Benefits of Hemp Seeds as a Food - By Terry Memory
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Let's explore the various health benefits and nutritional boosts that hemp seeds can bring when you introduce them into your diet. First things first, let's begin with a definition: What are Hemp Seeds? Hemp seeds belong to the hemp plant, otherwise known as Cannabis sativa. Technically, they are a nut, and these small seeds are crunchy in nature and safe to consume. They also contain a trace of a psychotropic chemical, known as THC, (this is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis which is known to result in euphoria.) However, this is only 0.5% THC, meaning they are safe for consumption as they are considered "naturally occurring" hemp products, so there is no need to worry. What's the flavour? Hemp seeds are delicious: they have a creamy filling which has a mild, nutty flavour and they're soft in nature. They are usually consumed raw. The great thing about hemp is that it can be grown all over the world. As it is a very strong plant, it can grow in a variety of environmental conditions. These seeds are full of nutritious compounds, including:
A good source of protein
Hemp seeds are a complete source of protein, and they provide all nine essential amino acids. They almost contain as much protein as soybeans. In every 30 grams worth of hemp seeds, (around a tablespoon), there is 9.46g of protein. (Good news for gym-goers!) Amino acids are the essential building blocks for all proteins. Our bodies cannot produce all 9 of these acids on our own, so as humans, we need to absorb them via our diets. There is actually a limited supply of plant-based foods that are considered "complete" protein sources, which means hemp seeds are a fantastic addition to a vegan or vegetarian diet and a great hemp protein in general. Hemp seeds are especially rich in an amino acid called arginine. This is great news as it has brilliant benefits for heart health.
They contain low unsaturated fats and more of the good fats
The health benefits of polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, are well known, and hemp seeds are a great source of these essential fatty acids as they contain a form of omega 3. These fats are crucial for our long-term health and something that a lot of people don't realise is the ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s is important in our diets. In general, people tend to consume less omega-3s and too many omega-6s. How According to a study undertaken in 2015, by incorporating hemp seeds to a hens' diet, the eggs that it laid had an increased level of omega-3s in the yolks and a more healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. This means they are even healthier for us to consume showcasing the benefits of hemp nutrition. Hemp seeds also contain no trans fats and are low in saturated fats.
High in fibre
Make sure you purchase hemp seeds that have the hulls intact as much of the fibre in a hemp seed lies in its outer hull or shell. However, regardless of the shell, hemp seeds are a brilliant source of fibre. Three tablespoons contain around 1.2 g of fibre. There are a variety of health benefits associated with consuming enough fibre every day, such as: - help with weight management - reduce the appetite - work to stabilise blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes - promote a healthy gut
High in vitamins and minerals
Hemp seeds contain an impressive range of minerals and vitamins and are especially rich in: - phosphorous - magnesium - vitamin E - potassium They are also a good source of zinc, and iron, B vitamins, including: - riboflavin - niacin - thiamine - folate - vitamin B-6
They're low in carbs
In a world where everyone seems to be opting for low carb diets, you'll be happy to know that hemp seeds are a low carb option that's both natural and filling. This is because 33 percent of nutrition comes from protein and around 40 percent from healthy fats. There are also added health benefits of hemp seeds as a food above and beyond just nutritional benefits. Let's consider some of them below.
Help to prevent heart disease
Hemp seeds contain the amino acid arginine. This has the role of producing nitric oxide which then leads to lower blood pressure. This reduces your risk of heart disease. This is important as CVD affects more than 3.7 million in Australia with 1.4 million people prevented from living a full life due to a CVD related disability.
Due to the fact that hemp seeds contain gamma-linolenic acid, it is suggested that this plant can assist in fighting the causes of disease and age. This is because the gamma-linolenic acid has been proven to reduce inflammation. Studies have shown it reduces: - eczema - allergies - depression - chronic fatigue syndrome
Improves skin issues
Due to the presence of them wonderful omega 3 fatty acids we mentioned above, this also means that hemp seeds are great for improving skin problems and conditions such as eczema. According to studies on hemp skin, “Dietary hempseed has caused significant changes in plasma fatty acid profiles and improved the symptoms of atopic dermatitis". Now that you know the brilliant benefits of hemp seeds as a food, it's time to start incorporating them into your diet. They are delicious raw, but you can always incorporate them into other recipes and create delicious hemp food. If you need a little inspiration, check out these ideas below. - Throw in salads - Make pesto sauces - Sprinkle over cereal - Add in homemade granola - Healthy cookies - Smoothies Start gaining the health benefits of hemp seeds today, and yes, don't worry, it's all very legal! Overall, hemp seeds are extremely healthy and they may be one of the few superfoods who are worthy of their reputation. Check out 13 Seeds Hemp Farm Tasmania for more information.