Hemp Hearts - Good for your Health?
Hemp Hearts are the edible insides of hemp seeds that come from the Cannabis Sativa plant. They do not cause psychoactive effects, but they do have many nutritional properties and health benefits. Hemp Hearts are actually considered one of the "superfoods." Hemp Hearts are available in various Hemp stores in Dickson.
Nutritional properties of Hemp Hearts
Many essential nutrients cannot be produced by the body but are still needed and which can only be done through eating. Hemp Hearts contain the following important nutrients:
Protein – The protein content of hemp seeds is almost equivalent to soybeans. They are a source of all the nine essential amino acids. As only a few plant-based foods are a complete source of protein, hemp seeds will add a great deal of value in the vegan or vegetarian diet.
- Unsaturated fats – Hemp seeds are rich in two essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic or omega 3 and linoleic or omega 6. A 2015 study showed if hemp seeds and hemp seed oil are included in the diet of hens, the yolk of eggs will have an increased level of omega 3 acids and also a balanced ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 acids. Additionally, hemp seeds have a low content of unsaturated fats and do not contain any trans fats.
- Vitamins and minerals – Hemp seeds are rich in Vitamin E and minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and sulfur.
- Fiber – Most of the fiber in hemp seeds are present in the outer shell. Even without the shells, the seeds contain fiber. Consuming the required amount of fiber can help in managing weight by reducing appetite, encouraging a healthy gut, and stabilizing your blood sugar level.
Health Benefits of Hemp Hearts
Consumption of hemp hearts can also provide you numerous health benefits.
Reduce the risk of heart disease
These seeds contain a high amount of amino acid arginine that is responsible for producing nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps relax and dilate blood vessels; this helps reduce blood pressure levels which reduces the chance of heart disease.
In a study of over 13,000 people, an increased consumption of arginine can reduce the levels of C-reactive protein. A higher level of this protein is normally associated with heart disease. Additionally, the Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) can also reduce inflammation thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases. Animals studies show hemp seed may also reduce blood pressure and the formation of blood clots.
Relieves skin disorder
One of the important hemp product benefits is to treat various skin conditions. The immune system of the body relies on the balance between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Hemp hearts are a great source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. These seeds contain a ratio of approximately 3:1 of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids. Some studies showed applying hemp seed oil on people suffering from eczema may improve their condition. These oils can also help relieve itchiness and dryness of the skin.
Reduces symptoms associated with Menopause and PMS
Most women experience physical or emotional symptoms during menstruation, usually known as Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). These symptoms are likely due to sensitivity to a hormone called prolactin. Gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA) produces prostaglandin E1 that can reduce the effects of this hormone. Hemp seeds can contain a high amount of GLA, which can help reduce various menopausal symptoms.
Protect the brain
The Food Chemistry journal indicated a hemp seed extract has antioxidant effects which might be due to the presence of cannabidiol (CBD). A 2018 review suggested that CBD and other compounds might help in controlling the immune system of the body. It can also have anti-inflammatory and neuro-protective effects. This report also advised that CBD might help in various neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, etc.
Hemp products benefits also include reducing inflammation due to the the levels of the omega-3 fatty acid and the ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 in hemp seeds. As previously mentioned these seeds are a rich source of GLA and this reduction in inflammation might also help with chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, etc.
Hemp seeds can also assist in the digestion
Hemp seeds contain both soluble as well as insoluble fiber. Soluble fibers contain nutrients required for digestive bacteria and manage the cholesterol level in the body. Insoluble fibers on the other hand help in the passing of food and waste through the gastrointestinal system. It has also been found to reduce the risk of diabetes. However, if the shell of the seed is removed, there will be less fiber and possibly reduce this benefit.
How to include Hemp Hearts in your diet
Hemp Heart seeds can be added to your foods without much, if any, change in the taste, and you can get them at the hemp store in Dickson. You can:
- Sprinkling whole or ground seeds on your cereal
- Blend them to create "hemp milk"
- Add the seeds with other nuts and seeds in a salad