Hemp Seeds—Three Reasons to Include it in your Diet
Hemp seeds have been in the human diet for a long time, though the world is only now slowly becoming cognizant of its medical value. Hemp seeds are harvested from the cannabis plant, and can be purchased in the form of the seed itself, as oil, as hemp milk, hemp seed powder, hemp seed tablets, hemp seed enriched grain, hemp seed seasoning, and more.
What does hemp seed contain?
Hemp seed is high in protein, which helps enhance muscle mass and tone in your body. A 100g serving of hemp can account for up to 73% of your daily protein consumption, which is quite significant .
Hemp seeds also contain essential minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron, and dietary fibre. The majority of the energy in hemp seeds comes from fatty essential acids, especially from linoleic acid (omega 3) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega 6) in ratios that a study claims is optimal for good human health. The same study also claims that hemp seed contains edestin and albumin, proteins high in essential amino acids .
Why is hemp seed good for you?
1. High protein content
Whole proteins are essential for good health, and assist our bodies in growing and healing. Proteins also contribute to good muscle tone and are a good source of essential amino acids .
The Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PSCAAS) for hemp seeds, depending on whether they are whole or hulled, falls between 0.49-0.66, which indicates that it is a relatively good source of protein. On the PSCAAS scale, the closer a number is to 1, the more absorbable protein and essential amino acids it contains. The PSCAAS for hemp seeds is equal to or greater than some grains, nuts and pulses according to a 2010 study published by the American Chemical Society .
2. Cardiovascular health
A study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, London, in 2010 found that the high levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are potentially beneficial in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, especially in platelet aggregation and ischemic heart disease . The writers of the study call for more research to be done into the benefits of hemp seed and for clinical trials to help prove conclusively the therapeutic properties of hemp seed.
3. Source of dietary fibre
Hemp seed is a good source of dietary fibre, which helps promote good digestion and gastric health . Dietary fibre, both the soluble and insoluble variety, aid in digestion by affecting nutrient absorption in the gut, or by increasing bulk and softening stool respectively. Hemp seed may help patients with constipation and other gastro-intestinal disorders that require the consumption of dietary fibre.
Hemp seed, when used in moderate quantities, can be a good addition to any healthy diet.