Hemp seeds come from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Although they are from the same species as marijuana, they only contain very small trace amounts of THC, the chemical compound which causes the drug-like effects of cannabis. As a food, hemp seeds are hugely nutritious and exceptionally rich in healthy fats, proteins, and a range of essential minerals. Hemp care and wellness products, such as soaps, lotions, shampoos, and body butter, are all available to help you best look after your health and appearance. Here are some of the best science-backed benefits of hemp seeds.
#1. They’re Extremely Nutritious
Hemp seeds, which are often referred to as hemp hearts or nuts, are highly nutritious and have a mild, nutty flavor. They contain over 30% healthy fats and are extremely rich in two essential fatty acids: omega-3 and omega-6, making them a great alternative to oily fish for anybody following a vegetarian or vegan diet. In addition, more than 25% of the calories that you’ll get from hemp seeds come from high-quality protein, which is an essential source of amino acids for your muscles and organs. This is considerably higher compared to other similar health foods, such as flax or chia seeds, which tend to contain less than 20% protein. Other nutrients present in hemp seeds include high levels of Vitamin E and other essential minerals including magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium, zinc, iron, phosphorous, and sulfur. Hemp seeds can be consumed either raw, cooked, or toasted. The oil derived from hemp seeds is also particularly healthy and has been used as a popular food and medicine in China for over three centuries.
#2. Improve and Aid Digestive Health
Fiber is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet and is closely linked to the health of your digestive system. Adding whole hemp seeds, including the shell, to your diet can be very beneficial for your digestive health since whole hemp hearts are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibers. They contain approximately 20% soluble fiber, which creates a gel-like substance in the gut and provides a valuable source of nutrients for ‘good’ digestive bacteria. Other benefits include possible reduction of spikes in blood sugar, along with helping to regulate cholesterol levels. 80% of the fiber found in hemp seeds is insoluble, which bulks out fecal material to aid food and waste in passing through the gut. A high level of insoluble fiber in your diet has been linked with lower risk of diabetes.
#3. Improve Skin and Avoid Skin Disorders
Past research has shown that fatty acids may have an effect on immune responses within the body, which is suspected to be related to the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Hemp seeds are an optimal source of fatty acids, including both polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids, with an almost perfect ratio of the two. Studies have shown that due to the high fatty acid content, hemp products can be extremely beneficial for those with skin conditions such as eczema, dry skin, and skin itchiness. Using hemp skin products or including hemp in your diet can also help to improve overall skin health, elasticity, and appearance. To help with dry, itchy or irritated skin, why not try the range of hemp skin products from Hippie Butter?
#4. Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Across the world, heart disease is one of the most common reasons for death. Interestingly, many studies have shown that consuming hemp seeds has the potential to reduce your risk of heart disease using a variety of mechanisms. Firstly, hemp seeds contain rich amounts of the amino acid known as arginine, which is essential for producing nitric oxide in the body. One of the main functions of this gas molecule is to cause blood vessels to expand and relax, therefore, leading to lower blood pressure and a decreased risk of heart disease. In addition, a large study with over thirteen thousand participants found that increasing the intake of arginine was closely linked with lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker associated with heart disease.
#5. Improve Women’s Health
If you are female, adding more hemp seeds to your diet can help you improve your reproductive health, particularly by improving the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) or menopause. At present, up to 80% of women who are of reproductive age suffer from the physical or mental symptoms of PMS, which are typically caused by sensitivity to the hormone prolactin. Hemp seeds can be effective in producing more prostaglandin E1, which reduces prolactin’s effect in the body. This is due to their high concentration of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). In addition, studies have found that the fatty acids contained in hemp seeds can be effective in reducing symptoms of PMS, including breast pain and tenderness, fluid retention, irritability,and depression. The amount of GLA found in hemp seeds also suggests that they may be effective in reducing the symptoms of menopause.
#6. Lose Weight
Finally, adding hemp seeds to an already balanced, healthy diet accompanied by regular physical exercise can help you lose weight faster and more effectively. Whether you have a lot of weight to lose, are hoping to drop a few pounds to get back into your best shape or are trying to maintain a healthy and slim physique, hemp is a natural appetite suppressant which will help you feel fuller for longer and stave off unhealthy sugar cravings. Some diet experts recommend adding around four tablespoons of hemp seeds or flour to your breakfast each morning to keep you fuller for longer throughout the day. This is mainly due to the high level of fiber in hemp seeds, which helps to promote satiety and makes it easier for you to lose weight through diet. In addition, the digestive health benefits that come with consuming hemp regularly can also make a significant difference to your weight loss achievements.
Hemp has a huge range of health benefits, from heart health to weight loss and better skin. Including hemp as part of your healthy, balanced lifestyle will help you feel and look your best.