To those who are not familiar with hemp, you have come to the right place, as we present to you this plant that is an excellent source of protein. This is good for any lifestyle, whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, an athlete, or just a healthy-living individual. Hemp has been planted in Canada for the past 400 years. It has been shrouded with controversy because of its association with its more infamous cousin. But not anymore. Recently, it has been discovered that this tiny seed has a lot of benefits that are good for the body. Hemp’s humble beginnings Hemp was introduced in North America in the 1600s, being first planted in Nova Scotia. Several centuries later, a former governor of Upper Canada (what is now known as southern Ontario) encouraged everyone to cultivate this plant, giving away hempseeds to farmers who are interested in growing it. However, the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act of 1938 put a damper on things. Hemp production was banned because of its resemblance to marijuana since the both are varieties of the genus Cannabis plant. Ignorance on the difference of the two led to further bans across the continent, even though hemp does not have the same amount of the psychoactive compounds found in marijuana to make one high. Nevertheless in 1998, the ban was reversed as the Canadian government allowed licensed farmers to begin growing hemp once more. Presently, hemp crops, most of which are organic and GMO-free, are now a multimillion dollar industry in the country, with Manitoba becoming the leading producer. Because of this, more people are starting to realize the nutritional benefits of hemp products as farmers continue to plant and produce hemp-based goods. People are more familiar with the hemp plant as an industrial product utilized in the making of rope, clothing, and textiles. Until recently, its seeds have been overlooked, despite it carrying nutrients. Much like the coconut, which has many uses from the fruit to the tree, it is hard to keep track of all the finished products made off of hemp as there are many ways that it can be processed. The (hemp) heart of the matter Aside from the seed, the hemp heart is also packed with vitamins and minerals, as both contain iron and vitamin E. Hempseeds, which is the whole grain, have more fiber because of their crunchy shells, while hemp hearts, which is the shelled seed, are much easier to chew. There are many ways to integrate hemp hearts to everyday meals. One can add them to salad as a topping to be paired with fresh greens, or they can be sprinkled onto yogurt, puddings, and other creamy desserts. They can also be mixed into cookies, dense breads, as well as other pastries, and they can be blended into mayonnaise, cream sauces, salad dressings, and other toppings and spreads. Hemp and protein As with most crop-based food products, hempseeds and hemp hearts are rich in protein. As a matter of fact, it contains all 20 essential and nonessential amino acids needed by the body, making hemp a complete protein. Furthermore, a study done in 2010 found that its protein digestibility score is equal to or better than most plant-based sources of protein, such as grains and nuts. Researchers have already linked adequate protein intake to enhanced cardiovascular health, improved strength, increased lean body mass, better joint health, and other benefits. Aside from those, studies have also shown that hemp protein might have antifatigue benefits and could possibly boost immune strength. Hemp hearts have more protein than hempseeds, and removing the shell makes the former easier to digest. A 100 g serving of whole hempseeds nets 33 g of protein, while for the same serving size, shelled hempseeds yield 37 g of protein. “Hemp, whether seed or heart, is an excellent addition to anyone’s diet and should be utilized much more than it currently is,” naturopathic doctor Matthew Brennecke mentions. But wait, there is more Another hemp byproduct that is nutritious is hempseed oil, which comes from crushing and pressing hempseeds. It is a good source of vitamin E, according to registered dietitian May Tom. “One of my favorite forms of hempseed is the oil,” Tom shares. “(Vitamin E) is an important antioxidant that helps in keeping the immune system healthy.” Additionally, 30 percent of hempseed oil is essential fatty acids (EFAs), making hemp one of only two plants that has both EFAs and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid that may help with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, depression, and other illnesses. According to the government of Canada, hempseed oil’s EFAs may help in alleviating arthritis, cancer, diabetes, lupus, and hypertension, while a portion of the country’s population does not have an enzyme that helps the body metabolize its own GLA. This makes hempseed oil a helpful dietary supplement. Hempseed oil can be used in salad dressings, and can be added to steamed vegetables, rice, and other side dishes. It can also be utilized for low-heat cooking as well an add-on to smoothies and shakes. Hemp, a gift that keeps on giving