10 Reasons Why You Should Make Hemp Seeds Your Favorite New Snack

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Yes, we are talking about hemp today! It’s true that they are from the same species of plant as marijuana, but hemp seeds, unlike their cousin, won’t get you high. The seeds from this plant have only trace amounts of THC, so there is no “high,” but they are still worth eating.

Why? Well, we have a list of 10 science-based reasons why you should be enjoying these nutty tasting seeds. Make hemp seeds your favorite new snack and you will be in for a bounty of health benefits.

They have been around for thousands of years but have recently found their way back into our modern day diets.

Keep reading and find out why you can smoke your cannabis and eat hemp seeds too.

 

1. They Taste Great

It doesn’t matter how good something is for you, if you don’t like the taste, it won’t do you any good. Many people say that hemp seeds taste like sunflower seeds or pine nuts. Hemp seeds come in many forms as well, such as butter, coffee, oil, flour, or just plain toasted for easy snacking. If you can’t find hemp seeds or hemp seed products at your local stores, you can find plenty of them online.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

2. Super Source of Nutrition

Although we call them hemp seeds, they are actually related to nuts. This might explain why they have a mild but nutty flavor. Some people call them hemp hearts. No matter what you want to call them, the fact remains that hemp seeds are incredibly nutritious. True, they have more than 30 percent fat, but that fat is mostly omega-3 and omega-6. These seeds also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which has its own set of important health benefits. A full 25 percent of the calories in hemp seeds come from their high quality protein. This is remarkable when you consider that other seeds, such as flax seeds or chia seeds, have only about 16 to 18 percent of their calories come from protein. Hemp seeds are also terrific sources of phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E. You can eat hemp seeds raw, roast them, or cook them. It is believed that hemp seeds have been used in Chinese medicine for over 3,000 years.

 

3. Terrific Source of Non-Meat Protein

When you consider the protein content of other nuts or seeds, hemp rates right up there at the top, with about 25 percent of their calories coming from protein. In fact, when measured by weight, hemp seeds have about the same amount of protein as beef! You will find 11 grams of protein in just 30 grams (about 3 tablespoons) of hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are a complete source of protein as they contain all the essential amino acids. This is quite rare in the plant world. Hemp seeds contain high levels of glutamic acid and arginine. The human body is also able to digest hemp seeds very easily, better than most other types of protein from legumes or grains.

 

4. Help with Skin Disorders

The high levels of fatty acids in hemp seeds and hemp seed oil can affect the immune response of the body. With their perfect 3-to-1 ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids, this can help those who suffer from dry skin, itchy skin, or eczema or psoriasis. You can eat hemp seeds as well as consume a hemp seed oil supplement to help stop any type of skin problem you might be having.

 

5. The Perfect Replacement for Fish Oil

Hemp seed oil is free from mercury contamination, won’t give you those annoying fishy burps, and has the perfect ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids. Hemp seed oil has a nutty flavor to it that many people find enjoyable. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for stopping inflammation as well as for healthy heart function. You should be able to find hemp seed oil at your local health food or natural store. If not, you can always order it online.

 

6. Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

The number one killer, worldwide, is heart disease. That should make hemp seeds your new best friend. Hemp seeds lower your risk of developing this killer disease by several methods. First, they contain high levels of an important amino acid called arginine, which produces nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a gas that causes the blood vessels in the body to become larger and to relax, which leads to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the main causes of heart disease. Studies done with animals have shown that hemp seeds and hemp seed oil decrease the risk of forming blood clots. Another study found that the gamma-linolenic acid in hemp seeds reduces inflammation in body, which is also a factor for the development of heart disease. No matter how you look at it, hemp seeds work hard to prevent you from developing heart disease.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

7. Help to Maintain Weight

Hemp seeds are quite filling and are a terrific source of fiber. This can leave you feeling fuller and more satisfied for a longer period of time than other snacks. Just one ounce (about a large handful) is all you need for a super healthy snack that can help you maintain a healthy weight.

 

8. Improve Digestion

Numerous studies have shown that diets high in fiber are linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer and better overall digestive health. The seeds are known to be a good source of both types of fiber: soluble (about 20 percent) and insoluble (about 80 percent). Soluble fiber forms a gel-like compound in the digestive system, which feeds the good bacteria in the gut, regulates cholesterol levels, and reduces spikes in blood sugar. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool, which helps waste products and toxins pass through the digestive tract easily and quickly. Diets with high levels of insoluble fiber have been linked in studies to a lower risk of developing diabetes. You should note that shelled hemp seeds have very little fiber. In this case, eat the shell, that’s where the healthy fiber lies. Feel free to crunch away!

 

9. Easy to Eat

Hemp seeds are super easy to incorporate into your diet. No need to cook them or soak them or do anything but eat them raw right out of the bag if you wish. Of course, you can replace other low temperature oils with hemp seed oil, or swap out wheat flour for hemp seed flour, or add hemp seed protein powder to your smoothies or green juices. There are dozens of ways to use and eat hemp seeds, but the easiest is to simply grab a handful out of the bag and start munching.

 

10. They Can Reduce Menopause or PMS Symptoms

Most women suffer from emotional or physical problems caused by hormonal fluctuations. PMS symptoms are often caused by sensitivity to the hormone called prolactin. Hemp seeds contain gamma-linolenic acid, which is known to lessen the effect of prolactin. One study found that women who consumed 210 mgs of gamma-linolenic acid, along with other fatty acids, each day had significant reductions in their overall PMS symptoms.

 

READ ALSO: 11 Most Powerful Foods To Protect You From Cancer

 

Hemp seeds can also help women who are going through menopause. The high levels of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) in hemp seeds can help to regulate the hormone imbalances and inflammation that often cause so much discomfort during menopause.

Hemp is a renewable green resource that can replace more than 50,000 known products. So get on the hemp seed bandwagon and try some today!

 

References:

http://www.tandfonline.com

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov