When you hear the word ‘hemp’ does it conjure up images of hippies with long hair, bandanas and bell bottoms?
Perhaps Woodstock and sit-ins? Fast forward many years and you have the hemp seed which, in fact, has no drug value. They are the edible seeds of the hemp plant and it has no psychoactive value. Parents need not fear.
Hemp has many nutritional benefits. It is a true powerhouse. Here are only 10 of them!
No. 1 Hemp seeds are not, in fact, seeds at all - they are actually labelled as a fruit. These wonderful, nutty-tasting seeds pack a nutritional punch. Softer than sunflower seeds, hemp seeds have a mild and gentle flavour and should become a fast staple in your diet.
No. 2 Hemp seeds are easily digested by the body, which results in no bloating (which is common with other vegetable protein sources).
No. 3 Hemp seeds are an incredible vegan source of protein. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds = 11 grams of protein.
No. 4 Like flaxseeds, hemp seeds contain all 10 of the essential amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. This makes it a complete protein.
No. 5 Hemp seeds belong to the polyunsaturated fats family otherwise known as PUFAs. These are the healthy oils which are anti-inflammatory to the body.
No. 6 Hemp seeds are rich in disease-fighting, plant-based phytonutrients and anti-aging antioxidants such as vitamin E.
No. 7 Hemp provides a rich array of minerals including zinc, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron.
No. 8 The protein and fiber in hemp combine to slow digestion. This causes blood sugars to remain stable and not spike. As a result, insulin does not need to kick in as strongly. As a side note, insulin is also known as the ‘fat storing hormone’.
No. 9 A diet rich in hemp promotes digestive regularity due to the high fibre content.
No. 10 Perhaps the best thing about the seeds is that they also contain an especially beneficial form of omega-6 known as gamma linoleic acid (GLA), which is not typically found in other foods. GLA is somewhat of a miracle worker, providing a whole host of health benefits, some of which include:
• Supporting and facilitating fat burning;
• Reducing PMS symptoms
• Promoting healthy hair, skin and nail growth;
• Decreasing inflammation in the body; and
• Helping to lower bad LDL cholesterol and improve good cholesterol ratio. You can use hemp seeds just about anywhere in your diet. The possibilities are endless. In your salads, in your yogurt, in your porridge, in your burger recipe. The sky is the limit.
Here is a recipe for a smoothie. Try it it in the morning for breakfast.
• 1 frozen banana, chopped
• 1 whole orange, chopped 1 handful of Spinach
• 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
• 2 ice cubes
• 3/4 c almond milk
• Pinch of cinnamon
• Dash of pure almond extract
*Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Process until smooth and creamy.
Renee Hunt is the owner of Lustre Fitness and Lifestyle which provides fitness classes and personalized nutrition plans to Brandon and surrounding area.