We now have discussed three components of hemp that are good for the body. It does not end there though, as people have found other ways to create food products with this plant. Hempseed butter, which is made by grinding the seeds into a thick paste, is much like any nut butter that people have grown accustomed to enjoy through the years. Although it does not rise and is usually too dense to be used on its own, hemp flour can be mixed with other flours to make a wide variety of baked goods. Additionally, there is nondairy hemp cheese and milk, as well as coffee made from toasted hemp. Aside from those, there are other consumable packaged goods that include this Canadian-grown grain. “Adding hemp to the diet is easy,” says Tom. “I recommend trying all three forms (hearts, seeds, oil) and see which one is easiest to incorporate in [your] everyday life.” Storing hemp Similar to its mind-altering cousin and unlike other nuts, grains, and seeds, hemp has special storage requirements since its high oil content makes it more likely to go bad due to oxidation. One way to prevent it from spoiling is to place it at the back of the refrigerator to keep it away from air, heat, and light. Meanwhile, keep hempseeds and hemp hearts in a sealed container and store them in the freezer to extend their freshness. With proper storage, hemp can be enjoyed in its many forms. Advertisements
For years, scientists and experts from all over the world have recognized the many benefits that hemp seed oil has for people. Despite this, there has been apprehension and general hesitation in using it as it is vaguely associated with cannabis and by association drug abuse. But it is important to note that hemp and marijuana are two different things. Setting the Records Straight: Hemp vs. Marijuana The stigma that people have against hemp is because it is largely associated to the marijuana. This is absolutely not the case because of three things: the variety, the components, and the impacts. Difference in Variety Although both hemp and marijuana came from the same cannabis family, they are not one in the same. The two plants are two different varieties of that just happen to hail from the same plant family. This is the same as stating that second-degree cousins are not the same although they are related. At the same time, coming from two different varieties means that they may look similar but not identical. People can differentiate hemp from its wilder cousin. The thing is, once people hear the term “cannabis” they automatically associate it with illicit drugs and the ills of substance abuse. In other words, the wonders of hemp are often times buried under the veil of the terrors of using and misusing its distant cousin. Difference in Components In addition to being different plant types that happens to come from the same plant family, marijuana contains a psychoactive component that is absent from help. This very component made marijuana more suitable for pharmaceuticals, but at the same time tempted people to misuse and abuse it. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that doctors, scientists, and researchers alike are warning people against when they talk about marijuana and substance abuse. However, THC is nowhere near the hemp make-up. Hemp contains cannabidiol and its oil has Gamma Linoleic Acid or GLA, both of which are praised by scientists and doctors across the globe for its many amazing benefits. Difference in Impact The difference in components found in the very core of hemp and marijuana means that they produce different impacts on human lives. As marijuana and THC are widely associated with very negative effects, experts and scientists everywhere are singing praises to hemp’s positive effects on people. Since THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid, it is clear that it affects the human brain. As THC enters the body, it almost instantaneously attacks the brain functions. Overload of this substance does not only inhibit brain functions, but in the long-run, researchers found that it damages the brain and the nervous system. On the other hand, hemp’s GLA and cannabidiol are found to be greatly favorable to humans in general. As THC disrupts brain functions and the whole brain mechanism, GLA and cannabidiol protects and ensures the health of hormones and the entirety of the human nervous system. Although the hemp plant from its seeds, oil, and stalk was historically used as food, building materials, paper ingredient, and clothing component; recent studies from different countries have attested to the value of hemp and its derivatives. Ten Wonders of Hemp Seed Oil With all the research material that can be found that discuss the many amazing things that hemp seed bring, a good portion of these studies are devoted to the effects of hemp seed oil to people. Hemp seed oil is simply the oil extracted from the hemp plant. But research shows that it can do a lot for people’s well-being and life in general. Inflammation Reducer People are quick to judge and run away when there is a discussion on fat. But not all fat is bad. And there are certain fats that