In the ever-changing world of SUPERFOODS, it’s hard to keep up with which ones we should be eating and why. Although, these superfoods are beneficial for the body and possess essential vitamins and minerals, very few of them stay popular for long before they’re swapped up for the next big thing! Throughout this transitional superfood popularity contest, a handful of fruits, nuts and seeds have stayed steadfast, most of which have been consumed since ancient times. One of these is, of course, Hemp seeds, which have made a surprisingly massive comeback due to a legislative amendment allowing them to be sold as a consumable food source in Australia.
For a long time, hemp seeds have been ignored for their nutritional benefits because of hemp’s botanical relationship to medicinal varieties of cannabis. However, hemp seeds don’t cause any psychotropic reactions and researchers are again studying the unique nutritional profile of this extremely versatile plant.
As a crop, Hemp is completely sustainable to grow and can be used not only for consumable products but also to manufacture paper, plastics and fabric, natural skin and hair care products and even be used as an alternative fuel source.
Before getting into why everyone loves Hemp, let’s quickly talk about what Hemp is, as there seems to be a bit of confusion…
Quick Hemp Facts;
- The scientific name for the Hemp plant is Cannabis sativa.
- Hemp is from the same species as cannabis (marijuana).
- Hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, the compound that causes the drug-like effects of marijuana.
- Hemp products are safe for adults, children, animals, and the elderly to consume.
- You will not get ‘high’ from consuming Hemp products.
- CBD oil and (HS) Hemp Seed oil are different.
- Cannabis oil and HS oil are different.
- HS oil is used as a dietary supplement and preventative.
Now to the why…
Hemp Seeds are a perfectly natural blend of easily digested proteins, essential fats (Omega 3, 6 & 9), Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), antioxidants, amino acids, fibre, iron, zinc, carotene, phospholipids, phytosterols, vitamin B1, 2 & 6, vitamin D, vitamin E, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, sulphur, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and enzymes!
Hemp protein is one of the best complete sources of natural plant-based proteins there is because it contains all 20 amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids that the body is unable to produce itself. These amino acids are needed for the body to grow, repair, and create new cells. Additionally, hemp protein can be easily digested by the stomach and does not have effects like bloating and gas which are associated with other protein sources.
Hemp seed oil has been dubbed, ‘Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil’ since it contains a perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio of the required essential fatty acids (EFAs) for long-term human consumption.
Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids are all important dietary fats and crucial parts of human cell membranes. However, as with most things in life, it is important to get the right balance of Omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids in your diet. Hemp also contains GLA (gamma – linolenic acid) that is absent from the fats we usually eat. Omega-3 is critical for neurological development and brain health, Omega-6 has shown to help stimulate skin and hair growth, maintain bone health and regulate metabolism and Omega 9 have shown to be very beneficial for healthy heart function.
Hemp seeds are high in insoluble and soluble fibre which has shown to promote a healthy digestive system. Additionally, this healthy mixture of roughage feeds the probiotics in your gut and helps secure a robust immune system. The fibre present in Hemp seeds may also cause you to feel fuller for longer and reduce sugar cravings which in turn may aid in weight management.
Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)
GLA, which is part of the Omega-6 family, is a necessary building block for prostaglandins — hormone-like chemicals in the body that help smooth muscles, control inflammation and body temperature. It has also been inferred that GLA is necessary for balanced hormone health, maintaining a healthy reproductive system and even relieving symptoms of PMS.
For such a tiny seed, this one packs a punch. With countless studies conducted on the health benefits of Hemp seeds, it is no wonder why they are being dubbed as a champion superfood. Its popularity may wane when the next trend comes along but one thing that will not change, the scientifically proven benefits on this little seed.
Please note: This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results may vary from individual to individual.
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