Top 10 Benefits of Hemp
Hemp is considered a superfood by many people these days. And rightfully so, since the seeds have such a rich nutritional profile and provide so many health benefits. Technically a nut, hemp seeds are very nutritious. The de-hulled or shelled hemp seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and are often referred to as hemp hearts.
Hemp has had its share of controversies - since they are the seeds of the plant cannabis sativa. But this does not have any mind-altering effect. Infact, if anything, these small seeds are packed with protein, fiber and healthy fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6. They have antioxidant effects and help in various ailments of the skin, heart and joints too!
Here are the top 10 benefits and ways in which you can include Hemp as part of your diet.
- Nutritionally complete - Hemp is one of the most nutritionally complete foods source in the world. Per gram, hemp has more digestible protein than soy, more digestible omegas than flaxseeds and more digestible fiber than kale.
- High in Minerals - Hemp is also high in calcium, iron, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamin A, enzymes, antioxidants, minerals such as magnesium, potassium, manganese, phoshorous and more.
- Great Source of Plant Based Protein - Complete protein sources are very rare in plant kingdom. Hemp seeds provide similar amounts of protein as beef and lamb — 30 grams of hemp seeds, or 2–3 tablespoons, provide about 11 grams of protein. They are considered a complete protein source, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids that your body needs from your diet.
- Vegan & Vegetarian Friendly - Due to the fact that vegetarians and vegans abstain from eating seafood, maintaining a good ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids can be tricky for them. That’s why hemp oil is such a versatile solution for them. Hemp oil contains the optimal ratio of these nourishing acids, without the need of harming any other animal in the process.
- Heart Health - Medical studies of hemp confirm its health benefits. The omega-3s in hemp oil for example, has been proven to counteract cardiovascular diseases and lower cholesterol.
- Skin Health - Vitamin E in hemp oil has been proven to improves skin tone, slows the ageing process and even fights psoriasis.
- Brain Health - Results of a review from 2018 suggest that hemp seeds may have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory effects and may also help to regulate the immune system. Because of these potential properties, hemp may help with neurological conditions, including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's diseases and other neuro disorders such as childhood seizures.
- Joint Health - Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. It causes the immune system to attack its own tissues, which leads to inflammation in the joints. In 2014, research conducted in human cells suggested that hemp seed oil could have anti-rheumatic effects.
- Hormonal Health - Hemp seeds are the only edible seeds which contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This acid is converted in our bodies into a protective hormone called PGE1 (prostaglandin hormone). This hormone will then regulate the overall body’s hormonal balance, which is especially important for PMS and menopausal health.
- Digestive Health - Fiber is an essential part of your diet and linked to better digestive health. Whole hemp seeds are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, containing 20% and 80%, respectively. However, de-hulled or shelled hemp seeds — also known as hemp hearts — contain very little fiber because the fiber-rich shell has been removed.
For more ideas on how to use hemp in your diet, read our other blog entry here.