The Biggest Benefits of Eating Hemp
The Biggest Benefits of Eating Hemp
While hemp foods are a relatively recent addition to Western diets, many societies all over the world have been eating hemp foods and products for centuries.
Edible hemp commonly comes in the form of seeds, hearts, oils, and protein powders, among others. It can be used to make a wide variety of foods such as bars, milks, cheese products and more.
Hemp has a nutty, or earthy flavour, and its versatility means it can be used in all manner of smoothies, baking or cooking, or simply on their own in salads or cereals, or with vegetables and meats.
A common misconception of eating hemp is that it may have a psychoactive effect. While hemp is a product of the cannabis plant, it contains only trace elements (less than 0.3%) of THC, which is the active substance of marijuana that gets you high.
The health benefits of eating hemp are huge. Hemp is a superfood that can improve heart health and skin conditions. It is extremely rich in protein, healthy fats and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
But what does that all mean?
5 Reasons Why Eating Hemp Is Good For You
#1: Hemp Can Decrease the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is one of the most common killers in the world, and hemp is rich in nutrients that have been shown to improve heart health (1).
Hemp seeds have high amounts of arginine, which is an amino acid that produces nitric acid. Nitric acid has been shown to help your blood vessels to relax, which lowers your blood pressure and puts you at a lower risk of suffering from heart disease.
Further, studies have found that hemp oil reduces blood pressure, both when you’re resting and when you’re stressed (2).
#2: Eating Hemp Decreases the Risk of Brain Conditions and Arthritis
Hemp contains a whole lot of essential fatty acids that are hugely influential in overall health. Hemp seed oil contains polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory properties for the brain (3).
Brain inflammation has been linked to neuro-degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, MS and seizures, so reducing that inflammation lowers the risk of such conditions.
#3: Eating Hemp Can Relieve Joint Pain and Arthritis
That inflammation we were just talking about can also lead to arthritis and joint pain.
By lowering the inflammation in your bones and joints, you’ll be relieving the pain caused by arthritis conditions.
#4: Hemp is High in Protein
Hemp protein is described as a complete protein, because it contains all nine essential amino acids (EAA’s). These fatty acids are the building blocks of protein and are, as the name suggests, essential for overall health.
This makes hemp a rich source of protein, particularly for vegans or vegetarians looking to get protein into their diets from food sources other than animal products.
With around 25% protein, hemp seeds have considerably more protein than chia seeds and flax seeds, which typically have between 16-18% protein.
Why is protein important? Protein helps to build muscle, give you energy, grow bones, skin and hair, and carry oxygen around your body.
#5: Eating Hemp Can Help With Skin Conditions
Hemp seeds have the ideal rate of 3:1 of omega-6 to omega-3. These healthy fats have been shown to provide relief from skin conditions and itchy irritations such as eczema (5).
Eating hemp or rubbing hemp oil into affected areas can help to ease the itchy effects of eczema and other conditions. Hemp can also be used as a shampoo or conditioner to help grow healthy hair.
Hemp’s omega ratio is also considered far superior to many Western diets, which can have a ratio of around 16:1 omega-6 to omega-3. This raises the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and some cancers, among other things.
The amazing nutritional properties of hemp means it has many more health benefits - these are just the beginning. As a dietary supplement, whole food or addition to your salads, vegetables or proteins, hemp food products are a fantastic source of everything you need in a healthy diet.
Written by Nick Walker