There are so many seeds out there today that boost superfood status. But none of them taste as good or pack as big of a punch as hemp seeds do.
When we hear the word "hemp" often times it brings a lot of weird connotations with it. If you're interested in trying these nutritious, delicious, little powerhouses but want to do a little more research, this is the post for you.
We're here today to talk about the benefits hemp seeds and the health advantages they bring to the table.
What are Hemp Seeds?
First, let's talk about what hemp seeds actually are.
Hemp seeds, or hemp hearts as you might have heard them called, are the seeds of the hemp plants, or Cannabis sativa.
Yes, that is the same plant that produces marijuana. But hemp seeds only contain trace amounts of THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana. THC is what can get you high.
Hemp seeds are incredibly safe, very healthy, and will not get you high.
The hemp plant is a pretty incredible plant. It produces the strongest of all the natural fibers and doesn't need herbicides and pesticides to grow. It can produce oil that can help relieve pain. And it gives us these little miracle seeds!
We can use hemp seeds in a wide variety of ways to improve our health, but we'll get to that later. First, let's talk about the different health benefits of hemp seeds!
What are the Benefits of Hemp Seeds?
Now that we know what hemp seeds are, let's figure out what exactly it is they can do.
They're Super Nutritious
Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat and are rich in two essential fatty acids, which we'll talk more about below. They're packed with protein, with 25% of their total calories coming from high-quality, plant-based protein.
Chia seeds and flaxseeds only give you about 16-18% of their calories from protein.
They are also an excellent source of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Let's talk about magnesium for a minute. Most of us don't get enough magnesium in our diets.
Magnesium is a crucial part of our diets. It helps us in a wide variety of ways, including:
- Nerve transmission
- Muscle contraction
- Blood coagulation
- Energy production
- Metabolising nutrients
- Bone and cell formation
Clearly, we need magnesium. Just an ounce of these seeds gives us 192 mg of magnesium. That's 50% of your recommended daily amount!
They're Rich in Fatty Acids
GLA, gamma-linolenic acid, is a fatty acid that can help regulate hormones by supporting prostaglandin production.
This might seem counterintuitive because GLA is am omega 6 fatty acid and we know those to be not good for us. However, it's not the acids themselves but the way we eat them. Processed vegetable oils throw our natural balances off.
Hemp seeds have the perfect ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids, 3 to 1.
Foods that are rich in GLA, like hemp seeds, have been seen to help people with ADHD, breast pain, diabetic neuropathy, obesity, and other disorders.
They Contain No Phytic Acid
Most plant seeds naturally have phytic acid. This acid has been shown to affect the way we absorb the minerals.
What good are all of those nutrients in a seed if they come along with something that stops us from digesting it the right way?
Hemp seeds are unique in that they contain no phytic acid, which means more nutrients for you!
They Pack a lot of Fiber
Just two tablespoons of hemp seeds added to your diet will provide you with 2 grams of fiber (and 5 grams of protein!)
Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet because it aids in digestion.
They Improve Heart Health
Heart attacks and strokes make up a third of all deaths in the world.
Hemp seeds contain 5 compounds that are shown to reduce the risk of heart disease!
Remember those amino acids we were talking about? Hemp seeds have a lot of them. In addition to GLA, they also contain arginine.
Arginine is used to make nitric oxide. This is a gas that makes the blood vessels dilate and relax. This can help lower the risk of heart disease and decreases your blood pressure.
They Help Regulate Your Immune System
All of those fatty acids in hemp seeds help the immune system.
When you suffer from an autoimmune disease, your body's immune system overreacts. Hemp seeds have been shown to regulate the mechanisms controlling that.
This helps to reduce inflammation, making sure you feel well more often.
They Can Help People With Multiple Sclerosis
MS is a disease that affects the central nervous system. It can lead to physical disabilities, among other serious symptoms.
Hemp seeds were found to improve symptoms of patients who were relapsing with MS.
Some studies say that hemp seeds could even prevent MS thanks to the way it improves the membranes of your cells!
They Could Have Anti-Cancer Benefits
There are very trace amounts of THC in hemp seeds. There is absolutely not enough in them to get you high if you consume them, and they're perfectly safe to eat.
However, the trace amounts of THC could help stop tumor cell growth!
They Reduce Stress and Anxiety
All of the amino acids, B vitamins, and magnesium in hemp seeds work together to support the parts of the brain that reduce stress and anxiety.
Without enough of these minerals, the body ups its production of stress hormones.
Because hemp seeds are absolutely packed with these vitamins and minerals, it helps to lower stress and keep your moods functioning at a balanced and normal rate.
They Help Heal Arthritis and Joint Pain
In a study that was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, they concluded that hemp seed oil has anti-arthritic effects. This can help the people suffering from this disorder relieve the symptoms.
They're High in Plant-Based Protein
If you're eating a vegetarian diet, it can be hard to find a well-rounded source of protein, fatty acids, and minerals in one place.
With hemp seeds, you don't have to look any further.
They provide all essential amino acids, so they're considered a complete source of protein. This is incredible, and it has been compared to the amount of protein in beef, lamb, and quinoa.
They Reduce Symptoms of PMS and Menopause
With the high amounts of GLA and other acids in hemp seeds, they have been shown to help balance out the hormones that have been linked to making PMS and menopause worse.
This changes the game for people suffering from these hormonal imbalances.
Need Some Crunch in your Diet?
We are only just getting into all the different benefits of hemp seeds. But now that you know some of the health benefits of this superfood, you might be wondering what you can do with it.
There are so many ways to increase the amount of hemp seed in your daily diet. Adding them to a salad, throwing them in a smoothie, or munching them throughout the day are just a few ways you can reap the benefits of this seed.
If you're looking for other ways you can add this seed to your diet, check out our variety of products today!