It probably won’t surprise you to learn that hemp is a highly nutritious food that is rich in protein. But its benefits don’t end there. Hemp is also a fantastic source of healthy fats and a range of essential vitamins and minerals.
We thought we’d take a deeper delve into the many health benefits associated with hemp — a fully-fledged superfood.
1. A superb source of plant-based protein
According to Healthline, around a quarter of the calories in hemp seeds come from protein. And in relation to other foods, that’s very high. If you’re looking for a comparison, beef and lamb deliver a similar level of protein.
Put simply, hemp seeds can give you all the protein your body will ever need. They contain essential amino acids, which your body can’t produce. Crucially, hemp contains an amino acid called lysine — which is relatively rare in plant-based protein sources. And it’s also rich in cysteine, methionine and glutamic acid.
2. Hemp seeds may reduce your risk of heart disease
According to WebMD, hemp seeds are a rich source of magnesium — the mineral that regulates your heart rate. There is evidence to suggest that a diet rich in magnesium can help to reduce your chances of developing heart disease.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. Hemp seeds are also rich in linoleic acid, which can help to reduce your cholesterol levels when consumed as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Hemp is also a good source of the amino acid arginine — which helps to produce nitric acid in your body. It is this nitric acid that regulates the correct functioning of blood vessels. This regulates blood pressure and, in turn, reduces your risk of developing heart disease.
Chronic inflammation is one of the contributing factors to heart disease. But the gamma-linolenic acid in hemp seeds helps to reduce the type of inflammation that leads to heart problems. There’s also evidence that hemp seeds, and the oil created from them, reduces the risk of blood clots.
3. Hemp seeds may reduce the symptoms of menopause
There is a significant body of evidence to suggest hemp seeds can reduce the symptoms of menopause. Sensitivity to the hormone prolactin is believed to be the root cause of many of the symptoms. The gamma-linolenic acid found in hemp seeds facilitates the production of prostaglandin — a chemical that counteracts the effects of prolactin.
4. Hemp seeds can help your digestive system
Fibre is a hugely important part of a good diet, as it’s crucial to the correct functioning of the digestive system. Fortunately, hemp seeds are a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fibre.
We need soluble fibre because it is a good source of the good digestive bacteria we need to digest food. Soluble fibre forms a gel-like substance in the intestine which can regulate cholesterol levels and minimise sudden surges in your blood sugar level.
5. Hemp seeds are full of vitamins and minerals
They don’t call hemp a superfood for nothing. Not only are the seeds a tasty and versatile ingredient for cooking, they’re also packed with essential vitamins and minerals. While more than 30% of a hemp seed is fat, it’s the good type of fat that our cardiovascular system needs. Hemp is a very rich source of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid.
So, we already know that hemp is a great way to give your body the protein, fibre and fat it needs. But it’s also packed with vitamin E — essential for good skin, good cardiovascular health and your immune system. Among the many minerals found in this impressive superfood include potassium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium.
6. Hemp is great for the skin
The main fatty acids found in hemp help the immune system to function correctly. And when this happens, good skin health often follows. As hemp seeds are rich in essential fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats, they’re the perfect superfood if you’re looking for a fantastic complexion.
According to Healthline, several studies have shown that giving people with eczema hemp oil boosts levels of essential fatty acids in their blood. In many cases, this leads to a reduction in symptoms. Many research subjects were able to reduce their medication as a result of incorporating hemp into their diet.
So there you have it. Hemp is a true superfood, and it’s probably more versatile than you think. A true alternative to quinoa, it can be cooked, consumed raw or toasted. Or if you want to save time and effort, you can let Mighty do all the hard work for you.