3 Major Reasons to Start Eating Hemp Seeds
Unlike CBD-rich flowers and leaves, hemp seeds may not have many medicinal effects but they do have an impressive nutritional profile and benefits.
Despite the negative perception that most people have toward cannabis in general, many varieties of this plant have long been used for their nutritional and medicinal value.
Only certain strains of cannabis contain a high enough amount of the psychoactive compound THC to get one high when consumed. Many strains only contain minimal and practically ineffective amounts of THC while offering numerous other beneficial nutrients.
Cannabis strains referred to as industrial hemp, or simply just hemp, are bred to contain less than 0.3% THC by weight, and these have been federally legalized in the USA after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Today, the hemp market is booming across the globe with hemp-derived CBD products being wildly sold over the counter for a host of health problems despite the lack of supporting science.
But this article isn’t about CBD, which is mostly found in the flowers, leaves and stalks of hemp. This post will focus on hemp seeds, which have been known and used as food long before CBD was discovered.
Top Reasons to Eat Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds can be eaten cooked or raw, or used to make different types of edibles including hemp seed oil, milk and protein powder. Let’s just talk about the benefits of eating whole hemp seeds, and here are the top three reasons you should start to:
1. A Superior Source of Protein
There are a few reasons that make hemp seeds one of the best plant sources of quality protein:
- High protein content — About one third of the total weight of raw hemp seeds is protein.
- It’s a complete protein that contains all of the nine essential amino acids.
- It’s well absorbed and tolerated by the body.
If you are trying to avoid meat and/or diary products, then hemp seeds make one of the best alternatives, not just as a protein source, but also as a source of essential fatty acids and many other nutrients.
2. Loaded With Healthy Nutrients
Hemp seeds are a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, which have many health benefits including supporting heart, brain, cognitive, eye and joint functioning.
The seeds also provide remarkable amounts of numerous vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, vitamin E, and others.
3. Fighting Inflammation and Linked Diseases
Hemp seeds contain Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), which possesses anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce inflammation associated with some long-term diseases.
Inflammation in the body is the root cause of many health problems and chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, arthritis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and many other disorders.
Consuming hemp seeds and other foods and natural compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects on a regular basis helps the body fight inflammation and reduce the symptoms of health problems linked to it.
Hemp seeds are indeed a superfood loaded with several beneficial nutrients that nourish the body and promote overall health. You can find ready-to-eat shelled hemp seeds, aka hemp hearts, at many supermarkets and health food stores.
Hemp hearts (shelled seeds) have a slight nutty flavor and can be eaten on their own, added to a smoothie, salad, yogurt, cereal, or incorporated in many other dishes.
Note: Hemp seeds do not contain cannabinoids like CBD and THC, which are mainly found in the flowers and leaves of the plant. Some seeds may be contaminated with insignificant trace amounts of CBD and/or THC, which aren’t likely to have any noticeable effect. Hemp seeds and seed oil are consumed for their nutritional benefits, but if you are interested in the medicinal benefits of CBD then you need to use CBD-rich products like CBD oil or edibles.