It was only a few weeks ago that I first explored the world of hemp, taking a close look at CBD as a possible supplement for anxiety and sleep support.
In today’s article, we review hemp from a slightly different angle.
What is hemp seed?
This increasingly popular product comes from the same plant as CBD and, like CBD, does not contain a physiologically significant amount of the psychoactive compound THC.
Chances are you’ve seen or at least heard of hemp seed before, as its widespread availability, use, and promotion continue to accelerate.
My goal today is to explore the nutritional and health benefits behind their growing popularity.
When we’re done here, you’ll have a much better idea of what hemp seeds are and the unique health benefits they have to offer.
Hemp seeds or Hemp hearts
As mentioned, hemp seeds are the seeds of the Hemp Sativa L. plant variety which has very low THC concentrations (<0.3%) and therefore no psychoactive properties.
If you’ve ever looked at these products before, you’ve probably noticed that you can buy hemp seeds and hemp “hearts”.
Hemp hearts are essentially the shelled or “shelled” version of the seeds.
While nutritionally similar, they contain significantly less fiber but are much easier to consume and more suitable for certain recipes because they are not as hard or crunchy as the seeds themselves.
Nutritional Value of Hemp Seeds
Consumption of plant seeds is strongly associated with improved cardiovascular and metabolic health which is due in large part to the plant protein, healthy fats, and wide variety of vitamin compounds, minerals, and antioxidants such as polyphenols they contain.
Like other seed varieties, hemp also provides nutritionally significant amounts of magnesium and potassium, two nutrients that have the potential to be under-consumed in our population3.
The DASH diet to lower blood pressure relies heavily on sufficient magnesium and potassium intake, which explains why the journal Trials has a protocol to evaluate the possible effects of hemp seed in lowering blood pressure.
When we take a closer look at the specific nutritional profile of these products, there are certainly a few other key things that stand out. If you want to find great information about Hemp Seeds, Properties, and Benefits, check out https://www.hemponix.com/.
One of the things that really jumps off the page is the significant amount (8-10 grams) of protein per serving from both hemp seeds and hemp hearts.
This makes them strong candidates as a source of plant-based protein, and their protein quality and digestibility are considered comparable to most other nuts, seeds, and legumes4.
Regarding the difference in fiber content, this can be viewed strategically.
While many of us need and would benefit from the high fiber content of hemp seeds, not everyone can tolerate the intact seeds from a digestive perspective, meaning that hemp hearts represent a perfectly sound alternative.
The one thing that both hemp hearts and hemp seeds contain that is not very clear on their nutrition label is a very significant amount of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid.
What is Hemp and what is it good for?
Hemp’s Omega-3 Content
In some ways, it’s quite appropriate that hemp seeds contain so much omega-3 fat, as there is growing interest in the anxiolytic potential of omega-3 supplementation.
As I mentioned in my last article on CBD, there is obviously strong anxiolytic potential in that hemp product as well.
Omega-3s are so intriguing because they can be elusive from a dietary perspective, especially for vegans/vegetarians who may not include fish in their eating patterns.