The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about hemp or hemp seeds is the plant Cannabis sativa and marijuana.
However, we are far from reality as there is an important industry within the by-products of this plant. For example, hemp offers a great alternative to fossil remains (such as coal) and has a high calorific value.
On the other hand, and what concerns this article, hemp seeds they are an important source of proteins that have medicinal effects not at all related to the THC and other psychoactive substances content of marijuana.
In fact, to distinguish between hemp and marijuana, we must talk about different varieties and their concentration in THC. This concept is given by the substance Δ-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, a component that alters neuronal status and mood modification.
In today’s article we are going to tell you, based on scientific experience, properties and benefits of the consumption of hemp seeds.
These small hemp seeds have been tested under different studies to evaluate their ability to nutritionally satisfy the demands of the diet and to combat various ailments given their high antioxidant power and fiber content.
As a by-product, hemp oil is a valued commodity for different industries:
- Manufacturing and textile industry
- Manufacture of plastics
- Construction materials
- Healthy Food Additive
What are the medicinal properties of hemp seeds?
Reduces joint pain
There is an important source of research, in particular the most important one published by the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, where they relate the frequent consumption of hemp seeds and the relief of rheumatoid arthritis.
The processed oil of Cannabis sativa is involved in the survival rate of fibroplast cells with rheumatoid-type arthritis.
This is an effect against osteoarthritis very interesting hemp oil, in combination with current medications and mild sports activity versus pain.
As for how to take it, later we will give you some ideas to facilitate the incorporation of hemp into our diet.
The great nutritional contribution of hemp seeds
Like almost all seeds, we have a great nutritional source of vegetable proteins, unsaturated and beneficial fats for the body and a high caloric power.
This high nutritional power is also found in the chia seeds, with a highly concentrated source of linoleic acid (Omega 6) and alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3).
Its flavor is similar to that of a walnut, so it is interesting to the palate when mixing it with sweet products such as smoothies, yogurts or any other dessert.
Almost a quarter of the total caloric intake of hemp oil comes from a high-quality source of protein, which can also be found in flax or poppy seeds.
In addition to this, we find a fairly balanced nutritional composition, with a high vitamin intake (vitamin E) and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iherro, potassium, zinc, etc. [NUTRITIONAL STUDY].
To take advantage of its nutritional contribution, it is not necessary to cook these seeds, since we have different consumption options. From raw (directly from the bag) to cooked, roasted or fried.
As we have mentioned, there is a high contribution with hemp seeds of healthy vegetable proteins, with almost 3 grams per tablespoon, which is a very interesting product when it comes to incorporating it into other healthy recipes, as a contribution of this element.
Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids, so it is considered a highly effective contribution of protein for our body. Among them, we find important amino acids such as lysine, something similar to what we find in quinoa.
Other vitally important amino acids found are cysteine, methionine, glutamic acid and arginine, among others.. [NUTRITIONAL STUDY]
This, added to its high fiber composition, make it a healthy food, with easily digestible vegetable proteins and behavior similar to what we find in other semilas, legumes or nuts.
Nutritional profile of hemp seeds
Let’s evaluate what contains about 30 grams of seeds, equivalent to 2 or 3 tablespoons (depending on how we fill it).
- Energy: 161 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 3,3 g
- Vegetable proteins: 9,2 g
- Fat (mostly unsaturated): 2.3 g
- Fibre: 2 g
- Vitamin E: 15.4 mg (77% recommended daily intake)
And its mineral profile is as follows:
- Manganese: 2.8 mg (140% recommended daily intake)
- Magnesium: 300 mg (75% recommended daily intake)
- Phosphorus: 405 mg (40% recommended daily intake)
- Zinc: 5 mg (35% recommended daily intake)
- Iron: 3.9 mg (22% recommended daily intake)
- Copper: 0.1 mg (7% recommended daily intake)
May reduce heart disease
In terms of health benefits, a large number of scientific trials have been developed to evaluate the effects of hemp seeds, with very satisfactory results.
