I’m always talking about hemp and it’s amazing health and environmental benefits so I thought I’d share a bit more for you all today…
Hemp is one of the oldest and most sustainable crops in the world.
It is highly nutritious, very versatile and great for the environment.
Hemp seeds have been used as a nutritious food ingredient since Egyptian times. It was also essential to the UK economy as a source of natural fibre until the industrial revolution and the advent of cheap cotton. Crucial again during both world wars, it fell out of fashion in the UK with the industrialisation of farming after the Second World War.
It is now experiencing a huge revival across the world. Hemp grows in temperate climates, does not need irrigation, has impressive CO2 net benefits and every part of the plant is used.
So what exactly is hemp? Is it legal? What does it taste like? How do you use it?
It’s the hemp seed (not the leaf) that is used to produce food. And no it is not the same as Marijuana. The strain of the plant used to produce hemp food is very different to the strain used to make marijuana and contains no tetrahydrocannibol (THC) which is the element in Marijuana that makes you feel ‘high’.
This makes hemp products completely safe and perfectly legal which is great news for those seeking a healthier plant based diet. It’s also allergen free so everyone can enjoy!
Whole hemp seed contains approximately 25% protein, 35% oil, dietary fibre and a mix of minerals, iron and zinc. If you remove the shell you’ll find a lovely little seed inside with a light nutty flavour – it’s this bit that contains all those great nutrients.
These hemp seed hearts can be eaten on their own or used in all sorts of recipes – sprinkle on cereal, yogurt, soups, salads, stir fries or add them into your favourite baking recipes. They also make great toppings for fish and pies.
Squeeze these little seeds and you get cold-pressed hemp oil which is stupidly good for you providing 25 times more Omega 3 than Olive oil and 40% less saturated fat. It is also rich in GLA. Both Omega 3 and GLA are crucial to brain function, skin health, the immune system and normal cell growth and function. And, the most interesting fact is that hemp contains the most effective type of Omega 3 of any plant which can easily be absorbed by our bodies.
Just one glug (10 ml) of hemp seed oil provides over 90% of our entire recommended daily intake of Omega 3 as well as 50mg Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). An Evening Primrose Oil 500mg capsule typically contains 45mg GLA. Good Hemp Oil tastes great in salad dressings and sauces and can be used for cooking too.
The protein found in hemp is a high quality, complete protein containing all 20 amino acids including all 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce for themselves so must get from food. In fact, protein in hemp is one of the very few plant proteins to contain the same amino acids as milk, meat and eggs.
HEMP & HEALTH:
- Hemp is 100% allergen free and packed full of nutritional goodness.
- Hemp is naturally very rich in Protein, Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, and Fibre.
- Good for your health.
Hemp Oil is one of the healthiest culinary oils produced by nature due to its naturally high levels of Omega 3 and low levels of saturated fat. It contains the most polyunsaturated fats of all culinary oils. The Omega-3 fatty acids in hemp are the only type of plant source Omega-3 that we can metabolise effectively. That’s why many experts claim that hemp is good for heart health.
Hemp is also rich in GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid) and Omega-6 . These long chain fatty acids, more commonly referred to as Omegas are the building blocks of our body and cell growth – so are good for our skin and hair growth, maintaining bone health, regulating metabolism and helping the brain function.
Hemp seeds also contain all 20 amino acids – including the 9 essential amino acids which our bodies cannot produce themselves – these are thought to improve muscle control and normal body maintenance of cells, muscles, tissues and organs.
Whilst protein is an important component for muscle repair and building, so too are vitamins, minerals, fibre, enzymes, probiotics, antioxidants and a host of other nutritional components – all of which are found in hemp seeds.
-Vitamins & Minerals
-Packed full of nutrients
Protein is essential for the healthy growth and repair of all our body tissues: our muscles (including the heart), internal organs (such as lungs and liver) and our skin. In addition, protein is a good source of energy.
Proteins are either complete or incomplete. Complete proteins, usually found in animal products, provide all the essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own. Incomplete proteins, usually found in vegetables and grains, lack one or more of these amino acids. Hemp contains all 20 amino acids, including all 9 essential ones making it one of the very few plant sources of complete protein.
In addition to the amino acid content, the ratio of these amino acids defines a protein’s quality. Hemp seeds contain a desirable ratio of amino acids, making it closer to the quality of animal-based proteins than almost any other plant.
The protein in hemp seeds is also easily digested by our bodies due to its composition which makes it more readily available to the body than animal sources of protein. Good Hemp sources of protein are also allergen free. Some plant sources of protein like soya beans contain enzyme inhibitors which block protein digestion, this can cause adverse effects in some people. These enzymes are not present in hemp.
Hemp offers a more complete and richer source of protein than any other seed, including chia.
Hemp seeds are packed full of Omega 3 essential fatty acids which many experts believe aid good brain and heart health as well as boosting circulation. Hemp is the most effective source of plant based Omega 3. That’s because it is much easier for us to digest and metabolise than chia or flax.
There are basically two types of Omega 3. The first is the type found in fish oils made up from the fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The second is the type found in plant oils made up from α-linolenic acid (ALA). The interest in plant oils as a source of Omega 3 has increased over recent years due to concern about the heavy metals, PCBs and dioxins sometimes found in fish oils. EPA and DHA are derived from ALA. Plant oils that contain ALA are less potent for humans because of a metabolic block in the pathway preventing this fatty acid converting efficiently into EPA and DHA which our bodies can benefit from.
