Hemp seeds come from the Cannabis sativa plant. Although these seeds are small, they are actually very rich in nutritional value and as such provides a lot of benefits for the body when consumed.
One thing you should know about the hemp seed is that, although it comes from the cannabis plant, it does not produce any mind-altering effects when consumed.
In other words, it won’t get you high. But it is a superfood that is going to do a lot of good for your body when consumed.
Nutritional value of hemp seeds
Hemp seeds might be small in size but they are able to help improve your health because of their nutritional components.
According to Food Data Central 100g of hemp seeds contain 567 calories. They also contain the following nutrients that give them all those benefits that help to improve your health.
- Protein 30g
- Total lipid (fat) 50g
- Carbohydrate 10g
- Dietary Fiber 3.3g
- Iron, Fe 6.67mg
- Potassium, K 1200 mg
- Fatty acids, total saturated 5 g
Below we will further explain how these nutrients can help improve your health.
4 Nutritional benefits of hemp seeds
Hemp seeds contain dietary fiber which plays a very important role in improving your health.
Unlike other food nutrients like protein and carbohydrates which are digested and absorbed into your body, fiber doesn’t digest. Instead, it passes through your stomach, small intestine, and your colon intact thereby helping to improve your overall gut health.
Other benefits of fiber are as follows.
- Fiber helps normalize bowel movements thereby maintaining your bowel health
- It helps to control and stabilize blood sugar levels.
- It helps in weight loss
- It lowers cholesterol levels
As you can see, fiber is very important for the body, so consuming hemp seeds daily can help you get enough fiber in your body.“
Most of the fiber from hemp seed is in the shell (hull). So when purchasing, try to get hulled hemp seeds. But if you don’t get the hulled ones, you can still get some fiber from the seeds. Just three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain about 1.2 grams of fiber.
Hemp seeds are also considered a complete source of protein because they contain all nine essential amino acids. There are about 9.6g of protein in 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds.
Protein is very essential for the body. So you need to take in enough protein daily to help repair your body cells and make new cells.
So consuming hemp seeds daily can also help your body get enough protein to repair and recover and the great news is, with hemp seeds, you get all the essential amino acids your body needs which isn’t so for many plant-based foods.
This makes hemp seeds a great choice for vegans and vegetarians as very few plant-based foods have all nine essential amino acids.
3. Unsaturated fats
Hemp seeds are a great source of essential fatty acids which include omega-3 fatty acids.
Although the body needs omega-3, it can not produce omega-3 on its own, so it absorbs them from the food we take.
Omega-3 is typically found in fish. But hemp seeds contain enough omega-3 and this is also another reason why it is great for vegans and vegetarians. Aside from omega-3, they also contain omega-6 which is also very good for the body. Also, they contain very low saturated fat and no trans fat at all.
Some benefits of omega 3 are;
- It improves eye health
- Improves risk factors for heart diseases
- Helps to fight inflammation
- Helps to fight autoimmune disease
- Helps reduce fat in your liver
- Improves bone and joint health
- Improve mental disorders
- Promote brain health of babies when taking during pregnancy
4. Vitamins and Minerals
Hemp seeds also contain numerous vitamins and minerals which are crucial for your body to function properly.
Vitamins and minerals help convert the food you eat into energy for your body. They also help repair bones and heal wounds.
So eating hemp seeds is a great way to make sure your body is getting enough vitamins and minerals.
They contain vitamin E, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium. They also contain iron, zinc, and B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, thiamine vitamin B-6 folate all of which your body needs to function properly.
Health benefits of hemp seeds
1. It aids heart health
As stated above, hemp seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids which helps reduce the risk factors of heart diseases thereby boosting your heart health.
It also contains all essential amino acids including arginine which converts into nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide helps in the dilation of your veins and arteries. This helps in preventing clogging in your veins thereby improving your blood pressure which can help to reduce the risk of heart diseases.
2. Improves skin conditions
Hemp seeds help improve skin conditions like acne. Acne is something that almost everyone gets during puberty. But it can be so worse for some people.
For such people consuming a healthy diet and including hemp seed in your diet can help fight acne because of the omega-3 fatty acids they contain. As lack of omega 3 has been linked to acne.
For even better results, use hemp seed oil directly on your skin and include the seeds in your diet. Your skin will start glowing and be flawless in no time.
3. Helps fight rheumatoid arthritis
Again, as omega-3 fatty acids help to fight autoimmune diseases, they can also help fight rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune is a condition that causes your immune system to attack its own tissues and this can lead to inflammation.
So eating hemp seeds and massaging your joints with hemp seed oil can help reduce the pain but this shouldn’t substitute for any arthritis medication you may be taking.
You can use hemp seeds alongside your medication.
4. Reduces Inflammation
The omega-3 and omega-6 included in hemp seeds give it anti-inflammatory properties. Aside from these two, hemp seeds also contain a polyunsaturated fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which also has anti-inflammatory properties.
This means that consuming hemp seeds can help reduce inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis, acne, and heart diseases.
Being able to reduce inflammation around your body is going to improve all of the conditions above that you could be going through.
5. Protects the brain
Hemp seeds can also protect the brain and improve brain health when consumed daily. This means that it can help with brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
It can also help with conditions like neurological pain, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and childhood seizure disorders.
Ways to include hemp seed in your diet
Now that you know the benefits of consuming hemp seeds, below are some ways you can include these seeds in your diet
- You can add hemp seeds to your smoothies or yogurt
- You can also bake with hemp seeds.
- You can also make hemp milk at home
- Try sprinkling some seeds on your cereal or salad.
Hemp seed recipes
1. Grain-free overnight “oats”
A basic grain-free overnight “oats” recipe! This recipe replaces the oats with hemp seeds and chia seeds for a make-ahead breakfast that is paleo, vegan, grain-free, and keto-friendly.
2. Hemp seed energy balls
These hemp seed energy balls are a healthy, gluten free snack featuring hemp seeds & sweetened with local honey. Swap in maple syrup to make this recipe vegan!
3. Hemp seed pesto
Try making this pesto recipe which uses hemp seeds instead of nuts.
4. Hemp seed butter
This hemp seed butter is a delicious, creamy nut-free butter that can be used just about anywhere you would use traditional peanut butter. This recipe is naturally plant-based, vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, and Keto-friendly.
5. Strawberry hemp milkshake
This Strawberry hemp milkshake is a sweet, healthy treat! Vegan and gluten free, this recipe caters to all. Skip the processed sugar laden milkshakes and enjoy what nature has to offer. So easy to make and packed with plant protein via creamy hemp seeds.
6. No-bake hemp seed bars
These delicious breakfast hemp seed bars are allergy-friendly, 100% nut-free, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Start the day with one of these bars to remain full, they contain as much as 9 grams of plant-based protein and only 4.2 grams of net carbs.
7. Sweet potato hemp burgers
An easy sweet potato hemp burger with pumpkin seeds and coconut.
Hemp & pumpkin seed flapjack bars
A super healthy flapjack recipe using gluten-free oats, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds. Also called a granola bar, oat bar, or muesli bar depending on where you live in the world.