Hemp seeds (hempseed) – healthy nutrients in small grains
Continuing our series on the properties and uses of hemp, we can not forget about hemp seeds, otherwise known as hempseed. It is no exaggeration to say that the richness of nutrients contained in them can hardly be matched by any other grain, which is why they are increasingly used in dietetics and natural medicine. It is therefore worth getting to know them a little better and deciding whether it is worth introducing them into your daily menu on a permanent basis.
- 1 Hemp – how it differs from Indian hemp and how to legally cultivate it
- 2 Hemp seeds – chemical composition or what you will find in each seed
- 3 The nutrients we find in hempseed
- 4 Hemp seeds – irresistible health properties
- 5 Hemp seeds – how best to consume them
Hemp – how it differs from Indian hemp and how to legally cultivate it
Hemp has been cultivated on an industrial scale throughout Poland for some time now and is now enjoying a renaissance, finally free of the negative opinions surrounding it. For years, it has been unfortunately confused with the Indian variety full of THC, a dangerous substance with narcotic properties, from which it differs fundamentally. Hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.), also known as fibre hemp, is a member of the hemp family and grows naturally in Asia, Transcaucasia and Afghanistan. There are so many differences between it and the Indian variety that it’s really impossible to confuse them. They differ not only in appearance but also in nutritional content. In hemp we can find only minimal, even trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Fibre hemp may be grown only in a predetermined region, on a specified area and with the use of seeds belonging to the so-called elite group. In order to commence such cultivation, it is also necessary to sign a cultivation contract with a company authorised to purchase and further process seeds, issued by the Marshal’s Office of a given province. Hemp is used in many different ways, the best known being hemp oil which has many valuable health properties. They are also used to produce CBD oil, which contains cannabidiol and is increasingly used to treat many diseases. Nowadays, this duo is joined by hemp seeds, also known as hempseed, which have excellent nutritional properties, according to many specialists even better than the popular flaxseed.
Hemp seeds – chemical composition or what you will find in each seed
The word “chemical” may at first glance arouse some controversy, but after all, everything around us is composed of some chemical substances, and the case of hempseed is no different. It is the composition that directly determines their health-promoting properties, and the wealth of substances found in them delights not only laymen, but also many specialists in healthy eating. All ingredients are present in perfectly selected proportions, maximizing the positive impact on our body. We can divide them into three main groups, and their nutritional values make hemp seeds an elite superfood.
The nutrients we find in hempseed
1. vitamin E and other equally valuable, essential for maintaining health
Our body is not able to function properly without an adequate daily dose of vitamins, which we must regularly supply with food. The most important vitamin found in hemp seeds is vitamin E, not without reason known as the vitamin of youth and fertility. It is a valuable natural antioxidant whose main task is to protect the body against oxidative stress which can damage cells as a result of free radicals. It slows down all aging processes, allowing you to stay healthy and young for a long time. It protects red blood platelets from uncontrolled and dangerous sticking together, taking part in synthesis of anticoagulants which prevent it. It is also necessary for proper sperm production in men, in women it influences proper development of a fetus and maintaining pregnancy.
In addition to vitamin E, hempseed also contains valuable B vitamins : B1. B3, B5 i B6, affecting, among others, bone growth, skin and nail condition, supporting the immune system, taking an active part in the synthesis of testosterone, an essential male hormone. Vitamin A, in turn, has an anti-cancer effect, strengthens cell walls, improves vision, accelerates wound healing and supports the production of red blood cells.
