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hemp seed amino acids

Hemp seed amino acids
In fact, by weight, hemp seeds provide similar amounts of protein as beef and lamb — 30 grams of hemp seeds, or 2–3 tablespoons, provide about 11 grams of protein (1).

Hemp seed amino acids

Hemp seeds are the seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa.

They are from the same species as cannabis (marijuana) but a different variety.

However, they contain only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana.

Hemp seeds are exceptionally nutritious and rich in healthy fats, protein and various minerals.

Here are 6 health benefits of hemp seeds that are backed up by science.

Technically a nut, hemp seeds are very nutritious. They have a mild, nutty flavor and are often referred to as hemp hearts.

Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat. They are exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3).

They also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which has been linked to several health benefits (1).

Hemp seeds are a great protein source, as more than 25% of their total calories are from high-quality protein.

That is considerably more than similar foods like chia seeds and flaxseeds, whose calories are 16–18% protein.

Hemp seeds are also a great source of vitamin E and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc (1, 2 ).

Hemp seeds can be consumed raw, cooked or roasted. Hemp seed oil is also very healthy and has been used as a food and medicine in China for at least 3,000 years (1).

Summary Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats and essential fatty acids. They are also a great protein source and contain high amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldw >3 ).

Interestingly, eating hemp seeds may reduce your risk of heart disease.

The seeds contain high amounts of the amino ac >4 ).

In a large study in over 13,000 people, increased arginine intake corresponded with decreased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation marker. High levels of CRP are linked to heart disease ( 6 , 7 ).

The gamma-linolenic ac >8 , 9 ).

Additionally, animal studies have shown that hemp seeds or hemp seed oil may reduce blood pressure, decrease the risk of blood clot formation and help the heart recover after a heart attack ( 10 , 11 , 12 ).

Summary Hemp seeds are a great source of arginine and gamma-linolenic acid, which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Studies suggest that your immune system depends on the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Hemp seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. They have about a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which is considered in the optimal range.

Studies have shown that giving hemp seed oil to people with eczema may improve blood levels of essential fatty acids.

The oil may also relieve dry skin, improve itchiness and reduce the need for skin medication ( 16 , 17 ).

Summary Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats. They have a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which may benefit skin diseases and provide relief from eczema and its uncomfortable symptoms.

About 25% of calories in hemp seeds come from protein, which is relatively high.

In fact, by weight, hemp seeds provide similar amounts of protein as beef and lamb — 30 grams of hemp seeds, or 2–3 tablespoons, provide about 11 grams of protein (1).

They are considered a complete protein source, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids. Your body cannot produce essential amino acids and must obtain them from your diet.

Complete protein sources are very rare in the plant kingdom, as plants often lack the amino acid lysine. Quinoa is another example of a complete, plant-based protein source.

Hemp seeds contain significant amounts of the amino acids methionine and cysteine, as well as very high levels of arginine and glutamic acid (18).

The digestibility of hemp protein is also very good — better than protein from many grains, nuts and legumes ( 19 ).

Summary About 25% of the calories in hemp seeds come from protein. What’s more, they contain all the essential amino acids, making them a complete protein source.

Up to 80% of women of reproductive age may suffer from physical or emotional symptoms caused by premenstrual syndrome (PMS) ( 20 ).

These symptoms are very likely caused by sensitivity to the hormone prolactin ( 21 ).

In a study in women with PMS, taking 1 gram of essential fatty ac >22 ).

Other studies have shown that primrose oil, which is rich in GLA as well, may be highly effective in reducing symptoms for women who have failed other PMS therapies.

It decreased breast pain and tenderness, depression, irritability and flu >25 ).

Because hemp seeds are high in GLA, several studies have indicated that they may help reduce symptoms of menopause, too.

The exact process is unknown, but the GLA in hemp seeds may regulate the hormone imbalances and inflammation associated with menopause ( 26 , 27 , 28 ).

Summary Hemp seeds may reduce symptoms associated with PMS and menopause, thanks to its high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).

Fiber is an essential part of your diet and linked to better digestive health ( 29 ).

Whole hemp seeds are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, containing 20% and 80%, respectively (1).

Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in your gut. It’s a valuable source of nutrients for beneficial digestive bacteria and may also reduce spikes in blood sugar and regulate cholesterol levels ( 29 , 30 ).

Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and may help food and waste pass through your gut. It has also been linked to a reduced risk of diabetes ( 31 , 32 ).

However, de-hulled or shelled hemp seeds — also known as hemp hearts — contain very little fiber because the fiber-rich shell has been removed.

Summary Whole hemp seeds contain high amounts of fiber — both soluble and insoluble — which benefits digestive health. However, de-hulled or shelled hemp seeds contain very little fiber.

Though hemp seeds have only recently become popular in the West, they’re a staple food in many societies and provide excellent nutritional value.

They are very rich in healthy fats, high-quality protein and several minerals.

However, hemp seed shells may contain trace amounts of THC (

Despite this inefficient conversion rate, hemp is one of the richest sources of ALA, and so still represents a very good source of healthy fat, particularly for those who do not consume fish or eggs.

What are the health benefits of hemp?

Hemp seeds have a mild, nutty flavor. Hemp milk is made from hulled hemp seeds, water, and sweetener. Hemp oil has a strong “grassy” flavor.

Hemp is commonly confused with marijuana. It belongs to the same family, but the two plants are very different. Marijuana is grown to contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that is responsible for its psychoactive properties. Hemp describes the edible plant seeds and only contains a trace amount of THC.

This feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It provides a nutritional breakdown of hemp and an in-depth look at its possible health benefits, how to incorporate more hemp into your diet and any potential health risks of consuming hemp.

Nutritional breakdown of hemp

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a 2 tablespoon serving of hemp seeds weighing 20 grams (g) contains:

  • 111 calories
  • 6.31 g of protein
  • 9.75 g of fat
  • 1.73 g of carbohydrates (including 0.8 g of fiber and 0.3 g of sugar)
  • 14 milligrams (mg) of calcium
  • 1.59 mg of iron
  • 140 mg of magnesium
  • 330 mg of phosphorus
  • 240 mg of potassium
  • 1.98 mg of zinc
  • 22 micrograms (mcg) of folate

Hemp seeds also provide vitamin C, some B vitamins, and vitamins A and E.

Possible health benefits of consuming hemp

The nutritional content of hemp is linked to a number of potential health benefits.

Healthy fats

The American Heart Association recommends consuming two 3.5-ounce servings of fish, especially oily fish, each week. This is because fish is a major source of omega-3 fatty acids. If a person does not regularly consume fish, they may not be getting enough DHA or EPA.

Hemp is a plant-based source of concentrated omega-3 fatty acids. However, the fatty acids that hemp contains are alpha-linolenic acids (ALA), which are poorly converted to DHA and EPA in the body at a rate of only about 2 to 10 percent.

Despite this inefficient conversion rate, hemp is one of the richest sources of ALA, and so still represents a very good source of healthy fat, particularly for those who do not consume fish or eggs.

Hemp contains a specific omega-6 fatty acid called GLA and hemp oil contains an even higher percentage of GLA.

Hemp seeds also contain phytosterols, which help in reducing the amount of cholesterol in the body by removing fat build-up in the arteries.

Protein source

Hemp contains all 10 essential amino acids, making it a good plant-based protein source. Hemp does not contain phytates, which are found in many vegetarian protein sources and can interfere with the absorption of essential minerals.