However, hemp is the exception to the rule. The fat in Hemp Milk and Oil uniquely contains Stearadonic Acid (SDA), a biological metabolite of ALA, as well as significant quantities of γ-linolenic acid (GLA), the active ingredient in Evening Primrose Oil. The presence of both GLA and SDA in hemp milk and oil allows the metabolic block – present in the ALA from most plant oils – to be removed so our bodies can convert it into usable EPA and DHA. So it can be argued to have more nutritional benefit as a food source of Omega fats than fish oil. It is also one of the reasons why Hemp is such a healthy source of good fat in food.
** Just 1 tbsp of Hemp Seed Oil provides 94% of your recommended daily intake of Omega 3. **
Hemp is high in GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid) the active ingredient in Evening Primrose Oil. GLA can help support a healthy metabolism and strong hair, skin and nail growth. GLA is also a proven anti-inflammatory so can be beneficial for joint pain. It has also been linked to lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol. Just 10ml of Hemp Seed Oil contains 50mg GLA.
** A typical Evening Primrose Oil capsule contains 45mg. **
Hemp is a rich source of dietary fibre which aids healthy digestion. Fibre can help keep you fuller for longer which can help you snack less and therefore aid weight management. The fibre found in hemp is soluble and easily broken down by our bodies unlike some other plant based fibres so it is less likely to cause bloating.
As a soluble fibre, hemp fibre works by absorbing water in your body and creating a kind of gel like substance which slows down digestion. This actually causes a delay in your body emptying your stomach and can therefore make you feel fuller for longer, meaning you need to eat less, less often. Soluble fibre can also reduce the body’s ability to absorb dietary cholesterol which can help lower your levels of the bad LDL cholesterol in your blood.
Vitamins and Minerals:
Hemp products contain an array of minerals including zinc, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron all essential for body cell maintenance. They are also high in vitamin E which is good for healthy skin, nails and hair.
Hemp is 100% allergen free so is an excellent food choice for those that suffer from food intolerances and need to follow a particular diet.
So Hemp is:
*Free from artificial sweeteners, colours and preservatives
*Suitable for Vegetarians & Vegans
To browse my online store, click here!
Hemp and the Environment:
Hemp is one of the most environmentally friendly plants on earth. One of the oldest sustainable crops, it grows in just 4 months from planting and does not need any pesticides or herbicides. Hemp is really good at giving our trees a helping hand as it is very effective at capturing CO2 from the air (1m2 of hemp breathes in the same amount of CO2 as 1m2 of forest) and every bit of the plant can be used – the seed for healthy food and the stalk for natural fibre and eco-building materials. So the CO2 is locked and there is a net CO2 benefit.
Hemp helps regenerate the soil. As the plant matures and the seed grows, leaf matter falls to the ground and decomposes replenishing the soil with natural nutrients ready for the next crop
It is an excellent sequester of carbon dioxide. It breathes in four times more CO2 than trees
It yields high levels of usable fibre. One hectare of hemp produces as much usable fibre as four hectares of trees or two hectares of cotton
It does not require pesticides or herbicides to grow
Hemp provides an excellent habitat for wildlife
Once harvested the seed is used to produce healthy food products
My favourite Hemp food products come from Good Hemp and Raised Spirit, I have listed my fave’s below:
- Good Hemp Protein- I’m currently using the Fit Shake, Strawberry Flavour. No added crap or sugars. A great source of Protein.
- Good Hemp Drink-I normally use the unsweetened version, but have tried all and all are great. A great non-dairy alternative.
- Good Hemp Oil-I use these for baking and cooking, a great source of Omega 3’s and Essential Fatty Acids.
- Raised Spirit Hemp Protein-Plain and Cacao available, cacao is my fave.
I used to suffer with really dry, eczema like skin, and the doctor used to prescribe me steroid cream for it, but since consuming Hemp products daily, my skin is completely improved. So no more horrible cream for me. As well as all the above health benefits, what’s not to love about hemp?
Have you tried hemp before? If so what are your thoughts on it?
If you haven’t tried yet, give it a try today and let me know you’re thoughts on hemp.
Browse my CBD online store!
Also, not sure if you have seen, but as I love hemp so much and include it in so many of my recipes, I have created several recipe books including ‘Flawsome Hemp Recipes’, find out more here!
I’ve also created a new community on Facebook where my aim is to smash the stigma surrounding Hemp and CBD, educate you all of it awesomeness and of course, share the amazing products with you all, if you would like to join, click here. It’s completely FREE!! Let’s spread the word and smash this stigma!!!
I’ll leave it there for today as it’s been a long one today, hope you have enjoyed reading more about hemp. I’ll be back next week talking in more detail about CBD and it’s health benefits.
Lots of love,
P.S. Why not check out my Healthy Recipe Books, which include lots of Hemp recipes in, find out more here!
P.P.S. Join my FREE CBD Community!
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** DISCLAIMER **
I am not a dietician or a doctor. The ideas suggested here, are intended to be used for educational purposes only based on my own personal experiences. The author ‘Jemma Stevens’ ‘Flawsome Jem’, is not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe or treat, any disease, condition, injury or illness.
It is imperative before beginning any exercise or nutrition programme, that you receive full medical clearance from your GP (doctor/physician).
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