Hemp Seeds: Are They Good for You?
In this Article
In this Article
In this Article
- Nutrition Information
- Potential Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds
- Potential Risks of Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are a rich source of nutrients. Part of the hemp plant, these seeds are technically a nut that can be eaten raw or used to make milk, oil, cheese substitutes, or protein powder.
While related to the cannabis plant, hemp seeds have little to none of the psychoactive compound THC found in marijuana. For centuries the seeds have been used for oral and topical applications to treat and prevent certain health issues. A growing body of modern clinical research is backing up many of these claims.
Hemp seeds’ nutty flavor and versatility also make them a great substitute for the levels of protein, essential fatty acids, and other nutritional benefits found in meat and dairy products.
Hemp seeds can be:
- Eaten raw, roasted, or cooked
- Shelled as hemp hearts
- Cold-pressed to produce hemp seed oil
- Used for non-dairy hemp milk and hemp cheese
A 30 gram serving (three-tablespoons) of raw hemp seeds contains:
- Calories: 166
- Protein: 9.47 grams
- Fat: 14.6 grams
- Carbohydrates: 2.6 grams
- Fiber: 1.2 grams
- Sugar: 0.45 grams
Hemp seeds are also good source of:
Hemp seeds also contain high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.
Studies have shown that the ideal ratio for the fatty acids in hemp seeds is 3 to 1. At this ratio, these fatty acids help to support healthy cholesterol levels, immune system function, and may help regulate your metabolism.
Potential Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein. They contain all nine essential amino acids, and research suggests that hemp’s protein content is well-absorbed by our bodies.
In addition to this protein load, hemp seeds history is tied to their potential health benefits. Many modern studies have backed up several of these claims.
Hemp seeds’ health benefits include:
Hemp seeds are a great source of magnesium, which helps regulate your heartbeat and is linked to the prevention of coronary heart disease. They also contain Linoleic acid, which one study found reduced participants’ cholesterol levels by 15% and may act to reduce blood pressure.
One of the omega-6 fatty acids in hemp seeds is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA,) which may have anti-inflammatory effects similar to drugs like ibuprofen. One study found a 75% reduction in arthritis-associated pain in participants after nine months of GLA supplementation.
Hemp oil can be used in cooking to add nutritional benefits to your meal, and it can also be applied topically to the skin. Studies have found that hemp seed oil can relieve the symptoms of eczema and improve dry or itchy skin.
Research is ongoing, but hemp seed oil’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects may also help to treat acne.
The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in hemp seeds is the optimal level for nutritional benefit. This balance supports both heart and cognitive health and is often lacking in most diets..
Hemp seeds also contain plant compounds called terpenes. While research is ongoing, studies suggest that terpenes may help protect the brain and prevent tumor growth.
Potential Risks of Hemp Seeds
While the fat content in hemp seeds comes primarily from its healthy essential fatty acids, eat them in moderation to meet your recommended daily consumption of fat. High fat intake can also cause nausea or diarrhea.
Other things to consider before adding hemp seeds to your diet include:
Hemp seeds may interact with certain medications including anticoagulants.
Studies have shown that hemp seeds reduce blood clotting, which can interact with blood-thinner prescriptions.
There is not enough clinical research to show that hemp is safe either orally or topically for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, so it is not recommended.
Hemp seed shells can contain trace amounts of THC, the active psychoactive compound in marijuana. People with a previous dependence on cannabis may consider looking for an alternative.
The fiber content in hemp seeds can cause digestive discomfort like bloating, nausea, or constipation in large amounts. Make sure to drink plenty of water when eating hemp seeds to help avoid gut problems.
Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. “Cannabis sativa (Hemp) Seeds, Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, and Potential Overdose.”
Biochemical Education: “The action of vitamin K and coumarin anticoagulants.”
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.”
Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostatis: “Dietary hempseed reduces platelet aggregation.”
Oilseeds and fats, Crops and Lipids:“A short review on sources and health benefits of GLA, The GOOD omega-6.”
Mayo Clinic. Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet.”
Nutrients: “Dietary Magnesium and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review with Emphasis in Epidemiological Studies.”
Nutrition & Metabolism: “The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed.”
Plant Science: “Terpenes in Cannabis sativa – From plant genome to humans.”
PLOS One: “The ameliorative effect of hemp seed hexane extracts on the Propionibacterium acnes-induced inflammation and lipogenesis in sebocytes.”>
The British Medical Journal (BMJ): “The importance of a balanced ω-6 to ω-3 ratio in the prevention and management of obesity.”
The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behaviour Letter: “FDA on CBD in pregnancy and breastfeeding”
USDA FoodData Central: “Seeds, hemp seed, hulled.”
Find out what the research says about hemp seeds, who should have them, and how they may affect your health.