2. unsaturated fatty acids Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9
Another ingredient, important from the point of view of our health, which we find in hemp seeds, are extremely valuable unsaturated fatty acids, the most important of which are:
- Omega-3, which are the basic building blocks of all cells of our body, counted among the NNKT acids, which are essential unsaturated fatty acids, without which we simply cannot do without. Omega-3 protect our body from many dangerous diseases, including cancer, perfectly affect the work of the brain, increasing memory and concentration, improve vision, preventing macular degeneration. They also have an extremely beneficial effect on the work of the heart and the entire circulatory system, protecting against such ailments as heart attack, arrhythmia and particularly dangerous blood clots. Their positive effects will also be quickly felt by our immune system;
- Omega-6, having mainly anti-inflammatory properties, protecting against the occurrence of many autoimmune diseases, preventing the accumulation of cholesterol LDL in the blood, which protects us against atherosclerosis, stroke or heart attack. Similarly to Omega-3 they are building blocks of cells, allow to regulate too high blood pressure, regulate hormonal economy of the organism, help in treatment of diabetes type II, support work of digestive system. Delivering them in proper amounts, precisely with hemp seeds, we also take care of the condition of our skin, which is always properly moisturized, and hair, thanks to which we can quickly and effectively control their excessive loss;
- Omega-9, another unsaturated acid, also called oleic acid, without which we are not able to function normally, also included in NNKT, characterized by a multifaceted, complex action, effectively supporting the work of many systems and organs of our body. It has a good effect on the work of the heart and circulatory system by regulating the level of the aforementioned cholesterol LDL, it helps fight unpleasant ailments of the digestive system by reducing the amount of gastric acids secreted, thanks to which we do not experience heartburn, it also prevents the formation of gallstones. Similarly to Omega-6 it improves the condition of the skin, helping to fight skin irritation and inflammation.
It’s also worth noting that the first two unsaturated fatty acids on the list, Omega-3 and Omega-6, are present in hemp seeds in perfectly matchedproportions, an optimal ratio of 3 to 1. This balance is definitely the most beneficial to our health, neutralizing the possible effects of a deficiency or excess of one of these acids.
3. minerals, dietary fiber and large amounts of protein
In addition to vitamins and fatty acids, hempseed is also a rich source of minerals and easily digestible dietary fiber. Any deficiencies in our diet of the most important elements almost immediately end up in disease states that are difficult to treat, and in the seeds we find such minerals we need as:
The presence of dietary fiber in its easily absorbable form has a positive effect on digestion and the functioning of all parts of the digestive system. Among other things, it slows down the absorption of carbohydrates, thus preventing fluctuations in blood sugar levels, eliminates toxins and other negative products of metabolism, and prevents the development of gastric and intestinal diseases. An additional effect of fiber is the effective suppression of appetite, which, if not controlled in time, results in snacking leading to overweight and obesity.
Hemp seeds – irresistible health properties
It’s no wonder that hemp and hemp seed (hempseed) have been enjoying a stellar rise in popularity around the world, not only among health food lovers but also among natural medicine enthusiasts. The benefits of introducing them into the diet are obvious, and regular consumption is recommended to anyone who cares about:
- strengthening their immunity, this natural barrier that protects the body from disease and other infections;
- effective prophylaxis against cardiovascular problems;
- in the case of women, easing the symptoms of menstruation itself, which is often extremely painful, as well as the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome;
- maintaining the correct bacterial microflora in the intestines, which is also necessary for fast digestion and burning of fat tissue;
- regulating the entire hormonal balance of the body, which helps avoid uncontrolled increases in the levels of certain hormones, especially during menopause or andropause;
- perfectly smooth, firm skin, without even the slightest acne changes, perfectly moisturised and with a natural, deep colour;
- strong, unbreakable and well-nourished hair, which prevents hair loss and does not require the use of any pharmacological agents;
- the absence of any digestive problems, diarrhea, constipation or bloating;
- maintaining normal glucose levels and lowering the “bad” cholesterol in blood, while increasing the beneficial one;
- fully supplementing existing deficiencies of the nutrients described above, with particular emphasis on the fatty acids Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9.
Hemp seeds – how best to consume them
Hempseeds are readily available in health food stores, where they are typically available in several forms, either ground, shelled or whole with the husks, which also contain valuable ingredients. The price for a typical package is not too high and they can be successfully used as an addition to many dishes, e.g. by adding them in ground form to flour, from which we can then bake delicious bread or cookies. They are also perfect as an ingredient of cocktails, especially when we mix them with our favorite vegetables and fruits. Hempseed is also used to make the exceptionally tasty oil, a perfect addition to salads, but you can’t fry anything with it due to its low smoke point. There are plenty of ideas for using hemp seeds in the kitchen and by browsing recipes on healthy eating websites, everyone is sure to find something for themselves.