You know why I love the addition of seeds and nuts into my diet? Because it is so EASY to add them to pretty much anything I eat. I don’t have to prep anything to add a super nutrition boost to my meals! I just sprinkle sliced nuts and seeds over everything. I mean, come on, it really doesn’t get any easier than that.
The reason why hemp seeds stand out among some of the other seeds is because of its content of high quality protein. Hemp seed protein is considered a complete protein and hemp seed is one of the few plant-based complete proteins out there. Hemp seed is considered an excellent source of Vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and iron. Vegans and vegetarians alike are using hemp seeds as a non-animal source of Omega’3’s due to hemp seed being an optimal source of essential fatty acids due to their perfect balance of omega-3’s and omega-6’s to promote good cardiovascular health and immunity. Hemp seeds contain dietary fiber and the potassium content in one tbsp. of hemp seeds is similar to the potassium content of one cup of raw spinach!
And then to clear up any confusion about hemp and marijuana, hemp refers to the to plants or stems with less than 1% THC while marijuana refers to the dried leaves and flowers of the psychoactive plant varieties. And sorry, you can’t get high from eating the hemp seeds that are regulated and sold in America.
1 Tbsp of Shelled Hemp Seed Provides:
|Dietary Fiber||1.6 g|
|A-linolenic Acid (omega-3)||5.7 g|
|Linoleic Acid (omega-6)||16.5 g|
|Magnesium||80mg (23% RDA)|
*37% RDA for Manganese, 10% RDA for iron, 9% RDA for vitamin E in 1 tbsp.
- The downfall to hemp seed (disclaimer) is that there is MINIMAL information to back up health claims associated with hemp seed consumption. The research on hemp seed is limited and there is definite need for continued studies on the consumption of hemp seeds and its effects on the body. Hemp seeds have a similar nutrition composition as other nuts and seeds so we hopeful that when the research is available it will show hemp seeds role as a functional food.
- As of right now the main benefit of hemp seeds is being a valuable complete protein for those who have dietary restrictions as well as its perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 to promote greater cardiovascular health. I will keep you updated when more research proven evidence is available.
How Do I Add Hemp Seeds to my Diet?
- Shelled hemp seeds or hemp hearts can be incorporated into baked goods like whole wheat muffins, bread, and whole wheat pancakes.
- Try incorporating shelled hemp seeds or hemp hearts into yogurt, oatmeal, ice-cream, lasagna, stir-fry’s, and salads.
- Addition of shelled hemp seeds or hemp hearts into your morning smoothie will greatly increase the protein content to help keep your hunger controlled.
- Like the other seeds I have mentioned before, more and more products are including hemp seeds to boost the content of protein and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the product. The most common product incorporating hemp seeds currently is hemp-milk, the hemp seeds are used as a dairy substitute which would be beneficial for those following a vegan diet or those who have a gluten, nut, or soy allergies. Side note: hemp milk is lacking in the calcium content that you would get when consuming cows-milk. Whole Food’s has many items in their store that contain hemp seeds including granola bars, protein bars, muesli, tortilla chips, tofu, and cereal.
- I have yet to try this but I have heard that roasting hemp seeds is also a delicious snack!
And as always, make sure you discuss with a Registered Dietitian prior to adding large amounts of any supplement or food into your diet if taking medications due to the possibility of food and drug interactions.
Cinthia Scott, RD, LD, CNSC