Zinc and Hemp: Here’s the relationship!
If you’re like most Australians, you know how important it is to eat a healthy, varied diet in order to get all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. You probably have a good understanding of what foods you need to eat in order to get things like protein, calcium, iron, vitamin C, and maybe even healthy fats – but have you ever taken the time to think about the role zinc plays in your diet, or whether you’re getting enough of it? Many of us haven’t, so let’s take a little time to look at what zinc is, how much we need, and why it’s important.
What is zinc, and what role does it play in our bodies?
Zinc is a naturally occurring mineral which is crucial for human health. Our bodies use it for a variety of purposes, including:
* Helping a range of enzymes to do their work
* Maintaining a healthy immune system
* Keeping our metabolism working properly
* Promoting wound healing and tissue repair
* Promoting growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence
As you can see from this list, zinc may not be one of the more widely discussed nutrients in our diets, but it plays a crucial role in keeping our bodies functioning properly. People with low zinc levels can find themselves more susceptible to illness, and due to its role in growth and development, it’s a particularly important nutrient for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and growing children.
How much zinc do we need?
One thing that’s important to remember about zinc is that your body doesn’t store it. This means that you need to make sure you’re eating zinc-rich foods daily, with the exact amount of zinc you require depending on your age and gender. The Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council* recommends a daily zinc intake of 14 mg per day for men, 8 mg per day for women, and 11-12 mg per day for pregnant or lactating women. Intake for children begins at 2 mg per day for infants under six months (an amount which is usually supplied by breast milk), and gradually increases until they reach adult levels. If you have sons in your household, be aware that boys in their mid-teens see a particularly large jump in their zinc needs, going from 6 mg per day from ages 9-13 to 13 mg per day from ages 14-18.
The Council also notes that, while excess zinc from supplements may be harmful, you’re not likely to encounter problems with the zinc that occurs naturally in food. This suggests that relying on food for your zinc intake may be the safest way to make sure you are getting enough of this important nutrient. Fortunately, this is easy to do.
What are the dietary sources of zinc?
Zinc is found in a number of different foods, including beans, nuts, red meat, chicken, fish, and some fortified foods like breads or cereals. Recommended dietary sources of zinc usually include beef (4.8 mg of zinc in a 100 g serve), chicken (2.3 mg in a 100 g serve), lentils (1.3 mg in a 100 g serve), and cashews (5.5 mg in a 100 g serve). Though not yet widely consumed in Australia, hemp seeds provide an excellent alternative to these foods, with just one tablespoon (30g) containing 2.97 mg of zinc.
Why choose hemp seeds?
There are a number of reasons why hemp seeds are a particularly valuable source of zinc, including:
1. With high levels of zinc present in each serving, they are great for anyone (such as children) who finds it difficult to eat large enough portion sizes of other foods to reach their recommended daily intake.
2. As a plant-based source of zinc, hemp seeds are valuable for vegans, vegetarians, and anyone else who is eating a diet low in the meat products which are more commonly recommended as the source of this mineral.
3. Hemp seeds are widely considered to be a functional food, meaning that they offer a broad range of positive health benefits, far beyond what could be obtained from taking a supplement.
4. Choosing hemp seeds as one of your sources of dietary zinc is a great way to add other vital nutrients to your meals, including protein, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
How to incorporate hemp seeds into your diet
If you’ve never eaten hemp seeds before, you might be a little apprehensive about how they could fit into your normal meals. Fortunately, one of the best things about hemp seeds is that they can be added to your diet in so many different ways. Dehulled hemp seeds have a pleasant, nutty taste, and can be added to your salads, baked into your cookies, sprinkled on your cereal, tossed in your smoothie, or even used as a naturally gluten-free substitute for breadcrumbs.
However, if you’re concerned that your family isn’t ready to start munching on plain seeds, there are lots of other options available. Hemp porridge and hemp muesli come in different flavours and are a delicious breakfast choice for anyone trying to boost their zinc levels. Protein powders made from hemp seeds are a perfect addition to your family’s favourite smoothie recipes, and you can also consider hemp-based drinking chocolate or chai. Drinks like these are an easy, tasty source of zinc for your whole family, and are particularly popular with many children and teens. Whichever option you choose, you’ll have the security of knowing that you’re adding not just zinc but also many other nutrients to your family’s diet.
Getting started with hemp seeds
If you’re concerned about your zinc intake – or just ready to taste-test some of the delicious hemp-based products which are now available – 13 Seeds Hemp Farm offers a range of products which can be ordered online. All 13 Seeds foods are made from natural and organic ingredients, and contain no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives, so you can be sure you’re getting the benefits of zinc and other nutrients without any unexpected nasties.
If you're like most Australians, you know how important it is to eat a healthy, varied diet in order to get all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. You probably have a good understanding of …