Even people who don’t have a life altering condition can benefit from cannabis use – however the benefits of the marijuana plant’s twin, hemp, have been much less discussed until recently.
Hemp differs from marijuana in the amount of THC it produces – you will not get a high from hemp, but it still holds many compounds that can make it an extremely beneficial health supplement. If you are looking for ways to try and improve your health, adding hemp seeds could be one way to help without much effort. Many of the studies on hemp seeds have been conducted outside of the United States – however that doesn’t make the information any less reliable.
Rich in Fiber, Vitamins and Minerals
The first thing you need to know is that hemp seeds are extremely rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can naturally cleanse the colon (and also cut down on sugar cravings). Along with having both types of fiber, the seeds are also made of what is called “perfect protein”. This means that it contains all 20 types of amino acid, which includes the 9 types of essential amino acids which cannot be produced naturally by our own bodies.
The seeds also contains a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are extremely beneficial to cardiovascular health. They are also high in a specific omega-6 fatty acid called gamma linoleic acid, which is also found in egg yolks and is proven to be able to naturally balance hormones. For people who don’t care for eggs or know they don’t get enough of these essential acids, hemp seeds could fill in a large gap.
On top of being full of important acids and proteins and fiber, you will also be happy to hear that hemp seeds are also a great source of a number of different vitamins and minerals. Minerals found in hemp seed include calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc; vitamins include A, B1, B2, B3, B6, D and E.
Full of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are one of the most beneficial things we can keep in our diet – and different types of antioxidants will benefit different parts of our bodies. Generally we get antioxidants from foods like fruits and vegetables, however hemp seeds are found to have high levels of vitamin E, which is one of the most beneficial antioxidants. They are also rich in tocopherol, an antioxidant that is known to have benefits for those with Alzheimer’s as well as atherosclerosis and phytol, which are said to both have anti-cancer and antioxidant properties.
Fights Bad Cholesterol and Promotes Heart Health
All those fatty acids we were talking about earlier, omega-3 and omega-6, are essential in preventing bad cholesterol. We know that in order to cut down on bad cholesterol we need to take in less foods filled with unhealthy fats – adding hemp seeds to your diet can be an excellent way to help fight off the bad cholesterol while promoting the good kind. Along with the omega fatty acids the multiple different vitamins and minerals in the seeds are able to help keep your heart health in check.
On top of that, the American Clinical Society analysis found that the high levels of ALA (a-linolenic acid), another important omega-3 fatty acids, “may have favorable nutritional implications and beneficial physiological effects on the prevention of coronary heart disease and cancer”. Basically, they have concluded that these acids might be great for those who are looking to prevent blood clots, stroke and heart disease, which are the most common causes of death in Americans.
Those omega-6 fatty acids are truly essential to our body’s ability to function properly, including the ability to naturally reduce inflammation. There are lots of causes for inflammation both internally and externally – edema (swelling) can occur due to injury or illness and it can cause serious problems if it persists for too long. As hemp seeds are so rich in both omega-6 and GLA, they are an excellent food to choose if you are looking to reduce inflammation naturally.
Promotes Fat Burning
If you’re trying to lose weight during your quest for better health, then hemp seeds are definitely something you add to your grocery shopping list. Due to the fact that hemp seeds are a “perfect protein” they make an excellent filler that is full of essential nutrients and will keep you fuller, longer.
May Aid in Digestion
As well as helping you to burn more calories due to intake of essential vitamins and minerals, hemp seeds may also be beneficial to your digestive health. Since fiber is an extremely important part of our digestion, it should come as no surprise that a food with both soluble and insoluble fiber would make an excellent choice for those with GI issues.
Just the Beginning
Currently, these are some of the most studied benefits of the Super Food we know as hemp seeds. They are an extremely nutritious food that can be eaten on their own, in a salad or mixed in with other foods. Hemp seed oil can also be beneficial – and it is one of the more commonly mentioned carrier oils for those who use essential oils on a regular basis. Overall, there are probably dozens more health benefits to hemp seeds that we don’t even know about yet.