Hemp seeds are one of the most amazing foods on the planet and a staple of my diet.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of this glorious seed, let’s get something straight – You can’t smoke hemp seeds! Unlike its cousin cannabis that contains the drug THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the hemp plant contains extremely low levels (or none at all) of THC. Think of it like this – it’s the same amount of opium found in your poppy seed bagel.
In terms of health benefits, hemp is one of the world’s most nutritious plants. It contains ALL 21 amino acids in an extremely digestible form, including the 9 essential kinds the human body can’t make. It’s the best source for plant protein available and a great option for vegetarians, vegans and raw foodies.
Additionally, hemp seeds are the richest source of essential fatty acids, with the perfect ratio of omega-3’s to omega-6’s beneficial for daily consumption. These fatty acids are necessary to maintain human life, especially important for a strong immune and cardiovascular system.
Hemp seeds boast an impressive list of minerals: magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, copper, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron, potassium and fiber as well as vitamins A, D, C, B-6 and E. Phytonutrients, the disease-protective compounds found in plants, are also in hemps seeds. And they’re non-GMO!
So, how can you add hemp into your diet?
Raw hemp seeds are always the best way to reap the most benefits. My favorite is to sprinkle them on salads and sautéed veggies or in my smoothie. Hemp can also come in the form of butters, oil, flour, protein powder and even ice cream! You can also grind the seeds into meal, use them in baking recipes, and even turn into milk.
Hemp seeds are also amazing for breastfeeding moms since babies can ingest a large amount of essential fatty acids through mother’s milk. Eating these seeds can help restore the mother’s levels of these important nutrients.
The outer shell of the hemp seed, when broken down, becomes a cleansing agent for the digestive tract, sweeping out toxic debris that accumulate in the intestines.
Hemp seeds have also been shown to stimulate the growth of hair and nails and improves the health of the skin but they can become rancid quickly. So keep them refrigerated! Eat within 8 weeks for optimal flavor and freshness.
You might not be able to smoke it, but they’ll definitely make you feel good!