Family of cannabis, Cannabis sativa, or hemp, only contains trace amounts of the compound THC that cause the drug-like effects of marijuana. But hemp, or hemp seeds, are a true superfood. It is packed with nutrients and healthy fats, different minerals and protein.
1 Hemp is a great protein source
Hemp contains all eight essential amino acids, which makes hemp a complete protein. A plant-protein source it is rather rare to be a complete protein that is since most plant sources lack amino acid lysine. Still, hemp seeds contain significant amounts of the amino acids methionine and cysteine, as well as very high levels of arginine and glutamic acid. More so, 25 percent of the calories in hemp seeds are from protein. This number is rather high, and it equal to that of meat sources like beef or lamb. That is since 2 to 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds will provide around 11 grams of protein. Moreover, the digestibility of hemp protein is also very good — better than protein from many grains, nuts and legumes.
Because of this, they are also known as a natural appetite suppressant, since proteins are harder for the body to break down, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer, and this is the key to natural weight loss.
2 Hemp is a good source of fatty acids
About 30 percent of hemp is fat. In fact, hemp contains two essential fatty acids namely omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic acid) and omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid). In hemp, the ratio between these two fatty acids are 3:1, which is seen as optimal for healthy humans and to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as arthritis. This is since hemp has a decreasing inflammation action, as it decreases the strain on joints and the pain in limbs. Other benefits of fatty acids range from cell growth, eliminating symptoms of skin problems, and regulating the immune system.
In terms of helping skin, hemp since it contains a good ratio of fatty acids that affects the immune response in the body, could assist people with eczema. Also, hemp deals with the symptoms of eczema of itchy, dry skin, and thereby reduce the need for medication.
3 Hemp could help with digestion
An important part of having a healthy digestive system is to have enough fiber in your diet. Whole hemp seeds are a good source of fiber; in fact, it has 20 % soluble and 80 % insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like matter in the gut. It is a valuable source of nutrients for the beneficial digestive bacteria, and may also reduce spikes in blood sugar and regulate cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber enhances bulk to fecal matter and may help food and waste pass through the gut. Consuming insoluble fiber has also been linked with a reduced risk of diabetes. But it is the shell of the hemp seed that contains most, if not all. Therefore, de-shelled hemp seeds will not give you the fiber benefits mentioned here.
4 Hemp could help to decrease anxiety and stress
As like other seeds, hemp seeds are great sources of amino acids, magnesium and B vitamins. All of these nutrients are good to control stress and anxiety. For instance, magnesium works by supporting the neurotransmitter function in the brain in order to reduce stress and anxiety. Amino acids build protein and consequently provide energy to keep the body strong. But, if the body does not get sufficient amounts of amino acids, it can produce large volumes of stress hormones. Also, the B vitamins boost one’s metabolism and regulate the stress hormones that are produced, maintaining the homeostasis of the brain and body.
The bottom line
Once consumed by the ancient Egyptians, hemp seeds have become popular again.
It is a superfood, a pure protein and packed with the nutrients that your body needs. It is also super good as a source of healthy fats, the omega’s.
The problem is that people lack the education to grasp that hemp is not marijuana. The amount of trace elements of THC is less than 0.3%, which means that no matter how much you consume of the hemp it will not get you high or lead to an addiction.
What you will gain from consuming hemp seeds are a food item that is super healthy, and it should be added to your diet. The four benefits mentioned here are only a fraction of the value of hemp, there are so many more.
Add some hemp seed powder to your morning cereal, add some hemp seed oil as a dressing to your salad – simply just add it to your meals.