Hail hemp seed, the new seed on the block which is almost reaching superfood status like other rival fellow seeds, chia, flax, and watermelon. Well, even though that sounds mildly exaggerated, if you get a lowdown of the benefits of hemp seeds, you will be totally amazed at its incredible nutritional benefits!
First thing first, you will be surprised to know how hemp seeds are derived and from which plant. Hemp seeds are actually the seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, and they are the same species as cannabis or marijuana.
Before you freak out, hemp seeds contain only trace amounts of THC, that contains the drug-like properties of marijuana.
Benefits of Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are in fact a powerhouse of healthy fats, protein, and various essential minerals.
1. They Are Packed With Essential Fatty Acids
Fatty acids are compounds that help the body perform a number of important functions. They help boost your immune system and also reduce your cancer risk. There are some fatty acids which the body require, but cannot make. So should you skimp on them? Not really! The next best option is to get them from foods.
Hemp seeds are particularly rich in both omega-3 and omega-6. The seeds are perfectly balanced in these two fatty acids, which is indeed a rare combination. So including these seeds in your diet can improve your heart health too.
Most people get their balance wrong as far as their fatty acids quotients are concerned, it means that they have too much of omega-6 and very little omega-3 in their diet. Hemp seeds are naturally endowed with a good balance of them, so you definitely need to include them in your diet.
2. Packed With Protein
The body needs the right amount of amino acids to make protein, and hemp seeds are a great source of them. In fact, they contain a whopping 20 known amino acids. The seeds contain 25 percent protein, which is in fact, higher than other nutrition packed seeds, including chia and flax. Hemp seeds are packed with the two main proteins, albumin and edestin, which are easily digested.
Plant protein helps you keep full for longer and is the building blocks for your muscles, metabolism, bones and for your overall health.
3. Incredibly Rich In Antioxidants
Hemp seed is packed with high levels of vitamin E, which is one of the most essential antioxidants. It also contains tocopherol, which is said to play a role in treating Alzheimer’s and atherosclerosis, and phytol, which has antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.
4. Great For The Health Of Your Skin, Hair, And Nails
If you are forever trying to deal with issues such as skin problems, hair fall, or weak nails, you probably need to try hemp seeds right now. Because there are lots of Hemp oil benefits, it is sometimes included in a host of cosmetic products like lip balms, soaps, and lotions. Hemp seed oil is said to seep in deep through the inner layers of the skin and accelerate healthy cell growth; which results in healthy skin.
Hemp seed oil is also known to be terrific in combating skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema, so it is imperative that you at least include two tablespoons of hemp seeds every day, to reap its incredible benefits.
5. It Fights Cancer
Hemp seeds, because of their rich fatty acid profile of omega-3 fats and GLA (gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an essential omega-6 fatty acid), help balance inflammation levels and give a boost to your immune system.
Research has substantiated that the THC compound in hemp seeds can halt certain cancers right in their tracks and also possibly reverse some kind of cancers, like brain cancer.
The THC compound in hemp seeds has improved the health conditions of people suffering from advanced stage breast cancer. People with lung cancer also reported similar benefits.
But all this information is still under research, and you need to consult your doctor before you make any drastic dietary changes.
But with all the encouraging evidence emerging everyday about hemp seeds, it is true that it can, in fact, be very much part of your everyday diet to combat cancer.
6. Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the world’s most dangerous killer, taking away millions of lives every year. Hemp seeds help reduce the risk of cardiovascular death on several counts. They contain generous amounts of the amino acid arginine, which produces nitric oxide in the body.
Now, how does nitric oxide help? Nitric oxide is a gas molecule that makes the blood vessels dilate and relax, which leads to control in fluctuating blood pressure levels and hence reduces the risk of heart diseases to a great extent.
The increased levels of arginine decrease levels of C-reactive protein. CRP is an inflammatory marker, the imbalance of which can lead to heart disease.
The gamma-linolenic acid, also a chief constituent of hemp seeds, has shown positive signs of greatly reducing inflammation, which is the chief cause of most chronic diseases, including heart ailments.
Also, more and more evidence has shown that hemp seeds or hemp seed oil may also help reduce blood pressure, the risk of blood clot formation and help you recover after a heart attack.
7. Aids Digestion
Whole hemp seeds are packed with both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is said to form a gel-like substance in the gut. It is a place for thriving beneficial bacteria, which has myriad health benefits, ranging from lowering cholesterol levels to reducing the sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.
But ensure you consume the hemp seeds with the shells, as the dehulled seeds are deprived of the essential fiber content.
8. Reduces Symptoms Of Menopause And PMS
The emotional roller-coaster of feelings that a woman goes through when they are PMS-ing or going through menopause can be controlled by hemp seeds. This happens, because hemp seeds are particularly high in GLA (gamma linolenic acid) and there is increasing evidence to prove that hemp seeds may significantly reduce the symptoms of menopause and PMS both, when taken in the right quantities.
