Hemp Seeds Are Nutritious – Hemp seeds contain two key proteins – edestin and albumin. Both proteins are quality storage proteins and contain significant amounts of all essential amino acids. Hemp seeds contain high levels of the amino acid and arginine, which has anti-inflammatory advantages (1, 2). Hemp seeds are a perfect source of Vitamin E and B, iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
Rich in Fatty Acids – With over 30% fat content, hemp seeds contain two essential fatty acids – linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). At a 3:1 ratio it is considered an optimal amount for human health. These fatty acids have significant benefits ranging from potentially increasing cell growth to supporting the immune system, and helping skin disorders.
Heart Healthy – Heart disease is a main cause of death around the world (3). Risk of heart disease may potentially be reduced due to several benefits of hemp seeds. Hemp seeds contain arginine, which produces nitric oxide and dilates blood vessels and may have a positive impact on hypertension (4, 5). Several studies have demonstrated that an increased intake of arginine can lead to decreased levels of C-reactive protein and reducing inflammation that could lead to heart disease.
Affect Immune Response – A perfect ratio of Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids play a key role in immune responses of the body (6, 7). These fatty acids affect the immune system, production of cytokines, signal transduction pathways, and antioxidant enzymes. The regulation of these mechanisms has been known to reduce immune-mediated inflammation (8).
Treats Skin Disorders – Hemp seed oil penetrates the innermost layers of the skin to promote the growth of more skin cells, alleviating dryness and leading to smoother, healthier skin. This is due to its polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 (9, 10). The oils in this specific seed allow skins to become hydrated and healthy due to increased skin cell growth.
High in Protein – It has been said that hemp seed protein content is comparable to that of beef, lamb, or even quinoa. A mere 30 grams of this seed can provide about 11 grams of protein, which constitutes nearly 25% of its total calories. Since they provide all essential amino acids, which cannot be produced by the body, hemp seeds are considered a complete source of protein. Because of this, they are also known as a natural appetite suppressant, since proteins are harder for the body to break down, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer – the key to natural weight loss (11).
Digestive Aid – Whole hemp seeds are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is an important component of better digestive health (12). The shell of the hemp seed contains most, if not all, the fiber found in the seed. De-shelled hemp seeds will incorporate little or no fiber into a diet. The soluble fiber from the shell is a source of beneficial digestive bacteria and can reduce spikes in blood sugar (13, 14). Insoluble fiber helps food and waste pass through the gut and the intestines.
Muscle and Joint Relief – Gamma linolenic acid is an omega-6 fatty substance found in various plant seed oils, such as hemp oil, that reduces inflammation in the body (15). Decreasing inflammation is key in managing health, it also decreases the strain on joints. The lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is more advantageous in reducing the risk of chronic diseases. A higher ratio of such fatty acids is believed to be closely related to chronic diseases.
Summary – Hemp seed has numerous health benefits that have been ignored or even suppressed in the past because it comes from the same plant that also contains naturally occurring THC. Marijuana contains approximately 5-30% of THC, whereas industrial hemp only contains 0.3% THC or less – an amount that has been scientifically proven to have no psychoactive effect as marijuana use does. Hemp seeds are actually extremely beneficial to one’s health, as they are filled with numerous vitamins and minerals, as well as large amounts of amino acids, fiber, and fatty acids. Hemp seeds are regularly compared to superfoods like quinoa and high-protein meat sources – the highest compliment a seed could receive.