Hemp seeds have acquired growing acceptance and demand. This is because of its many nutritional benefits, but mainly because it is a plant-based sources of “omega-3” fatty acids. The Standard American Diet is very high in Omega-6, and low in Omega-3, and this imbalance is root to several illnesses and degenerative diseases. When we consume a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6, our health benefits in several ways including a reduced risk of heart disease and sudden cardiac death, reduced risk of some forms of cancer, alleviation of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, mood improvement, and healthier, better development in infants.
Hemp seed can be considered as one of nature’s most perfect sources of nutrition. It supplies all the essential amino acids in an easy to digest form with a high, well balanced protein efficiency ratio, and fiber. Hemp seeds also contain significant amounts of tocopherols, which are compounds of the Vitamin E complex, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, iron, and manganese. Hemp seeds provide proteins, essential fats, vitamins and enzymes, and have no sugar, starches or saturated fats, is this a perfect combination, or what?
Fresh, cold-pressed and unrefined hemp oil has a nutty taste that gives it a wide range of culinary uses, while offering an ideal combination of fatty acids. Now, one thing is important to be aware of, hemp oil should not be used for frying because of the way it reacts to heat.
Hemp oils is a great source of omega-3 for vegetarians and vegans, as well as those concerned about the contamination of seafood.
This high and balanced content of essential fatty acids makes hemp seed products ideal for topical use as well as consumption as food. The EFAs help soothe and restore skin in a natural way.
Here are just some of hemp’s many uses:
- Food - Hemp seeds can be turned into hemp seed oil, butter, hemp milk and even flour. The list of food applications is endless. Over the years, hemp seeds have been part of the food supply in many cultures around the world. In parts of Asia, roasted hemp seeds are eaten as a snack, like popcorn (tasting similar to pine nuts).Historically, the most famous hemp seed consumer was Buddha himself, who ate them during his fast of enlightenment.
- Fiber - Hemp is used to make a variety of materials from the coveted natural fibers of hemp fabric to rope, paper and building materials. In fact, hemp was the fabric used in the original Levis jeans, but the fabric had to be abandoned by Levis due to lack of supply.
- Fuel - Hemp is considered one of the most efficient plants for biofuel as an alternative to gasoline. Woody Harrelson recently drew attention to the myriad of uses for industrial hemp by touring the West coast with a diesel bus run on hemp biofuel.
Benefits of Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are nutrient-powerhouses containing:
- All 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce.
- A high protein percentage of thesimple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins.Eating hemp seeds in any form could aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the fact that hemp seed has been used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.
- Nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid, with more essential fatty acid than flax or any other nut or seed oil.
- A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid - for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system.
- A superior 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. Hemp seed oil has been attributed to helping: increase energy, soften skin, relieve arthritis and normalize blood cholesterol.
The DEA tried to ban hemp products arguing that they contained THC, because hemp comes from the same family as marijuana. But this wrongful claim is no more than maybe a myth. While the two plants come from the same species of plant, Cannabis sativa L., they belong to totally different varieties. Marijuana comes from the flowering tops and leaves of psychoactive varieties of Cannabis that have very high THC content, the psychoactive ingredient, and very low CBD, which is an antipsychoactive ingredient. Hemp, on the other hand, comes from low-THC varieties of Cannabis that are grown for their seeds and fiber, it contains a minimal percentage of THC, and a high percentage of CBD.
Hemp seeds and oil have absolutely no psychoactive effect, and are about as likely to be abused as poppy seed bagels for their trace opiate content or fruit juices for their trace alcohol content (present through natural fermentation).
When compared to any other food, with the exception of grasses, which contain high amounts of chlorophyll, hemp seed is clearly a stand alone nutritional source. Hemp seeds, and other seeds like flax seed, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds, are high alkaline foods. And, as you know, we are all about recognizing the alkalizing effects of certain foods in our body. Remember, when our pH is in balance, our health is in balance.
To close, and as the ultimate compliment to hemp seed, a source says that If we were to combine Chia seeds, wheat grass and flax into one plant, the result would be hemp seed! Sprinkle it over your food for a very easy way to add it to your diet and benefit from this fantastic seed.