Do hemp seeds hold their own as a health food?
As 2020 wraps up, many of us are thinking about what New Year’s resolutions we might commit to in 2021. For many people, health goals rise to the top of the list, and eating healthier is one step many people will be taking more seriously come January.
If you are considering incorporating more healthy foods into your diet, you might be taking a closer look at hemp seeds. Many people choose to take CBD for its health benefits, but are hemp seeds just as beneficial? How healthy are they really?
Hemp seeds, which are technically nuts, are often called hemp hearts. They have a mild, nutty flavor that pairs well with just about anything.
Hemp seeds can be eaten in their shells or out of their shells. They can be eaten raw or cooked. They can even be turned into hemp seed oil, hemp milk, hemp cheese, or hemp protein powders.
According to WebMD, about three tablespoons of raw hemp seeds contain 166 calories, 9.47 grams of protein, 14.6 grams of fat, 2.6 grams of carbohydrates, 1.2 grams of fiber and .45 grams of sugar. They also provide the body with iron, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B, and zinc, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Hemp seeds do not contain CBD. The shells of the hemp seeds could contain trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, but such a small amount of the compound would not be enough to get someone high.
Hemp seeds do provide all of the essential amino acids necessary to serve as a complete protein, which means that they can be a good source of plant-based protein. According to Healthline, over 25% of a hemp seed's total calories come from high-quality protein, which is more protein than chia seeds or flax seeds have.
Hemp seeds are also a good source of fiber, which can help support good digestive bacteria, reduce spikes in blood sugar, and help waste pass through the digestive system. Hemp seeds reportedly contain 20% soluble fiber and 80% insoluble fiber.
They also reportedly have the ideal ratio of fatty acids to support healthy cholesterol levels, immune system function, and metabolism regulation. They contain nutrients that have been linked to good overall heart and brain health and nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties.
An article from Women’s Health magazine lists a variety of ways hemp seeds can help improve someone’s health. These include building muscle mass, boosting energy, losing weight, improving sleep, correcting anemia, reducing PMS symptoms, and others.
However, hemp seeds only make up part of a balanced diet and may not be right for everyone. They could interact with some medications, such as some anticoagulants. It may also be possible for large amounts of hemp seeds to cause digestive discomfort. Still, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks for most people.
According to an article published by Healthline, hemp seeds are “incredibly healthy.”
It adds, “They may be one of the few superfoods worthy of their reputation.”