I am a huge advocate of the hemp seed. I use these little nuggets of joy for basically everything from smoothies, to pesto, to combining it with my raw cacao chocolate. So of course, I was thrilled to know that this month I would be asked to write a little ditty about the nutritional benefits and all the ways it can be used… So here we go…
First off lets start by explaining something…hemp seeds are of course produced from the hemp plant, Cannabis Sativa. While, as you know, hemp is commonly confused with marijuana, as it belongs to the same family, the two plants are quite different. Most notable is the level of THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Hemp contains less than 1% of the psychoactive drug while marijuana contains up to 20% or more. To grow marijuana you have to have a special seed that grows a plant high in THC. Commercial hemp seed contains very low amounts, plus they contain a substance that counteracts THC.
So whats so good about the hemp seed then? Well they are very easily digested by the body and is one of the most nutritious foods available in nature. They contain high amounts of essential fatty acids, essential amino acids and proteins. Which if you have a vegan or raw food diet, you understand the importance of consuming the highest amount of amino acids for they are the building blocks of protein. These essential amino acids include: Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine. So evidence suggests, to me, the fact that these little seeds are of such high vibration and with them we can sustain our dietary needs, even if you just add them to your already existing diet. Top your stir-fry with them tonight.
*All 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce. (Thats pretty for real. Only comparable to MACA, really?)
*A high protein percentage of the simple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins. (Well thats nice.) Also, studies in the recent past have shown that consuming hemp seeds whether raw or in oil form, has the capacity to aid in the healing process of diseases related to immune deficiency.
*Nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid, with more essential fatty acid than flax or any other nut or seed oil. (Mind officially blown, WOW)
*A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid – those are known for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system.
*A superior vegan/raw/vegetarian source of protein considered easily digestible.
*A rich source of phytonutrients, the disease-protective element of plants with benefits protecting your immunity, bloodstream, tissues, cells, skin, organs and mitochondria.
*The richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids.
So besides the bulleted list of all the nutritional facts did you also know that
the protein content of the hemp seed is supposed to be very digestible. Many people noted their personal experience of finding that hemp seed protein did not cause bloating or gas, like some of their whey, or other protein shakes did. And, unlike soy which has super high amounts of phytic acid (that anti-nutrient that prevents us from absorbing minerals), hemp seed doesn't contain phytic acid. At the very least, this makes hemp seed a step up from soy.
One of the most important hemp seed benefits is its high quantity of proteins. Moreover, there are a range of vitamins and minerals in hemp seeds, besides omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are not synthesized by the human body naturally, and this is what makes hemp seeds an excellent food source of essential fatty acids. If you want to keep your heart healthy, you should try and consume a lot of hemp seeds, as they are rich in essential fatty acids. You can reduce the chances of a fatal cardiac arrhythmia or a heart attack if you substitute saturated fats with foods like hemp seeds, as they contain healthy fats. Moreover, it produces phytosterols, which help in reducing the amount of cholesterol in the body, thereby removing fat buildup in the arteries.
Hemp seeds contain the perfect balance of essential amino acids for sustaining good health. Hemp seed oil contains necessary fatty acids, also known as good fats. Not only can hemp seeds provide valuable nutritional benefits to people, but they can also be used in pet foods and taste good too.Hemp seeds are high in nutritional value and contain 20 different varieties of amino acids and all nine of the essential amino acids (like flax). Some essential amino acids can't be naturally produced by the body and these seeds have the capacity to supplement them in the body. They contain high amounts of protein, which helps in strengthening the immune system, thereby, reducing the instances of diseases, besides helping in excreting toxins from the body. There is no other food substance which contains such high quantities of essential fatty acids found in hemp seeds, higher than even flaxseed and other nut or seed oil as well as containing high amounts of vitamin E and trace minerals. It has a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats at around a three to one ratio. This won't help correct your omega balance if it's off, but it gives you the right balance to start with.
Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, CNHP
Nutritionist, Cannabis Therapy Consultant, Holistic Health Naturopath
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. Please check with your Educated Primary Health Care Physician, Raw Food Nutritionist or Holistic Care Provider before beginning any new diet or lifestyle change. ~Dr. Pepper Hernandez