What are the benefits of hemp protein?
Many health experts consider hemp protein to have a superior nutritional value compared to other plant proteins.
For one, hemp protein is full of amino acids. Twenty of them, to be exact, including the nine essential ones that the body is unable to produce on its own.
“Whenever we’re discussing plant-based proteins the main concern is always, it is enough protein? Unlike other plant-based protein, hemp protein is a complete protein, offering all nine essential amino acids, where other plant-based proteins do not,” registered dietitian Brigitte Zeitlin, owner of BZ Nutrition and Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods RD Partner, told Remedy Review.
“This makes hemp protein a total protein powerhouse,” she added.
Thanks to all those amino acids, hemp protein is highly digestible. And the easier a protein can be digested, the more efficiently the body can use it to build and repair tissue.
It’s also packed with both soluble and insoluble fiber, which, according to the Harvard Public School of Health, can reduce the risk of heart disease, diverticular disease, and constipation. Aka, it can provide you with a bit of a colon cleanse, if that’s what you’re after.
Most hemp protein powders contain at least 10 grams of fiber per serving, which accounts for approximately half of the FDA’s 20-35-gram recommended daily value. On the contrary, soy, pea, and rice protein powders tend to be highly refined and, consequently, contain limited amounts of fiber.
That’s not all.
A study found that hemp seeds contain strong antioxidant properties, which protect your body from oxidative damage—you know, the cellular damage that leads to aging, cancer, and other diseases.
Hemp seeds are also rich in essential fatty acids and contain an ideal 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, making them a heart healthy supplement.
“Hemp protein powder is great to add to your diet when you’re looking to increase your intake of all those nutrients, especially omega 3 and 6,” Zietlin said, “and is also a wonderful source to get your daily protein.”
Who is hemp protein powder good for?
Hemp protein isn’t just for our vegan and vegetarian friends.
Dr. Olivia Rose, a naturopathic doctor at Vitarock, has seen her fair share of meat-eaters adopt a more plant-based diet for health reasons.
“Hemp protein may not only appeal to vegetarians and vegans, but also to the carnivores and omnivores who are looking for healthy additions to their diets,” Rose said. “Dairy and legume sensitivity is also common in my practice, which means that hemp protein is a more digestible option over whey and pea protein supplements for these individuals.”
She’s also seen many people swap out the meat-based proteins for environmental reasons.
“Meat-focused or omnivorous diets generate more green house emissions mainly from the methane gas produced from animal manure,” Rose explained. “Plant-based diets don’t generate as much green house emissions, require less water, and lead to less rain forest destruction.”
Lastly, because hemp protein is stacked with amino acids, it’s a healthful supplement for athletes. That’s because athletes require more protein to maintain their muscle mass.
During intense workouts, the body breaks down protein in our muscles and—with the help of amino acids—rebuilds them over the course of a day or two.
What does hemp protein go best with?
Hemp protein is incredibly versatile and can be used similarly to other protein supplements.
Additionally, many people find hemp protein powder to have a nutty, earthy taste that blends well with many recipes.
Try adding it to a shake or a smoothie or mixed with plant or dairy-based milk, coffee, or hot cereals—such as oatmeal, quinoa, or buckwheat.
Hemp protein is fair game for children, too, and can be added to their favorite snacks or drinks to boost nutritional value and keep them feeling full and satisfied.