What are Hemp Seeds?
Hemp seeds are the small brown seeds from the industrial hemp plant, a species of Cannabis with less than 0.2% THC (the psychoactive component known for getting users high). Hemp seeds only contain miniscule amounts, we’re talking in the region of 0.06 parts per million of THC, so you will never in a million years get ‘stoned’ from eating hemp seeds.
Hemp seeds are a superfood. They have a rich nutritional profile, with health-giving benefits. High in protein, fibre and containing a long list of vitamins and minerals, the humble hemp seed could be the answer to boosting your immune system without taking extra supplements. Not all hemp seeds are created equal, and the seeds with the highest nutritional profile can be found in all Hempiness hemp foods, which we just love here at The Hemp Shop.
What are the Benefits of Hemp Seeds?
The benefits of hemp seeds are wide-reaching. They’re high in fibre, protein and healthy fats as well as having a great list of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to maintain healthy function, and a healthy immune system. Eating a balanced diet, with all of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs is critical to maintaining a healthy immune system. Adding hemp seeds to your diet along with a balanced mix of foods is a great way to stay healthy and keep your immune system in tip-top condition.
Let’s take a look at a list of the nutritionally valuable elements that you are ingesting when you choose to eat hemp seed and their various benefits…
Hemp seeds are high in protein, and these come in the form of essential fatty acids, otherwise known as polyunsaturated fats, amino acids, or omega oils.
Hemp seeds are high in Omega-3 and 6, as well as the full range of amino acids required by our bodies for normal function. These essential fatty acids are not produced by our bodies naturally, so we must seek them from outside sources. Hemp seeds have all of the essential fatty acids that we require, and they contain Omega-3 and 6 in what is known as the “perfect ratio” for human consumption, meaning that our bodies can make the most efficient use of them. They also contain a fatty acid known as GLA or Gamma Linoleic Acid, which has been associated with benefits including improving heart health, joint pain, arthritis, PMS, cholesterol levels, brain function, skeletal health and maintaining healthy skin and hair.
You will find vitamins E, A, D, K and all of the B vitamins (excluding B12) in hemp seeds, providing a rich variety of benefits to health.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, protecting our cells against free radicals, which may play a part in heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
Vitamin A plays a role in maintaining your body’s immune system. It’s involved in the production of white blood cells and a deficiency in Vitamin A can increase your risk of infections and delay recovery when you are ill.
Vitamin D is highly important for the health of our immune systems. It’s famously the one that we get sunlight, but a deficiency in Vitamin D leaves us susceptible to cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, and cancer.
Vitamin K is needed for the body to produce the protein in our blood that allows it to clot when required, and for bone metabolism. A Vitamin K deficiency can lead to increased clotting time, so if we get a cut it will bleed for much longer.
B vitamins have a direct impact on our energy levels, they are the building blocks of our bodies and help with cell health, muscle tone, heart health, hormone production, cholesterol, appetite, red blood cell growth and more.
When it comes to minerals, hemp seeds have you covered with a great range of healthy minerals that benefit our bodies.
Phosphorus contributes to building bones and teeth, also building proteins that grow and repair cells and tissues. It plays a role in processing carbohydrates and sugars. It also has a role in the nervous system, kidney function, muscles, and heartbeat regulation.
Potassium is an electrolyte, conducting electrical impulses through the body. It assists in several bodily functions including blood pressure, water balance, nerve impulses, digestion, heart rhythm and pH balance.
Magnesium is needed by every cell in our bodies. It is one of the most abundant minerals in our bodies. It helps to turn food into energy, creates new proteins from amino acids, creates and repairs DNA and RNA, contributes to muscle movement and nervous system regulation. It helps to fight depression by playing an important role in brain function and mood. Magnesium also has benefits against type 2 diabetes, has been shown to lower blood pressure, and can help prevent migraines.
Calcium helps to build and maintain strong bones. Our heart, nerves and muscles also require calcium to maintain normal function. Our bodies do not produce calcium on their own, so it is important to get it from outside sources. For those who avoid dairy products, hemp seed is a good alternative source of calcium.
Iron helps with many vital bodily functions including energy levels, gastrointestinal processes, the immune system and regulating body temperature. Deficiency can cause fatigue, heart palpitations, pale skin and breathlessness. During pregnancy more iron is needed as red blood cell production increases, and low iron intake during pregnancy can increase the risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
Manganese is only required in small amounts by our bodies. It is beneficial for bone health, it’s a strong antioxidant and may reduce disease risk such as heart disease and cancer. Manganese helps to reduce inflammation, making it great for joint health and relieving pain from arthritis. It plays a role in blood sugar regulation and studies have shown that people with diabetes have lower manganese levels. It plays a role in a healthy metabolism, allowing other nutrients to be absorbed more easily by the body and is essential for healthy brain function. Manganese has also been found to contribute to good thyroid health, as well as aiding in wound healing by playing a role in collagen production.
