There is no denying it, Hemp seeds are awesome!
They are highly nutritious, a great source of protein with more than 25% of their total calories coming from high-quality proteins including all 20 types of amino acids, making it a complete protein.
They contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals, they contain no cholesterol and a near perfect omega ratio, not to mention that they’re rather delicious too.
Humans have been consuming and cultivating Hemp seed as a food source for thousands of years. Hemp seed is thought to be the first crop cultivated by mankind.
In this piece we’ll be looking at some of the incredible benefits of consuming Hemp seeds and Hempseed oil.
We’ll be looking at:
- What are Hemp Seeds
- Hemp seed oil and amino and Essential fatty acids
- Hemp seeds are rich in GLA (Gamma-Linolenic acid)
- Hemp with appetite
- Hemp seed oil vs Chia seed oil
- How to use Hemp seeds
What are Hemp seeds?
Well, firstly they’re technically not a seed, its actually a nut. Sometimes referred to as Hemp hearts, these little guys pack one hell of a nutritional punch. Hemp seed is the most nutritious seed in the world.
Hemp seeds are produced from specific strains of Cannabis that have been bred to have exceptionally low levels of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) The seeds contain no Cannabinoids, so don’t worry they won’t get you high.
They are however, a great source of Amino and fatty acids that are essential for healthy body functionality.
They’re also full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre, protein, omegas and enzymes making them one of the most complete food sources out there.
Hemp seed is legal in most countries and can now be found in a variety of food products from Hempseed oil to smoothies and milk alternatives.
You can find them in protein bars and health food snacks too. The health food market continues to expand as the public becomes more aware of just how much food affects mood and mental state.
After decades of negative publicity and propaganda because of its relation Cannabis, Hemp and its seeds are finally once again finding their way back into society and into our diets.
Hemp seed oil and amino acids/ Essential fatty acids
Hemp seeds are a great source of amino acids and essential Amino acids. which are the building blocks of protein and are a vital component of healthy body regulation.
Hemp seed is considered a complete protein source, which means that they also provide all of the essential amino acids that are necessary for healthy body function.
These amino acids are classified as essential because they’re not produced in the body and need to be consumed through our diet.
There are two main essential amino acids found in Hemp seeds, Omega 3 and 6 they’re polyunsaturated fats known as EFA’s Essential Fatty Acids.
They are essential because they are not naturally synthesised by the body and must be consumed through our diet.
Around 80% of the oil contained within the Hemp seed is polyunsaturated fatty acids with the remaining 20% being saturated fatty acids. It is believed that Hemp seed oil is the most unsaturated oil derivable from any plant.
Western diets are saturated in Omega 6 and deficient in omega 3. When balanced with Omega 3 in the correct ratio, Omega 6 polyunsaturated fats help to regulate brain functioning, stimulates hair and skin growth, regulates metabolism and generally governs growth and development within the body.
Excessive consumption of Omega 6’s with deficient levels of Omega 3’s can lead to various health complications as this will greatly increase internal inflammation and the increase the likelihood of illness and disease.
Hemp has the most balanced Omega ratio that we’ve discovered so far. It has a ratio of 3:1 (omega 6 – Omega 3) which as Research suggests humans should be consuming a diet with an Omega 6 – 3 ratio of 4:1.
Making Hemp seed the best food source to promote this balance.
Hemp seeds are rich in GLA
What is GLA?
GLA or (Gamma-Linolenic acid) is a plant-derived Omega 6. It is the building blocks of prostaglandins, hormone-like chemicals in the body that help to smooth muscles, control inflammation and body temperature.
Although it is a member of the Omega 6 family it is metabolised differently in the body.
GLA levels need to be increased in older people to ensure longevity and a good quality of life. This is because the enzyme in the body that governs its metabolism becomes less active with age.
So incorporating Hemp seed or Hempseed oil into your diet as you get older isn’t a bad idea as Hemp seeds are a great source of GLA and other Amino acids.
