Why are Hemp Seeds Essential for Health? Health Benefits and Delicious Recipes

Hemp_benefits

By Trinity Bourne

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Hemp is one of the most versatile plants on the planet. It is an amazing gift of nature, can produce high quality clothing, textiles, paper, food and while we’re at it – you can even build a house with it! As a bonus, it is also naturally resistant to pests, so it doesn’t require harmful pesticides even when grown on a commercial scale. As a food, hemp seeds have an abundance of health benefits. This article explores why we should most certainly be embracing this incredible super-food.

Hemp versus marijuana

If you’ve been on the conscious eating path for any length of time, then you may already know that hemp seeds sold for kitchen use contain a completely insignificant amount of THC (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gets people ‘high’)… just in case you wondered. Hemp and marijuana are essentially completely different varieties of the same plant species. So if you are concerned, then rest assured, there will be no getting high on culinary approved hemp seed!

Why is hemp so good for us?

Hemp is one of the most amazing plants to support human health that exists on our planet. It’s brimming with nutrients, so much so, that I make a point of incorporating it regularly into my already super healthy plant-based diet.

Protein Power Super Star

Hemp is one of the most complete proteins in the plant food kingdom, containing ALL 21 known amino acids, including the 9 that humans are unable to produce themselves. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Protein is essential for basic bodily functions; it helps to build new cells whilst looking after the tissues within your body (which lets face it, is pretty essential). Protein is responsible for making neurotransmitters, the essential internal messaging service that sends the signals around your body to make it function. Hemp comes up top for protein power and is well recognised as a super-food by those seeking a healthy protein source.

Perfect balance of omega essential fats

‘Essential’ means that the body can’t produce these fats itself, so it requires dietary input. Hemp contains nature’s perfect ratio (3:1) of omega 3 to omega 6 essentially fatty acids. This is a unique accomplishment in the plant world. These compounds have been shown to have a particularly beneficial effect on our health. Hemp seeds are one of the few plant-based sources of omega 3 (other sources include walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds).

GLA (gamma linolenic acid)

Hemp is an excellent source of GLA. This is a really special omega 6 fatty acid, that is also found in borage, evening primrose and black currant seeds. It has been shown to help people with skin disorders, PMS, menopause, cancer, heart disease, arthritis and has good anti-inflammatory benefits.

Hempseed oil and skin disorders

Studies have shown that hemp seed oil can help with skin disorders. I found one study concluding that improvement in cholesterol levels and improved symptoms of atopic dermatitis were directly related to the dietary consumption of hempseed oil. It was suggested that this may be because of the abundance of PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) in hempseed oil.

High fibre food

(yes we really do spell fibre like that here!)

Like most plant foods, hemp seeds are rich in soluble and un-soluble fibre. Fibre naturally keeps the colon clear, gives you a satiated feeling, whilst helping to reduces sugar cravings.

High in antioxidants

Hemp seeds are high in the antioxidant vitamin E, a very helpful antioxidant. It has also been found to contain tocopherol, which benefits both Alzheimer’s and atherosclerosis. Phytol is another powerful antioxidant from hemp seed, which has is known to have both antioxidant and anticancer properties.

Different ways to eat hemp seeds

Hemp seed oil

Hemp seed oil is extracted by pressing hemp seeds. It’s best to choose a cold pressed, unrefined oil to ensure that it retains its optimal goodness. The best hemp seed oil will have a green tint along with a fresh, nutty flavour. It is known to be unstable at high temperatures and not advisable to use for frying or baking. It works well by drizzling over potatoes or veggies after cooking and is always my first choice for salad dressings.

Here is a deliciously easy hemp & parsley salad dressing that I am totally in love with, so much so that I even created a short video to show you how simple it really is:

Hemp protein powder

This is an excellent way to add hemp to a smoothie or other food if you specifically want to focus on the protein and high fibre element of these amazing seeds. The powder is what’s left over after the oil had been extracted and is much easier to digest than many other protein sources. One of my favourite ways to use hemp protein powder is to pop it in a smoothie. Check out my delicious recipes…

Two delicious recipes using hemp protein powder

  1. Happy Hemp Superfood Breakfast Bowl with maca and tahini
  2. Raw Protein Hemp Power Balls with chia, flax and cacao

Whole hemp seeds

I remember the first time I ever tried hemp seeds about 15 years ago. They hadn’t yet taken the world by storm and generally came with the shells still on. I learned rapidly from experience that you definitely want to buy them hulled/shelled (also referred to as hemp seed hearts). They have a light, nutty flavour and blend easily into smoothies or act as a great sprinkle for salad and other cereals. Grind them or use them whole.

Where to find hemp seeds

You can find hemp seeds, hemp protein and hemp oil at any good health food store or online.

Here are a few helpful suggestions to get you started…

Happy Hemping

Trinity x

Article resources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2868018

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf404278q

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/272024

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp_oil

More articles by Trinity Bourne:

About the author:

Trinity Recipe: Fig a licious Vegan Tart (Gluten and Sugar Free)Trinity is an experienced, empathic energy worker and the author of ‘Trinity’s Conscious Kitchen’, a recipe book designed to inspire the soul through conscious vegan, wheat-free cuisine.

Around 18 years ago, during a profound spiritual awakening, the world around her shattered. She became engulfed in a white, universal, timeless, formless light until nothing else existed – other than the nameless truth at the core of all sentient beings. During this life-changing experience Trinity experienced the soul of all other sentient beings, trees, creatures, people as one pulsating energy. Transcending her into a higher realm of unity and oneness, this experience imparted a divine energy that she has been sharing through spiritual work ever since.

Understanding that the energy of our food directly impacts sentient life on all levels, Trinity founded Trinity’s Conscious Kitchen, a website devoted to inspiring the soul through conscious vegan cuisine. She is the co-founder of the Openhand Foundation, an organisation dedicated to the evolution of humankind. She works as the divine complement to her soul mate Open to help facilitate the global ascension process and feels incredibly blessed to be of divine service.

 


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  • Steven Gaylord

    My wife buys 5 lbs at a time the “Just Hemp” hulled hemp seeds. Certified Non-GMO, I’ll just snack on them right out of the bag.

  • Name (required)Fanny Bright

    I know I grind my flax and chia seeds myself so I am assured of freshness and vitality. How can I be sure of the same if I buy hulled hemp seed/hemp hearts?
    I have been buying whole hemp seeds for many years and enjoying them lightly toasted or ground in smoothies and GF baked goods.

  • Don’t forget about Hippie Butter Hemp Seed Products at http://www.hippiebutter.com/ – We sell hemp seed food and hemp skin care products. Thanks for teaching people about the many benefits of hemp seeds.

  • Nithin

    Can i please know the scientific name of this hemp plant? So that i can find out if the plant is found in my region viz India.