Plant protein, as the name suggests, is a protein that is derived from plant sources only. The ideal sources of plant protein are nuts, both in their raw and roasted forms. Other sources include pulses, beans, legumes, and seeds. The diverse category of seeds under plant protein includes pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, lotus seeds (Fox Nuts), and hemp seeds. Hemp seed benefits, particularly, are plenty when it comes to health. Let’s read this article to find out.
What are Hemp Seeds?
Hemp seed is considered a superfood because it is a potent source of healthy fats, proteins and essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. This makes hemp seeds an ideal source of nutrition for vegetarians, vegans, and even non-vegetarians.
Hemp seeds are sourced from the Cannabis Sativa plant and are rich in fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Packed with nutrition, there are many health benefits of hemp seeds with no intoxicating effects. Different parts of the plant are utilised to make varying products. Aside from food products, hemp is also used to make fabric, health products, hair care products, rope, etc.
Hemp is also known by an array of names such as catchfly, bitter root, narrow-leaf hemp, wild cotton, Indian hemp, and milkweed.
Hemp Seed Nutrition
Hemp seeds are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibres. However, hemp hearts are lower in fibre content because they have their fibrous shell removed. Overall, hemp seeds are rich in fatty acids such as gamma-linolenic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid).
If you consume three tablespoons of hemp seeds, then you are getting the following nutrition:
- Calories: 166
- Protein: 9.47 grams
- Fat: 14.6 grams
- Fibre: 1.2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 2.6 grams
- Sugar: 0.45 grams
Calories in hemp seeds are low, which means you can easily incorporate them into your daily diet.
Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds
1. Promoting Brain Health
A review conducted on hemp seeds found that they have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective benefits and even regulate your immunity. Additionally, lab tests conducted have found antioxidant properties in the seeds that stem from their Cannabidiol (CBD) content. This property may have positive impacts on neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, childhood seizures, and multiple sclerosis. Thus, the benefits of eating hemp seeds are many.
2. Improving Heart Health
The nutritional value of hemp seeds is high, as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are also present in them in abundance. This means that hemp seeds benefit those at risk of heart issues such as high blood pressure, heart disorders and arrhythmias. The seeds are also packed with amino acid arginine that transforms into nitric oxide. This is important for the functions of vein and artery dilation and ensures that the blood vessel walls are smooth.
So, eating a healthy diet with the addition of hemp seeds, engaging in regular exercise will help to keep your blood pressure low and avert the risk of heart failure.
3. Reducing Inflammation & Swelling
The presence of omega-3 and omega-6 in hemp seeds is not only beneficial for heart health but also helps to lower inflammation. This is because hemp seeds are rich in linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. This means that those with rheumatoid arthritis could reap the benefits of hemp seeds by reducing inflammation of joints. In fact, a study conducted in 2014 has proved that hemp seed oil contains anti-rheumatic effects.
4. Benefitting the Skin
The anti-inflammatory properties of hemp seeds can also prove beneficial to those suffering from Acne and Atopic Dermatitis. Both these conditions stem from chronic inflammation and so consuming hemp seeds regularly can significantly improve your skin health. Additionally, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids also improve the skin texture, giving you glowing and healthy-looking skin. Thus, the benefits of hemp seeds cater to both your internal and external health.
5. Alleviating Symptoms of Menopause & PMS
During periods as well as menopause, women suffer from emotional as well as physical distress due to hormonal instability. This happens due to the sensitivity to the effects of changing female hormones. As hemp seeds are rich in gamma-linolenic acid, it produces prostaglandin E1, which in turn, helps to counteract the changing effects of hormones and regulates hormonal imbalances. This reduces the symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual syndrome) such as depression, breast tenderness, and irritability.
The Bottom Line
Hemp seeds are a healthy source of proteins, soluble and insoluble fibre, multivitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are also readily available in packages across stores either in the form of seeds, powder, or milk.
The benefits of hemp seeds are wondrous; you can incorporate them into your daily diet by sprinkling them on top of your cereal, oatmeal, or breakfast smoothie. You can have them directly or add them to your salad or soup. In other words, hemp seeds, along with other healthy seeds, can easily become a regular part of your kitchen pantry.