August 17, 2018 · Written by Foodtolive Team
Top 11 Science-Based Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds
When it comes to nutritional value, there is no doubt that hemp seeds are one super healthy food. But one concern that gets to a lot of people to think otherwise is the botanical relationship that it has with drug medicinal varieties Cannabis. For a while, people tend to be scared prematurely on the idea of hemp seeds since they originate from the hemp plants Cannabis Sativa, wherein cannabis or marijuana is also of the same plant species.
To be clear about it, hemp seeds are a variety of cannabis plant that does not contain enough amounts of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, an active ingredient in marijuana and therefore it will not cause any addictive reaction or won’t make you high instead it is safe to eat and can be beneficial to one’s health because of its great nutritional value.
Hemp seeds are essentially the fruit and nut of the hemp plant. During the mechanical process, the husk is taken off and what’s left is the white, soft, creamy substance. Hemp also is a versatile crop. Its fibers are strong and durable that can be used as twine, yarn, cable, string, and rope. Its edible seeds are pressed to make hemp oil that is used in making paints, soaps, varnishes, baby oil products, textile, and edible oil with a low smoke point. Shelled hemp seeds or hemp hearts are a source of protein, fiber, and magnesium. It can be eaten raw, blended on smoothies, sprinkled in salads, and can be added in sandwiches and dressings. It has a mild and nutty flavor.
To better acquaint you on how hemp seeds can improve your digestion, balance your hormones, improve your metabolism and give you a general state of well-being, here is the list of top 11 science-based benefits of hemp seeds.
1. Hemp seeds are extremely nutritious
Hemp seeds contain 30% healthy fats. They are essentially rich in omega fatty acids, the linolenic acid which is Omega 6 that lowers cholesterol and support the skin and alpha-linolenic acid which is Omega 3 that has an anti-inflammatory effect and prevents heart disease. It also contains the gamma linoleic acid (GLA) which is a building block for some prostaglandins, a fatty acids compound with hormone-like effects in the body that ease muscle, reduces inflammation and controls body temperature. GLA rich foods like hemp seeds can also aid in promoting elasticity in the skin, stimulates weight loss, increases energy and support hormones. They are very digestible and don’t contain any gluten. Aside from these healthy fatty acids, organic hemp seeds are a rich source of dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc and phosphorous. They are also rich in vitamin E and D with a good proportion of vitamins B1, B2, and B6.
2. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein
Hemp seeds have a high content of protein that is suited for vegetarians and health enthusiasts who are cutting down the use of meat, eggs, and dairy as its source of protein. In fact, hemp seeds are the best source of complete plant-based protein because they contain the essential amino acids that our body needs. It contains a good amount of the amino acids like methionine, and cysteine as well as arginine and glutamic acid. Hemp seeds have about 25% of calories which comes from protein and by weight is equivalent from that of beef and lamb. Just 2-3 tablespoons of hemp seeds provide 11 grams of protein.
3. Combats stress and anxiety
Hemp seeds are rich in amino acids, magnesium, and B-vitamins which can lessen the effects of stress naturally. Amino acids are responsible for building proteins and gives energy to the body without enough amino acids our body will produce excessive stress hormones. Likewise, B-vitamins help regulate the amount of stress hormones that our body produced that are essential to maintaining balance while magnesium supports neurotransmitter function to help in reducing stress and anxiety.
4. Helps in weight loss
Hemp seeds are a natural appetite suppressant. It helps curbs excessive hunger during the day because of the natural presence of fiber in hemp seeds. Just four tablespoons of hemp seeds with breakfast can make you feel full for a longer time and thus aids in promoting weight loss.
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5. Improves digestive health
Hemp seeds contain a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber that speed up the movement of food through the digestive tract which eventually flushes out and cleans the colon from toxins. It also provides your gut with probiotics that will give you a balanced healthy intestinal flora and a strong immune system.
6. Improve skin condition
Having hemp seeds in your diet can improve skin condition and hair health. Applying hemp oil externally can get rid of dull skin texture and repair the skin that was damaged by sun exposure, the inclusion of strong chemicals in beauty products, and dehydration effects. Hemp seeds penetrate the inner layer of our skin that boost healthy skin cell growth. It can also bring relief in eczema and psoriasis because of the amazing ratio of GLA, omega 6 and omega 3 found in hemp seeds. It reduces inflammatory, itching, redness and flaking symptoms. Adding four tablespoons of hemp seeds to your salads, soups, sandwiches or smoothies can maximize the benefits of it on skin disorders.
7. Aids in reproductive health for females
The GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) in hemp seeds which have the effects of balancing hormones may help ease out the pains in pre-menstrual syndrome and menopausal problems. The mineral content of GLA such as iron, magnesium, and zinc also gives relief in PMS symptoms such as depression, irritability, menstrual cramps, and fluid retention. These minerals in hemp seeds give a prominent role in promoting female health.
8. Hemp seeds rich diet may prevent or delay degenerative disease
9. Hemp seeds are excellent in heart health
Thanks to the balance ratio of omega3 and omega 6, a diet that is rich in hemp seeds can have a heart-protective effect. Hemp seeds are big in these two fatty acids that produce a high level of EPA and DHA and in turn form prostaglandin that has a hormone-like activity that works in cell metabolism and cardiovascular function. In just adding two tablespoons of hemp seeds in your smoothies in the morning can ensure to lower blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol and improve triglycerides naturally.
10. Regular consumption of hemp seeds may offer cancer prevention
The amounts of GLA and omega 3 in hemp seeds are a perfect combination in fighting inflammation and strengthen the immune system. GLA or gamma-linolenic acid in hemp seed has been proven to be an anti-cancer compound regarded by American Cancer Society and health enthusiast to be cancer protective. Supplementation of GLA has shown to be helpful in cancer patients as it reduces the rate of growth for all types of cancer and lowers down the risk of spreading it to other organs in the body.
11. Reduce inflammation in arthritis and joint pain
Research shows that hemp seed oil can relieve pain due to rheumatoid arthritis. The GLA content in hemp seed is credited mainly for its anti-inflammatory effects. A study published in the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism concluded that supplementation of GLA in over 6 months reduces 25% of pain and symptoms of arthritis.