If you’re looking to improve your health by making some simple dietary changes, then hemp seeds might be the super food for you. Technically a nut, the seeds of hemp provide some significant health benefits as a result of their unique nutritional profile, but they do not cause a psychotropic reaction. From yogurt to salads, there are many reasons why you might want to start eating these versatile little seeds.
Hemp Seeds Are Highly Nutritious
Hemp seeds are extremely nutritious, offering a mild, nutty flavor. These seeds are 30% fat, and they are rich in two essential fatty acids – alpha-linoleic acid (omega-3) and linoleic acid (omega-6). Hemp seeds are a great source of vitamin E as well as minerals like:
Hemp Seeds May Lower Your Heart Disease Risk
Heart disease causes more deaths worldwide than any other condition, but eating hemp seeds might be able to help. Hemp seeds contain high amounts of arginine, an amino acid that produces nitric oxide. Nitrous oxide is a gas molecule that helps the blood vessels to relax and dilate. This can lower the blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Improve Your Digestive Health
Hemp seeds are loaded with the fiber that you need to maintain a healthy digestive system. Whole hemp seeds are loaded with insoluble fiber, which will keep your digestive track moving regularly while removing toxins from your body. Even just a handful of hemp seeds every day can go a long way in keeping your gut healthy.
A Great Source of Protein
About 25% of the calories of hemp seeds come from protein, which is quite high. By weight, hemp seeds do provide protein similar to lamb or beef. Hemp seeds are considered to be a complete protein source, meaning they provide all essential amino acids. Since essential amino acids aren’t produced within the body and need to be gained from the things that we eat, these are important additions to any diet, especially for vegetarians.
Topical Skin Remedy
Eating hemp seeds isn’t the only way that you can benefit from these versatile little foods. In fact, they are quite effective at treating itchy and dry skin if you use them to create a topical oil. Whether you are simply living with dry winter skin or have a more serious condition, hemp seed oil can be a helpful remedy. In fact, researchers have found that hemp seed oil is actually more effective at treating atopic dermatitis than olive oil.
Hemp Seeds Could Reduce Symptoms of Menopause or PMS
A majority of women of reproductive age suffer from emotional or physical symptoms caused by PMS, which likely result of a prolactin sensitivity. Hemp seeds contain Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which produces prostaglandin E1 that can reduce the effects of prolactin. This high level of GLA can also help reduce the symptoms of menopause, possibly because the GLA can regulate inflammation and hormone imbalances associated with menopause.
Ease Joint Pain and Arthritis
Hemp seeds have been shown to help alleviate joint pain in people living with arthritis. According to a study published in the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism, consuming standalone GLA that is found in hemp seeds reduced arthritis symptoms in a group of study participants by 25%. The group that received placebo treatment only had a 4% reduction in symptoms. Considering the fact that these seeds also have an ideal ratio of omega-3/6 fatty acids, it is the ideal way to reduce inflammation naturally.
Facilitating Weight Loss
Many people are surprised to find that hemp can naturally suppress your appetite. If you are trying to lose weight, this is an important addition to your diet. You’ll need to fuel your body with a balanced dose of vitamins, fiber, proteins, and essential fats, and adding a couple of tablespoons of hemp seeds to your breakfast can curb hunger cravings throughout your day. The end result should be more effective weight loss efforts.
A Great Dairy Replacement
If you are unable to consume dairy products due to lactose intolerance or because of your diet, there are a variety of good dairy replacements out there. However, none compare to hemp. Hemp milk is much easier to digest than soymilk, and it is also healthier. Hemp milk provides an ideal ratio of essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Hemp Seeds Can Provide a Much Needed Energy Boost
If you find yourself reaching for an extra cup of coffee in the morning, you may want to grab some hemp seeds rather than loading up on more caffeine. Hemp seeds have been shown to possess anti-fatigue effects, as they can balance the blood sugar. One study that examined the effects in mice found that when the animals were given hemp seed protein, they exhibited increases in energy that allowed them to swim for greater periods of time.
A Natural Cancer Fighter
The seeds of hemp contain GLA and omega-3 fatty acids that can naturally balance inflammation levels while strengthening the immune system, potentially fighting off cancer cells. While more research is needed in the area, initial studies are promising that regular hemp seed consumption could be part of a healthy cancer prevention plan.
Hemp Seeds Can Lower Bad Cholesterol
Adding these seeds into your diet can be a simple way to keep your cholesterol at healthy levels. Hemp seeds can reduce unhealthy fat levels by preventing plaque buildup in the arteries. Researchers have also found that elevated levels of omega- 3s in the seeds are useful at breaking down cholesterol while preventing the blood from clotting. This is also important for stroke and heart attack prevention.
Now that you know some of the great benefits that you can enjoy by eating these wondrous seeds, start trying out some new recipes today. They are great toasted, cooked, or even raw, and you can add them to your smoothie or sprinkle them over your dinner salad. The possibilities are endless.