Hemp is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty and omega-6 acids, protein and fiber. Hemp is also a good source for minerals such as magnesium, iron and zinc. These nutrients improve skin health, cardiovascular health, joint health, women’s health, cognitive health, eye health and can support weight loss. Hemp is especially valuable to vegetarians as it’s a good source of protein. Hemp is a source of all 21 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids that are not produced in our body. When vegetarians consume hemp, it delivers a complete protein source that’s necessary for balanced nutrition and diet. It’s also a great protein alternative for dairy and soy.
- Omega-6 fatty acid: Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is responsible for lowering swelling and inflammation in our body. GLA supports skin health, lowers cholesterol levels, improves mood health and breast sensitivity in women, improves osteoporosis and arthritic conditions, and also prevents weight regain.
- Omega-3 fatty acid: Alpha-linolenic acid supports brain development, memory and learning, promotes healthy vision, regulates heartbeat and lowers triglyceride levels, and reduces frequency and severity of hot flashes seen in menopausal women.
- Fiber: It can support digestive health, regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and can also support weight management as it makes a person feel full quicker, and for a longer time after eating.
- Protein: It supports muscle repair and growth, healthy immune response, maintains blood sugar balance and active metabolism.
- Minerals: Magnesium supports healthy immune system, muscle and nerve function, maintains bone strength and regulates heartbeat. Iron is essential for oxygen transport in our cells and supports cell growth. Calcium is important for muscle function, nerve transmission, bone structure and function, and is required to support critical metabolic functions.
There are many ways we can consume hemp – hempseeds, hempseed oil, hempseed milk, hemp protein powder and hemp flour.
Hempseeds: Hempseeds can be sprinkled on salads, cereal, oatmeal, bread, dessert or yogurt, and used for baking, added to smoothies or on granola. Hempseeds can be eaten raw or roasted to add more flavor. There are 2 kinds of hempseeds – whole hempseeds and hulled hempseeds. Hulled hempseed is simply the whole hempseed with the outer shell removed, to make it less crunchy and easier to consume. Although hulled hempseeds tend to be preferred by some consumers, whole hempseeds have higher fiber content and are just as tasty.
Hempseed Oil: Hempseeds are crushed to obtain hempseed oil. Hempseed oil can be used as salad dressing, to add flavor to cooked food or can be consumed by the spoon.
Hempseed Milk: It’s simple and easy to make hemp milk at home.
- Blend 1 cup of hempseeds, 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of ground vanilla bean for around 90 seconds.
- Use a large bowl to strain the blended milk through a cheesecloth. Small seed particles will collect on the cheesecloth.
- Squeeze the cheesecloth to collect all the milk.
- Hemp milk can be enjoyed on its own or used on cereal and oatmeal, and used to make smoothies.
Hemp Protein Powder: Hemp protein powder can be included in smoothies, used for baking, or added to cereal, oatmeal or even pancakes.
Hemp Flour: When hempseeds are crushed to extract hempseed oil, the remaining product is called hemp cake. Hemp flour is produced from hemp cake, and can be used as a healthy alternative to regular flour in baking and cooking.