Focused on the prevention of heart disease (one of the biggest problems in the globalized world), hemp seeds have a lot to say, focused above all on their content in protective amino acids, such as arginine (and its intervention in the production of nitric oxide that facilitates the expansion and contraction of the arteries) or gamma linolenic acid.
A study with a large sample size (13,000 individuals) concluded the response of high arginine values with the decrease of the PCR protein, a marker related to tissue and organ inflammation.
These high CRP levels are associated with many heart diseases. [Study 1] [Study 2]
In turn, the antioxidant potential of linolenic fatty acids, associated with the prevention of this type of heart disease, also intervenes. [Study]
A good incorporation of proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and amino acids such as those found in hemp seeds, contributes to reducing blood pressure, the formation of thrombi and a more effective recovery of the affected heart organ.
Balance the immune system
There are many analyses where the impact of polyunsaturated fatty acids (such as Omega 3 and Omega 6) on immune system response.
Foods high in these compounds are involved in activating immune response functions. [Study]
Therefore, it is advisable to consume foods high in these 2 compounds, with a good ratio between them (3:1 of Omega 6 versus Omega 3).
May reduce menopause
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects up to 80% of the female population, which suffers physical symptoms or adverse emotional states, whose response is linked to the hormonal load of the individual.
These effects are related to breast tenderness, depressive states, fluid retention and irritability.
One element responsible for this is the high sensitivity of the human body to the hormone. prolactin, which is directly involved in the SPM.
The effects of prolactin can be reduced with the incorporation of fatty acids such as gamma linolenic acid (AGL) found in high amounts in hemp seeds, which is directly involved in reducing the effects of prolactin through the production of prostaglandin E1. [Study]
Specifically, the minimum recommended amount of intake of gamma linolenic acid, equivalent to 200 mg per day, has been defined, with a significant reduction in menopausal symptoms. [Study]
This high concentration in fatty acids can also be found, in addition to hemp seeds, in the evening primrose oil.
Activate and improve digestion
The digestive process is closely related to the moderate contribution of fiber in our diet. Foods rich in fiber facilitate the expulsion of food and accelerate the digestion process.
In hemp seeds we have a high contribution of dietary fiber, quantified in 6 grams per 100 grams. Taking into account that we need to consume between 25 and 30 grams, it is an addition to incorporate into our diet, which should be composed of legumes, nuts and whole foods, rich in fiber.
This component directly affects digestion, and benefits us as follows:
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Improves gut health
- It curbs digestion and reduces the feeling of heaviness.
- Reduce appetite, interesting when dieting
Other interesting seeds to improve digestion are those of caraway, which houses the following properties:
- Antiflatulent, for heavy meals.
- Carminative action.
- Antispasmodic action.
Where to buy
The hemp seeds they can currently be found in specialized centers, such as herbalists. However, thanks to internet access, there are many online stores where we can place the order in a comfortable and practical way.
Some of these interesting products can be the following:
How to use hemp seeds
One of the biggest drawbacks when we use this type of product is the lack of imagination. However, the current use we give to chia seeds, flax, poppy or oat flakes is similar to the use we can give it of hemp seeds.
The conservation follows the same schemes as the rest of similar products. Store in a cool environment, protected from light and heat.
Some ideas to frequently use these seeds in one of your recipes.
- Add them to yogurt or desserts, looking for a crunchy touch and with a flavor very similar to that of walnut.
- Added to smoothies, as is usually done with chia seeds
- Roasted seeds to accompany rice or pasta.
- Bake with seeds and others rich in omega-3.
- Use the seeds to make oil or milk (such as almond or soy).
- Incorporate hemp seeds into the salad, looking for a crunchy touch like pipes or nuts do.
In the event that we have hemp oil, its use is more practical if we use it fresh to dress salads, fish or any other food, rather than for cooking.
Are there contraindications to consuming them?
As is often the case with all seeds and medicinal plants, there may be some side effects associated with allergic processes of some of its components.
Hemp seeds can inhibit platelet formation in the blood, so in the case of taking anticoagulants, it is better to consult with a medical specialist.
High-level athletes can test positive for THC levels, which although they are in very low concentrations in hemp seeds, the methods of detecting psychoactive substances at that level (urine tests) are very accurate.