4 Tasty Hemp Seed Recipes
A couple of spoonsful of hemp seeds pack a lot of essential nutrients, they’re pretty easy to eat and include in your recipes as they have a pleasantly nutty taste, which seems to amalgamate the two kinds of seed, that is sunflower seed and a pine nut. Also, chuck the irrational fear that you will get high on hemp seeds; trust us, you won’t.
We don’t like to have anything straight out of a packet except if it is potato chips or something which looks devilishly good, so having them on the go may seem a little difficult and boring. So give these seeds a makeover and make them part of interesting recipes. We bet, then, you won’t forget to have those two spoonful’s every day.
1. Oats with Hemp Seeds
If you are someone who cannot do without your morning oats, then try to make your bowl of oats healthier by adding hemp seeds. Oats are incredibly nutritious. Whole oats are rich in antioxidants, which includes avenanthramide. Oats also contain a powerful soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which helps lower cholesterol levels and protect LDL cholesterol. Fortified almond milk is a great source of protein and vitamin D.
- 1/4 cup of steel-cut oats
- Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 cup of blackberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon of Hemp seeds
- Almond milk (for serving)
- Combine the oats, salt, and ¾ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the oats soften for 15–20 minutes. Top the oats with blackberries and hemp seeds; drizzle with almond milk.
2. Hemp Seed Hummus
Hummus is one of the few foods which are taste bud friendly, yet nutrient dense. It provides you with protein and a number of essential vitamin and minerals. While it is high in fat, most of it is the good fat, which is heart-healthy unsaturated fat. In this hummus recipe, you can add the chickpeas with hemp seeds, which is going to make this dish all the more healthy. The result is a delicious, finger-licking healthy dish which is enough to make you go on a snack-a-thon.
- 4 Tbsp of hemp seeds
- 4 tsp. of lemon juice
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas or canned, garbanzo beans
- 2 Tbsp of water
- 2 cloves of small garlic, minced
- 6 Tbsp. of olive oil
- 1 tsp. of salt
- Garnish paprika red pepper flakes, chopped parsley or coriander
- Grind the hemp seeds in a grinder (or spice grinder or pestle and mortar). Put them into a food processor along with the other ingredients – lemon juice, chickpeas, water, garlic, olive oil, and salt.
- Blend until smooth. Add water, if you need a thinner consistency of hummus.
- When you serve, put it on a plate or a bowl, drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle with paprika, red pepper flakes, and chopped parsley or coriander.
3. Hemp Seed Energy Balls
These energy balls do not just look great, but taste really good; the chocolate has much to do with it. But you need to ensure you keep it healthy by selecting unsweetened cocoa. This helps you indulge guilt-free. The fiber content of these energy balls is pretty high, thanks mainly to the oats and the hemp seeds. Whether we’re hungry or not, these lip-smacking seed balls are our go to food, since they are protein packed and keep away those pesky hunger pangs.
- 1 cup of quick oats
- ½ cup of hemp seeds
- 1 cup of peanut butter
- 1/3 cup of maple syrup
- 1 tsp. of vanilla
- ¼ cup of cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp. of sea salt
- ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats and hemp seeds, and set aside
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the maple syrup and peanut butter. Once it is well blended, stir in the vanilla, the salt, and then the cocoa powder.
- Add the peanut butter mixture to the oats/hemp seeds and blend together really well
- Keep the bowl in the fridge for five minutes to cool it down then add the chocolate chips. This ensures that the mixture does not melt and the chocolate chips remain whole.
- Stir in the chips and blend again
- Roll the dough into golf ball sized balls; wet your hands every now and then to mold the balls. Put them in the freezer to firm up in the freezer for an hour or so.
4. Banana Hemp Smoothie
Bananas are incredibly delicious and healthy. They contain many essential nutrients and have health benefits which range from digestion and heart health to weight loss. They also contain a fair amount of fiber and several antioxidants as well. Teamed with hemp seeds they pack a hefty nutritional punch.
- 1 cup milk of your choice (I used almond)
- 1 medium banana (optionally frozen)
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, hemp protein powder, or both
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 tsp. of raw honey
- 1/2 tbsp. of coconut oil
- 1/2 cup of mixed berries
- 1 serving of wheatgrass powder (optional)
- Add all of the ingredients into your blender and blend on high until smooth.
Include these super effective recipes to your diet plan. The several varieties can give you different options to add to your everyday meals. Also, besides hemp seeds, you can also add hemp seeds oil into your diet. Hemp seed oil contains 75-80% of polyunsaturated fatty acids, deemed as the good fat, and lesser desired saturated fatty acids constitutes only 9-11% of it.
Hemp seed oil is said to be the most unsaturated oil derived from the plant kingdom. The essential fatty acids (EFAs), which constitute hemp seed oil, are thought to be essential because our bodies do not naturally produce them. This means that the only way to reap its benefits is through food.
Make sure to include these nutritious seeds in your diet as they have great nutritive value to keep you healthy and keep chronic diseases at bay. So, what’s stopping you from sprinkling a spoonful of the seeds on your morning porridge?