When we think of superfoods, the usual suspects come to mind — kale, broccoli, spinach, chia seeds and so on. But there’s a new kid in town and she is taking the health community by storm… Hemp Seeds.

Hemp seeds are derived from the female Cannabis Sativa plants.

But don’t worry, for those that don’t know, these power-packed seeds are not going to get you high!

Hemp seeds are a highly nutritious food to consume and are readily available at all major supermarkets and health food stores. While technically a nut, they are an excellent addition to meals as part of a balanced diet.

The outer shell of the hemp seeds contains lectins which can be hard for the body to digest. Lectins are also known as anti-nutrients as they inhibit the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients from foods. So, in most cases when you see hemp seeds for sale they would already have been hulled (outer shell removed), leaving you with the most nutritious part known as hemp hearts.

You are only limited by your imagination as to how to add this superfood to your diet. Adding two to three tablespoons of hemp hearts to your meals per day will give you great health benefits.
Hemp hearts can be added to smoothies, sprinkled over salads or fruit, added to pasta dishes, cereal or porridge. You can even sprinkle them on a pizza.

So, what’s so great about them?
I’m glad you asked.

HIGH IN PROTEIN

Hemp hearts contain over 25% protein. The protein in hemp contains all 20 amino acids and has the perfect balance of all nine essential amino acids, which can be quite difficult to find in many plant-based foods. Note: All plants contain all 20 amino acids but not always the perfect balance. Look it up, it’s true.

HIGH IN OMEGAS

Hemp hearts contain a high level of healthy fats. They are exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). The western diet is very high in omega 6 (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and deficient in omega 3. In fact, the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 in the western diet is around 15 times what is considered optimal for human health. This imbalance helps to promote chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Omega 3s help build and maintain a healthy body. They are key to the structure of every cell in your body. They also help keep your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune system working the way they should.

REDUCE THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE

The number one cause of death worldwide is heart disease. Hemp seeds contain high levels of amino acid arginine, which produces nitric oxide in your body, and lowers your risk of heart disease.

MAY HELP YOU SLEEP AND RECOVER QUICKER

Hemp seeds are a rich source of magnesium and selenium. Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common mineral deficiencies today. Magnesium is an essential mineral for over 300 biological processes in the body and it has a well-established reputation as an effective muscle relaxant. A magnesium deficiency can result in muscular cramps and spasms and can even cause restlessness and insomnia.
The mineral selenium plays an important role in muscle recovery, and its deficiency can cause extreme fatigue.

MAY REDUCE SYMPTOMS OF PMS AND MENOPAUSE

Researchers are beginning to see a direct correlation between hemp seeds and reducing PMS and menopausal symptoms and pain. The physical and emotional symptoms of PMS are closely connected to a hormone called prolactin. Further studies have found that (Gamma-linolenic acid) GLA found in Hemp Seeds also reduces symptoms associated with menopause. The anti-inflammatory effects of hemp also may help to reduce the stress and pain associated with PMS and Menopause.

Even though hemp seeds have only recently gained popularity in the West, they are a staple food in many cultures and provide excellent nutritional benefits.
As a general rule, people with nut allergies are not allergic to hemp seeds or hemp hearts, but you should consult your allergist for advice on whether they are safe for you to consume.

This highly versatile and incredibly nutritious little seed may well be the one Superfoods worthy of the title.

Also, the hemp plant is highly repellent to insects and requires little to no spraying. No need to worry too much if you can’t afford to buy organic.

So, toss a bag of hemp hearts in the basket next time you’re food shopping.
Found in the health food aisle and at health food stores.

Tip: Keep them in the fridge to keep them fresh.