Hemp is a close relative of the Cannabis herb, but should not be confused with Cannabis and its psychoactive and medicinal properties. This plant is one of the earliest- known domesticated plants, which has been cultivated for over 12,000 years.
Hemp is a tall and coarse plant and is a rich source of valuable fiber. It seeds are themselves a super nutritional source, but it can also be refined into hemp oil, wax, resin, made into paper and fuel.
“Hemp Facts” claims that France is the world-leading producer of hemp, with more than 70% of the world output. China ranks second with approximately a quarter of the world production, and there is a smaller production in Europe, Chile and North Korea.
Hemp is industrially produced in more than thirty countries, such as Austria, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Chile, China, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Ukraine, Germany, produce industrial hemp, Australia, Great Britain, Hungary and Russia.
On the other hand, The United States Department of Agriculture has concluded that “the market potential for hemp seed as a food ingredient is unknown. However, it probably will remain a small market, like those for sesame and poppy seeds.”
Raw hemp seeds- benefits
The seeds of the hemp are extremely beneficial for your health, as they are a complete protein, and are rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
To give you a more detailed information of these amazing seeds, look at their nutritional info below:
4 heaping tablespoons of Shelled Hemp Seed contain 240 caloric energy from:
- Protein: 15g
- Polyunsaturated fats: 15g
- Omega 6: 11.4g, Omega 3: 3.6g
- Mono-unsaturated fats: 2.7g
- Saturated fats: 2.1g
- Fiber: 2.5g
- Carbohydrates: 4.5g
- Iron: 2mg
- Calcium: 31mg
- Sodium: 3.8mg
- Vitamin A: 1.68 IU
- Vitamin C: .42mg
- Vitamin E: 3.8mg
- Vitamin B1: .58mg
- Vitamin B2: .14mg
- Vitamin B6: .05mg
- Vitamin D: 956 IU
Raw hemp seeds are a rich source of vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants and trace minerals which make them able to support the brain and the cells within our body and prevents mitochondria and cell damage from free radicals.
Vitamin A: This vitamin is an essential part of many functions of the organs and can help in the case of various health conditions: it leads to a healthy immune system, supports cell growth, prevents urinary stones, used for specific types of leukemia, maintains healthy bones and teeth, great for healthy skin, supports good vision, helps with dry eyes, essential for the reproductive process in males and females.
Vitamin C: This antioxidant boosts our immune system and acts as a natural antihistamine. Moreover, it lowers blood pressure and blood lead levels and promotes healthy eye function.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that protects cell damage and is a key for healthy skin, eyes and a strong immune system
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): This vitamin also protects the immune system and according to studies, it is necessary to help break down simple carbohydrates. In addition, it is also helpful for the formation of new healthy new.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Riboflavin is important for producing red blood cells that are necessary for transporting oxygen throughout the body. This antioxidant fights free radicals that damage cells and may prevent early aging and heart disease. Also, research suggests that B2 can help you avoid migraines.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Mood and sleep patterns can be affected by B6, as it helps in the production of serotonin, melatonin and norepinephrine, a stress hormone. Moreover, this vitamin can regulate the levels of the amino acid homocysteine (associated with heart disease). According to some studies, vitamin B6 can reduce inflammation in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
Vitamin D: Vitamin d is also a very important vitamin, as it maintains normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, and helps the body absorb calcium. Furthermore, vitamin D can also prevent osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases.
Moreover, these beneficial seeds have perfectly balanced levels of polyunsaturated (“good”) fat, such as omega 6 and omega 3. These fats are needed and beneficial for our body, as it follows:
Omega 3: Reduces the risk of heart disease, autoimmune and inflammatory disorder high blood pressure, arthritis and cancer.
Omega 6: Regulates inflammation, immunity, brain function, blood pressure and blood clotting.
Fiber: raw hemp seeds are also abundant in fiber, which is invaluable for our entire body system. Namely, it reduces the risk of gallbladder and kidney stones, controls blood sugar, enhances weight loss and management, lowers the risk of hemorrhoids, promotes heart health, decreases the risk of stroke, helps remove yeast and fungus from the body, reduces the risk of diverticulitis and provides some relief from IBS.
Magnesium is also very useful and helps our body in various ways: it helps the body produce more Insulin- like Growth Factor (IGF-1 helps with growth and strength in muscles), better flexibility, supports bone integrity and strength. It alkalizes the body, hydrates, relieves constipation, assists enzyme function and reduces diabetes.
Furthermore, magnesium regulates melatonin, the hormone for better sleep, relaxes the nervous system and remineralizes teeth. Its consumption will help cells store more energy..
Iron: Iron is very useful as it keeps our blood cells healthy and carries oxygen through our body.
Calcium is also extremely helpful for our health, as it can play a role in different functions and conditions. First of all, it maintains heart rhythm and muscle function. Also, there’s good evidence that calcium can help prevent or control high blood pressure.
Moreover, it also may reduce PMS symptoms, as well as prevent certain cancers, but when combined with Vitamin D, they make a powerful combination that may help protect against breast cancer in premenopausal women.
Phosphorus: The formation of bones and teeth requires phosphorus. Namely, more than half of all bone is made from phosphate, and it is also utilized to maintain tissues and fluids. Moreover, it is helpful for the proper digestion of riboflavin and niacin.
What’s more, phosphorus is also useful in the transmission of nerve impulses, helps your kidneys excrete wastes, forms the proteins that aid in reproduction, supplies energy, and may help block cancer.
How to incorporate hemp seeds in your regular diet:
- You can add hemp seeds to your diet, by consuming them in your breakfast foods and baked goods. Simply add a handful of hemp seeds to the batter of muffins, cookies and bread. Moreover, as they have a naturally nutty flavor, use the hemp seeds in recipes as a substitute for other types of nuts.
- Sprinkle a few tablespoons of hemp seeds on your salad, to add a nutritional boost.
- Make your favorite smoothies even more delicious by adding a tablespoon of hemp seed, which will provide extra nutritional value.
- Hemp seeds can replace daily products! For instance, you can avoid the irritating “protein” of cow milk, and enjoy the nutritional benefits of hemp in hemp milk and hemp ice- cream.
- You can make a superfood vegan pesto with hemp seeds and use it instead of the tomato sauce in your pizza!