Today I am going to inform you the benefits of hemp seeds. Recently I sourced some very high quality hemp seeds from the Himalayan region which I have been using for months and offered to share with few people. I felt it would be worth writing a blog on the benefits and usage of hemp seeds to have users a better understanding on the subject. Bottomline: Hemp is great for everybody with no side effects!
What are hemp seeds?
Hemp seeds are sterilised seeds of hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). They come from marijuana (bhang) plant but have negligible content of the THC (0.4% as compared to 10% in marijuana) which gives the “high”. For this reason, hemp seeds are perfectly safe, legal and healthy to consume.
30g (which is the recommended dosage) of hemp seeds contain:
- 16% iron
- 21% vitamin E
- 48% phosphorus
- 48% magnesium
- 23% zinc
- 11g protein (15%)-This is considerably more protein than chia seeds and flaxseeds.
- 13g of fats containing omega 3 and healthy fats-more than fish oil and fish oil supplements.
- Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C and D in addition to calcium, sodium and fiber. (1)
What are the benefits of hemp seeds?
- Hemp works great for heart: They are known to improve heart health; through various mechanisms. One mechanism is via their content of the amino acid arginine, which generates nitrous oxide, eventually dilating and relaxing arteries. The other mechanism would be by reducing inflammation in the body and arteries which helps heal heart among other things. In addition, the healthy fats in hemp help reduce cholesterol and lastly, hemp seeds also reduce blood pressure and help heart recover faster after surgery. These would be the biggest upsides of consuming hemp seeds and the primary reasons for their consumption. (2)
- Hemp is great for hair, nails and skin: Because of a healthy ratio of omega three and omega six (3:1), hemp seeds and hemp seed oil hemps in soothing the skin and finds great use in dryness, psoriasis, eczema, dry and itchy skin, flaky nails and dandruff. (2)
- Vegetarian protein source: Very pure, high quality source of plant based proteins with similar protein levels to that of meat. Interestingly, hemp seeds uniquely contain all 20 amino acids required by humans and hence is a very high quality, complete protein source for vegans, vegetarians and non vegetarians.
- PMS and Menopause: Because of healthy fatty acids which reduce inflammation and balance hormones (like prolactin-the pre menstrual hormone), hemp reduces PMS pains and could also smooth menopausal transition. (2)
- Cell generation and biochemical processes: Hemp has the perfect balance of two fats (Linoleic acid and alpha linoleic acid) which are essential (meaning the body can’t produce them and they need to be supplemented by diet). These fats serve as precursors for biochemical processes and raw materials for cells generation.
- Antioxidant and immunity: Hemp is also known for reversing of ageing process and providing energy due to its antioxidant effects. As a result, hemp seeds also boost body’s immune response making you difficult to fall sick and ensuring faster recovery from diseases.
- Better muscle: Because of the gamma linoleic acid, hemp is also known to improve muscle quality and serves as a great vegan post workout recovery food. You can see my recipe of hemp seeds milk here.
- Joint pains and Inflammation: Because of anti inflammatory properties, hemp seeds also serve as a healing food for inflammatory conditions like diabetes, joint pains and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Weight loss: Because of their healthy fats, which keep you satisfied for longer, hemp seeds curb your cravings for sugary and salty foods. Hence they serve as a great weight loss food.
- Multiple sclerosis: MS is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, leading to physical disabilities and other symptoms. Because of healthy fats and cell regenerative effects, hemp seeds are known to heal multiple sclerosis and even regenerate myelin sheath and mitochondria. (3)
- Aids in digestion: Hemp has loads of both soluble and insoluble fibre, adding bulk to the food and also helping absorption of nutrients from the gut, effectively improving gut health but also helping in digestive situations like constipation.
How to eat hemp seeds?
Hemp seeds can be eaten by blending them in kefir, yogurt, fruit and vegetable smoothies. You can also make vegan friendly hemp seeds milk from them, the recipe for which I have posted here. You can also make hemp seeds, coconut and nut butter balls sweetened with stevia as a healthy dessert and an amazing way to include hemp seeds in your diet.