Benefits Of Adding Hemp Seeds To Your Diet
You must have heard about the various health benefits and therapeutic properties of different kinds of seeds. These days the most researched seeds are hemp seeds. But why hemp seeds? If you're wondering why then this blog will answer all your questions. Hemp seeds are a very rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), as well as being a complete plant protein source. Specifically, you're probably referring to a breed of hemp called Cannabis Sativa, which is the hemp usually used for commercial food.
The oil found in hempseeds is high in both linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and commonly contains them in a 3:1 ratio, which is considered ideal for human health. (However, there are good reasons not to get too excited about the omega6/3 ratio.
Sufficient intake of both of these PUFA's has been found to have a variety of health benefits, such as the reduction of inflammatory markers, degeneration of tumor and cancer cells, and the prevention of several neurodegenerative conditions. However, both of them can be found in a variety of other food sources, which are not hard to come by. Canola, soybean, and olive oil all have them in varying quantities.
Hempseed oil also contains the metabolites of LA and LNA, called gamma-linoleic acid, and stearidonic acid, as well as beta-sitosterol. All of these fatty-acid compounds have health benefits that are similar to, but still unique from linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. The concentration and proportions of this different PUFA are unique, but not exclusive to hempseed.
But if your diet does not currently contain a wide variety of plant fats, then hempseed (oil) will definitely help you.
Nutritional Value Of Hemp Seeds
Hempseed is also a good source of plant protein and has unusually high amounts of an amino acid called arginine, which is an essential amino acid (one not organically synthesized by the human body) not commonly found in plant proteins. If you eat meat, this detail is probably not too significant. Still, some vegetarians and vegans prefer hemp protein over others because of its complete amino acid profile and high level of digestibility. Now that's something to think about.
Calorically, hempseed is about 30-35% fat (most of which is PUFA), about 25-30% protein, and 40% carbohydrate, which is a desirable proportion for most people. (Not so much if you have unusual levels of physical activity). Much of the carbohydrate content found in hempseed is a combination of digestible and non-digestible fiber, also adding to the seed's nutritional value. High fiber foods are good for a lot of reasons, and it means the carbohydrates in hempseed are slow-absorbing, giving them a low glycemic index, which makes hemp seed a good food for diabetics.
Hemp seed is also a good source of vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus. Hemp seed is classified as a "functional food," which means it's scientifically proven health benefits allow it to be marketed as a remedy for a variety of health ailments. It's been used in east Asian cultures as a natural remedy for thousands of years. (The first recorded use of hempseed occurred some 5000 years ago). Isn't that amazing?
So overall, hemp seeds are a rockin' food to add to your diet. However, as best as anyone can tell, there is no food that does not contain nutrients or health properties that can't be found in some other foods or a combination of. Hemp seeds are considered a boutique item at this point, and are usually only found in health stores, and are often quite sought after. So if you're on a mission to enhance your wellness, hemp seeds will perfectly fit into your diet. A salad with hemp oil and vinegar dressing will give you similar health benefits too.
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