Hemp Seeds – Most Powerful & Amazing Seeds
Hemp or industrial hemp, typically found in the northern hemisphere, is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. Hemp seeds are exceptionally nutritious and rich in healthy fats, protein and various minerals. Hemp seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and are often referred to as hemp hearts. Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat. They are exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). They also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which has been linked with several health benefits.
Good for Your Heart and Mind
If you’re looking for a vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids, hemp seeds make a good choice. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that help reduce inflammation, and getting more in your diet may reduce your risk of heart disease. They may also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in concentrated amounts in the brain, and may play an important role in helping memory and cognition. So, start the day with a little heart and mind boost by adding hemp seeds to your hot cereal or yogurt.
Hemp seeds contain all of the essential amino acids, which makes it a complete source of protein just like chicken, fish or beef. Adding three tablespoons of hemp seeds to a salad or smoothie adds 10 grams of high-quality protein. While protein is not lacking in the American diet, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends including more non-meat sources of protein, and hemp seeds make a healthy choice.
Hemp seeds are also a rich source of a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Three tablespoons meets 50 percent of the daily value for magnesium and phosphorus, 25 percent of the daily value for zinc and 15 percent for iron. Meeting your daily magnesium and phosphorus needs is important for bone health. Iron is necessary for delivering oxygen throughout your body, and zinc supports immune health.
Fiber is a nutrient many Americans do not get enough of in their diet, according to the Dietary Guidelines. Women need 25 grams of fiber a day, and men 38 grams. Whole hemp seeds are comprised of 10 to 15 percent fiber, or about 1 gram per 3 tablespoons. Fiber in food like hemp seeds improves bowel function by helping prevent constipation. The fiber also increases feelings of fullness so you eat less.
A Word About Calories
While hemp seeds offer a number of nutritional benefits, they are a concentrated source of calories, with 170 calories per 3-tablespoon serving. To help control calories, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 suggests when including foods like hemp seeds in your diet to limit your portion and use them in place of other sources of protein such as meat or chicken.
Hemp seeds may thin the blood due to their high omega-3 content. If you currently take blood thinning medication, check with your doctor before adding hemp seeds to your diet. The oils in hemp seeds can go rancid over time, so it is advised to keep them in the refridgerator and dispose of them if you do not consume them within two months.
Hemp seeds are very rich in healthy fats, high-quality protein and several minerals.
However, hemp seed shells may contain trace amounts of THC (< 0.3%), the active compound in marijuana. People who have been addicted to cannabis may want to avoid consuming hemp or hemp seeds in any form.
Overall, hemp seeds are incredibly healthy. They might just be one of the few superfoods that are actually worthy of their reputation