I love me some seeds. I had heard about the great hemp seeds benefits, but I shied away from them as I just couldn’t get past the idea that I was eating… linen. But then again, people used olive oil in their lamps for years, so what do I know? 😉
Michael, aka Papa Natural, ordered a bag in one of his big Vitacost shopping sprees and loved them in his smoothie. I was intrigued. I grabbed a handful and… Delicious! Soft, buttery, and easy on the tummy.
Since then, I love to put hemp seeds on salads, on top of eggs or just by the handful!
Hemp Seeds Benefits: Nutrition!
Can we say WOW! These little seeds are mighty in nutrition!
A complete plant protein
They are one of the very few plant proteins that is complete, meaning that they contain all of the amino acids, including the ones our bodies can’t make themselves.
Hemp Seeds Benefits: Rich in vitamins and minerals
Hemp seeds contain both vitamins and minerals essential for good overall health.
- Vitamin A – Supports eye, hair, skin and immune function
- Vitamin B1 – Supports nervous system and brain development
- Vitamin B2 – Supports healthy eyes and skin
- Vitamin B3 – Improves digestion
- Vitamin B5 – Assists liver in metabolizing toxins
- Vitamin B6 – Helps form red blood cells
- Vitamin D – Strengthens bones and helps utilize calcium
- Vitamin E – Boosts metabolism and supports hair, nail, and skin health
- Calcium – Supports healthy bone development
- Iron – Helps the blood carry oxygen
- Magnesium – Supports muscles function, plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism
- Manganese – Supports healthy sugar metabolism, antioxidant properties
- Phosphorus – Balances acid/base in the body, helps build bones
- Potassium – Balances sodium in the body, helps regulate fluids in the body
- Zinc – Supports nerve and muscle function, keeps copper in balance
Let’s just talk about Magnesium for a minute…
One of the greatest hemp seeds benefits is that they are so rocking in magnesium. Most of us are deficient in this precious mineral. I love to get my nutrients through food as much as possible and hemp seeds are a powerhouse. One ounce of hemp seeds contain a whopping 192 mg of magnesium, that’s nearly 50% of your RDA!
Hemp seeds contain a special GLA Fatty Acid
One of the best hemp seeds benefits is the GLA. GLA (gamma linolenic acid) is an amazing fatty acid that can help regulate hormones by supporting prostaglandin production.
Getting enough GLA in the diet is also shown to fend off diseases such as diabetic neuropathy, Rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, ADHD, breast cancer, high blood pressure, acne, and eczema.
GLA is an omega 6 fatty acid, which may be confusing considering omega 6’s are “supposed” to be bad for us.
Here’s the thing, it’s not the omega 6’s themselves that are bad, it’s that we often consume too many, especially linoleic acid from processed vegetable oils, so the natural balance becomes out of whack.
Hemp seeds actually have an ideal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids (3:1), and GLA is the best omega 6 fatty acid to consume. But considering it’s almost impossible to avoid excess omega 6’s in our modern world, it’s a good idea to add cod liver oil to balance the excess omega 6’s.
Was that going too deep down the rabbit hole for you? Welcome to my world. 😉
No Phytic Acid!
Another one of hemp seeds benefits is that they contain no phytic acid! These acids can block absorption of key nutrients like calcium and iron in the digestive tract. That’s why I usually soak and/or sprout my nuts and seeds, but you don’t have to do so with hemp seeds.
Hemp Seeds Benefits: Fiber
Hemp seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
- Insoluble fiber helps keep the digestive tract moving smoothly and controls the pH of the intestines which helps avoid colon cancer and constipation.
- Soluble fiber is helpful in regulating blood sugar levels and can help control “bad” cholesterol. The fiber in hemp seeds helps to curb sugar craving and general hunger.
Hemp is not marijuana
Many people are skeptical of hemp because they are concerned that it’s too closely related to marijuana.
Truth is, hemp is an entirely different plant (but from the same family) and has less than .3% THC (compared to 5-10% in marijuana).
Rest assured, you can’t get high (or in trouble!) from eating hemp seeds.
How to eat hemp seeds
Since they are made up of fragile oils, it’s best to consume hemp seeds raw and keep them stored in the refrigerator.
Add them to homemade bars. Take dates, figs, apricots and mix with nuts like walnuts and pulverized almonds. Mix in hemp seeds for more nutrition and good fat!
Add hemp seed to your favorite salad dressing. The fatty acids will help you absorb the vitamins and minerals from your greens! You can also just sprinkle some on top of your salad.
Make homemade hemp seed milk. I like homemade almond milk but if you have to avoid nuts, hemp seed milk is a nut free, dairy free milk alternative.
Add them to a smoothie. Throw a tablespoon into one of these:
There are a lot of other creative ways to use hemp seeds like chocolate hemp seed butter, lamb and hemp meatballs, and hemp seed tabouli. The possibilities are endless!
Hemp seeds are the new acai berry
They’re versatile, delicious, and power packed, what’s not to love?
How about you?
Have you tried hemp seeds? What’s your favorite way to eat them?