One of the most popular ways to consume hemp is through the seeds. Historically, the most famous hemp seed consumer was Buddha himself, who purportedly ate them during his fast of enlightenment. Over the years, hemp seeds have been part of the food supply in many cultures around the world. In parts of Asia, roasted hemp seeds are eaten as a snack, like popcorn.
A Complete Plant Based Protein
One of the most nutritionally complete foods in the world, hemp seeds deliver complete protein (containing all 9 of the essential amino acids) in highly digestible form. The two main proteins are the high quality storage proteins edestin and albumin which are easily digested, contain nutritionally significant amounts of all the essential amino acids and are especially high in arginine. These storage proteins have a similar cellular structure to a protein manufactured in human blood which is why this hemp protein is so easily digestible, making the seeds an excellent source of plant based protein for vegetarians and vegans.
High in Essential Fatty Acids
Hemp seeds contain essential fatty acids in the ideal ratio to meet human nutritional needs, with a perfect balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3. Fatty acids make up the cell membrane and have an intimate role in hormonal responses throughout the body. The ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is between 1:1 to 4:1, the hemp seed ratio is 4:1 and it is this ratio that is critical to cellular health and systemic inflammatory levels. They also contain gamma linolenic acid (GLA), a powerful anti-inflammatory which converts into beneficial prostaglandins - lipid compounds that have a profound reduction on the impact of inflammation in cardiovascular disease, lung function, autoimmune conditions and metabolic abnormalities.
Hemp seeds are a rich source of vitamins and minerals – high in vitamins E and D (in fact hemp is one of the few plant based sources of this important sunshine vitamin) and the essential minerals; iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. Just 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds meets 50% of the daily value for magnesium and phosphorus, 25% the daily value of zinc and 15% the daily value of iron. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant whose primary role in the body is to scavenge free radicals. They are also rich in soluble and un-soluble fibre which naturally cleanses the colon and reduces sugar cravings.
Immune System Support
In addition to the immuno supportive nutrients it contains, hemp is the premier plant-seed provider of globulin starting material — the precursor to immunoglobulins. These compounds are responsible for both the natural and acquired immunity that a person has to fight off foreign microbes. Eating hemp seeds will ensure the immune system has the reservoir of immunoglobulin resources needed to make disease-eradicating antibodies.
Good for You, Good for the Planet
Hemp grows anywhere without the need for fertilizers or pesticides. This hardy plant is one of the most ethical and sustainable crops on the planet, it is beneficial for the soil and the atmosphere. Acre for acre, hemp is a more economical source of protein than livestock. It also replaces trees as the source of raw material for wood and paper, thereby conserving forests.
* A note about the difference between marijuana and hemp: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound credited with causing the marijuana high. While marijuana plants contain high levels of THC, hemp contains very little of the psychoactive chemical. The maximum THC content of hemp is 0.3%.
Vitamins: D, E, B1, B2 and B3
Minerals: Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc and Manganese.