Hemp is a plant that is grown in the northern hemisphere and takes approximately 3-4 months to reach maturity. In addition to being consumed, hemp seeds can be used to generate a number of food products, such as hemp milk, hemp oil, hemp cheese alternatives, and hemp-based protein powder, among others.
Hemp seeds have a mellow, nutty flavour that complements many dishes. Hemp milk is created by blending hulled hemp seeds with water and a sweetener to create a creamy consistency. Hemp oil has a pronounced “grassy” flavour to it that many people enjoy.
Cannabis and hemp are frequently mistaken with one another. Despite the fact that they are members of the same family, the two plants are vastly distinct. In order to have psychoactive characteristics, marijuana must be produced in high concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a chemical compound that is present in high concentrations in the plant. Hemp is the term used to describe the edible seeds of the hemp plant, which contains only a trace amount of THC.
This article is part of a series on the health advantages of popular foods. It provides a nutritional breakdown of hemp and an in-depth look at its possible health benefits, how to incorporate more hemp into your diet and any potential health risks of consuming hemp.
Approximately 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds weighing 20 grammes (g) includes the following nutrients, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database :
- 111 calories
- 6.31 g of protein
- 9.75 g of fat
- 1.73 g of carbohydrates (including 0.8 g of fiber and 0.3 g of sugar)
- 14 milligrams (mg) of calcium
- 1.59 mg of iron
- 140 mg of magnesium
- 330 mg of phosphorus
- 240 mg of potassium
- 1.98 mg of zinc
- 22 micrograms (mcg) of folate
Hemp seeds are also a good source of vitamin C, as well as several B vitamins and vitamins A and E.
Hemp’s nutritional value has been linked to a range of potential health advantages, including reduced risk of cancer.
Fats that are good for you
The American Heart Association suggests that you eat two 3.5-ounce portions of fish per week, preferably oily fish, according to their guidelines. This is due to the fact that fish is a significant source of omega-3 fatty acids. In the absence of frequent seafood consumption, a person’s intake of DHA and EPA may be inadequate.
Hemp is a plant-based source of rich omega-3 fatty acids, and it is a good source of fibre. The fatty acids found in hemp, on the other hand, are alpha-linolenic acids (ALA), which are poorly converted to DHA and EPA in the body, with conversion rates ranging from 2 to 10%.
While hemp is one of the richest sources of ALA, it is also a very good source of healthy fat, particularly for those who do not consume fish or eggs. Despite this inefficient conversion rate, hemp is still one of the richest sources of healthy fat.
Hemp includes a specific omega-6 fatty acid known as GLA, and hemp oil contains an even higher concentration of GLA than hemp seeds themselves.
Hemp seeds also include phytosterols, which aid in the reduction of cholesterol levels in the body by eliminating fat deposits that have accumulated in the arteries.
Source of protein
Due to the fact that hemp includes all ten essential amino acids, it is a good plant-based source of protein. It is important to note that hemp does not contain phytates, which are found in many vegetarian protein sources and can interfere with the absorption of essential minerals. Hemp also contains no cholesterol.
Throughout the body, magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions, including the metabolism of food and the synthesis of fatty acids and proteins. Magnesium is required for over 300 enzymatic reactions. Magnesium is a mineral that has a role in neuromuscular transmission and activity as well as in muscle relaxation.
It has been shown that magnesium shortage, which is particularly widespread in elderly populations, is associated with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis, among other conditions. The finest sources of magnesium include nuts and seeds like hemp, which are high in the mineral magnesium.
According to recent research, women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may be able to decrease symptoms such as bloating, sleeplessness, leg swelling, weight gain, and breast tenderness by ensuring that they have an adequate amount of magnesium in their diet. Magnesium in combination with vitamin B6 appears to be the most effective treatment in these situations.
How to incorporate more hemp into your diet
Storage of hemp seeds in an airtight container in a cold, dry environment is recommended for best results. The majority of hemp products must be refrigerated once they have been opened.
Shelled hemp seeds should not be roasted above 350 degrees Fahrenheit in order to prevent the fatty acids from being damaged.
Quick pointers on how to make use of hemp:
- Purchase meal bars or granola bars made with hemp seeds for a quick snack
- Use hemp seed oil to make a salad dressing
- Sprinkle some hemp seeds on salads, rice pilafs, oatmeal, or yogurt
- Add hemp seeds to baked goods such as whole wheat muffins.
Try some of these hemp-based dishes that are both healthful and delicious, all of which were developed by trained dietitians:
- Pumpkin hemp seed bread
- Hemp seed tabouli
- Double chocolate energy bites
- Banana, pear, avocado and hemp seed smoothie
When consumed in moderation, hemp seeds are completely harmless. Given the high fat content of hemp seeds, the sudden increase in fat levels generated by consuming large quantities of hemp may result in moderate diarrhoea. For those who have a sensitive digestive system, it is recommended that they begin by consuming a little amount, such as 1 teaspoon, and gradually increase the amount they consume until they reach the serving size of 2 tablespoons.
Hemp seeds have been shown to impair platelet production and interact with anticoagulant medicines, increasing the likelihood of bleeding. In the event that you have been prescribed an anticoagulant, consult your doctor before taking significant quantities of hemp.