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que es hemp seeds

Que es hemp seeds
1. Protein

Health benefits of hemp seeds

Although hemp seeds come from the Cannabis sativa plant, they do not produce a mind-altering effect.

These small, brown seeds are rich in protein, fiber, and healthful fatty acids, including omega-3s and omega-6s. They have antioxidant effects and may reduce symptoms of numerous ailments, improving the health of the heart, skin, and joints.

In this article, we look at the various benefits of hemp seeds and provide tips for adding them to the diet.

Nutritional benefits of hemp seeds

These seeds are full of nutritious compounds, including:

1. Protein

Hemp seeds contain almost as much protein as soybeans. In every 30 grams (g) of seeds, or about 3 tablespoons, there are 9.46 g of protein.

These seeds are a complete source of protein, meaning that they provide all nine essential amino acids.

Amino acids are the building blocks for all proteins. The body cannot produce nine of these acids, so a person must absorb them through the diet.

Relatively few plant-based foods are complete sources of protein, making hemp seeds a valuable addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Hemp seeds are especially rich in an amino acid called arginine, which has benefits for heart health.

2. Unsaturated fats

The health benefits of polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, are becoming increasingly well known.

Hemp seeds are a great source of essential fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3.

The body cannot produce essential fatty acids, and the body must absorb them from the diet. They are crucial for long-term health.

The ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s is also important.

In general, people tend to eat too many omega-6s and too few omega-3s, but adding hemp seeds to the diet may help to promote a balance.

According to results of a 2015 animal study, incorporating hemp seeds and hemp seed oil to hens’ diet led to eggs with increased levels of omega-3s in the yolks and a more healthful omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

Also, hemp seeds are low in saturated fats and contain no trans fats.

3. Fiber

Much of the fiber in a hemp seed lies in its outer hull, or shell. If possible, purchase hemp seeds with the hulls intact.

However, even without the shells, hemp seeds are a god source pf fiber, with three tablespoons containing approximately 1.2 g of fiber.

Consuming enough fiber every day can:

4. Minerals and vitamins

Hemp seeds contain an impressive array of vitamins and minerals and are especially rich in:

They are also a good source of iron, zinc, and B vitamins, including:

Health benefits of hemp seeds

Alongside the nutritional benefits, some research suggests that hemp seeds have a wide range of positive health effects. They may:

5. Protect the brain

A study published in the journal Food Chemistry found that hemp seed extract has antioxidant effects in lab tests. These effects may result from the seeds’ cannabidiol (CBD) content.

Results of a review from 2018 suggest that CBD and other compounds in the seeds may have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, effects and may also help to regulate the immune system.

The review suggests that, because of these potential properties, CBD may help with neurological conditions, including:

6. Boost heart health

The medical community believes that omega-3 fatty acids improve the health of the heart and reduce the risk of issues such as arrhythmias and heart disease.

Hemp seeds contain high levels of omega-3s and a healthful ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.

The seeds also contain high levels of arginine, an amino acid that turns into nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide is essential for artery and vein dilation, and it helps keep blood vessel walls smooth and elastic.

Lowering blood pressure, eating a healthful diet, and participating in varied forms of exercise may help to decrease the risk of heart failure.

7. Reduce inflammation

The amount of omega-3s in hemp seeds and the seeds’ healthful omega-3 to omega-6 ratio can together help to reduce inflammation.

In addition, hemp seeds are a rich source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid which may also have anti-inflammatory effects.

Some studies on animals suggest that GLA can act as a potent anti-inflammatory. However, recent studies in humans suggest that the acid is not always effective.

A review in The European Journal of Pharmacology states that humans process GLA in a very complicated way, which may explain why the studies in humans produce more varied results than those on animals.

When looking at these studies, it is important to note that researchers usually use high concentrations of hemp seed extracts and that eating the seeds may produce less dramatic effects.

Reducing inflammation may help manage the symptoms of chronic diseases, such as:

  • metabolic syndrome
  • type 2 diabetes
  • arthritis
  • heart disease
  • non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease

8. Improve skin conditions

Atopic dermatitis (AD) and acne can both result from chronic inflammation. The anti-inflammatory compounds in hemp seeds may help.

Among other possible dietary causes, acne may be linked to a deficiency in omega-3s. The high omega-3 content in hemp seeds may help to manage and reduce acne symptoms.

A 2018 review explored the effects of dietary changes on skin diseases. While the authors found evidence that eating more omega-3s may improve symptoms of acne, determining the extent of the effects will require more research.

The authors also note that prebiotics and plant fibers may help to manage symptoms of AD. Hemp seeds are a rich source of plant fiber.

9. Relieve rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. It causes the immune system to attack its own tissues, which leads to inflammation in the joints.

In 2014, research conducted in human cells suggested that hemp seed oil could have anti-rheumatic effects.

However, a 2018 review found a lack of conclusive evidence to suggest that cannabinoids could effectively treat rheumatic diseases. The authors noted that more research is needed.

