Hemp, and the seeds it produces, is very misunderstood by many people. There’s generally two thoughts about the plant. It is generally put together with either Cannabis, as a drug, or is seen solely in the industrial sense as useful for rope and paper. What many do not realize is the third category hemp, and especially its seeds are useful for. That is, as a nutritious piece of just about anyone’s diet. Unsurprisingly, like with all things related to the Cannabis plant, this is information that has been known for a long time but has been repressed by the banning of Hemp throughout the 20th century.
Hemp Seeds lack the THC content of a standard Marijuana plant, meaning there is nothing in these things that will get one high. They are purely a nutrient dense food source that has been utilized for centuries, if not eons, but is now highly under-utilized. Notably, hemp seeds are extremely high-protein food sources that can provide about 70% of your daily value in a single 100 gram serving size. They also contain the essential fats (Omega 3 & 6), Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), packed full of antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, iron, zinc, carotene, phospholipids, phytosterols, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and many different types of enzymes which aid in digestive health. All the essential amino acids known for ideal human health are present within the Hemp seed. These seeds are rich in all healthy fats and the essential fatty acids, while also being a great source of protein along with many vitamins in minerals important for clarity and healthfulness.
Besides these basic nutritional benefits, Hemp seeds have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease via a few different mechanisms. One of these is the amino acid, arginine, which is utilized in our bodies to produce a chemical known as nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is proven to relax and dilate the blood vessels located around our bodies, lowering our blood pressure the leading cause of heart disease. Additionally, the gamma-linolenic acids found within hemp seeds are linked to reduced inflammation which has been shown to reduce the risk of both heart attacks and strokes. Even farther, hemp seed oil has been shown in animals to decrease blood pressure, decrease blood clot formation, and help the heart recover after having a heart attack.
The proteins available in the consumption of Hemp seeds can help significantly with controlling blood sugar and lowering the risk of Type II diabetes. Our bodies can make energy from basically three main things, that is sugars or carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The first, the carbohydrates, are what the body burns first, and any extra sugars are stored as fats. Fats are the second line for the body to burn, so by replacing the sugars one will be burning their fat as a replacement. The high availability of easily digestible proteins in the hemp seeds allow our body to find long lasting energy instead of having sugar cravings throughout the day. Weight loss can be expected as well due to this, as the body takes to burning fats instead of sugars throughout the day.
Healthy fats found within hemp can help with certain skin disorders as well. Patients suffering from eczema and other irritated skin disorders have found much relief by adding these fats, which are found plentifully in the hemp seed, to their diets. This is due to a change in balance of these fat levels in the blood, which has been proven to be beneficial to the skin.
Hemp seeds are also high in fiber and beneficial enzymes which can help aid in proper digestion. There is two types of fibers available in Hemp seeds, soluble and insoluble. The soluble fiber creates a beneficial area in our stomachs for the bacteria within, which as recent studies have shown are highly invaluable to many systems of our bodies. The other type of fiber is the insoluble, which helps clear out the bowels and stomach and help waste pass through easily. Most of the fiber is contained within the shell of these seeds, however, and deshelled versions lack much of the beneficial fibers.
In women of reproductive age, hemp seeds have been shown to lower the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as well as the symptoms associated with Menopause. The negative symptoms of these two common issues are caused by a chemical hormone known as prolactin, and the gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) found in the hemp seed allows the body to produce prostaglandin which reduces the effects of prolactin. Breast pain and tenderness, depression, irritability, and the fluid retention commonly associated with these two disorders have been shown to be significantly reduced through the daily intake of hemp seeds. GLA is excellent at helping the body balance its hormones properly, and should be considered to those who suffer from severe hormonal symptoms.
Hemp has always been a popular staple of the human diet, and for good reason. Its nutritional content is nearly ideal for daily intake. Until very recently this has been widely known, and it wasn’t until the bans occurring in the 20th century that people forgot. Or, more accurately, were lied to into thinking that all things Cannabis related are a drug. Most ancient civilizations found great use of the hemp seed and, in all likelihood, was one of the first plants to be used during the beginnings of agriculture in Europe and Asia. There’s much concrete evidence of these seeds and the plant it comes from being invaluable for the beginnings of society’s development, due to the nutrient density and healthfulness that comes from their consumption. While the diets of the 21st century become more and more unhealthy, a few simple cheap seeds from the hemp plant in your daily diet can be seen as a great alternative to the out of whack diets pushed on us in today’s world.