Hemp is an incredibly useful plant for a number of reasons. Industrial hemp is made into a number of products like rope, clothing, textile, shoes, paper, insulation, bioplastic and many more. Because hemp is a fast-growing plant, it can be produced and manufactured in large quantities without putting a lot of strain on soil resources. Historians have also uncovered ancient humans using fibers spun from hemp. All parts of the plant have its use, including the seeds.
Hemp seeds have been known to be eaten raw. It can be ground or sprouted for consumption. It can be made into a liquid and made into hemp milk or used for baking. Hemp seed can be pressed to produce hemp oil which is high in unsaturated fats. Hemp leaves can also be consumed and have been made into salads or made into a juice, although it is not as nutritious as the seeds.
Benefits of Hemp Seed
- Hemp seeds are nutritious
As mentioned above, hemp seed can be consumed and in fact, are very nutritious. Seeds have a mild, quite nutty flavor. Often referred to as hemp heart, hemp seeds contain around 30% fat and are rich in essential fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-3. These fatty acids are linked to many health benefits. Hemp seeds are commonly associated with chia seeds and flaxseeds whose popularity has made them a common ingredient in smoothies and fruit bowls. Hemp seed can be eaten raw, roasted, or cooked. Cold-pressed hemp oil is a good oil substitute for cooking and in baking.
- Hemp seeds are good for the heart
There have been many findings that suggest hemp may reduce the occurrence of a heart attack. It contains high amounts of arginine, an amino acid that produces nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide dilates and relaxes blood vessels lowering blood pressure and overall risk to heart disease. Gamma-linolenic acid that is also found in hemp seeds is linked to reducing inflammation which can help decrease the risk of heart disease. And studies that use animal models have shown that hemp seeds contribute to lower risk of developing clot formation, great news for those recovering from a heart attack.
- Hemp seeds are good for the skin
Studies have shown that fatty acids, like omega-6 and omega-3, may, in fact, have an effect in our body’s immune response. Because hemp seeds are rich in unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids, it can be used in treating a lot of skin diseases attributed to the body’s immune reaction. It can help in reducing inflammation and relieve itchy and dry skin. One particular example that hemp seed can address skin condition is in people who suffer from psoriasis. Because of hemp seeds ability to reduce inflammation, symptoms of the disease are relieved like redness and itchiness.
- Hemp seeds are a great source of protein
Good news for vegans who want to gain muscle mass, hemp seeds are packed with protein in amounts similar to that of beef and lamb. Hemp seeds are a complete protein source, meaning they have all the essential amino acids. Amino acids are needed by the body and must be obtained in our diet. A source of complete protein is very rare in plant food that we eat. One example of a plant source with complete protein is quinoa. And because hemp is natural, many professionals are recommending it over protein powders for those who are trying to bulk up.
- Hemp seeds aid in digestion
Everyone knows that fiber is essential in our diet for good digestion. Hemp seeds are a source of soluble and non-soluble fiber containing around 20% and 80% respectively. Soluble fibers are beneficial to the health of our digestive microbes and help to regulate our blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Insoluble fibers help to paste waste smoothly in our digestive tract and bulk up our stool.
Hemp seeds have seen recent popularity in the west but have been a primary source of food in many countries around the world. It is rich in healthy fats, protein, and important minerals that the body needs. Many consider hemp seeds to be a superfood because of all its nutritional and health benefits.