As the agricultural industry continues to evolve and become more and more in demand, so does a very powerful crop that not a lot of people think of as being commercialized and beneficial. That is “Hemp”, this crop is not something that people normally associated with being nutritional or beneficial, however studies have shown that there are many benefits to the crop, some of which can really improve your daily life.
What exactly is Hemp Seed?
Hemp is actually the name given to a variety of different cannabis plants or the products in which it creates. It comes in oil, seeds, stems, and fibers. The plant normally contains a decent amount of physcoactive drug compound called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and because this can be abused, it is highly regulated or even illegal in some countries. However some manufactures have been able to remove the THC altogether and create a variety of other products such as foods, oils, fuels, medications, and rope, thus creating a large list of benefits for the hemp seed.
Hemp Seed Uses in Nutrition
A common misconception about hemp is that it can actually be very nutritious for the human body. According to Wikipedia – hemp seeds contain all 21 currently known amino acids, 9 of which are considered essential amino acids that the human body needs but is unable to produce normally.
Not only does hemp contain these essential ingredients, the amount is also very concentrated, so it doesn’t take a large amount in order to receive the these essential amino acids. Approximately tablespoon (15ml) of hemp seed oil is all that is required to give a human their daily value of the amino acid.
When hemp seeds are used as an ingredient for nutrition, the THC is manually removed so the effects of the physcoactive drug compound is not present, it then becomes a natural herb just like sage or crushed pepper.
Other Hemp Seed Benefits
As mentioned earlier there are some nutritional benefits to consuming hemp seeds/oils because of their high concentration of amino acids, however there are several other reasons why consuming hemp seeds and adding them to your daily intake could be beneficial.
Some of these other common benefits of hemp seeds are located below:
- High Protein – Hemp is packed full of proteins, proteins help to increase the humans immune system which is responsible for fighting of toxins and increasing our immunity to diseases and infections.
- Cure Several Immune System Disease – As mentioned in the above statement, it has been concluded that people suffering from immune system disease or autoimmune system diseases such as tuberculosis have seen an increase in their nutritional deficiencies when given hemp seeds/oil on a daily basis.
- Perfect Combination of Omega Acids – Hemp contains a perfect combination of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid (about a 3:1 ratio to be exactly). These Omega acids have been proven to increasing heart health in the human body.
- Easily Digestible – Since it is packed full of proteins, omega acids, and amino acids the hemp seed/oil is easily digested. Not only does this provide those who are vegetarians with an added source of nutrition, but it allows the body to easily digest the compounds and put them back to work inside our bodies.
- Packed with Phytonutrients – This is one of the most protective elements found in plants, it has been linked to not only improve a humans immune system, but it is also been proven to protect the following as well: bloodstream, cells, skins, and major organs.
Side Effects of Hemp Seeds – If not Properly Attended to
If you are going to be consuming hemp seeds for any normal reason you will most likely be consuming a “Commercial Grade” hemp seed or oil. In this case the hemp seed/oil will have very little if any THC in it, so you don’t have to worry about “Getting High” from consumption. However, it is a naturally grown ingredient and the risk for side effects is still there just like with any other herb you may come in contact with.
According to Seedguides, some of the most common hemp seed side effects include:
- Diarrhea – The reasoning for this is because each serving (1 Tablespoon) includes 3 – 4 grams of polyunsaturated fat. When this amount of fat hits your body, it can wreak havoc on your digestive system, which is why diarrhea is a common side effect.
- Interference with Medications – Generally this doesn’t cause a problem, however you should consult with your doctor prior to starting any type of hemp diet, as there is the possibility the hemp seed/oil could mix with your medication and either increase or decrease the ability for the medication to work.
- THC Exposure – While chemically grown hemp seeds/oil is going to be mostly safe, as the THC has been cultivated and reduced to almost nothing, there is a possibility that it could still come in contact with some residue from other plants. Now, the contact is not going to be enough to “Get you high” however if you have any type of THC allergies then it could become a problem, and it could also show up positive in a drug test.
The appearance of the hemp seed is actually quite intriguing it is actually smaller than a sunflower seed and have a very similar texture. When eaten they have a mild nutty flavor that goes along with them. Even better is they are not very crunchy so they are easy to chew and digest quickly. Hemp seeds have often been described as tasting a lot like pine nuts with a softer bite to them.
There are recipes all over the internet in which you can use to incorporate hemp seeds into your daily diet. There have actually been several chefs who swear that they will add them to their recipes now simply because of all the nutritional value in which they provide.