Zinc is the second most abundant mineral in our bodies, and helps our immune system and metabolism to function normally. It’s important to wound healing and has an effect on our taste and smell receptors. It aids in metabolism, nerve function, digestion and a huge number of other processes. It is of vital importance to the creation and function of immune cells within our bodies. It’s an anti-inflammatory, and may reduce the risk of some age related diseases.
Copper is an essential mineral for the body. Alongside Iron, it helps in the production of red blood cells. It also helps to form collagen, aids in iron absorption and plays a role in energy production. Copper helps to maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves and immune function. A copper imbalance has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and low copper levels are associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol. A lack of copper in the diet can lead to a deficiency of white blood cells which fight off infection.
5 Hemp Foods To Boost Your Immune System & General Health
Now that we’ve broken down the different proteins, vitamins and minerals in hemp seeds, let’s dive into our list of hemp foods to boost your immune system. There are lots of different ways to get more hemp into your diet, and you can find everything from hemp breakfast flakes to hemp chocolate bars but today we are specifically looking at a range of raw and unprocessed hemp foods from Hempiness. We believe Hempiness to be the finest quality organic vegan hemp foods supplier out there, and that’s why they are our preferred brand for top quality organic hemp foods, with eco-friendly packaging.
Hemp Protein Powder
Chuck it in a smoothie, use it in your baking or simply stir it into your meals. Hemp protein powder is a great source of vegan nutrition, and provides a super plant-based protein boost to your diet. Choose an organic high quality product such as Hempiness Hemp Protein Powder, and you will be benefiting from all of the good things that hemp has to offer!
Produced by milling and sifting Hemp seed cake, which is produced after crushing Hemp Seeds for oil. Hemp flour is another fantastic source of protein, omega oils and fibre you can combine into any bread, cake or smoothie recipe. It is best used alongside your normal flour, and you can substitute as much as 50% of your normal flour with hemp flour to gain all of the benefits of hemp in your baking! Here at The Hemp Shop we recommend Hempiness Premium Organic Hemp Flour, made from only the finest European grown hemp seeds.
Hemp Seed Oil
If you ask us, hemp seed oil is an essential addition to any kitchen. It is a great replacement for olive oil in your pantry, and is best consumed raw (unheated) to preserve all of the nutrients and enzymes in the oil. You can cook with the oil as well and it is super tasty, but it diminishes the nutrients contained within it. High in protein and especially high in Omega-3 and 6, this health-giving oil is perfect for drizzling on salads, making your own pesto, using in stir frys or soups, cooking roast vegetables and more! Once again, our top choice is from the Hempiness organic hemp foods range, try their Premium Organic Hemp Seed Oil today.
Whole Hemp Seeds
If you’re looking for extra fibre in your diet, then adding some whole hemp seeds to your meals is the way to go! Hempiness Premium Organic Whole Hemp Seeds have 30.6g of fibre per 100g, the recommended daily intake is 30g of fibre, and most of us only manage to get around 20g a day, so adding a few whole hemp seeds to your diet is a great way to increase that critical fibre intake.
Try mixing hemp seeds together with other nuts and dried fruits to make yourself a healthy and energy-giving trailmix. You can add them to baked goods, sprinkle them on a salad. Or press them at home to make your own hemp milk.
Shelled Hemp Seeds
Shelled hemp seeds, otherwise known as hulled hemp seeds, hemp hearts, hemp nuts or hemp nuggets are simply hemp seeds with the shells removed. This leaves the deliciously and slightly creamy textured interior of the seed, which is great for adding to pretty much any meal!
Add them to your muesli, cereal or yoghurt at breakfast time, stick them on a salad for lunch, sprinkle on top of your soup or throw them into a sandwich with your favourite ingredients. When it comes to dinner, shelled hemp seeds can be used to top-off almost any meal. Put them in mashed potato, add them to burritos, sprinkle them on nachos, stir them into a stew, the possibilities are endless. But wait, there’s more! They also make a great addition to sweet dishes, desserts and baked goods. Use them in cakes and cookies, or sprinkle them on an ice cream sundae.
Try the Hempiness Premium Organic Shelled Hemp Seeds, for a tasty and nutritious addition to any meal!