the body needs in order to function properly, like the fats found in hemp seed oil. GLA or Gamma Linoleic Acid and Omega 3 are two good fats that the body needs, and both of them can be found in hemp seed oil. And since an increase of GLA and Omega 3 levels has the capability to alleviate inflammation, researchers and experts suggest hemp seed oil ingestion. Strengthens the Immune System There have been scientific studies that relate increased levels of essential fatty acids to bettering immune systems. Hemp seed oil is bursting with fatty acids. In addition to the greatly beneficial GLA and Omega 3, other fatty acids found in hemp seed oil increase the natural endocannabinoids found in the body that are associated with a strong and healthy immune system. Hence, using hemp seed oil as a supplement can further strengthen a person’s immune system. Helps Prevent Heart Disease Omega 3 is a fatty acid that is widely associated with a healthy heart. Various products have been incorporating Omega 3 in their products to encourage consumption. Hemp seed oil on the other hand, naturally has Omega 3 in it. In addition to the Omega 3 that protects the heart from disease, GLA and the other fatty acids found in hemp seed oil supports the impact of Omega 3. While Omega 3 focuses on the heart, additional fatty acids like the GLA makes sure that the immune system and nervous system functions properly and not put strain into the heart. Relieves Cancer Therapy Side Effects Instead of the fatty acids, the cannabinoid cannabidiol, or CBS, is responsible for alleviating the side effects that are found in cancer treatments. According to a scientific study released in 2007, CBS contain certain healing properties that soothe the ill side effects of cancer treatments. As there are various ways and means to ingest hemp seed oil, the researchers for this particular study encourage vaporization as a means of ingestion. The authors of the study found that vaporization maximizes the amount of CBD that a person can get. Helps to Balance the Body’s Hormones People have hormones, they may differ in levels of hormones but hormone-like compounds such as prostaglandins are important to keep the body healthy. Hemp seed oil can help with the body’s hormonal balance by supplying GLA. People may need prostaglandins, but prostaglandins need GLA. Hemp seed oil has an abundance of GLA. Hence, hemp seed oil can help even out hormonal imbalances and promote great health. Premenstrual and Menopausal Relief Scientists have related the harsh Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS to hormone levels in the body. At the same time, researchers have attributed hormones the uncomfortable symptoms that women have during menopausal to hormones as well. Finding out that hemp seed oil can alleviate PMS and menopausal symptoms have women everywhere sighing in relief. GLA in hemp seed oil was found to assist hormonal equilibrium. This is why experts assert that taking hemp seed oil can help with relieving the pains from PMS and menopause. Mood Improvement Some scientists discovered that the levels of fatty acids can affect a person’s mood. These studies do not, however, directly relate fatty acid deficiency and psychological disorders. But the right amount of essential fatty acid was found to positively affect moods. Various researches assert that Omega 3 can improve moods and mood disorders. They also found that the Omega 3 found in hemp seed oil is favorable for regulating the brain’s neurotransmitters. This makes it good for people with conditions like bipolar disorder, ADHD, and the like. Promotes Brain Health Hemp seed oil’s strong point is its ability to supplement essential fatty acids to the body. And this particular capability comes handy when it comes to protecting the brain. According to various scientific studies, fatty acids found in hemp seed oil like GLA and Omega 3 does not only protect the heart. These essential fatty acids also protect the brain’s myelin sheath and ensure that the neuroreceptors and transmitters are in optimal working condition and prevents brain degeneration. Amazing Wood Varnish On a more practical and crafty note, hemp seed oil is an exceptional wood varnish. Not only does it have the capability to protect the human body from the inside, but it can also protect a person’s priced furniture. Woodworking gurus attest to the amazing quality of hemp seed oil as a varnish. The simple combination of hemp and lemon oil brings out the natural beauty of any wood craft. Wood crafting gurus also suggest buffing the woodwork after letting the varnish dry to see an amazing polish emerge. Great Petroleum-based Oil Substitute In addition to being a great addition to a woodworker’s tool cabinet as a varnish; craftspeople all across the globe found that hemp seed oil is a good alternative to the petroleum-based oils. For environmentally conscious people who are having issues with squeaking door hinges, cabinet joints, windows, and the like; hemp seed oil is a great solution. Crafts and woodwork gurus say that hemp seed oil as a petroleum-based oil substitute may even work better.
