Thursday, February 18, 2016 by Claire Rankin
There is a long tradition of cooking with hemp in many regions of the world, which unfortunately has been seen in a negative light in recent decades due to its association with marijuana. Hemp does not contain the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana and is very beneficial for overall health. Adding hemp seeds to one’s diet is gaining popularity as the hemp industry regains legitimacy. Here’s how to add hemp seeds to your diet.
Hemp is the word for the high-growing industrial varieties of the Cannabis plant. It can be processed to produce hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, ropes, cloth pulp, paper and fuel.
Hemp seeds are the tiny fruits of the hemp plant. The have a delicious, nutty flavor similar to sunflower seeds or pine nuts.
Why You Should Include Hemp Seed in Your Diet
Hemp seeds contain essential amino acids which the body cannot produce or cannot make in sufficient quantity. They are a source of an important fatty acids, such as an omega-6 fatty acid called the GLA (gamma linolenic acid) which is necessary for attaining optimal health. The seeds also contains omega-3 fatty acids that can strengthen the immune system and keep one’s heart healthy. Hemp also helps to control inflammation in the body.
Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein, a 3 tablespoon serving of hemp seeds is said to contain around 11 grams of protein and also supplies the body with minerals such as magnesium, manganese zinc, calcium and iron.
Complete protein sources are very rare in the plant kingdom. Quinoa is an example of a complete, plant-based protein source, and hemp is another. This mean that they provide all the essential amino acids the body needs. In addition, hemp seeds are a rich source of fiber, necessary in order to keep the digestive system healthy.
How to add hemp seed to a daily diet
The easiest way of incorporating them into a daily regimen is to simply grab handful of the shelled seeds, as is or toasted, as a snack – the perfect fast food. Make some healthy “candy bars” that blend hemp seeds with coconut, chocolate, nuts or fruit.
Add to smoothies which will add a nutty taste and they can be added to salads as a great topping along with nuts and other seeds.
For breakfast, try hemp based granola cereal or add to oatmeal. Hemp seeds are also used to make a variety of non-dairy products, such as hemp butter, cheese and milk, which is a great substitute for cow’s milk and butter. Adding organic hemp powder to yoghurts and smoothies is also a power-boost for the body.
Having been consumed traditionally for centuries, hemp seeds are only seeing a come-back recently, as cannabis is slowly becoming decriminalized and people are realizing the excellent nutritional value the seeds offer. Many testify that their overall health is enhanced after consuming this cheap, abundant food on a regular basis.