Uses and Health Benefits of Eating Hemp Seeds
The hemp seeds you can pick up at your local grocery store come from the same hemp plant renowned for its durable fiber. The seeds of the hemp plant, also known as hemp nuts, are edible. Along with being eaten just as they are, hemp seeds are used in a growing number of food products that can be added to other dishes, including hemp milk, hemp butter, hemp protein and even hemp tofu.
Nutritional Benefits of Hemp Seed
Hemp is considered one of the world’s most nutritious plants. The seeds contain all of the essential amino acids, making them an ideal source of protein for vegans and raw foodists. The essential fatty acids (both Omega-3s and Omega-6s) are abundant in hemp seeds and come in a ratio that is highly beneficial to humans. Magnesium, iron, and potassium are in good supply along with fiber. Some of hemp seed’s supply of antioxidants comes from its vitamin E content.
Culinary Uses of Hemp Seed
Hemp seeds are used in many packaged products, usually found in health food stores. Some of these products, such as hemp milk and ground hemp flour, are relatively simple to make at home from the seeds. Other products are not so easily replicated such as hemp oil, hemp ice cream, and hemp protein powder. Hemp has a slightly nutty flavor, perhaps best comparable to pine nuts, but of course, the texture is quite different.
How to Use Hemp Seeds
Try sprinkling hemp seeds over a salad or as a topping on granola, puddings, or other desserts. Frequently sold as a superfood, hemp seeds can be added to smoothies both at home and in many cafes and juice bars. They can also be used in baking and cooking, though the nutritional content is at its highest in its raw state.
More Reasons Why You Should Eat Hemp
If you care about the environment and sustainable living, you should definitely be a fan of eating hemp products and hemp seeds! Hemp is widely considered to be among the most sustainable plants on the planet. It doesn’t deplete the soil, as some crops can, and it can easily be cultivated in a variety of places. Hemp grows quickly and is quite hardy as a plant, able to withstand disease and pests.
Here's everything you need to know about hemp seeds, a superfood that's packed full of proteins, making it popular for vegetarians and vegans.
Hemp: Health Benefits, Nutrition, and Uses
In this Article
In this Article
In this Article
- Health Benefits
- Amounts and Dosage
Hemp, also known as industrial hemp, can be seen by some people as a controversial plant, but it doesn’t need to be.
The hemp plant is a variety of Cannabis sativa that has been cultivated for its fiber, not any psychoactive effects. Many strains of hemp have none of the mental effects associated with cannabis. This type of industrial hemp has been used as a fiber source, for oil, and as an important source of nutrition for thousands of years.
When it comes to nutrition, hemp seeds are the most important part of the plant. The seeds can be eaten whole or without the hull. They can also be turned into milk that’s similar to soy milk. Hemp seed oil can be used as a cooking oil in the same way as olive oil. There are even hemp seed supplements available in case you want to enjoy some of the impressive health benefits of hemp in your diet.
The vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in hemp seeds can provide some significant health benefits. For example, hemp oil is rich in vitamin E, which is useful for helping keep your immune system functioning. It also acts as an antioxidant, helping reduce free radicals that can cause cell damage in your body.
In addition, true hemp may provide health benefits like:
Getting enough healthy fats in your diet is important for keeping your heart and cardiovascular system healthy. Hemp seeds are particularly rich in these healthy fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Both of these fats are known for improving heart health by reducing cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides. Adding hemp oil to your diet may reduce your risk of heart problems in the future.
Reduced Symptoms of PMS
Hemp oil is also rich in gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which has been linked to reduced symptoms of PMS. It appears that GLA reduces the effect of the hormone prolactin on the body. Prolactin is often identified as a major cause of the negative symptoms of PMS, especially breast tenderness, irritability, bloating, and depression. Hemp seed oil could be an important tool to help relieve these unpleasant symptoms.
Fiber is critical for a healthy digestive system, and whole hemp seeds are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps add bulk to your stool and may be linked to a lower risk of bowel cancer. Meanwhile, soluble fiber acts as a prebiotic and feeds the “good” bacteria that live in your intestines.
In combination, soluble and insoluble fiber from hemp seeds help keep your digestive system running smoothly and prevent a number of common conditions such as constipation, ulcers, and hemorrhoids.
The combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hemp is good for more than just your heart. Early studies suggest that adding hemp seed oil to your diet may help relieve symptoms of eczema. It appears the oil in hemp seeds helps balance the lipids in your blood, reducing skin dryness and itchiness. While more studies need to be done, substituting hemp seed oil for other types of oil in your diet could be a safe and easy way to reduce skin irritation.
Protein is critical for the health of your muscles and organs. Hemp seeds are one of just a few plant foods that are considered “complete” proteins, containing all the essential amino acids. Your body can also absorb hemp seed protein better than many other plant-based proteins. If you choose to follow a plant-based diet, adding hemp seeds to your food is a quick and easy way to get more protein.
Amounts and Dosage
Hemp seeds are not a low-calorie food. A single 3-tablespoon serving of hemp seeds contains 166 calories. It’s important to pay attention to your caloric intake in order to maintain your weight. Eating one to two servings of hemp seeds daily can help you get the benefits of these nutritious seeds while still eating a well-rounded diet.
ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon.
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Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: “Evaluating the quality of protein from hemp seed (Cannabis sativa L.) products through the use of the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score method.”
Journal of Dermatological Treatment: “Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis.”
The Journal of Reproductive Medicine: “The role of essential fatty acids and prostaglandins in the premenstrual syndrome.”
National Institutes of Health: “Omega-3 Fatty Acids.”
National Institutes of Health: “Vitamin E.”
Nutrition and Metabolism: “The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed.”
Nutrition Reviews: “Health benefits of dietary fiber.”
Reproductive Health: “Essential fatty acids for premenstrual syndrome and their effect on prolactin and total cholesterol levels: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study.”
Find out what nutrients are in hemp and learn how it can help everything from eczema to heart disease.