Nutritional profile of hemp seeds

Hemp seeds contain plenty of protein, healthful fatty acids, and fiber.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds contain 116 calories and the following nutrients:

Protein 9.47 g
Carbohydrates 2.60 g
Fat 1.20 g
Total fatty acids 14.62 g
Monounsaturated fatty acids 1.62 g
Polyunsaturated fat 11.43 g
Saturated fatty acids 1.38 g

Hemp seeds are also a healthful source of vitamin E and minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

How to add hemp seeds to the diet

When considering the results of studies, it is important to note that researchers often use hemp seed extract, rather than whole hemp seeds.

People can purchase shelled, ground, or split seeds. To remove the seeds’ hard outer shells at home, a person can use a mortar and pestle or a food processor.

Whole seeds act as a bulking agent, and they also add fiber to the diet, which can aid digestion.

Try incorporating hemp seeds into the diet by:

  • sprinkling whole or ground seeds on cereal or yogurt
  • adding the seeds to smoothies
  • baking with hemp seeds and others rich in omega-3s
  • making hemp milk at home using whole seeds
  • sprinkling hemp seeds, along with other seeds or nuts, on a salad

People can find hemp seeds in some supermarkets, health food stores, and online.

Online stores also offer other hemp products, such as hemp milk, which may be fortified with extra nutrients, and hemp protein powder, which is a plant-based alternative to whey protein powder.

Risks

Although hemp seeds come from the cannabis plant, they ideally contain no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the active ingredient in cannabis.

Hemp seeds will not produce a mind-altering effect.

However, athletes and others who undergo drug testing should be aware that consuming hemp products can, in some cases, lead to failed urine tests. The level of THC in any hemp-based product depends on the suppliers and the manufacturing process.

In Canada, the production of hemp seeds is tightly regulated to prevent cross contamination of THC from the cannabis plant.

A legal principle in the U.S. prohibits people from growing hemp seeds with THC concentrations higher than 0.3 percent. The U.S. government also strictly regulates the importation of hemp seeds and hemp-based products.

Takeaway

Hemp seeds have a rich nutrition profile. They contain high levels of antioxidants, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins.

The shells add fiber to the diet, and grinding the seeds helps the body to absorb more of the other nutrients.

Some research has suggested links between hemp seeds and health benefits, but these studies tend to use extracts with high concentrations.

While there are potential health benefits to consuming hemp seeds, avoid eating excessive amounts. There is evidence that some seeds contain levels of THC that exceed the legal limit.

The most healthful choice is to eat a varied diet that contains a wide range of nutrients.

Related coverage

Additional information

Article last reviewed by Tue 11 September 2018.

Visit our Nutrition / Diet category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Nutrition / Diet.

All references are available in the References tab.

References

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BERRY HEMP SMOOTHIE RECIPE
1 cup frozen berries (any type you like)
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup of coconut milk (or any milk you prefer)*
3 tablespoon hemp seeds
water as needed

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Visit Bob’s Red Mill: https://bit.ly/2NaJ888 *SAVE 20% by using code: CLEAN20 (EXP 4/30/19)
SUBSCRIBE: http://tinyurl.com/jaxbcd6

Learn everything you need to know about buying, storing, and working with hemp seeds (aka hemp hearts). Plus 3 easy hemp seed recipes; Vegan Hemp Berry Smoothie, Home Made Hemp Milk, and Chocolate Coconut Hemp Energy Bites.

A big thank you to Bob’s Red Mill for partnering with me to bring you this Hemp Seed 101.

BERRY HEMP SMOOTHIE RECIPE
1 cup frozen berries (any type you like)
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup of coconut milk (or any milk you prefer)*
3 tablespoon hemp seeds
water as needed

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until you have a thick, creamy smoothie. Add water to thin out as needed.

Makes 2 servings.

*Note: full fat coconut milk is very rich and high in calories and healthy fats. If you want something lighter, try swapping with almond milk or hemp seed milk.

Nutrients per 1/2 of the recipe: Calories: 322; Total Fat: 22.5g; Saturated Fat: 15.5g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Carbohydrate: 20.8g; Dietary Fiber: 4.8g; Sugars: 12.8g; Protein: 6.8g

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE HEMP MILK RECIPE
1/2 cup hemp seeds
3 cups filtered water
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 pitted date

Pop all the ingredients in the blender and blend for 60-90 seconds or until everything is blended to together and you have a light creamy milk.

Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrients per 1/2 cup :Calories: 64; Total Fat: 3.3g; Saturated Fat: 0.2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Carbohydrate: 5.3g; Fiber: 0.6g; Sugars: 2.9g; Protein: 0.4g

CHOCOLATE COCONUT HEMP HEART BITES RECIPE
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup of almond butter
1/4 cup hemp seeds
3 tablespoons of maple syrup (which could also be honey)
3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
pinch of salt

Gently mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl until everything is well incorporated and looks like a thick dough.

Grab about 1 tablespoon of the dough and shape into a ball. Then this step is totally optional but I like to roll the outside in a few more hemp seeds as well.

Place on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, and repeat until you have worked through all the dough. You will have about 15 balls.

Pop in the fridge to set for two hours and then transfer to an airtight container. They will last up to 2 week in the fridge.

Nutrients per energy bite: Calories: 116; Total Fat: 7.2g; Saturated Fat: 1.5g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Carbohydrate: 10.6g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugars: 4.5g; Protein: 3.5g