For too long, hemp has been thought of as a hippie food that is related to cannabis, when in reality, hemp is one of the most highly nutritional foods you can eat.
It’s time for hemp to go mainstream.
So today, I’m going to share everything you need to know about this powerful little seed. That includes more tasty ways to incorporate hemp into your everyday diet.
Let’s jump right in…
What Hemp Products Can You Eat?
Hemp seeds are the seeds of the hemp plant, and they’re also known as hemp hearts because you’re actually eating the inner part of the seed with the hard-outer hull removed. If you’ve never tasted them, they’re similar to pine nuts or sunflower seeds in terms of flavor - mildly nutty and very delicious.
Hemp seed oil is made from pressed hemp seeds. While many people use the oil for food, I am not a fan because it is a PUFA (Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acid) which can become unstable, turning to an inflammatory trans-fat.
You can also find Hemp Oil in many natural personal care products and household cleaning products.
Hemp milk might be the most nutritious milk you can buy. If you haven’t tried it, I think you’ll really enjoy the taste, but it is a thinner consistency than almond or cashew milk, so keep that in mind.
Finally, you can find hemp seed butter, which is nut free so it’s a great alternative to almond butter for school lunches, in stores like Whole Foods or online. Always buy raw, because like the oils, the nut butters can go rancid.
Benefits of Hemp
Hemp offers incredible health benefits because within these tiny seeds lie a “perfect protein,” meaning that they have all 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce. Of those, they have an ideal 3:1 ratio of Omega-3:Omega-6 fatty acids, which means they are anti-inflammatory.
Each little tablespoon contains an amazing 10 grams of protein and 14 grams of healthy fats. That’s by far more protein than an egg, by the way, and so much better for you!
Here are the health benefits you’ll find from hemp seeds:
- Balance hormones: One of the healthy fats hemp contains is called GLA, or gamma lenolenic acid, which provide a long list of health benefits but most notably, it helps maintain proper hormone function including easing symptoms of PMS.
- Improve heart health: Studies show a direct link between eating hemp seeds and improving cardiovascular health and lowering blood pressure. This is not a surprise when you consider that hemp contains the right ratio of healthy fats, dietary fiber, and plant-based protein.
- Decrease inflammation: Hemp is an anti-inflammatory food because of its ideal ratio of fatty acids, and as a result, it leads to a healthier digestive system.
- Contribute to reversing cancer: Although more research is needed in this area, multiple studies have found a link between hemp and inhibiting or reversing tumor growth in several forms of cancer.
- Promote weight loss: Hemp furthers your weight loss goals in two ways as a low sugar, nutrient-dense food. First, it is one of the best foods around for keeping you fuller longer, while decreasing your cravings for foods with sugar and gluten. Second, it relieves constipation and keeps the digestive tract moving because it’s high in both important types of fiber.
- Improve skin: The healthy fats in hemp can actually penetrate the skin and promote healthy cell growth beneath, which leads to younger looking, softer skin. It also helps with symptoms of eczema and psoriasis.
Concerns and Potential Side Effects
While the hemp plant is related to the cannabis plant that marijuana comes from, hemp causes no psychotropic reaction and will NOT get you high. It is completely legal and safe to consume – even for your kids.
Trust me when I say this: hemp is far safer than kombucha!
There are also no known side effects or allergies to hemp, so eat as much as you want.
One thing you should know about hemp products is that they are sensitive to light, so buy in containers that don’t allow much light in, and check their dates for freshness. Once home, the refrigerator will help keep them fresh.
How to Get More Hemp
There are so many ways you can use versatile, tasty, nutrient-packed hemp seeds. Sprinkle them on salads the same way you would pine nuts. Add them to roasted veggies, or as nice garnish for soups. Combine hemp seeds with quinoa and coconut or hemp milk for an acid-free morning porridge.
Here are a few of my favorite hemp recipes that I’ve shared:
- Avocado with Hemp Seeds
- Non-Dairy Berry Breakfast Parfait
- Strawberry Alkaline Ice Cream
- Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding
- Pumpkin Breakfast Bars
One of the best ways to eat more hemp is in smoothies. You can add in raw hemp hearts before blending, use hemp milk in place of almond or coconut milk, add hemp butter, or use a hemp protein powder. Here are a couple of smoothies made with hemp:
Because of its nutritional profile, hemp makes a perfect protein powder, supplying all 20 amino acids along with the proper ratio of Omega-3:Omega-6 fatty acids to reduce inflammation in the body.
That’s why we included it in Alkamind Organic Daily Protein. We combine it with pea protein and sacha inchi, plus coconut oil to give you a COMPLETE PROTEIN that’s high in branched-chain amino acids and nourishing fats. If you’re looking to BURN FAT and GAIN LEAN MUSCLE, this is your morning shake!
It’s filled with nutrient-dense, plant-based ingredients and none of the fillers or preservatives you’ll find in other brands.
Plus, it tastes great! Both flavors, Vanilla Coconut and Creamy Chocolate, get excellent reviews for taste and effectiveness.