Hemp with appetite
Hemp is a natural appetite suppressant. Consuming it can help you to curb your appetite, help you to feel fuller for longer and promote satiety.
Hemp seeds and Hemp seed oil are one of the most densely packed super food sources on the planet. It is partly because it is high in fibre that it works so well to suppress the appetite.
In a study reported in the journal Appetite that study volunteers who ate a dinner rich in omega 3s were significantly less hungry afterward and even some two hours later than those whose dinners contained no omega 3s.
It turns out that Omega 3s somehow help regulate the brain’s hunger signal centre helping you manage hunger better.
Hemp Seed oil vs Chia Seed oil
As discussed above Hemp seed is a great source of fibre and protein but how does this compare to another highly nutritious and densely packed protein source like Chia seeds?
Chia seeds are an edible seed of the Salvia Hispanica plant, it is a relative of the mint family and originated from central America.
In recent decades, well since 1997 when the Advisory committee of novel foods and processes classified it as a novel food source allowing it to be added to food and be sold in Europe.
Below, we shall compare each seeds nutritional profile by looking at the percentages of vitamins, minerals, and other constituent components. We’ll be comparing a 100 gram serving of both seeds.
The percentages represent the recommended amount or daily value (DV) of each constituent.
When compared side by side it becomes easy to see just how superior the Hemp seeds really are.
The Mineral content far exceeds that of the Chia seeds except for Calcium. The same can be observed when contrasting the Vitamins too, other than vitamin A and C the Hemp seeds far exceed the Chia seed.
The other important factor here is the Omega 3 and Omega 6 ratio. So with its 3:1 ratio, Hemp seed is one of the best-balanced sources of polyunsaturated fats available to humans.
Chia seeds do provide a greater amount of dietary fibre, four times as much in fact, however with its excessive Omega 3 to 6 ratio the fibre is probably best acquired from another source, perhaps even by increasing the amount of Hemp seed in your diet.
When comparing the protein content, there is one clear winner, Hemp. Although both contain all nine essential amino acids.
These are necessary for humans to ingest as part of our diet as we do not naturally synthesis these chemicals. Hemp also contains all of the additional Amino acids making it one of, if not the most complete protein sources in nature.
How to use Hemp Seeds
Eating Hemp seeds is easy, they can ls. You could top your morning cereal or yogurt with them, add them to a smoothie, top a salad or pasta dish with them.
Providing flavour, vitamins, and minerals, protein and more. The only limitation is your culinary imagination.
A lot of people take Hemp oil in capsules to ensure they get their daily value of Amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and more.
The nutty flavour of hemp seeds means they can be used for flavour dishes for people with nut allergies.
Hemp seeds can also be used to make a delicious alternative to cow’s milk and can also be used as a substitute for breadcrumbs providing nutritious and delicious alternatives for lactose, nut, and gluten intolerant diets.
Hemp seeds can also be processed into an oil by cold pressing them. The waste shells and material can be used to make Hemp protein powder too.
Hempseed oil shouldn’t really be used in cooking or frying as it will degrade and break down all of the EFA’s.
Instead, it should be used to finish dishes. It provides a unique nutty dressing to garnish a salad, finish a pasta, or drizzled over a pizza or even some popcorn on movie night.
It is best to store them in an opaque airtight container placing them in the fridge to avoid degradation of the nutritional contents by the elements.
A bag of seeds stored correctly should last 12 months. The seeds generally do not need cooking as the majority come unshelled and ready to eat.
nutshell (excuse the pun), this historic food staple is growing once again in popularity so too is the information about just how nutritious Hemp seed oil and Hemp seeds really are. they’re a great source of vitamins and minerals.
They’re a complete protein providing all the essential and non-essential amino acids, they’re possibly the best ratio of Omega 6 to 3 available for our diet
They are environmentally friendly to produce, sequester carbon from the atmosphere and use significantly fewer pesticides and fertilisers than other comparable seed crops.
So what are you waiting for? Add Hemp to your diet today!