Hemp, Superfood of the Revolution
Does the term Cannabis give you the impression of getting stoned? Well, that is what marijuana does andwe obviously know it. But let’s just put that aside for now. Here’s the thing: did you know that Cannabis, a term we loosely associate with weed, can provide a totally different kind of high? Introducing hemp, a versatile crop being used for thousands of years for a multitude of reasons. This may surprise you, but it is becoming renowned by the health industry as a superfood rich in nutrients, fiber, protein, and many more. How on earth did that happen?
Cannabis has generally been considered a controversial plant, some nations and states even mark it as illegal. That is why we shall be setting things straight and get confusion out of the way, once and for all. While both of these plants have medicinal properties, marijuana is totally different from hemp in terms of THC content and cultivation. Marijuana has high levels of THC which causes you to feel euphoric after use. Hemp, on the other hand, has way lower levels of THC at 0.3%, which poses no danger whatsoever.
Now that we have clearly seen the distinctions between the two, let’s go back to the main topic. So what makes hemp the next big thing for health buffs and enthusiasts? Since we are avid followers of new trends, should we consider eating papers and ropes now?
Of course not! While hemp is known for its versatility in making industrial products like clothing, fuel and paper, its main source of nutrients come from its seeds and oils. You can be creative and make countless recipes from them for your diet! We will talk about some of those later.
The Ultimate Plant Protein Source
Protein is a very important part of our diet, and in common knowledge, it is present in meat and dairy products. While this is true, vegans and vegetarians would inform you that they are present in some veggies as well, such as kale, spinach, Brussel sprouts, and a whole lot more. Whether you are a dedicated carnivore, vegan or a vegetarian, or you just simply want to lessen your meat consumption, hemp seeds are the perfect source of whole vegetable protein for you. Adding two tablespoons to your meal adds 10 grams of protein, which contains all amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids we can only get from our diets.
Your Digestive System’s Reliable Friend
Whether you want to shed off those extra pounds or you feel something is wrong with your gut, fiber fulfills an important role in our digestion by eliminating toxins in your body so we will definitely be needing it. Naturally fibrous, hemp contains both soluble and insoluble fibers (which keeps your digestive tract health in check) to keep you feeling fuller after each meal. Hemp seeds provide 17g of fiber per serving, while a serving of hemp protein also contains 8-11g of more fiber. Say goodbye to your constipation and gastrointestinal problems by eating hemp seeds regularly.
High Amount of Healthy Fats
Not all fats are bad for you. Flax, Chia, or Fish oil contain a good amount of fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties and serve as building blocks of cell membranes. But hemp seed oil tops them all! It has the highest source of both GLA (gamma linolenic acid) and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). The healthy ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 is 3:1, and this is good news since it helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, which eventually lowers your chances of coronary heart disease and stroke. It has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, that is why it is safe to be consumed by everyone, regardless of age and allergy.
A Nutrient Powerhouse
Hemp seeds are a natural multivitamin that is rich in nutrients. It is a great source of vitamin E and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc, among others. This concentrated balance makes one of the most potent foods available. It supports optimal health and overall well-being.
There are more benefits hemp can provide in our bodies. These include the following:
- Fights blood clots which are typically caused by high cholesterol levels when eating the recommended amount.
- Helps to improve various skin conditions, possibly bringing it back to its natural glow.
- Makes your skin, hair and nails very healthy and lively.
- Hastens recovery from illnesses or injuries.
- Continued intake could reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes.
- Hemp can relieve arthritis and joint pain.
- Cannabinoids derived from hemp seeds can even inhibit cancer growth and metastasis.
Other Things You Need to Know About Hemp
Hemp seeds have a recommended minimum daily intake of 42 grams. You would not really get any side effects from eating them and they also do not cause any interactions with common medications but as with everything else, moderation is key. Too much of a good thing could be detrimental and counter-productive. Also, if you are currently taking anticoagulants, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult your healthcare provider first before consuming hemp seeds and/or oils.
Simple Recipes With Hemp Seeds and Oils
Hemp seeds have a nutty, earthy flavor which could be incorporated in a myriad of ways if you are thinking about a balanced diet. With creativity and resourcefulness, you could whip up a lot of recipes from full meals to desserts! Here are some interesting ideas that can give you a kickstart.
Smoothies, cakes, and pastries
Our experimental tastes and inclination to healthier options open up endless opportunities in the culinary world. It happened to matcha green tea, and now to hemp as well. Try grinding them up and sprinkling them on your yogurt and cereals or mixing them into your cake batter. Voila! You can now make everyone ecstatic, not high, with your awesome desserts!
Substitute for dairy
For those who cannot tolerate milk or butter, or just simply want to healthier options, hemp is the perfect food for you. Pancakes without cow’s milk and butter? Why not try hemp milk and hemp butter? It would definitely elevate your morning.
To Fry or to Drizzle?
While hemp oil can be used for frying or stir-fry, avoid heating it up too much as it could release noxious gases which could be dangerous. Why not drizzle it on your salads or make a dressing from a simple lemon juice and hemp oil instead? Earthy and tangy surely work well, don’t they?