You’re concerned about eating clean, having a balanced diet that’s as good for you as it possibly could be. And as part of your healthy lifestyle, you’re probably used to include a number of seeds in your diet, like flax, chia and pumpkin seeds. But did you know that hemp seeds are also a fantastic way to add all sorts of healthy goodness to your favorite foods and smoothies?
What are Hemp Seeds?
Uh, hemp? But isn’t that…? Nope. While hemp seeds do come from the same broad plant family as marijuana, they’re a non-psychoactive form of hemp and will not make you high.
They are also commonly sold as hemp hearts, or the edible inside of the seeds. It’s all the same; it merely means they are hemp seeds without the husks.
Hemp Seed Superfood
Hemp seeds are the latest superfood. They are a rich source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, fatty acids, and minerals.
Hemp seeds are fabulous for vegetarians and vegans as they are one of the few plant-based complete sources of protein. They contain all 21 essential amino acids, including the nine that the human body can’t produce itself.
Protein is essential for healthy bones and muscles, as well as making neurotransmitters in your brain and building new cells throughout your body.
Adding hemp seeds to your diet is a natural, tasty way to boost your daily fiber intake. Hemp is high in soluble and non-soluble fiber, keeping you feeling fuller for longer, helping weight loss and improving your gut health. Including more fiber in your diet will also help lower your cholesterol.
- Fatty acids
Hemp seeds contain the ideal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 essential fatty acids, including GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid), the omega 6 acid which helps regulate your body’s hormones and reduces inflammation.
- Vitamins and minerals
By now you won’t be surprised to hear that hemp seeds are pretty much a natural multivitamin! They contain Vitamins A, B Group, D and E, as well as minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Just for magnesium alone, one ounce of hemp seeds contains nearly half the recommended daily allowance, or 192 mg.
Hemp seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch. If you include just three tablespoons of hemp seed in your daily diet you will be getting:
- 9 grams of protein
- 14 grams of essential fatty acid
- 210 milligrams of magnesium
- 360 milligrams of potassium
- 495 milligrams of phosphorus
- 3 milligrams of zinc
- 3 milligrams of niacin
Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are such a concentrated source of cell-building and anti-inflammatory nutrients that they have a vast range of benefits for your health.
- Reduce inflammation
The essential fatty acids found in hemp seeds work as an anti-inflammatory, helping with arthritis, eczema, high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
- Reduce menopause and PMS symptoms
Hemp seeds have a positive effect on hormonal regulation. The high GLA and magnesium content can help with the distressing symptoms of menopause and pre-menstrual tension.
- Reduce your risk of heart disease
The amino acids, phytonutrients, and antioxidants in hemp seeds have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system, lowering your blood pressure, and your risk of heart disease.
- Boost energy and muscle mass
The high levels of protein, magnesium, zinc, iron, and manganese make hemp seeds a natural choice for athletes. The complex carbohydrates in hemp give you a slow-release energy boost, while the protein helps build muscle mass and the minerals help prevent cramps and repair tissues.
How to Use Hemp Seeds
The easiest way to include healthy hemp seeds in your diets is to sprinkle them over your cereal, yogurt, and salads and include them in your trail mix.
You can also swap out your usual seeds for hemp seeds when you’re making energy or protein balls. Hemp seeds are delicious in your next batch of tabouli or meatballs, and they make a great alternative to store-bought protein powders for your smoothies.
Easy Homemade Hemp Milk Recipe
It easy to make your own homemade hemp seed milk to add to your range of dairy-free milk alternatives. Simply take half a cup of hemp seeds and blend with 4 cups of water. Strain off the pulp and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Chocolate Hemp Seed Butter Recipe
You can even make a delicious chocolate hemp seed butter that’s gluten and sugar-free, as well as being vegan and paleo-friendly.
Take 2 cups of hemp seeds and blend with 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, 10 drops of chocolate stevia and 1 tablespoon of water until it has a buttery consistency. You can add a little more water if it’s too stiff. You can make it as smooth or crunchy as you prefer. Store in a jar in the refrigerator.
Including hemp seeds in your diet is an easy delicious way to boost your nutrition and get you powered into a healthy lifestyle.
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