Why should you eat hemp seed products?
Hemp is simply second to none when talking about nutrition. Nothing else on the planet packs such a complete source of protein, fat (good fat – essential fatty acids) and carbohydrates in such a small package. If you are looking for Nature’s perfect wonder food, you’ve found it and it is hemp seed.
There are so many wonderful health benefits to hemp seed. First and foremost it has to be the immune boosting qualities of the essential fatty acid content of the seed and oil. Hemp is the only seed with a substantial level of Omega 3, Omega 6 and GLA, the elusive Omega 9. There is simply no better way to boost your immune system using food.
Hemp has been known to lower blood LDL cholesterol levels and aid in lowering blood pressure. It has also been known to improve cardiovascular circulation and function.
Hemp seed contains an excellent source of protein. With hemp seed having more than 25% of the total seed weight as protein, it is second only to Soy in protein content. Hemp seed also has all 20 known amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids making hemp seed a perfect protein providing all the amino acids that your body needs. Hemp protein is also made up of approximately 65% Edestine and 35% Albumin as protein types. Edestine is considered the most digestible protein because of its closeness to the structure of protein found in human blood. Edestine is also the backbone of cell DNA. Albumin is most commonly known as the protein found in egg whites. Hemp protein is also free of the sugars found in Soy, oligosaccharides, that cause flatulence and stomach discomfort.
EFAs – Essential Fatty Acids
With all the hype these days about polyunsaturated this and transfat free that it is hard to understand the difference between what is considered good fat and bad fat. First thing, not all fat is bad. We actually need fat. We even need cholesterol, it is used by the brain, for instance, as an electrical insulator. We also need saturated fats, as they too are part of our diet but the most important fat, and also the best fat for you is polyunsaturated fatty acids and hemp oil is made up of 75-80% polyunsaturated fatty acids. Only around 10% of the remaining fat is saturated, making it the most unsaturated oil in the plant kingdom.
Ok, so what are EFAs? As the name says, they are essential fatty acids. Essential because the body cannot produce them on its own, it must get them from your diet. Fatty acids because that is what they are, long chain unsaturated fatty acids, these are the building blocks of your immune system and regulate many other items in the body including hair growth, nail production and oral health.
So hemp is high in EFAs but that isn’t the whole story. What makes hemp so special is that these EFAs have to be ingested by us in a particular ratio for us to be able to digest them. Hemp oil has a perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 (LA) to Omega 3 (LNA) essential fatty acids. This makes hemp oil the ideal source of EFAs because you do not need to worry about trying to balance your EFA intake, the seed has done it for you. Hemp also has Omega 9 (GLA) which is very hard to get from plant sources.
With our over packaged, over processed diets, we are severely lacking in EFAs and need to increase this essential nutrient in order to avoid many common illnesses that are related to EFA deficiencies or imbalances. By taking 1 to 2 tablespoons of hemp oil a day, this gives you between 8 and 16 grams of Omega 6 (LA) and between 3 and 6 grams of Omega 3 (LNA), enough as a daily intake of EFAs. Everyone should take hemp oil as an EFA source, it tastes great, it also has a good supply of antiozidant in the form of Vitamin E, and has other fatty acids as well!
We all love fibre….not. But we all know that fibre is essential to health and well being. You should eat fibre every day, and lots of it, but most importantly, you should be getting insoluble fibre in your diet. Soluable fibre is material that can break down in the system. Insoluable fibre will not break down and will pass through you without incident, except to gently cleanse your inner parts. This is what is so good about hemp fibre, the shells of hemp seeds are mostly made up of insoluable fibre, helping to gently cleanse your system of the build up of toxins in your intestines and digestive tract.
Can’t eat the whole seed because of dental work? Try the hemp protein powder or the hemp flour. The protein powder has a reduced fibre content but still contains some and the hemp flour is full fibre!