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Hemp seeds grow in popularity as ingredients

As the uses for processed and extremely high-tech hemp and CBD continue to expand, some consumers, health fiends and naturopaths have taken to a more stripped-down approach.

Industrial hemp may have taken markets and imaginations by storm in recent years, but for some, the organic seeds found within hemp flowers are a true prize despite the more mainstream benefits associated with the plant.

Hemp crops were legalized at the federal level in December 2018 with that year’s passage of the Farm Bill, and since an explosion of industry has gripped the United States.

CBD products have been popular as uses for the plant, using the oil extracted compound related to other cannabis ingredients like THC.

Unlike THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that gets its users high, CBD is a popular choice for relaxation without the inebriating side effects.

People use CBD for their chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety, insomnia and a wide range of other problems. There is even an FDA-approved CBD prescription drug for a rare form of childhood epilepsy.

Even more uses for industrial hemp. The crop has been used in textiles, clothing, rope-making and ship-building for centuries and its environment friendliness is attractive, but modern technological advances have also allowed it in bioplastics and concrete substitutes for complex manufacturing and construction applications.

Still, some just seek out hemp for nutritional supplements to their ordinary diet. Hemp seeds, also called hemp hearts, contain nutrients that make them comfortable among other grains, granolas and cereal choices.

“Hemp seeds can absolutely be a nutritious part of a balanced diet,” Real Nutrition Founder Amy Shapiro told Parade. “They’re packed with plant-based protein and healthy fats including omega-3s, fiber, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium.”

A variety of hemp seed recipes, manuals and guides can be found online. For instance, The Telegraph UK recommends whipping up a hemp seed tabouleh, featuring notes of pine nuts, mint and parsley along with the signature hemp.

“Sprinkle hemp seeds on salads, yogurt or oatmeal, or over rice or veggies,” said WebMD. “The seeds have a mild flavor, so you’ll mostly notice the crunch. Use hemp oil in low-heat cooking or salad dressings. Hemp milk and protein powder work as easily in cereal as they do in smoothies.”

The Times of London’s website also features hemp seed recipes, including one for a salad using hemp seeds, avocado and spinach.

According to Parade, a 2010 study found “the high amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hemp seeds may help lower blood pressure and protect against cardiovascular disease.”

More studies like this are needed to establish clear nutritional facts and patterns, but some of these recipes surely sound promising!


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