The Difference Between Hemp Seeds and Hemp Protein Powder
Alright guys, the time has come for me to discuss an issue that has been confusing health-conscious vegans everywhere. Today, I will be exploring the nitty gritty deets (how’s that for a relevant pun?) behind hemp seeds and hemp protein powder .
Far too often, I hear from potential clients seeking vegan meal plans that don’t contain any soy. I’m all for a whole foods approach to eating but when we’re talking about a vegan competition prep diet or simply building muscle on a vegan diet , truth is, our protein options are somewhat limited. And I do believe that it’s that much harder for us veegs to build muscle AND lower body fat without consuming ANY soy therefore it’s crucial to at least include protein powder in their diet plan.
I’m also all about variety when it comes to meal planning so I’ll usually include both a good-quality rice-based protein like my own and also a hemp-based option like Manitoba Harvest . And you know what question 90% of clients come back with?
“Can I eat hemp seeds instead of hemp protein powder?”
And then I take a deep breath and go into my lengthy, passionate description as to why hemp seeds will not produce the same “Jacked on the Beanstalk” results as hemp powder. The short answer being HEMP SEEDS ARE A FAT SOURCE. HEMP POWDER IS A PROTEIN SOURCE.
Yes, hemp seeds are considered a “whole food” and do contain some protein. And yes, it is hemp seeds that are ground up in the first stage of hemp protein processing. The seeds are, however, squeezed to extract the oil (removing most of the fat content.) And what remains is referred to as “hemp seed cake” (mmmmmmm sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?) 🙂
The hemp “seed cake” is what gets milled and turned into powder. The powder is then sifted into “hemp flour.” This flour from the initial “sifting” creates a high fiber product but one that’s also lower in protein. Side note: am I using enough quotation marks in this paragraph or no?
Finally, to make that muscle building hemp protein we meatless meatheads love oh-so-much, the flour gets sifted to an even finer degree. This extra sifting removes a lot of the fiber content, leaving a higher concentration of protein.
And THAT my vegan friends, is why a handful of hemp hearts is far more tasty and enjoyable than a bowl of hemp powder. They’re FAT. And who doesn’t love fats?!
I should also mention that due to the fact hemp protein is made from hemp seeds , it obviously produces a protein powder with a slightly higher fat content than say, a rice or pea-based protein. So for my clients who are training for a competition or desperately trying to lower body fat, I will put more rice protein on their meal plans rather than hemp powder to keep fats lower.
And finally, for all you macro counters who want the cold, hard, nutritional facts, these ghetto, highlighted tables were made just for you! 🙂
Check the higher fat and calories of hemp seeds and note their lower protein and fiber content:
And here is the nutritional data for North Coast Naturals’ organic hemp protein powder :
I should mention that regardless of how you eat ’em, hemp seeds are still a nutrition powerhouse as you can see from my tables above. They digest easily, taste awesome and are super versatile, adding great texture to everything from salads and oatmeal to baking and smoothies.
And the fat they do contain is at least GOOD FAT. We’re talkin’ a healthy dose of omega-3 and omega-6s plus muscle-building amino acids. Hemp seeds are also high in magnesium which helps you to fall asleep at night, relaxes your muscles, controls blood sugar, blood pressure and good for your bones. So however which way you choose to eat them, get ’em in ya.
Alright, I’m officially over talking about hemp. And for some reason, now I feel as though I should smoke a joint, eat some hemp seed cake and do yoga in the forest…
Disclaimer: this picture was totally staged for a stock photo my friend Roby Pavone needed. What’s yoga?!
The nitty, gritty facts (pun intended) on the difference between hemp seeds and hemp powder & why one is much better for vegan bodybuilders than the other.
Hemp Protein: Health Benefits, Nutrition, and Uses
In this Article
In this Article
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- Health Benefits
- Amounts and Dosage
Hemp protein comes from the cannabis plant and is an excellent source of plant-based protein. It doesn’t contain any THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. It’s a very sustainable plant that can grow in a variety of climates, and the different parts of the plant can be used in many ways.
History shows that hemp seeds as a food source go back thousands of years. Documents show that hemp was an important source of protein, fiber, and medicine in the Mediterranean, Egypt, and Morocco many centuries B.C.
You can eat hemp seeds in two ways: with the shells removed or as a powder made from ground-up seeds. Both ways provide a great source of nutrition and many health benefits. Whether you already eat a plant-based diet or not, hemp protein can become a great staple in your diet.
There are several health benefits of hemp protein, which is why people have been eating it for thousands of years. Here are some of the top benefits of both hemp seeds and hemp protein powder:
Lean Source of Protein
Hemp seeds and powder are lean sources of plant-based protein, making them a great supplement to a plant-based diet. If you’re trying to lower your meat intake, you can try incorporating hemp products into your diet. About 25% of each hemp seed is protein, and the seeds are quite low in fat.
Eating lean proteins boosts metabolism, benefits digestion, and promotes lean body mass. Hemp protein doesn’t contain any cholesterol or saturated fats, unlike many sources of animal proteins. Three tablespoons of hemp protein powder contain around 90 calories and 3 grams of fat while packing in 15 grams of protein.
Rich in Amino Acids
The human body needs 22 amino acids to function properly. Amino acids are used by the brain to build protein. The body gets amino acids from food, typically from animal products like meat, milk, and eggs.
However, hemp products contain all of the amino acids needed to help repair muscle cells, regulate the nervous system, and regulate brain function. This makes them a great substitute for animal products, especially since your body cannot produce many of these acids by itself.
May Prevent Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer
Both hemp protein powder and hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids help to maintain good cardiovascular health. They protect the heart, help to maintain lean body mass, and maintain brain function.
Thanks to these essential fatty acids, one of the most important benefits of hemp protein is that it can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Hemp contains tocopherols, or compounds that naturally help to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The natural properties of hemp products help promote antioxidant activity in the body, too.
Hemp products also have high levels of polyunsaturated fats that support heart health. They do this by preventing artery blockage and lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Polyunsaturated fats can also benefit you after a cardiac event since they work to protect the heart.
Vitamins and Minerals
Another health benefit of hemp protein is that it’s a natural source of many important vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy. In particular, hemp products are good sources of iron, magnesium, and manganese. These minerals help to keep several parts of your body working properly, in addition to preventing sickness and disease.
Hemp seeds and hemp protein powder also contain a healthy dose of potassium, which helps balance your body’s water and electrolytes. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain about 370 milligrams of potassium, which is twice what you’ll get from other sources like spinach and oranges.
Amounts and Dosage
There are many ways that you can incorporate hemp products into your diet. A standard serving of hemp seeds or hemp protein powder is about 3 tablespoons, or 30 grams. You can add the seeds to salad, casserole, cereal, baked goods, or smoothie bowls.
Hemp protein powder is a good choice if you’re a fan of smoothies. It blends in well, and it’s a great source of vegan protein if you’re looking for a boost before or after a workout. You can also blend the powder into yogurt or smoothie bowls.
Euphytica: “Hempseed as a nutritional source: An overview.”
Food Revolution Network: “All About Hemp Seeds — A Nutritionally Dense Superfood.”
Fundación CANNA: “Nutritional benefits of hemp seeds.”
Hemp Benefits: “Benefits of Hemp Protein for Health.”
Nutrition & Metabolism: “The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed.”
One Green Planet: “Why This Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Protein Needs to Be Every Fitness Buff’s Best Friend.”
Discover all the health benefits of hemp protein powder and hemp seeds and why you should incorporate these plant-based proteins into your diet.