed is also a fantastic protein source — perfect for rebuilding muscle after a sweaty gym session.

Ante-Up The Antioxidants

If the healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals weren’t enough, hempseed is rich in free-radical fighting antioxidants, like flavonoids, tocopherols, and phytosterols.

Antioxidants help prevent or stop oxidants (reactive molecules found in the environment and produced in your own body) from damaging your body’s cells. Antioxidants may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and gastrointestinal disorders, to name a few.

Hemp seed bread
Hemp Seed Bread

Ante-Up The Antioxidants

If the healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals weren’t enough, hempseed is rich in free-radical fighting antioxidants, like flavonoids, tocopherols, and phytosterols.

Antioxidants help prevent or stop oxidants (reactive molecules found in the environment and produced in your own body) from damaging your body’s cells. Antioxidants may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and gastrointestinal disorders, to name a few.

Shelled hemp seeds in a bowl of bananas and blueberries

Power Up On Plant-Based Protein

Hempseeds are not actually seeds at all — they’re nuts (mind = blown). This may help explain why they’re such a great source of protein.

Hempseed is one of the few plant-based sources of protein that contain all 9 of the essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own.

As a reminder, amino acids are the building blocks of protein — you basically can’t do much without them. The essential amino acids play important roles in energy production, muscle building, information processing, sleep, and so many other critical processes. And since your body isn’t able to make them, you have to eat them.

Enter hempseed. A mere 3 tablespoons of hemp seed contains 6 grams of protein. Your body needs amino acids to build protein? Hempseed says, “I got this.”

And with so many reasons to eat more plant-based meals these days, the high protein content puts hempseed at the top of the list of foods you, and the planet, need right now.

Hemp Hearts

Hempseed Soothes Your Skin

Got itchy, dry skin? Hempseed can help.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, causes red, cracked patches on the skin, especially during the dry winter months. And it’s often made worse by lots of hand-washing (cue the pandemic!).

Studies show that the high concentration of fatty acids in hempseed oil can help relieve skin dryness and itchiness in people with eczema.

In one well-designed, but an older study from 2005, people with atopic dermatitis who consumed 30 millilitres of hempseed oil for 8 weeks had less skin dryness and itchiness compared to those who took olive oil. People who took hempseed oil also were able to decrease their use of medication for dermatitis by 37 per cent.

Hemp seed Provides Fabulous Fibre

If you haven’t gotten the memo on fibre yet, here’s a primer.

Aside from keeping you “regular” (you know, your bowel movements — because otherwise, who wants to be regular?), fibre feeds your healthy gut flora, helps maintain a healthy weight, protects against developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and inflammation, and even helps boost your mood. (See ya, anxiety; give me some roughage!)

About 3 tablespoons of hulled hempseed contains 1.26 grams of fibre. Eating hempseed with the hull(shell) intact gives you a lot more of the good stuff, with 9.18 grams of fibre in 3 tablespoons of whole hempseed. That’s over 30 per cent of the daily recommendation for women and 25 per cent of the recommendation for men.

Brownies with shelled hemp seeds

Hempseed Aids In Heart Happiness

You’re not alone in loving hempseed; your heart loves them too.

According to some evidence from animal studies, hempseed may help reduce high blood pressure due to its unique combination of healthy fats and essential amino acids.

Hempseed is particularly high in the amino acid arginine, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure when added to the diet. The arginine in hempseed produces nitric oxide in your body, which may help blood vessels relax and lower your blood pressure.

Hempseed may also help lower high cholesterol, though results are mixed.

In one older study, people who ate hempseed oil had lower total cholesterol to HDL (or “good” cholesterol) ratio compared to those who consumed flaxseed oil.

Another well-designed study of children and adolescents with high cholesterol showed eating 3 grams of hempseed oil for 8 weeks improved the amounts of healthy fats in their blood; however, no significant changes in cholesterol were observed.

Cookies with shelled hemp seeds

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