As hemp continues to gain popularity as an agricultural crop, the nutrient rich seeds of these plants are also gaining recognition for their possible health benefits. Hemp seeds come from a substrain of cannabis sativa, but they won’t produce any psychoactive effects like marijuana. Similar to chia seeds, hemp seeds are considered to be a super food by many for its beneficial protein, fiber, fatty acids, and essential amino acids that promote overall health and wellness.
Perhaps the most valuable nutritional benefits of hemp seeds come from the essential fatty acids that they offer. These seeds contain an abundance of omega-3s and omega-6s, which are essential fatty acids that we need yet the body cannot produce them on its own.
Note: Many people have too much omega-6 in their diet due to its overwhelming presence in many of the foods we consume everyday. The current ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the average diet is estimated to fall between 10:1 and 20:1. However, hemp seeds have an ideal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio between 2:1 or 3:1, which makes them a great addition to your diet in combination with other healthy eating choices.
Along with the fatty acids that hemp seeds offer, they’re also a good source of plant based protein and fiber. In conjunction, all of the valuable nutrients in hemp seeds are believed to have several health benefits, including:
There are essentially two different forms of hemp seeds, those that still have the shell in tact and those that have had it removed. Hulled hemp seeds, also known has hemp hearts, do not have their outer shell (hull), and this also means that they lose much of the valuable fiber that unhulled hemp seeds have. However, hemp hearts tend to be easier to mix into a wide variety of food dishes since they are not as crunchy as hemp seeds.
There are a plethora of ways that you can incorporate hemp seeds into your everyday diet, starting with simple meals like salads, smoothies, and oatmeal. The nutty taste of hemp seeds pairs well with a lot of foods, but it can just as easily be hidden by other strong flavors if you aren’t a fan of the natural taste of hemp. Hemp seeds can also be used to make other hemp products like protein powders, hemp milk, and hemp seed oil, which further expands the available options that allow you to benefit from the valuable nutrients within hemp seeds.