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should hemp seeds be refrigerated

Hemp protein powder has been gaining in popularity as an alternative to dairy, soy and gluten-containing protein powders.

Should hemp seeds be refrigerated

By Jody Paglia Tanzman, RD,LDN,CLC

I’ve been seeing Hemp Hearts everywhere these days, from my local juice bar to Whole Foods. So I figured it might be a good time to give an overview of hemp food products.

You may already know about hemp seeds. The non-marijuana variety of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, the hemp seed is technically a nut. It has been used as a source of nutrition for thousands of years in Old World cultures. In Chinese medicine, the hemp seed is thought to impart a calming effect, as well as make the imbiber strong and fertile. Hemp seeds contain about 25% protein, 35% insoluble and soluble fibers and are chock full of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins A and E. They can be eaten raw, cooked or roasted, much like a sunflower seed. Add them to your morning granola or savory items such as veggie burgers and fish cakes.

The hemp heart, as you might have guessed, is the center of the hemp seed, or what remains after the seed is shelled. The heart might be the most nutritious part of the hemp seed. The removal of the hull increases the digestibility of the proteins, of which all essential amino acids are present. Less than 1 oz/28g of hemp hearts will get you 8g of protein and 20% of your daily value of iron and 15% of zinc, good news especially for vegans and vegetarians, who are often lacking in those nutrients. The taste of the little hearts is slightly nutty, with a texture reminiscent of pine nuts. You can toss them with salads or sprinkle them over your morning cereal or yogurt. You can also blend them in smoothies and dips, and add them to batters in pretty much any baked product. They are completely gluten free and shelf stable, though I prefer to keep them in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent rancidity.

Hemp protein powder has been gaining in popularity as an alternative to dairy, soy and gluten-containing protein powders.

Comprised of the globular proteins edestin and albumin, they are similar to that in human blood plasma, and thus are easily absorbed by the body. Hemp protein also contains sufficient amounts of all of the essential amino acids. Naturally high levels of branched-chain amino acids that aid in the growth and repair of lean muscle make it a good choice post-workout. Besides mixing into smoothies and juices, hemp protein powder can be used as a replacement for 25% of flour in baked goods.

Hempseed oil is created through the pressing or extraction of hemp seeds. Like olive oil, it can come in several different colors, from light to dark yellow or green due to the presence of chlorophyll. It is extremely high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and rich in both omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Hempseed oil contains these two fatty acids with a ratio of about 3:1 of omega 6 to 3, considered to be optimum for human health. Ratios higher than 3:1 (current Western diets are thought to be 20:1 or more) have been closely associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. Hempseed oil also contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and stearidonic acid (SDA), which promote an anti-inflammatory response within the body.

You can find the oil in health food stores (usually in the refrigerated section). Its delicate nutty flavoring is a good alternative to olive or nut oils, and can be used the same way. Both highly unsaturated and unrefined, hemp seed oil has a low smoke point that does not lend itself to heated cooking. It is best used in salad dressings, marinades, smoothies, sauces, or drizzled over cooked vegetables as a finishing oil.

Not only is hemp a versatile product in the kitchen, but it is also valuable in topical applications, promoting softer skin and stronger hair and nails. Just remember when shopping for hemp, be sure to check the sell by date for freshness; the precious oils are prone to rancidity. Hemp should be stored in a cool, dry place and once opened, refrigeration is recommended. Freezing hemp seeds and hearts will extend their shelf life.

Q: Do Shelled Hemp Seeds require refrigeration once opened?

Hemp Seed
Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What do Shelled Hemp Seeds taste like?

A: They have a pleasant “nutty” taste somewhat like the taste of sunflowers seeds, but have a softer texture. When blended in with a protein shake or with yogurt, you do not much taste the Shelled Hemp Seed at all.

Q: Do Shelled Hemp Seeds require refrigeration once opened?

A: It is best to keep them refrigerated or in the freezer. However, they will store up to a year at room temperature. The nutritional content will be higher if they are kept refrigerated or frozen. You can also store unopened Hemp Seed products in a cool dry place such as a basement.

Q: What is the recommended amount to take each day?

A: 3-5 tablespoons per day with breakfast, so you can enjoy the energy and protein throughout the day.

Q: Are Nutiva’s Shelled Hemp Seeds raw?

A: Yes, Nutiva’s Shelled Hemp Seeds are cold-processed (under 104°F) from raw, live hemp seeds. Nutiva utilizes a mechanical process to remove the hard shells, yielding delicious shelled hemp seeds. The hemp seeds are stored in refrigerated warehouses at temperatures below 40°F. The Shelled Hemp Seeds are not heat sterilized like many other brands are.

Q: What Makes Hemp Seed Different Than Flax and Other Seeds?

A: Hemp seed has a perfect ratio of EFA’s (essential fatty acids) and should be eaten in quantity every day. The ideal EFA ratio for human health is 3 or 4:1 omega-6 over omega-3. Flax seed has the opposite balance of 1:4 omega-6 over omega-3. Flax seed, and most other sources of EFA, when eaten in quantity everyday, can create dangerous EFA imbalances.

Hemp seed is one of the only plants in the world to contain sizeable amounts of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA may play an important role in the etiology of many diseases. Recent studies have shown that GLA and its metabolites are effective in the suppression of inflammation, in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, atopic eczema, and certain cancers such as malignant human brain giloma.

Also, unique to hemp is a powerful protein called globule edestins. This protein is only found in hemp seed and is uniquely similar to globulin found in human blood plasma.

Q: Is It Safe For Everyone?

A: Shelled Hemp Seed is a complete primary food source and should be eaten in quantity everyday.

Shelled Hemp Seed is one of the safest foods on the planet. It is THC free, pesticide free, gluten free, peanut free, and it is extremely easy to digest. It is excellent for those who suffer from food allergies, digestion problems, stomach sensitivities, and is perfect for those who are sensitive to pesticides. It has become extremely popular as a protein source for body builders who have experienced negative side effects from Whey Protein supplements. With the use of hemp protein professional body builders are now able to eat a vegetarian diet and still compete at the highest level. It is excellent for pregnant and lactating woman and for people of all health and fitness levels.

Shelled Hemp Seed may help reverse the damaging effects of late onset illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease!

Shelled Hemp seed contains no THC — 0.00%. You cannot get you stoned or high from hemp hearts, sorry!

Q: Are Shelled Hemp Seeds legal?

A: Yes, Shelled Hemp Seeds are legal. They are shipped across many international borders without incident. The case HIA v DEA established that hemp foods are exempt from control in the Controlled Substances Act. An excellent overview of the case can be found on the Vote Hemp web site on their DEA Hemp Food Rules page. Although the hemp plant is categorized as Cannabis Sativa, Hemp Seeds contain 0.0% THC (the chemical substance which gives marijuana its psychoactive properties).

Q: Can I get high from eating Shelled Hemp Seed?

A: No, Shelled Hemp Seeds contain 0.0% THC.

Q:What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?

A: Marijuana and hemp both come from the same species of plant, Cannabis sativa L., but from different varieties. There are different varieties of Cannabis, just as Chihuahuas and St. Bernards are different breeds of dogs, Canis familiari.

Marijuana is the flowering tops and leaves of psychoactive varieties of Cannabis that are grown for their high THC content.

Hemp, also referred to as industrial hemp, are low-THC varieties of Cannabis that are grown for their seeds and fiber. The small amount of THC (0.01%) in industrial hemp is found only in the leaves. The seeds do not contain THC.

Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been
evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.