Hemp is NOT the Same as Marijuana
Hemp Seeds Nutritional Makeup
Just three tablespoons of hemp seeds, weighing in at 30 grams, offers the following nutritional composition:
- 170 calories
- 9 grams protein
- 15 grams fat
- 3 grams total carbohydrates
- 1 gram fiber
- 14 mg calcium
- 2 mg iron
- 215 mg magnesium
- 290 mg phosphorus
- 360 mg potassium
- 4 mg zinc
Contain some vitamin A, B, C, and E, unsaturated fatty acids (ranging from a healthy 2:1 to 3:1 omega-6 to omega-3 ratio), essential amino acids, and phytochemicals.
Broadening Horizons Sustainable CoHousing cannot grow these seeds, however they are easily purchased from bulk stores such as Kakulus where you can take your own containers, or bags to refill 🙂
6 Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds
Unfortunately, there’s very little scientific research available because of the history of its legal status, and the confusion around that. However, we do know that hemp seeds can be:
Good for Digestion
A three tablespoon serving provides one gram of dietary fiber. Fiber feeds the good bacteria in your gut microbiome. Why does this matter? Evidence shows that much of our overall health outcomes, including immune function, starts in the gut. Fiber also helps prevent and alleviate constipation, promoting bowel regularity.
Helpful in Lowering Risk for Chronic Disease
Hemp seeds are rich in antioxidants — compounds that fight the free radicals that can lead to oxidative stress and, ultimately, chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and dementia. Oxidative stress also speeds the aging process.
Protective Against Neurodegenerative Disease
It’s unfortunately common for many people to experience cognitive breakdown as part of the aging process, but evidence shows that dietary factors may slow or help prevent this development. Two animal studies found that hemp seeds had a protective effect against cognitive decline and brain inflammation. This is likely related to the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) found naturally in hemp.
Good for Your Heart
Studies show that PUFA-rich hemp can help prevent arterial blockages by lowering cholesterol levels, protecting the heart after a cardiac event, and lowering high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease.
Beneficial for Your Skin
Some studies indicate that topical application of hemp seed oil has been useful in treating eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne rosacea, as well as cradle cap in babies. Researchers think this is because it improves the strength of the skin as well as its resistance to bacteria, fungi, and viruses that can cause irritation and infection.
Side Effects of Hemp Seeds
A few things to consider if you’re adding them to your diet for the first time.
Some people complain of diarrhea or upset stomach when first consuming hemp seeds. If you have that experience, try a smaller amount to begin with and see how that works for you.
It’s also possible that they could interact with certain drugs. They’re known to inhibit platelet formation, preventing blood clots, which could potentiate anticoagulant medications like warfarin. Hemp seeds and diuretics can both lead to a loss of potassium, so taking diuretics and hemp together could lead to dangerously low potassium levels, which could adversely affect your heart. Lastly, hemp may naturally contain compounds that slow the heartbeat, which could interfere with medications used to treat irregular heart rhythm, like digoxin and other cardiac glycosides. As with any new dietary change, it’s a good idea to speak with your health care provider regarding any potential concerns regarding medications.
How to Store Hemp Seeds
To help your hemp seeds stay fresh for as long as possible, make sure you store them properly. Unopened, you can store them in the pantry. However, it’s even better to store them in the fridge or freezer if you aren’t planning to eat them within a few months. The cool temperature helps to preserve their natural oils and keep them from going rancid.
Once you’ve opened the bag, hemp seeds should go in the fridge or freezer regardless. If they didn’t come in a resealable container, transfer them to an airtight glass container to extend shelf life. After they’ve been opened, you can expect hemp seeds to last for about a year if kept in the fridge or freezer. But as you’ll see, they’re so good and versatile, you won’t have to worry about their freezer shelf life.
How to Eat Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds add crunch and nutrition to just about any dish. You can sprinkle them over almost anything, and they’ll taste good — cereal, plant-based yogurts, salads, casseroles. They blend well into smoothies, baked goods, like muffins.
If you end up buying whole (unshelled) hemp seeds, there are a couple of things you can do to prepare them for eating. One option is to toast them over dry heat. To do this, spread the seeds in a skillet and heat over medium temperature for approximately two minutes, shaking or stirring them regularly. Alternatively, you can remove the hemp seed shells yourself. Do this by laying them on a flat surface, covering with a towel, and running a rolling pin over the seeds to crush them. Scoop the seeds into a pot of water, give them a stir, and allow the shells to float to the top where you can skim them off and remove them, leaving the hemp hearts.
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