What Are Hemp Seeds? Uncovering the Benefits of Their Natural Nutrients
Posted on February 17th, 2021
What are hemp seeds? The first thing that comes to most minds when talking about hemp is being high. This thought stems from the general public’s misunderstanding of the hemp plant itself. Contrary to popular belief, however, these seeds have no mind-altering effects, though they come from the Cannabis plant. They are small, brown seeds that have a rich nutritional value and provide many health benefits. In fact, most people who are familiar with them consider them to be a powerful food. Hemp seeds contain many important nutrients that can significantly improve your quality of life.
What Are Hemp Seeds Made Of?
Hemp seeds serve as a complete protein source. This is because they contain all the nine essential amino acids. In fact, they contain a similar amount of proteins as soybeans. In just 30 grams of them, which is about 3 tablespoons, there are almost 10 grams of protein. Specifically, they are rich in arginine, which is an amino acid that is great for heart health.
Basically, amino acids are the building blocks for all proteins. Unfortunately, the body cannot produce all nine amino acids. That means you must source them externally from your diet. Surprisingly, very few plant-based foods are complete sources of protein and this makes hemp seeds a top vegan food.
Healthy Unsaturated Fats
Recently, the science around healthy fats that are unsaturated in nature is becoming more popular than ever. It is likely because of the many health complications that arise from having too much unhealthy fat in the body. Luckily, hemp seeds contain healthy kinds of fats, which have positive impacts on a person’s health.
Most importantly, the seeds contain the golden omega-3 fatty acids whose health benefits are globally renowned. These are fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own and must be consumed from external sources. Notably, the ratio of omega 3 fatty acids to omega 6 is also quite important. Unfortunately, many people eat too much Omega 6 and forget about Omega 3.
Therefore, adding hemp seeds to the diet means availing omega 3 fatty acids to balance the ratio. Research from 2019 showed that feeding hens hemp seeds increased omega 3 levels in the eggs they laid. If someone asked “what are hemp seeds?” a good short answer could be, “the ultimate source of omegas.” Notably, they are also very low in both saturated and trans-fats.
Hemp seeds also contain a great amount of healthy fiber. Normally, most of the fiber lies on the outer hull of the seed, it is therefore wise to purchase hemp seeds with their hulls intact. However, hemp seeds still provide ample fiber even without the hull.
Consumption of healthy fiber has many health benefits to the human body. It helps to reduce appetite meaning it is great for people wanting to lose weight. Secondly, it stabilizes blood sugars, especially for diabetic individuals. Lastly, fiber is very good for gut health.
Minerals and Vitamins
It wouldn’t be too farfetched to consider hemp seeds a natural multivitamin. This is because they contain numerous minerals and vitamins. Most importantly, hemp seeds are rich in vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Additionally, they are a perfect source of niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin B6, and folate. It is mind-blowing how a single seed can contain all these vitamins and minerals.
On average, 30-35% of hemp seeds are made of oil and 90% of these oils are unsaturated and healthy fatty acids. The fatty acids contained in hemp seeds include linoleic acid, alpha-linoleic acid, and oleic acid.
What Are Hemp Seeds Best For?
They Boost Brain Power
Eating hemp seeds is a perfect way of protecting the brain, boosting its power and efficiency. Furthermore, the CBD compound present in hemp seeds is very helpful in the case of neurological conditions. Hemp seeds are also popular for their antioxidant effects on the body.
By reducing inflammatory and increasing immunity hemp seeds offer great neurological benefits. The seeds can help prevent or deal with various neurological conditions. Some conditions that benefit from improving brain health include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, and neuropathic pain. Moreover, they can benefit children with seizure disorders by improving brain health.
They Safeguard Heart Health
Many doctors approve of hemp seeds to reduce heart disease risks because of their omega 3 content. Likelihood of conditions such as arrhythmias can be reduced by just eating enough hemp seeds. Moreover, the seeds contain a high level of arginine which is an amino acid that turns into nitric oxide.
Notably, nitric oxide is the component responsible for both artery and vein dilation. It aids in keeping blood vessels smooth and elastic promoting proper blood flow. Therefore eating a healthy diet with hemp seeds, combined with various forms of exercise helps in boosting heart health. Some benefits of hemp seeds may be somewhat speculative, but their benefits for heart health are a sure thing.
Reduce Inflammation in the Body
The healthy ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 in the body plays a great role in reducing inflammation in the body. In addition to this, hemp seeds are rich in the GLA amino acid which normally has anti-inflammatory effects. Even though the effects of amino- acids are not always noticeable, it still helps to avoid inflammation.
By reducing inflammation in the body, hemp seeds help to manage various chronic symptoms. Such conditions include metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, heart disease as well as fatty liver which is non-alcohol related.
Improve Skin Health
Some skin conditions happen as a result of chronic inflammation in the body. A perfect example of such a condition is Atopic Dermatitis. This 2005 study proved that dietary hempseed oil improved clinical symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Researchers believe the improvements were due to the balance of polyunsaturated fats in the hempseed oil. Some forms of acne are also brought about by chronic inflammation. Therefore, eating hemp seeds may boost skin health by reducing inflammation. Moreover, the fiber in hemp seeds helps to reduce acne and other skin conditions.
Additionally, skin conditions may be caused by dietary reasons such as a deficiency in omega 3s in the body. Luckily hemp seeds, with their rich omega 3 content, can ease this problem. Even though the amount of omega 3s in a single serving of them is minimal, consistent use of these seeds creates a huge difference in skin health.
Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to attack its tissues. Eventually, the condition causes inflammation and pain in the joints. Luckily, the oils present in hemp seeds contain anti-rheumatic effects.
An important point to note is that hemp seeds are best in moderation. Like everything else, too much of these seeds can have negative health effects. In some cases, excessive consumption of these seeds causes diarrhea. This is because of their high-fat content. You should also avoid feeding them to small babies.
Products and Uses
Whole hemp seeds serve as a great bulking agent for those trying to put on some weight. They may also be incorporated into a diet in many other ways. First, these seeds can be sprinkled on cereal or yogurt. They are also a great addition to smoothies or in baking various goodies. You can even make hemp milk at home from the seeds. Or you could add them to a salad for a nice texture.
They can be used to make other various edibles. These include hemp juice, hemp milk, hemp protein shakes, and many more food products.
Lastly, these seeds can be used to make biodiesel or alcohol fuel. Even though they do not produce as much fuel, the fuel is of high quality. Its emissions also cause minimum damage to the environment.
Clearly there is a seemingly endless list of uses and benefits of hemp seeds. True, they come from the controversial cannabis plant. Nevertheless, they are some of the healthiest seeds on the planet. From boosting heart health to reducing inflammation in the body, the seeds have enormous health benefits. Surprisingly, there are still so many people who are unfamiliar with the benefits of these seeds. But with the increasing popularity and legalization of hemp plants, more people will surely grow to appreciate them.
With dietary and lifestyle diseases on the rise, the medical fraternity in general advocates for natural and healthy eating habits. As the cases of heart failure increase across the globe, people are becoming more cautious with their diet. Incorporating these seeds into any diet translates into a huge nutrient boost. Moreover, it may help prevent a good number of lifestyle and dietary diseases. Find yourself some natural, organic hemp seeds, and see what the fuss is all about.