Are Hemp Hearts Actually Healthy For You?
Hemp seeds are another incredible superfood that seems to be sweeping the nation! Becoming a favorite of fitness enthusiasts and foodies everywhere, this superfood is made from the seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis Sativa. They are from the same species as cannabis (marijuana) but a different variety. It is important to know that they do contain trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. However, hemp seeds are exceptionally nutritious and rich in healthy fats, protein, and various minerals. Curious as to why they make for such a healthy superfood? Will look no further, we have the guide for you!
Hemp Seeds Make For A Nutritious Food
As mentioned before, hemp seeds are very nutritious. Actually being a nut, they have a mild flavor similar to that of peanuts, and within the foodie world, are often referred to as hemp hearts. Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat, are exceptionally rich in two essential healthy fatty acids, known as linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). It has also been said in a study conducted by Callaway, J.C. for Euphytica, that hemp seeds also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which has been linked to several health benefits.
It also has been reported that hemp seeds are a great protein source, as more than 25% of their total calories are from high-quality protein. That is considerably more than similar foods like chia seeds and flaxseeds, whose calories are 16–18% protein. Hemp seeds are also a great source of vitamin E and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
Hemp Seeds Can Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Did you know that heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide? Even more so, did you know that eating hemp seeds may reduce your risk of heart disease. The seeds contain high amounts of the amino acid arginine, which produces nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide is a gas molecule that makes your blood vessels dilate and relax, leading to lowered blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease. In a large study conducted by the Department of Family Medicine, it was found that within 13,000 people, increased arginine intake corresponded with decreased levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP), an inflammation marker. High levels of CRP are directly linked to heart disease.
Furthermore, hemp seeds has also been linked to reduced inflammation, which may decrease your risk of diseases like heart disease. Additionally, studies have shown that hemp seeds or hemp seed oil may reduce blood pressure, decrease the risk of blood clot formation and help the heart recover after a heart attack, however, it is important to note that these tests were performed on animals and not humans.
Hemp Seeds Can Help With Skin Conditions
Fatty acids may affect immune responses in your body. Studies suggest that your immune system depends on the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in order to remain healthy. Hemp seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. They have about a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which is considered to be within the optimal levels for your body. Studies have shown that giving hemp seed oil to people with eczema may improve blood levels of essential fatty acids. The oil may also relieve dry skin, improve itchiness and reduce the need for skin medication.
Though hemp seeds have only recently become popular in the West, they have been an incredible superfood and staple in many societies and provide excellent nutritional value. They are very rich in healthy fats, high-quality protein and several minerals. Overall, hemp seeds are incredibly healthy. They may be one of the few superfoods worthy of their reputation.
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