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.
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)
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)
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)
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.