Hemp seeds are very nutritional and considered a superfood that provide a wide range of health benefits. These small, brown seeds are rich in fiber, protein, and healthful fatty acids, including omega-3s and omega-6s. They contain antioxidant effects and may reduce symptoms of numerous illnesses and improve the health of the heart, skin, and joints.
Hemp seeds do not produce a mind-altering effect even though they come from Cannabis sativa plant.
Nutritional benefits of hemp seeds
These seeds are full of nutritious compounds, they include:
Minerals and vitamins
Hemp seeds contains vitamins and minerals that are rich in magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, and phosphorous, iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
Hemp seeds are a complete source of protein because they provide all nine essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks for all proteins. The body cannot produce nine of these acids, so a person must get them through the diet.
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Hemp seeds are good source of essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp seeds are low in saturated fats and contain no trans fats. The body cannot produce essential fatty acids, and the body must absorb them from the diet. They are vital for long-term health.
A 2015 animal study, suggests that adding hemp seeds and hemp seed oil to hens’ diet led to eggs with increased levels of omega-3s in the yolks and a more healthful omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.
Hemp seeds are rich in fiber. Much of the fiber in a hemp seed is in its outer shell However, with or without the shells, hemp seeds are a good source of fiber, with three tablespoons containing approximately 1.2 g of fiber.
Health benefits of hemp seeds
Hemp seeds also contain a wide range of positive health effects. They include:
Boost heart health
The Omega-3 fatty acids present in hemp seeds improve the health of the heart and reduce the risk of heart disease and arrhythmias. The seeds also contain high levels of arginine (amino acid that changes into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is vital for artery and vein dilation, and it helps keep blood vessel walls smooth and elastic.
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Protect the brain
Hemp seed extract has antioxidant properties. These properties may be from the cannabidiol (CBD) content of the seed. According to a 2018 review, CBD and other compounds in the seeds may have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, effects and may also help to control the immune system.
The review suggests that CBD may help with Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, and Parkinson’s disease.
Hemp seeds are rich in gamma linolenic acid (GLA) – a polyunsaturated fatty acid which may also have anti-inflammatory properties. GLA can act as a powerful anti-inflammatory according to studies on animals.
A review in The European Journal of Pharmacology states that humans process GLA in a very complicated way, which may explain why the studies in humans produce more different results compared to those on animals.
Improve skin conditions
Hemp seeds contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may help those with atopic dermatitis and acne. Acne may be linked to a deficiency in omega-3s. The high omega-3 content in hemp seeds may help to manage and reduce acne symptoms.
Relieve rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to attack its own tissues, which leads to inflammation in the joints. Hemp seed oil could have an anti-rheumatic effects, according to a 2014, research conducted in human cells.
Hemp seeds contain no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the active ingredient in cannabis. Also, the seeds will not produce a mind-altering effect even though they come from cannabis.
A legal principle in the U.S. forbids people from growing hemp seeds with THC concentrations higher than 0.3 percent.
The production of hemp seeds is tightly regulated in Canada, to prevent cross contamination of THC from the cannabis plant.