The scientific name of hemp is Cannabis sativa. Sounds familiar? It should be since hemp comes from the same family as marijuana, that weed that makes people high. This would probably imply that hemp also has that purpose of making people who consume it high. That is a wrong impression, though. The drug found in marijuana that makes people high – Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC – is practically untraceable in hemp. Therefore, consuming hemp will have a totally different effect that consuming marijuana. You won’t get high after eating hemp. In Canada, there even is a growing demand for food products made from hemp. What makes hemp so special though? Hemp is packed with a lot of protein. A lot is an understatement, though. Hemp is complete with natural organic proteins and all eight essential amino acids. Hemp also does not contain the components which cause stomach problems. Protein Powerhouse Hemp is an excellent source of protein. In order to produce hemp protein, the seeds from the hemp plant are subjected to milling and grinding. These protein contained in hemp can be likened to those proteins present in our own body. This is pretty much an advantage since the protein from hemp is exactly what the body needs in order for it to grow and perform normally. Out of the three most common types of protein, two are found in hemp protein, namely, globulin and albumin. Compared to other sources of protein which are plant-based, hemp contains the most amounts of these proteins. Amazing, right? In addition to this, two amino acids needed for us to grow – arginine and histidine – as well as other amino acids needed for the repair of our body tissues can be found in hemp protein. Full of Fatty Acids Hemp protein is also an excellent provider of two essential fatty acids – Omega 3 and Omega 6. Essential fatty acids are those fatty acids needed by our body to maintain good health. These two essential fatty acids can are present in an ideal 3:1 ratio which can help reduce the risk of heart ailments as well as improve blood circulation within the body. Additionally, the very rare gamma linolenic acid is also present in hemp. These fatty acids are hefty in hemp which can then provide energy the body needs to perform our daily tasks. Full of Fibre Another huge component in hemp is dietary fibre. Dietary fibre is an important catalyst for good digestion in our body. For a 2 tablespoon serving of hemp protein, it contains 8 grams of fibre. This is actually almost a third of the body’s total daily requirement of 30 grams! It is amazing to see that a small serving of this food contributes that much to the daily requirement of our body. In addition, hemp protein also has a great amount of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Aside from these three nutrients (protein, essential fatty acids, and dietary fibre), there still are other health benefits our body can get from the consumption of hemp protein. Hemp protein can be consumed by people looking for these four criteria in their food: vegan, gluten free, kosher, and non-genetically modified. Hemp protein does not contain any sugar, saturated fatty acids, trans fat, and cholesterol. At present, there has been no report of allergic reactions to hemp. Therefore, hemp protein can be consumed by those who are intolerant to nuts, gluten, lactose, and sugar. Since hemp protein contain a lot of essential nutrients for our body to function, this would result to an increase in our productivity as well as our energy to do our day-to-day tasks Hemp protein consumption can also improve our metabolism. For those who are keen on monitoring their weight, hemp protein can reduce your food cravings. This would result to the prevention of gaining unwanted wait due to impulsive consumption of whatever you are craving. As mentioned, intake of hemp protein can help reduce cholesterol and lower your blood pressure. Therefore, this minimizes the risk of having complications in your heart. Due to its nutrient content, hemp protein can also improve your immune system. Hemp Protein Suggested Recipes Already persuaded into trying out this nutrient powerhouse? Here are three amazing fool-proof recipes you can use to introduce your body to this wonder of a food. Hemp Seed Alfredo Sauce (from the Blissful Basil) Ingredients: ½ cup hemp seeds (shelled) ½ cup cashews (raw) ½ cup plain almond milk (unsweetened) 2 garlic cloves (peeled) 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice ¼ cup nutritional yeast 1/2 -1 tsp. sea salt Freshly ground black pepper (for seasoning) Optional: small pinch of nutmeg All you have to do is soak the cashews in warm water for around 30 minutes. After draining, mix all the ingredients in a blender until it becomes smooth in consistency. Serve this over your pasta and there you have a really delicious and nutritious pasta dish. Garlic, Dill, and Hemp Cheese (from the Connoisseurus Veg) Ingredients: 1 cup hemp seeds (hulled) 2 tbsp. fresh dill (chopped) 2 garlic cloves 2 tbsp. almond or soy milk (unflavored) 3 tbsp. lemon juice (about 1 lemon) ¼ tsp. salt This recipe is for a spread you can use for your bread and crackers. A healthier alternative to regular cheese. All you have to do is to blend all of this in a food processor. It’s just as easy as that. You’ll get a smooth, creamy cheese spread in no time. Ginger and Hemp Power Smoothie (from Trinity’s Conscious Kitchen) Ingredients: 2 heaping tbsp. of hemp seeds (shelled) 1 banana (ripe) ½ cup (or a handful of) frozen blueberries 1 heaping tsp. of ginger (grated) 1 heaping tsp. of tahini 1 heaping tsp. of maca powder ¾ cup water (or any plant-based milk) Hemp protein has a wonderful nutty flavour making it a good choice for your morning or post-workout protein smoothie. All you have to do is just blend all of these together until the consistency is smooth and you’ll get a delicious yet healthy protein shake.
