Alongside carbohydrates and fats, the human body requires protein. For one thing, it's a critical building component for muscles, bones, blood, and skin. Your body also needs protein to produce hormones, enzymes, and other vital chemicals. Unlike fat and carbohydrates, however, the human body can't store protein. As a result, you have to continually ingest protein to meet your body needs. Hemp seed protein is among the best sources to meet your daily nutritional requirements.
So What Are Hemp Seeds?
Hemp seeds come from the plant Cannabis sativa, a strain designed to produce nutritious seeds that do not provide any psychedelic effects when ingested. However, these seeds do pack a powerful nutritional punch.
Nutritional Profile of Hemp Seeds
As reported in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s National Nutrient Database, three tablespoons of hemp seeds weighing 30 grams contain the following health benefits:
Up to 9.47 grams of protein is found in a three-tablespoon serving of hemp seeds. That's almost the same amount of protein found in soybeans! But unlike protein from soybeans and other plant-based foods, hemp seed protein contains all nine amino acids needed by the human body. These amino acids serve as building blocks for all types of protein. Unfortunately, your body cannot produce these acids on its own; it has to come from your diet. So this is what makes hemp seed protein so valuable- these seeds cover all your protein needs.
The USDA National Nutrient Database report also found that hemp seeds are rich in fiber. A three-tablespoon sample contains as much as 1.2 grams of fiber. And take note that the sample seeds had no shells; much of the fiber found in hemp seeds are in their outer hulls (that's why you should buy hemp seeds with intact hulls as much as possible if you are looking for fiber).
In addition to hemp seed protein and fiber, you can get essential fatty acids from consuming hemp seeds. According to the USDA, three tablespoons contain up to 11.4 grams of polyunsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats like omega-3 and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) have become popular in recent decades due to the health benefits they bring. And like protein, the human body does not produce unsaturated fat naturally. It must be obtained through your diet.
Other vitamins and minerals
Lastly, hemp seeds contain many different vitamins and minerals, including:
- Carbohydrates (2.6 grams)
- Calcium (21 milligrams)
- Iron (2.38 milligrams)
- Magnesium (210 milligrams)
- Phosphorus (495 milligrams)
- Potassium (360 milligrams)
- Vitamin B-6 (0.18 milligrams)
- Vitamin C (0.15 milligrams)
- Niacin (2.76 milligrams)
- Zinc (2.97 milligrams)
Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds
With such an impressive nutritional profile, it shouldn't come as a surprise that hemp seeds can bring you a truckload of health benefits, including:
Improved heart health
As mentioned above, omega-3 fatty acids and other unsaturated fats have become popular in the health and wellness industry in recent years due to the many health benefits they bring. And since hemp seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats like omega-3, regularly ingesting them can boost your well-being, particularly your cardiovascular system. Also, hemp seed protein contains amino acids needed by the human body. One such amino acid is arginine, which the body converts into nitric oxide to improve circulation within your veins and arteries.
Boosted brain protection
According to a study found in the Food Chemistry journal, cannabidiol (CBD) found in the Cannabis sativa plant is an excellent source of antioxidants. Another published review from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) suggests that CBD and other compounds in hemp seeds feature neuroprotective elements. And these elements can reduce the risk of conditions like Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis, among others.
Enhanced skin health
Compounds found in hemp seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that can help minimize or eliminate skin conditions like acne and atopic dermatitis. Since hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 and other unsaturated fatty acids, hemp seeds can further reduce acne symptoms.
Because hemp seeds (especially unshelled hemp seeds) are rich in fiber, consuming them could also improve your digestive health. Hulled hemp seeds contain 20% soluble and 80% insoluble fiber. Soluble fibers can form a gel-like substance in your stomach that can nourish beneficial digestive bacteria, reduce blood sugar spikes, and regulate cholesterol levels. Meanwhile, insoluble fibers help smoothen your bowel movement, improves stool quality, and even reduces the risk of diabetes.
Recent research claims that oil derived from hemp seeds may help relieve the effects of arthritis. This benefit can be a major relief for anyone who has rheumatoid arthritis, which causes swelling, inflammation, and pain in your joints and other organs. And it's also a long-term and progressive autoimmune condition. Since hemp seeds have anti-inflammatory qualities, consuming them can help relieve these adverse health symptoms.
Minimizes PMS symptoms
Many women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which can result from sensitivity to prolactin. Consuming hemp seeds could help decrease the effects of prolactin since the seeds contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). The presence of unsaturated fats in the seeds could also aid in alleviating PMS discomfort. The role of fatty acids and prostaglandins (which the body produces using GLA) have promising results in minimizing symptoms like depression, irritability, and breast pain or tenderness.
What Makes Hemp Seed Protein Unique?
You need to continuously supply your body with protein since it cannot produce or store it on its own. Aside from increasing the amount of meat, dairy products, and eggs you consume, you can also rely on protein powders as athletes and bodybuilders do.
Hemp protein powder offers unique benefits as a protein source. Check out some of the reasons why hemp protein powder provides the best source of protein for the human body.
