Hemp seeds (cannabis sativa) are very nutritious and rich in healthy fats, proteins and various minerals. A unique taste is also a great benefit.
1. Hemp seeds are very nutritious
Hemp seeds, which are botanically placed among nuts, are a nutritionally balanced food. They have a subtle nutty flavor and are often known as hemp hearts. Hemp seeds contain more than 30% fat, which is rich in essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). Hemp seeds also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which is associated with benefits for the health of the human body, e.g. it affects the quality of hair and nails, it has anti-inflammatory effects, it regenerates joints, etc.
Hemp seeds are, among other things, an excellent source of protein because these essential nutrients make more than 25% of the total calories in this food. For comparison, chia seeds or linen seeds contain only 16-18% of the protein.
They are also an excellent source of vitamin E and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc. You can eat them raw, cooked or even baked. The oil from hemp seeds also has many health benefits, for example in ancient China, hemp oil has been used for more than 3,000 years as the food as well as medicine.
2. Hemp seeds help to reduce the risk of heart diseases
Heart disease is one of the most widespread diseases in the world. It is scientifically proven that regular consumption of hemp seeds reduces the risk of heart disease. Hemp seeds contain a high proportion of arginine (an acid that is a part of proteins) that produces nitric oxide in the body.
Nitric oxide is a gas molecule that causes dilation and release of the veins, resulting in lower blood pressure and a consequent reduction in the risk of heart disease.
Also, a gamma-linolenic acid found in hemp is also associated with anti-inflammatory effects that reduce the risk of heart disease.
3. Hemp seeds and hemp oil help with skin diseases
Fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, can affect the immunity of our body. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of these polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are in ratio 3: 1 in hemp seed, and that is considered optimal for the human body.
Studies show that if hemp oil is given to people with eczema, the ratio of essential fatty acids in the blood is improving. It also benefits dry skin, reduces itching and the need to take dermatological medications.
4. Hemp seeds are excellent source of plant protein
Up to 25% of the calories we receive in hemp seeds are proteins, which is a relatively high ratio. Hemp seeds can supply us with proteins in the same quantity as beef or lamb. 30 grams (or 2-3 spoons) of hemp seeds contain up to 11 grams of protein.
They are considered a complete source of protein, which means they contain all essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids cannot be produced by the body itself, and we need to supplement them with a balanced diet.
Complete sources of protein occur very rarely in the plant world because plants usually lack the amino acid lysine.
5. Hemp seeds can reduce the symptoms of PMS and menopause
Up to 80% of women in productive age suffer from physical or emotional symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). These symptoms are most likely caused by sensitivity to the prolactin hormone.
Gamma linolenic acid (GLA), found in hemp seeds, reduces the effects of prolactin. In the study, when women with PMS syndrome were using 1 gram of essential fatty acids (including 210mg of GLA) per day, there was a significant reduction in PMS symptoms. The breast pain and tenderness, depression, irritability, and fluid retention was reduced.
6. Unpeeled hemp seeds help digestion
The fiber is an essential ingredient of the diet and is associated with healthy digestion. Unpeeled hemp seeds are a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in our intestines that is a valuable source of nutrients for bacteria in the digestive tract and can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Insoluble fiber supplies the stool volume and improves the peristalsis of the intestines. Consumption of insoluble fiber is also associated with a reduced risk of diabetes.