It was not that long ago that I wrote a post about hemp and asked the question “why is this amazing and versatile crop not allowed to be grown in the US
”? I explored how the hemp plant, and the different parts of the hemp plant, had so many varied uses.
Here is more detail about the hemp seed itself
It is important that we learn as much as possible about the hemp plant because unfortunately the general public continues to lump it together with its marijuana cousin. THC is the name given to the active drug in marijuana. In fact the THC content of hemp is less than 3% while marijuana plants typically have 15-30% THC.
The content in hemp therefore makes it completely useless as a drug
The growing and use of hemp has been around since the beginnings of recorded history and in many great civilizations. The edible portion of hemp is the meat of the shelled seed which resembles the seeds of other grains such as wheat and rye.
There is lots of good news about hemp seed
1. By far the most important feature of the hemp seed is that it contains both of the essential fatty acids or EFAs that the human diet needs, namely linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid, plus a complete and balanced complement of all essential amino acids.
2. Compared with most nuts and seeds, the fat content of shelled hemp seed is relatively low, and hemp food products have a low cholesterol content and high content of the natural phytosterols that reduce cholesterol levels. Hemp seed has a favorable unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio.
3. Hemp seed is an excellent dietary source of easily digestible, gluten-free protein, comparable to that of soy beans and better than that found in nuts, other seeds, dairy products, meat, fish or poultry.
4. Hemp seed protein also has a high content of arginine and histidine which are both important for children during their growth spurts. In addition, hemp seed protein also has plenty of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine, to help in proper enzyme formation along with other amino acids for the metabolism of exercising muscle. Hemp protein includes 10 essential amino acids for humans.
5. The GLA (that is gamma-linolenic acid) and vitamin D content of hemp foods may be beneficial in preventing and treating osteoporosis while those “before mentioned” EFAs can reverse scaly skin disorder, inflammation, excessive epidermal water loss, itching as well as poor wound healing while benefiting atopic eczema
. The presence of both EFAs and GLA means that hemp seed oil is highly sought after for effective skin care and cosmetic products such as soaps, shampoos, skin lotions, lip balms, conditioners and more.
6. The fiber content of hemp seed flour is 40% higher than any other flour grains while the hemp seed itself is full of a wide variety of other vitamins and minerals.
7. All the good things in hemp seed make them ideal as part of a diet for preventing cardiovascular disease, for helping to delay or reduce the the neurological effects of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, while offering protection against colon, breast, and prostate cancers.
Hemp seeds are often known as hemp hearts and are available, though not grown, in the US
They can be purchased online or in natural health stores. Other major and healthy hemp food products are hemp seed butter (resembling peanut butter), cold pressed hemp seed oil, hemp seed flour and hemp protein powder. Consume on their own or use along with other grains, seeds, nuts and oil as wished. With their nutty but mild flavor, hemp seeds are delicious on cereals and in salads or can be added to a variety of foods such as oatmeal, soups and meatloaf.