Why You Should Eat More Raw Hemp Seeds

by Alfred van der Heide
hemp seeds

Raw hemp seeds have been around since the dawn of time but only recently have these healthy seeds come back into the spotlight. People are starting to eat healthier, whether it is due a rise in popular diets, such as the vegan, or paleo diet, better education or the legalization of cannabis in many countries, is not important, what matters is that people are looking for ways to make their home meals healthier (as well as more organic). Raw hemp seeds provide a simple way of adding a dash of extra vitamins, omega fatty acids, and high-quality plant-based proteins to your diet. Hemp seeds are derived from the hemp plant, a plant that has been misconstrued by governments as well as NGO’s unfairly for a long time leading to the plant’s stigmatization and a decline in popularity. Recent scientific studies , have shown that hemp seeds, can give the gift of health as well as protection from disease.

hemp seed on a spoon

Although hemp seeds are derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant, they do not contain a significant amount of the chemical compound THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical responsible for the hallucinatory effects people experience when smoking the plant. Many countries impose strict regulations on how much THC is allowed to be in a product. In the US this is up-to 0.3% for example.

Why You Should Eat More Raw Hemp Seeds 1
Popularity of the term ‘Vegan’ on Google over time.

Some companies such as Nutiva, as well as other companies, are part of the “Test Pledge”. It’s a pledge that their products won’t have amounts of THC in them that would cause someone to fail a drug test.

Raw hemp seeds can also be purchased as an oil (Hemp Oil). The oil is conventionally extracted from cold pressing the seeds, and then filtering the extracted oil multiple times to remove any impurities.

Hemp seeds can be purchased either ‘shelled/hulled’ or as ‘whole’, the difference between the two types is that shelled hemp seeds have had their shell removed, whereas whole hemp seeds still have their shell/casing around the seed.

If you enjoy crunchy food it is better to use whole hemp seeds, furthermore, the added shell adds additional fibre which can help combat digestion problems such as constipation or hemorrhoids, and aid overall digestion.

Whole hemp seeds provide about 20% soluble fibre, and 80% insoluble fiber.

Soluble fibre means it dissolves in water, insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water and adds bulk to stool as well as helps water retention.

Fibre plays a valuable role in the removing of toxins, excess hormones, and mucus from the body.

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Nutritional value of 100 grams of raw hulled hemp seeds

Per 100 grams whole hemp seeds contain:

  • 575 calories (29% DV).
  • 33.0 grams Protein (66% DV.).
  • 43.9 grams Fat (68%).
  • 7.0 grams Fibre (28.0 DV).

Supplementing your meals with a tablespoon of hemp seed can not only add extra nutrients to your meal but also considerably improve digestive functioning.

For optimal function humans should consume about 25-30 grams of fibre, however, the average Americans only consume half that.

https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/increasing_fiber_intake/

Hemp Seeds vs. Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds

High in Protein

Hemp seeds provide more than twice the amount of protein compared to Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds with 7 grams of proteins in a 2 tablespoon serving (Chia and flax containing 3 grams of protein each.).

A high protein diet has many benefits, most obviously supporting muscular development of the body. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet it can be hard to get the recommended 56 grams of daily protein (for sedentary man.). If you frequent the gym often it is necessary to increase the amount of protein considerably.

Science has shown that for optimal muscle development one needs about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight (~2 grams per kg). Meaning that a mould human should consume about 160 grams of protein. Not enough protein will prevent your body from building muscle.

Source Thermic Effect of Food (%)
Protein 20-30
Fats 3-7
Carbohydrates 5-10

Proteins also aid greatly in weight loss, proteins tend to be more filling than carbohydrates or fats leaving you feeling full for longer. Proteins also require more energy to be broken down (Thermic Effect (TEF)) leading you to have an overall increased calorie burn.

Other minerals found in Hemp seeds

The seeds also contain high amounts of iron and zinc your body needs iron for the haemoglobin in the blood to transport oxygen through your system.

Not having enough iron in your blood can lead to terrible suffering in the form of low energy and fatigue. Furthermore, zinc is used by our body to maintain a healthy immune system and maintain proper function of organs such as the thyroid.

Hemp seeds are known for their high amounts of fatty acids, Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat. They are exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3).

There are many reasons to consume fatty acids. fatty acids have been shown to help combat many illnesses. 

Omega-3’s has been shown to fight depression, one of the most common mental illnesses in the world. As well as improved eye and brain health.

Omega-3’s also provide numerous other benefits.

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Not to mention hemp seems to have miraculous benefits for some peoples hair, skin, nail and sleep conditions and unlike soy, hemp is not genetically modified, and it doesn’t contain the anti-nutritional qualities commonly found in soy.

Hemp is extremely eco-friendly

Hemp requires no chemicals to grow, it is natural and is actually shown to improve soil quality. Because no pesticides are used to grow hemp, hemp is perfect as an all natural food source as well as even a fabric. Meaning no toxins will enter your body. Hemp is worth looking into as a substitute for cotton or polymer as it is extremely gentle on the skin.

Hemp is hypoallergenic and non-irritating. Furthermore, hemp fibre is able to stay warm even when wet, blocks UV radiation, breathes better than synthetics, is fully biodegradable while being extremely resistant  to degradation from salt water, the sun, or mold.

How to cook with hemp seeds.

hemp seeds on toast

Hemp seeds can be consumed raw, cooked, or even roasted.

As a supplement hemp can simply be sprinkled over many foods, such as salads, pastas, sandwiches, oatmeal, yoghurt, or cereals. Hemp seeds can also easily be incorporated into a healthy smoothy to give it that extra organic protein kick.

Hemp seeds have a shelf life of about 3 to 4 months when left in an air tight container in a pantry. The shelf life increases to about 12 months if left in a refrigerator however.

Conclusion

To maximize the nutritional value of hemp seeds they should be consumed raw, as this will prevent the fatty acids from breaking down due to heat. Hemp seeds can however also be cooked and will still allow you to incorporate an additional amount of fibre and protein to your diet.

There are more hemp seed recipes out there than we can cover, but almost every dish can be nutritionally boosted by sprinkling a bit of this nutty tasting seed over it. If you start your day off with a bowl of oatmeal try add some raw hemp seeds to your dish to make it just that much better.

Furthermore, the nutrients found in hemp seeds benefit the body in both the prevention of many mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety, but also many physical health issues such as heart disease or Alzheimer’s. Do you have a favourite hemp seed recipe, let us know and share it with others in the comment section down below!

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