It's a "complete" protein
A complete protein contains all nine amino acids humans must get from their diet (our bodies cannot produce them on their own). These amino acids include:
Hemp is one of the few plant-based protein sources that features all nine amino acids. And depending on the brand, you can get as much as 15 grams (120 calories) of hemp protein powder from a 30-gram cup serving.
It tastes earthy (in a good way)
Another thing that makes hemp seed protein unique is its nutty, grassy, and earthy taste. Many people claim that hemp seed protein tastes better than other protein sources. Hemp protein powder blends well with shakes and smoothies, but it tends to be somewhat sandy when mixed with water.
It's easy to digest
Because it is less refined than other supplements, hemp protein powder tends to have a grittier texture. However, this feature doesn't mean hemp protein is difficult to absorb. Up to 98% of the protein found in the grounded hemp seeds are digestible.
It boosts the immune system
Aside from making it easier to digest, the edestin and albumin in hemp powder may also help enhance your immune system. Edestin and albumin are globular proteins, which the body uses to produce hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. These globular proteins also make up a significant portion of your blood plasma, contributing to the transport of nutrients and antibodies within your body.
It strengthens hair and scalp
Hemp seed protein contains omega-3 and other fatty acids, which can help promote healthy hair growth. Omega-3 can also add luster and sheen to your hair. I may even help prevent hair loss. And with these fatty acids, vitamin E found in hemp seeds will help condition your scalp, allowing you to soothe dryness, itchiness, and irritation.
It raises energy levels
Most people turn to their daily dose of caffeine when feeling lethargic. But if you want a better and healthier alternative, look to hemp protein powder. Since it contains various polyunsaturated fats, hemp protein powder can help your body produce double the energy caffeine or carbohydrates do. Plus, protein tends to break down slower within the body, supplying you a longer and consistent supply of energy.
It curbs hunger cravings
Eating may be one of your favorite pastimes, but consuming too much food (especially junk food) can be bad for you. By adding hemp seed protein to your diet, you'll not only be able to feel fuller for a more extended period, but you'll also be able to control your hunger urges better. Hemp seeds are also chock full of fiber, which can help keep your cravings at bay.
It minimizes osteoporosis risks
Osteoporosis is among the leading bone diseases worldwide, affecting around 200 million women alone. This condition also causes up to 8.9 million fractures per year. And while a variety of factors can cause osteoporosis, people deficient in fatty acids are more likely to experience bone loss. Thus, by ingesting fat-rich hemp seed protein, you may avoid suffering from this condition.
It stimulates metabolism
While most people ingest hemp protein (and other variants) mainly to bulk up, consuming protein is also essential for maintaining or losing weight. Protein is vital if you want to achieve or maintain a slim figure. By maintaining healthy levels of protein, you experience higher metabolism and burn calories faster.
It helps repair and build muscles
Last but not least, hemp seed protein can come in handy if you want to bulk up. Nearly all athletes and bodybuilders look to protein powders to build or restore muscle tissues. You'll do better by turning to hemp protein, not only because it has all the essential amino acids you need to develop your physique, but also because it contains elements that can help you slow down muscle tissue loss.
How to Add Hemp Seed Protein to Your Diet
Incorporating hemp protein in your diet is simple and straightforward: simply include hemp products in your meals. You can conveniently purchase goods, like hemp seeds, hemp milk, and hemp protein from most health stores. But just in case you're looking for more tips, here are a few suggestions:
- When looking for a quick snack, go for granola or meal bars with hemp seeds.
- Sprinkle hemp seeds on your yogurt, oatmeal, salads, rice pilafs, and baked goods.
- Use hemp seed oil instead of other variants when preparing salad dressing.
- Don't heat hulled hemp seeds at more than 350 °F to avoid destroying the fatty cells it contains.
- When making a protein shake, use only 5 to 7 tablespoons of hemp protein powder.
If you are looking for a healthy way to add hemp seed protein to your diet, try mixing it with yogurt. This combination provides the health benefits of hemp seed alongside the incredible health benefits of yogurt. It is easy to add hemp seed to yogurt and makes a delicious and incredibly nutritious snack.
Precautions and Risks
Due to its high levels of fatty acids, you need to consume hemp seeds and any related products moderately. Otherwise, you might end up with mild diarrhea. That's why experts advise people with sensitive digestive systems to start by using only one teaspoon of hemp seeds before gradually increasing the serving size.
Also, consuming large amounts of hemp seeds can stymie platelet formation as well as react with anticoagulant medications. These factors can lead to blood disorders. If you're currently taking any anticoagulants, it is best to consult your doctor before ingesting large portions of hemp seed protein powder or any other hemp seed products.
Get Healthy with Hemp Seed Protein
Hemp seeds offer a healthy dose of protein. Aside from being a vegan-friendly protein source, hemp seed protein also comes packed with unsaturated fats, fiber, and other nutrients.
Hemp provides the human body with many health benefits. And hemp seed protein is a complete source of protein. So whether you are looking to gain, maintain, or lose weight, or simply want to tap into the numerous health benefits offered by this superfood, consider hemp as an incredible option.
Help Me Hemp is proud to offer top-quality hemp seed protein to our valued clients. Click here for your hemp seed protein needs.