We think hemp is an amazing food product – but don’t just take our word for it! Several of the world’s top dieticians also rate hemp seeds for their nutritional benefits and recommend incorporating them into your diet.
If you’re curious to find out what the experts have to say about hemp, read on.
Hemp is a form of marijuana, right?
As it happens, hemp is in the same family as marijuana, namely Cannabis Sativa L., but they’re not the same plant. Marijuana contains a lot of THC, a chemical that’s well-known for producing a psychoactive reaction (or ‘high’). Hemp’s plant seeds only have a tiny amount of THC and produce no discernible psychoactive effect at all.
Just to clarify – consuming hemp won’t ever make you fail a drugs test. It’s just not possible.
What’s hemp got in it?
Here’s what the USDA National Nutrient Database states that a single tablespoon of hemp seeds contains:
- A whopping 9.47g of protein
- 21 milligrams of calcium
- 38 milligrams of iron
- 210 milligrams of magnesium
- 495 milligrams of phosphorus
- 360 milligrams of potassium
- 97 milligrams of zinc
That’s just the start of it. A report in Today’s Dietician highlighted hemp seeds’ anti-oxidant qualities, and the fact that they contain Omega 3 and 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are seriously beneficial for your body. Fatty acids not only play a vital role in human growth, they also help prevent and ease the symptoms of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis and coronary heart disease.
It’s also believed that these fatty acids help reduce the risk of blood clots and arterial plaques – which is good to know.
Vitamin E benefits
Hemp seeds contain a high level of vitamin E. In fact, to get your daily dose of this vitamin, you’d only need to eat one or two tablespoons of hemp seeds – which can easily be sprinkled on your salad or added to your breakfast cereal.
Why is vitamin E so important? Well, according to experts, compounds containing vitamin E are ‘free-radical scavenging antioxidants’. If that description doesn’t make it sound like a superhero, nothing will.
Can it help you lose weight?
Ultimately, the most successful way to reach a healthy weight is to eat a diet that’s full of the right kinds of foods. However, some studies suggest that hemp seeds can help regulate body weight, particularly if you’ve recently lost a significant amount.
Another major advantage of hemp seeds is that they’re filling. If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re concerned about feeling hungry / deprived, this is a significant benefit.
Hemp seeds are basically 25-35% pure protein. They contain all 10 of the essential amino acids your body needs to thrive, and they come from two excellent storage proteins – edestin and albumin, which are both easy to digest.
This is really good news for vegans and vegetarians, as sometimes, getting enough protein from plant-based products can be tricky. In fact, hemp protein-shakes are ideal for vegans looking for a post-work out protein hit, as they offer much more protein power than other seeds (e.g. chia).
Other Potential Benefits
When it comes to hemp seed health benefits, the list literally runs on and on. In addition to everything we’ve mentioned above, experts also suggest that regular consumption of hemp seeds may also:
- Ease symptoms associated with dermatitis
- Reduce levels of unhealthy cholesterol
- Lower high blood pressure
- Offer cardiovascular support
Getting a bit of hemp into your diet is surprisingly easy. All you need to do to get your daily dose is to drizzle some hemp seed oil onto your stir-fry or sprinkle some hemp seeds on your pudding. Alternatively, you can enjoy a nutrient-rich hemp seed protein-shake each day – it’s totally up to you!