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hemp seed allergy

Hemp seed allergy
The good news to date is that hemp has no documented allergies. However, there is no reason to suspect that there will not be reported allergies in the future. People being a diverse lot, we pretty much have to wait and see.

Allergic Reaction to Hemp Foods

Allergies and food intolerance seem to be on the rise. Poor physical responses to food are frustrating it makes something that is necessary and should be enjoyable — eating — uncomfortable and possibly dangerous.

One of the unintended consequences of food intolerance is that it makes people think more about the food and start to dig into the science. This is a positive over the long run, but for most consumers this is a bit daunting as food science is always evolving and food reporting through the media is sometimes not as up to date as it can be.

Some of the most common food allergies include: Eggs, Milk, Mustard, Peanuts, Seafood (Fish, Crustaceans and Shellfish), Sesame, Soy, Sulphites (a common food additive, usually used as a preservative such as for dried fruit), Tree Nuts, and Wheat (Gluten). While children are very susceptible, many allergies can be outgrown as the body’s immune system learns to respond to specific proteins. However, some allergies such as peanuts are very persistent, and are difficult for most people to outgrow.

Is Hemp an Allergen?

Hemp foods are undergoing a contemporary renaissance. The hemp food industry has expanding steadily for the last 15 years, driving acreage and building the case for hemp’s cultivation in the United States. In today’s market, hemp foods are available in many whole forms including hemp oil and shelled hemp seed as well as ready-to-eat and lightly processed products including milk, fiber, breads, bars, granola, cereal, ice cream, and more. One cultural paradox is that while hemp seeds have a long global history of human consumption, a lot of this tradition has been lost due to cannabis prohibition. As a result hemp foods are still relatively unknown and so we have people with no modern cultural connections with hemp trying it in their diets for the first time. It’s understandable there may be concerns about this “new” food because of its relative novelty. But like the tomato and potato, continental foods that went global, hemp has a lot to offer the world’s diet.

For those who might need a recap, the skinny on hemp is that it’s a great source of easily digestible vegetable protein, dietary fiber and healthy culinary oil packed full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

The good news to date is that hemp has no documented allergies. However, there is no reason to suspect that there will not be reported allergies in the future. People being a diverse lot, we pretty much have to wait and see.

Further, there is a difference between a food allergy and food intolerance. True allergies involve a failure in the immune system and can create systematic shock and be life threatening, while a food intolerance derives from poor digestibility or adverse reaction. Only 1-4% of the population has a true food allergy, but many more are food intolerant. One theory is that food intolerances are increasing as more people become reliant on processed foods in their diets. Food engineering to increase gluten content, increased fructose levels, as well as preservatives to add shelf life and other additives are developments that the body has not learned to cope with.

After 15 years, we’ve learned a lot about hemp and food reactions. Here’s a few common experiences ones worth talking about a bit more.

Fiber

Hemp is an excellent source of dietary fiber, over competing bran, whole grains and peas, and some hemp food products like protein powder contain very high amounts, with 20 grams of fiber for every serving (30 grams is the recommended daily allowance). Given widespread reliance on highly processed ready-to-eat & food-in-a- box diets, a lot of people aren’t used to having that much good fiber. So it can be a small shock to the body. Some people find it makes their bowel movements more regular.

Fiber should be added gradually to the diet. The body needs a bit of time to produce the right amount of natural digestive bacteria. People aged fifty plus need less fiber — as a rule of thumb 80% of amount recommended daily allowance is considered sufficient for most.

Gluten

Gluten is a common protein found in wheat and other grains like barley and rye. Bakers prize it as it helps dough stay together. However, the protein is an allergen hazardous to people who suffer from Celiac disease, which is a genetic condition related to the small intestine that makes such a protein indigestible.The broader health effects are challenging, as many celiacs risk losing important nutrients (including fiber) in their diets. While Celiac disease is uncommon, and roughly affects 1% of the population, it’s reasonable to assume that many people are undiagnosed. Complicating the issue Gluten has also been identified as a health culprit in the larger population, through such popular books as Wheat Belly, and the trendy proliferation of gluten-free diets, but the science on these sort of claims is disputed. However, given what we know about food intolerances, there is probably something to chew on here.

The good news is that hemp is verified gluten free. It is also reckoned to be complete protein. Hemp Protein contains edisten, which is similar to the human body’s own globular proteins found in the blood, hemp is extremely digestible. So not only is hemp a good substitute for other grains, it is also a better protein in many ways.

Do You Know More?

This is a short article, and we’re really just touching on the subject. Food and diet can be a very personal experience, and people have diverse needs and conditions, reactions and preferences. Global Hemp is interested in hearing more about folk’s reactions to including hemp in their diet: whether negative or positive. Let us know how hemp has worked for you by commenting below.

About the Author

Arthur Hanks is a Canadian writer who has been covering the growing hemp industry on a professional basis since 1997. He has contributed to numerous farm and nonfarm publications regarding the many aspects of industrial hemp. In 1999, he started the Hemp Commerce & Farming Report, later renamed The Hemp Report, as an online magazine to serve and promote the North American Hemp Industry.

Hemp seed allergy
Anyone without a hemp seed allergy should be able to eat them and enjoy various health benefits. Research published in October 2018 in the journal Food Chemistry showed that the antioxidants in hemp seeds have the ability to fight oxidative stress and protect cells from damage — something everyone can benefit from. The authors suggest that hemp seeds should be considered a functional food because of their wide range of health benefits.