The previous years has brought us superfoods such as kale, quinoa, flax seeds, and chia seeds. But have you ever heard of hemp hearts? I bet you haven’t. Hemp hearts are the edible parts of the seeds coming from the Hemp plant, which comes from the same family as the marijuana plant (Cannabis). Sounds scary? There’s no need to worry, though. Hemp hearts are completely safe and pack a lot of health benefits. But first, what are superfoods? Superfoods, according to Health.com, are foods which have a large amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. With that, these superfoods contain high amount of nutritional content which can help combat diseases in order to live a healthier life. While this is not an official legal or medical definition, superfoods have spread within the community (particularly with the health buffs) since these foods help reduce the chances of getting chronic diseases. Examples of superfoods include tomatoes (which have high amounts of Lycopene, Potassium, Fiber, and Vitamin C) and kale (which are studied to have enzymes that neutralize cancer-causing substances in the body). However, it is interesting to note that the term “superfoods” is not yet an official term used and accepted by dieticians and nutritionists. The term is more of a marketing construct used to categorize and promote food with large amount of nutrients and health benefits. Anyway, hemp hearts may be one of the least popular among these so-called superfoods out there. While its name may sound cute and adorable, hemp hearts pack a punch of a lot of nutrients in a small package. Hemp hearts may come from the same family as marijuana. However, hemp hearts only contain trace amounts of the drug found in marijuana, THC. Therefore, consuming hemp hearts will not make you high. Curious about this up and coming superfood? Here are seven things why hemp hearts are awesome superfoods: Compared to other seeds such as flax or chia, hemp hearts have more protein content. For a 2 tablespoon serving of hemp hearts, you can already get 10 grams of protein. This is pretty high given their small size. For comparison, the same serving of flax seeds has 5 grams of protein while chia seeds will contain 4 grams. In fact, the protein content of hemp hearts are comparable to beef, lamb, and quinoa! Hemp hearts are vegan and vegetarian-friendly. Given that they are plant-based, contains all essential amino acids, and has a high protein content, hemp hearts are excellent protein sources for those on a vegan or vegetarian diet. It is considered to be one of the best plant-based protein sources out there. Additionally, hemp hearts can also act as an alternative for those who have allergies with other kinds of nuts and seeds. Hemp hearts are easy to digest. Compared to eating hemp seeds as is, hemp hearts are easier to digest since the hard outer shell of the seed has already been taken off. While the shell of the hemp seed contain most of the fiber content, the hemp heart still has a relatively hefty amount of fiber in itself. Therefore, hemp hearts can be considered a source of highly digestible protein. Hemp hearts can be processed into healthy and dairy-free milk. It is really stress-free to make hemp milk at home. There is even no need to soak these hemp hearts before preparing! By just blending hemp hearts, water, and natural sweeteners, your delicious and nutritious drink will be ready in no time. Since it is homemade, the flavor that you will be getting is tailor-made for your taste. Hemp milk therefore is an excellent, highly nutritious alternative to milk such as dairy, soy, and nut milk products. The amount of recipes using hemp hearts is pretty much limitless. Hemp hearts can complement both your favourite sweet and savoury recipes. You can add them as is to your salad, oatmeal, or yogurt. You can turn your hemp hearts into milk and use it in your cereals. You can include hemp hearts into your post-workout protein shake. You can even mix in some hemp hearts into the spreads you use for your bread, biscuits, or crackers. These are just some suggestions but you can add hemp hearts to pretty much anything – from breakfast food to snacks to dessert! Hemp hearts are good for the skin, for the joints, and for the heart. Hemp hearts are full of essential fatty acids. When hemp hearts are turned into oil, it can help provide relief to skin disorders. Examples of skin diseases hemp hearts can relieve include dry skin and eczema. In addition to this, hemp oil can also help relieve arthritis and joint pain. Hemp hearts are rich in and have a balance of omega fatty acids. With a three-to-one ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s, hemp hearts are ideal in ensuring and maintaining the health of your heart. Intake of hemp hearts can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Therefore, there will be a lower risk for heart diseases through the consumption of hemp hearts. Hemp hearts (or the hemp plant, in particular) is a super crop. The hemp plant is considered to be a sustainable and non-GMO crop. This means that there really is no need to use chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides since hemp can resist pests and diseases by itself. Also, the hemp plant never undergoes genetic modification meaning that the hemp hearts you are eating are all natural and organic. Hemp hearts, then, really are healthy! With all these benefits, it is safe to say that hemp hearts are worthy for a place in your diet. Hemp hearts significantly help maintain good health. A small serving of hemp hearts can already provide a huge amount of vitamins and minerals such as fatty acids and protein, among others. In addition, consuming hemp will not make you high – it will make you healthy. If you’re looking to add some nutty crunch to your healthy lifestyle, consider consuming hemp hearts.
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