For many years, hemp seeds were not considered as food. Instead, they are widely known as an addictive drug that makes you really high. In fact, it is banned in some countries including the U.S. However, a recent study showed that hemp seed is truly beneficial for health and does not contain the psychoactive ingredient that is commonly found in marijuana.
What is Hemp Seed?
Hemp seeds are the tiny fruits of the hemp plant. It tastes slightly nutty similar to sunflower seed or pine nut. Hemp seeds are very versatile, but it has negative impression for being associated with the Cannabis plant, marijuana. On the contrary, hemp seed is not even close to marijuana because it contains lower levels of the psychedelic substance THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). In fact, it is too small to result in a positive THC test. According to Dr. Laura Bechtel “People have to realize it’s going to have to take a large amount of seeds, a bag of seeds or more to test positive”.
Why You Should Include Hemp Seed in Your Diet
Hemp seeds’ list of benefits is a long one, but here are some of them to see what all the hype was about.
1. Hemp seeds contain essential amino acids which the body cannot produce or cannot make in sufficient quantity. Essential amino acids are often found in many fruits and vegetables and other raw foods, but what makes hemp seed unique is that they contain 65% of globulin edistin – an enzyme that is necessary for metabolic activity and maintains a healthy immune system.
2. Hemp seeds are an edible source of an important type of omega-6 fatty acid called the GLA (gamma linolenic acid). The GLA is necessary for attaining optimal health.
3. It contains omega-3 fatty acids that keeps a healthy heart and contributes to the general strengthening of the immune system. A 3-tablespoon serving of hemp seed contains 3 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids.
4. A vegetarian source of protein that is easily digestible. A 3-tablespoon serving of Hemp seeds contains 11 grams of protein.
5. The highest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids.
6. A rich source of phytonutrients, the disease-protective element of plants, that helps protect the body down to the cellular level.
7. Hemp seed contains globulin-starting material that stimulates the production of antibodies, which are programmed to combat the antigens such as bacteria, viruses, toxins, etc.
8. It is a rich source of fiber, which is necessary for keeping a healthy digestive system. A serving of hemp seed, approximately 3 tablespoons, offers 7 grams of fiber.
9. An allergy-free alternative. It doesn’t aggravate the allergy of gluten, soy, nut, and dairy.
10. It provides an array of minerals such as magnesium, manganese, zinc, calcium, and iron.
How do you eat hemp seed?
Hemp seed are used in many recipes. You can simply incorporate them by sprinkling it on your salad, cereal and yogurt, or added to smoothies. If you want to be more creative you can also add hemp seeds to pudding, granola, or on your favorite dish.
With the overwhelming health benefits of hemp seeds, surely every reason to try some and see if it works for you too.
Jenny Travens writes for Superfood Living