Shelled Hemp Seed S >

About the Reviewer:

Janet Renee, MS, RD

Janet Renee has over a decade of experience as a registered dietitian. Renee attended the University of California, Berkeley and holds an M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics.

About the Author:

Anne Danahy MS RDN

Anne Danahy MS RDN is a Scottsdale-based health writer and integrative nutritionist. She specializes in women’s health, healthy aging, and chronic disease prevention and management. Anne works with individuals and groups, as well as brands and the media to educate and inspire her audience to eat better, age gracefully, and live more vibrantly. Anne holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Science in food and nutrition from Framingham State University in Massachusetts. Visit her at her health and nutrition blog: CravingSomethingHealthy.com or AnneDanahy.com

Hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts in their hulled form, are a trendy health food that’s actually been around for centuries. Whether you sprinkle, stir or eat them straight, these tiny, nutty-flavored seeds have powerful properties. Contrary to what you might think, though, instead of getting you high, hemp seeds can help get you healthy. Like other plant foods, they have many nutritional benefits, but there are also a few hemp seed side effects.

What Are Hemp Seeds?

Shelled hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts, come from the Cannabis sativa L. plant. While it’s related to the marijuana plant, this variety is grown for industrial and nutritional uses. The seeds of the Cannabis sativa L. plant have extremely low levels of THC, so they don’t have the psychoactive effects of recreational marijuana.

According to a March 2018 review published in the journal Phytochemistry Reviews, hemp seeds were one of the five grains of ancient China. They were an important part of Chinese diets until about the 10th century. Other old-world cultures also recognized hemp seeds’ nutritional benefits. In Europe, whole hemp seeds (including the hulls), were eaten during times of famine. Today, they’ve been rediscovered as a powerful source of nutrients and phytochemicals that have health-promoting benefits.

Hemp Seeds Nutrition

It’s no wonder that hemp seeds were a staple food back in the day. These tiny seeds are packed with protein, healthy fats, fiber and numerous vitamins and minerals. In fact, the National Hemp Association touts them as being more nutritious than any other edible plant food grown on earth.

Technically a nut, hemp seeds’ nutrition content surpasses that of many other nuts and seeds. According to the USDA, a 3-tablespoon serving of hemp seeds provides about 10 grams of protein, 15 grams of healthy omega-rich fats and 3 grams of carbs. Hemp seeds’ nutrition profile also includes magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, calcium and fiber. In addition, they have been identified as a source of various antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavonoids and flavanols.

The Protein in Hemp Seeds

Hulled hemp seeds are rich in protein, and they’re especially high in the amino acid arginine, according to a still often-cited 2010 study in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Unlike many other plant foods, the protein in hemp seeds provides all nine of the essential amino acids, so they’re considered a nutritionally complete protein source. In addition to their excellent amino acid profile, another bonus is that the protein in hemp seeds is easy for most people to digest.

The 10 grams of protein in a 3-tablespoon serving of hemp seeds is about the same amount you’d get from 1 1/2 ounces of peanuts, 2 small eggs or a little over a half cup of lentils. Hemp seeds are an especially easy way to boost the protein content of your meal if you’re trying to cut back on meat, because they pack a lot of protein into a small serving. Try sprinkling them on cereal, yogurt or a salad as a delicious and nutty-tasting garnish.

The Fats in Hemp Seeds

Most of the calories in hemp seeds come from fat, but it’s the good-for-you unsaturated kind. Hemp seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids — fats that you must eat because your body can’t make them. These include linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid, and alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. Hemp seeds also contain a more rare type of omega-6 fat called gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, which has anti-inflammatory properties.

Because they are high in fat, hemp seeds can also be high in calories. According to the USDA, a 3-tablespoon serving of shelled hemp seeds contains 166 calories. Even though they’re healthy calories, they can add up quickly if you overdo them.

Hemp Seed Side Effects

According to Michigan Medicine, most people tolerate hemp seeds without negative side effects. In fact, because of their nutrients, hemp seed side effects may be positive rather than harmful. The healthy fats in hemp seeds may be helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation and preventing platelets from becoming too sticky and forming plaques.

Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of their GLA, hemp seeds may also improve symptoms associated with conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid arthritis.

Sometimes foods can interact with medications, but according to Michigan Medicine, there are no known interactions between hemp seeds and medications. However, because the fats in hemp seeds have anti-platelet activity, eating large amounts may increase the risk of bleeding if you take blood-thinning medications.

Another potential hemp seeds side effect, especially if you eat them in large amounts, is loose stools or diarrhea. One additional rare, but possible, hemp seeds side effect is the small risk that they contain higher than expected amounts of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana.

Risk of Hemp Seed Allergy

It’s not very common to have a hemp seeds allergy, but it certainly is possible, and it may be one of the more serious hemp seeds side effects. An article in the February 2016 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology detailed a case series of five patients who had a hemp seeds allergy that resulted in anaphylaxis after eating the seeds. If you have a hemp seeds allergy, be aware that they may be used in commercially baked products like bread, cereals, crackers and snack bars, so always read food labels carefully.

Who Should Eat Hemp Seeds?

Anyone without a hemp seed allergy should be able to eat them and enjoy various health benefits. Research published in October 2018 in the journal Food Chemistry showed that the antioxidants in hemp seeds have the ability to fight oxidative stress and protect cells from damage — something everyone can benefit from. The authors suggest that hemp seeds should be considered a functional food because of their wide range of health benefits.

Sprinkling some hemp seeds into a meal is an easy way to bump up your beneficial fats, protein and fiber. Their omega-3 and essential fats may also reduce the risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, help keep your brain sharp and your weight in check.