The Different Hemp Foods & Their Benefits

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Hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.) cultivation dates back to 4000 BC in ancient records of China. By the 18th century, its commercial use spread to many other nations, including the US and UK. People used cannabis for various purposes, such as making medicines, textiles, rope, paper, paint, and food oil. However, plant usage ceased due to prohibitions imposed under the ordinance of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

It was only after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill that public opinion for hemp plants shifted dramatically. The bill defined hemp as a cannabis plant species that contained no more than 0.3 percent delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by dry weight. Under certain conditions, the bill authorized industrial hemp production, considering hemp as an agricultural commodity.

The legality of hemp-derived derivatives with minimal THC levels was welcome. Farmers planted hemp for its seed, fiber, and oil. They placed seeds close together to promote fiber production while inhibiting leaf development. On the contrary, they plopped them farther apart for seed collection and subsequent oil production. Today, there is high demand for hemp foods, such as hemp milk, hemp oil, and hemp-based protein powder. They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. This post highlights the nutritional value of hemp and gives a close look at its potential health benefits. This information will help you decide the best way to incorporate hemp into your diet.

 

Hemp Nutritional Value

 

hemp foods
Hemp Foods

 

Hemp seeds are a nutrient-dense food. A three-tablespoon serving contains 166 calories, nearly 10 grams of protein, 14 grams of fatty acids, and only 2.5 grams of carbohydrate with 1 gram of fiber. Hemp seeds are also high in vitamins and minerals, including 100 percent of the daily value (DV) for manganese required for healthy bones and collagen production for healthy skin and joints.

With this nutritional content, you will get 25% of your daily value (DV) for zinc, which promotes immune function. At the same time, you take in 10% to 25% of your DV for energy-supporting B vitamins. According to a study published in the journal Nutrients in 2020, hemp seeds are rich in antioxidants and beneficial bioactive components.

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Different Hemp Foods

Hemp is a potent plant-based source of protein and fiber, making it an excellent potential diet supplement. Are you aware of the different food types you can prepare with hemp extracts? If not, go through the detailed account of various hemp-based edibles as follows.

 

Whole Raw Hemp Seeds

Raw Hemp Seeds are vital parts of the hemp plant used for food. In their freshest state, the hard shells preserve the nutrients internally, keeping their quality intact. Extractors collect seeds from the flowering tops of the industrial hemp plant. They are nutty, delicious, and nutritious with extra mineral content. They have a tremendous amount of nutrients, including minerals, fibers, enzymes, and oils necessary for overall health. The benefits of whole raw hemp seeds are:

  • Blood Sugar Control
  •  Mood Enhancement
  •  Cholesterol profile improvement
  •  Effective Brain Function
  •  Healthy, strong joints
  •  Eased PMS symptoms
  •  Reduced inflammation
  •  Improved immune system

Sprouting these healthful seeds is one of the best ways to consume them. The protein and omega-3 fatty acid content of sprouted hemp nuts are higher than sprouted quinoa. They have a flavor similar to sunflower seed sprouts and are a nutritious complement to sandwiches and salads.

 

Raw Shelled Hemp Hearts

Hemp hearts refer to the soft, inner part of the highly nutritious hemp seeds. Dehulling removes the green outer shell from whole raw hemp seeds, leaving the pale greenish nutty hemp hearts. The small shelled or hulled seeds have a creamy flavor and nutty taste. They are versatile, healthy components. You can use them in several dishes ranging from sweet to savory meals. They add texture, a hint of crunch, and a subtle nuttiness. They are healthful, protein-packed supplements that can be sprinkled on top of your food dishes or used as an ingredient in a recipe. Like whole raw seeds, shelled hemp hearts have outstanding benefits, such as:

  •  Improved Heart Health
  •  Constipation Relief
  •  Stronger bones
  •  Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  •  Better Cognitive Function

Hemp seeds include 34% carbohydrates, 23% protein, and 31% fat.  The protein composition is a healthy assortment of amino acids essential to human life.

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Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp protein is a byproduct of cold-pressed hemp seed oil, constituting both essential and semi-essential amino acids. Manufacturers use hemp cake (product obtained from pressing the whole raw hemp seeds) to make protein powder. They grind and process it so precisely that users can even incorporate it for smoothies, shakes, and other recipes.

A 2006 study reveals the physicochemical and functional properties of hemp protein. Researchers found that the essential amino acids (except lysine and sulfur-containing amino acids) in this protein powder are sufficient for the needs of 2 to 5-year-old children. This plant-based protein is relatively easy to digest, like soy protein. Some significant benefits of using this vegan-friendly hemp protein are: 

  •  Improved brain Functioning
  •  Leveled Blood Sugar
  •  Healthy Joints
  •  Low Inflammation
  •  Muscle development
  •  Tissue regeneration
  •  Synthesis of hormones

According to a recent study, hemp protein hydrolysates stimulate anti-inflammatory responses in primary human monocytes. The research suggests using hemp protein products to prevent and treat inflammation-related conditions.

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Hemp Seed Oil

 

 Hemp Foods
Crude Oil CBD Products

 

Hemp seed oil is an edible product derived from hemp containing less than 0.3 percent THC. Its conventional extraction method involved using an oilseed press machine. But manufacturers now prefer cold pressing and cold-filtered techniques to extract oil from hemp seeds. This technique is similar to the cold-pressing method of olives to squeeze out olive oils.

Hemp oil is a superfood that adds a nutty flavor to a variety of dishes. It contains essential vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc.

It is also high in fatty acids, usually obtained from fish only. Its unique ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 makes it highly potent. The most well-known benefits of hemp seed oil are:

  •  Skin nourishment
  •  Healthy Hair
  •  Promotes cardiovascular health
  •  Anti-aging aspect
  •  Regulated bowel movement
  •  Quality sleep

Hemp seed oil provides various health benefits due to its high level of polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and gamma-linolenic acid). The ratio of omega-6 (linoleic acid) to omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid) is 3:1. According to research, this fatty acid ratio is ideal for human health.

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How To Prepare Delicious Hemp Foods

 

Hemp Foods
Hemp Foods

 

Besides all-natural nutrients, hemp products, including hemp seed oil and protein powder, offer a unique flavor and scent. You can use them for cooking and fulfilling your dietary needs. Here are some of the best ways to include these products in your meals and beverages.

  • You can make hemp milk by blending hemp hearts with water and straining them.
  • Drizzle hemp oil over salad-like preparation such as crunchy lettuce leaves with a squeeze of lime.
  • Make a delicious vinaigrette with balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and hemp oil.
  • Incorporate hemp seeds with different fruits and veggies to make a smoothie.
  • Prepare a pie crust with hemp seeds or hemp milk.
  • Sprinkle hemp hearts atop a yogurt parfait.
  • Mix hemp protein powder into water, juices, or milk to prepare healthy protein shakes.
  • Add hemp protein to oatmeal, yogurt, or other hot cereal.
  • Spray a few drops of hemp oil on cold soup, such as creamy zucchini, butternut squash, or chilled cucumber soup.

 

Final Thoughts On Hemp Foods

You can add hemp powder or raw seeds to your favorite recipe. Whether it is pancakes, bread batters, cakes, protein balls, smoothies, granola bars, or brownies, hemp derivatives offer immense health benefits. Eating hemp foods will not get you high because they contain minimal THC (the psychoactive component in marijuana).

These products have an excellent nutritional profile as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. You can use them as an edible ingredient for an extra boost of nutrition. Elsewise, look for ready-made hemp foods available online and in stores. For quality assurance, buy only from authorized dealers selling quality-tested hemp food.

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