We’re not going to hide our love for hemp from you, and we’re not going to tell you that it doesn’t go a long way to get us through the day. Seriously, hemp is gooooood stuff, to put it bluntly.
It’s also completely misunderstood. If you mention hemp in mixed company you’re likely to get some odd looks. Why? Simple. People have been conditioned to think that it’s something it isn’t.
Lots of people think that hemp means marijuana, or a narcotic substance. It’s not. It’s a nut from a common plant that is a cousin to marijuana. There are only trace amounts of THC in the seeds, making them perfectly safe. You won’t become addicted, and the only buzz you’ll catch is an awesome, healthy feeling.
Now hemp may not get you high, but it will definitely help keep you above the ground.
Pop culture would have you thinking it’s dangerous when what you should be thinking is that it is a SUPER-FOOD!
That’s right, hemp is a nutritious food, loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, and perfect for when you get the munchies.
SIX REASONS WE USE HEMP
Can you benefit from adding hemp to your diet? You better believe it! Check out these six benefits.
HEMP HELPS WITH DIGESTION
When you eat whole hemp seeds, you are eating both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber will help to make you feel full longer, keeping you from over-eating, while insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and moves food through your digestive tract more quickly. This allows for healthier elimination of your food.
Fiber is essential, not only to digestion, but to your heart and skin (more on both below). It can also improve blood sugar levels, something very important for everybody, but absolutely crucial if you’re one of the many people with diabetes.
IT AIDS WITH HEART HEALTH
Considering heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world today, this one alone should convince you that you need hemp in your diet. Here’s how it can help:
- Hemp seeds contain arginine, an amino acid that is used to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide makes your blood vessels dilate and relax, which in turn lowers your blood pressure, giving you a great, mellow feeling all day.[i]
- Arginine has also been connected to decreased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker often linked with heart disease. Since CRP is a general marker of inflammation, and inflammation is the cause of virtually every disease, it can be said that arginine helps reduce disease in general.[ii]
- Hemp also contains gamma-linolenic acid (GMA), which has also been linked with lower inflammation levels.[iii]
- Animal studies show that hemp can decrease the likelihood of blood clots forming, assist in heart repair following an attack, as well as lower blood pressure.[iv] [v] [vi]
HEMP CAN EASE THE SYMPTOMS OF PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME AND MENOPAUSE
Ladies, this one’s for you! The gamma-linolenic acid in hemp produces prostaglandin E1, which can reduce the effects of prolactin, which is believed to be a component in the symptoms of PMS, both emotionally and physically.[vii] [viii]
GLA is known to help reduce the symptoms of menopause as well.[ix]
IT WILL HELP PROMOTE HEALTHY SKIN
Eczema, thick, callous-like skin and dry, cracked heels are common, especially in the winter months, for both men and women. The answer isn’t toxic, smelly creams, but fatty acids- and guess what just happens to be a good source? That’s right, hemp! Hemp seeds are a great source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. Their ratio of about 3:1 omega-6 to omega-3 is considered the optimal range. It can also relieve dry skin, and get rid of the itchiness that comes with it.
HEMP IS AN AMAZING SOURCE OF NUTRITION
As stated earlier, hemp contains arginine, GLA and polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. It is also a great source of protein- even better than chia seeds or flaxseeds. You will also find vitamin E, phosphorus, sodium, sulfur, potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron in hemp.[x] It’s no wonder the oil has been used as a food and medicine in China for over 3000 years.[xi]
HEMP IS PERFECT FOR A PLANT-BASED DIET
If meat is off the menu in your diet you are probably seeking a substitute source for protein. Look no further. 25% of the calories in hemp seeds come from protein. That’s comparable to what you get from beef or lamb.[xii]
When you compare hemp protein to whey protein you’ll discover that it is a more efficient protein and does not contain all the artificial sweeteners that whey products have in them. Whey is also a byproduct of the manufacture of cheese and contains dairy proteins, which makes it a common allergen. If lactose is an issue- or if you just don’t want to eat animal derived food- whey is not the direction for you. Try hemp instead. [xiii]
Your body also digests it better than other grains, legumes or nuts.[xiv]
And since it is, technically, a nut it should come as no surprise that they have a mild, nutty flavor that will enhance many of your dishes.
Protein sources are getting a lot of attention these days, and with the wide variety of options, it’s easy to get confused. If you ask what our choice is, we’ll pick hemp. It’s a great dietary supplement that has many health benefits. It has the fatty acids we need, plenty of protein, and a variety of minerals that make it a true super-food.
[xi] Same as x
[xii] Same as x