One of my favorite powerhouse superfoods is hemp seeds, which may sound illegal at first (but is totally safe, legal), and because of its amazing health benefits, has become more and more mainstream in our grocery store products and is incredibly versatile. In a nutshell, hemp seeds contain extremely high levels of the recommended 3:1 ratio of essential omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Hemp seeds are also protein-rich (vegetarians, vegans or as a meat substitute) and an excellent source of rare gamma-linolenic acid, important for growth and development as well as providing protection against degenerative conditions like dementia and arthritis.
Did you know that hemp “seeds” are really not seeds at all, but a fruit? With a delicious and settle nutty flavor, these “seeds” appear to be tiny and round, like miniature sunflower seeds, but unlike sunflower seeds, they are not crunchy. Instead, they have a soft texture (like sesame seeds) and taste like a mild pine nut. I drink hemp milk instead of cow's milk. It is really delicious and far better for the body!!
I always suggest to people the following list when they ask me what the best superfoods to keep in the house pantry are that they should be eating on a daily basis: hemp seeds, ground flaxseeds, raw almonds, chia seeds, basil seeds, goji berries, spirulina, and chlorella. And actually, after you open these amazing nuts, seeds, and grounded powders, it is best to store them in an airtight container and in the freezer. These are the top 8 superfoods that I would recommend putting into your daily smoothie and juice (for best absorption). Scoop a dollop of raw coconut oil into the mix for a delicious anti-aging elixir.
♦ Hemp seeds are biologically available, a great vegan source and an easily digested protein. (3 Tablespoons of Hemp Seeds = 11 grams of protein)
♦ Allergic to soy? Hemp seeds are a great vegan alternative
♦ Hemp seeds contain 18 key amino acids including all 10 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce
♦ Hemp seeds are anti-inflammatory
♦ The 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids is important in preventing heart disease and promoting heart health.
♦ Hemp is the only plant containing vitamin D, which is necessary for calcium absorption. (especially helpful to those on a vegan diet)
♦ Better appearance in hair: smoother, thicker hair, stronger nails and softer skin.
♦ Hemp seed oil is the perfect fish oil replacement. Hemp Seeds have no mercury and no fish taste.
♦ The same3:1 ratio has been studied to be helpful in alleviating the symptoms of skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
♦ Hemp seed oil is often used in organic cosmetics which takes care of skin lesions and blotches that may occur as a result of excessively dry skin. It does not clog pores like many other oils, and can safely be used to moisturize skin, without a greasy buildup.
♦ Hemp seed oil is also a natural sunblock, which helps people who use it to avoid diseases related to over-exposure to the sun's more harmful rays.
♦ Hemp seeds are rich in disease-fighting, plant-based phytonutrients and anti-aging antioxidants such as vitamin E.
♦ Hemp provides a rich array of minerals including zinc, calcium, copper, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, and iron.
♦ Eating hemp seeds in the afternoon is a great way to get an extra energy boost when needed the most. Try Hemp Seed Coffee if you are looking for that extra energy!
Hemp seeds contain an especially beneficial type of omega-6 fat called GLA (gamma linolenic acid). GLA is a direct building block of good anti-inflammatory hormones. Unfortunately, this special omega-6 fat is not typically found in foods (in fact I think hemp seeds are the only edible food source of GLA.) While it’s true your body can convert the typical food version of unprocessed omega-6 called linoleic acid (LA) into the “useable” GLA form your body needs, the conversion process can be thwarted by many internal and external factors. For example, with the passing of birthdays, the less efficient the enzymes your body uses to convert LA into GLA become. Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, infections, and even stress can reduce your body’s ability to convert dietary LA into GLA. This is a bad deal because GLA is very important for achieving optimal health. But simply by incorporating hemp seeds into your diet on a regular basis you can be sure of getting a healthy dose of GLA.
■ GLA supports a healthy metabolism and facilitates fat burning (some people who struggle with weight loss despite eating a healthy diet get a weight loss boost simply by adding GLA to their diets.)
■ GLA can help reduce hormone-mediated nuisance symptoms (bye-bye PMS!)
■ GLA supports healthy hair, nail and skin health.
■ GLA decreases the tendency of inflammation in general. This can be helpful to anyone with an inflammatory condition such as asthma, MS, fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc
■ GLA helps lower bad LDL cholesterol and improve cholesterol ratio
GLA can also be obtained from supplements such as Borage Seed Oil and Evening Primrose Oil. I prefer Evening Primrose Oil to all other GLA-rich supplement oils because Evening Primrose Oil has the most research behind it. I’ve actually been taking it for years (1,300 mg of Barlean’s Evening Primrose Oil each day).
Many people ask if eating hemp seeds and hemp products will show up on drug tests and if consumption will result in "getting high". Most research says that eating hemp products will not affect drug tests positively. One medical doctor said that though the chances are extremely slim that it could, most likely it will not. Dr. Weil says, "Even if you ate nothing but foods containing hemp, you wouldn't test positive for drugs. Hemp foods do contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the substance in marijuana that is responsible for the "high" you can get by using the drug. But the minuscule amounts of THC in hemp seeds or the bread, cereals, granola bars, beer and other products made from them will not alter drug tests."
Lynn Osburn’s HEMP SEED: THE MOST NUTRITIONALLY COMPLETE FOOD SOURCE IN THE WORLD