Thursday, July 20, 2017 by Frances Bloomfield
Hemp seeds are the small, dark-brown seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Though they’re from the same species as cannabis, hemp seeds contain negligible amounts of the psychotropic chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp itself is a versatile plant that can be made into a wide range of products, including fibers, cloth, and fuel. The seeds, on the other hand, have become more known as nutrient-packed superfoods that are steadily growing in popularity.
Hemp seeds are rich in helpful and important nutrients, primarily:
Hemp seeds are an excellent, reliable source of plant-based protein. Apart from containing enough protein to put them in the same league as quinoa, hemp seeds can provide all 20 known amino acids. The human body is unable to naturally produce these protein-building blocks, making them and hemp seeds all the more essential to one’s health. Additionally, the two main proteins in hemp seeds, albumin and edestin, are easy to digest and considered to be high-quality storage proteins.
Composed of 30 percent fat, hemp seeds are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids as well. The ratio of these two essential fatty acids in hemp seeds is 3:1, the optimal amount for humans.
Taking hemp seeds may reduce the symptoms of:
Hemp seeds can prevent atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart attacks in a number of ways: fiber scrapes excess cholesterol off artery walls, while the amino acid arginine produces nitric acid that helps the blood vessels dilate and relax.
Women suffering from premenstrual syndrome can find relief in hemp seeds. This is because hemp seeds contain gamma-linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of this condition.
The essential fatty acids of hemp seeds make them beneficial to people with eczema. Aside from improving blood levels, hemp seed oil can relieve dry skin and reduce itchiness.
Hemp seeds are known to be good for:
Hemp seeds provide soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which play a key role in maintaining a healthy digestive system. While soluble fiber promotes the growth of friendly gut bacteria, insoluble fiber bulks up stool and helps it pass through the body. The fiber content is found in the shell, however, so avoid purchasing de-hulled or shelled hemp seeds to get the most out of them.
Hemp seeds are chewy and nutty seeds that can be added to just about any meal. From salads and granola to yogurt and muffins, there aren’t that many foods that hemp seeds can’t add flavor and nutrition to.
People with gluten sensitivity can use hemp seeds as a breadcrumb substitute to coat fish or chicken, while people with nut allergies can opt for hemp seeds in recipes that call for almonds.
Note: those who’ve been addicted to cannabis may want to avoid hemp seeds. Although unlikely, it’s not entirely impossible for someone to experience the side effects of the THC content in hemp seeds.
Hemp seeds are incredibly nutritious superfoods that are notable for containing all of the essential amino acids, both soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The abundance of nutrients makes them essential in nourishing the cardiovascular system and in maintaining the health of the digestive system.
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