By Anya V
Hemp is one of the earliest known domesticated plants that has been cultivated for over 12,000 years.
Hemp is a close relative of the Cannabis herb (often called marijuana), but is not to be confused with Cannabis and its psychoactive and medicinal properties.
This tall and coarse plant is a source of valuable fiber, can be refined into hemp oil, wax, resin, made into paper, fuel and the seeds themselves are a super nutritional source.
According to "Hemp Facts", the world-leading producer of hemp is France, which produces more than 70% of the world output. China ranks second with approximately a quarter of the world production. There is smaller production in Europe, Chile and North Korea. Over thirty countries produce industrial hemp, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkeyand Ukraine.
The United Staes Department of Agriculture has concluded that "the market potential for hemp seed as a food ingredient is unknown. However, it probably will remain a small market, like those for sesame and poppy seeds."
Eat Raw Hemp Seeds Every Day (And These Things Can Happen)
Hemp seeds are a complete protein, containing vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
4 heaping tablespoons of Shelled Hemp Seed contains 240 caloric energy from:
Polyunsaturated fats: 15g
-Omega 6: 11.4g, Omega 3: 3.6g
Mono-unsaturated fats: 2.7g
Saturated fats: 2.1g
Vitamin E: 3.8mg
Vitamin D: 956 IU
Vitamin C: .42mg
Vitamin B6: .05mg
Vitamin B2: .14mg
Vitamin B1: .58mg
Vitamin A: 1.68 IU
The high content of vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants and trace minerals support the brain, the cells within our body and prevents mitochondria and cell damage from free radicals.
Vitamin A: supports good vision, healthy immune system, supports cell growth, helps with dry eyes, used for specific types of leukemia, maintains healthy bones and teeth, prevents urinary stones, great for healthy skin, essential for the reproductive process in males and females.
Vitamin C: An antioxidant that also lowers blood pressure and lowers blood lead levels, promotes healthy eye function, boost our immune system and acts as a natural antihistamine.
Vitamin E: Also an antioxidant that protects cell damage and is key for healthy skin, eyes and a strong immune system.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): helps the body make healthy new cells. It also protect the immune system. Studies say this vitamin is necessary to help break down simple carbohydrates.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): is an antioxidant to help fight free radicals that damage cells and may prevent early aging and heart disease. Riboflavin is important for producing red blood cells that are necessary for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Several studies suggest B2 can prevent migraines.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): helps regulate levels of the amino acid homocysteine (associated with heart disease). Mood and sleep patterns can be affected by B6 because it helps body produce serotonin, melatonin and norepinephrine, a stress hormone. Some studies suggest vitamin B6 can reduce inflammation for people with conditions like rheumatioid arthritis.
Vitamin D: maintains normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. It may also protect against osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases.
Our bodies need polyunsaturated ("good") fat such as omega 6 and omega 3, which helps seeds have the "perfect balance" of.
Omega 6: Regulates blood pressure, blood clotting, inflammation, immunity and brain function.
Omega 3: Reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, arthritis, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.
Fiber: controls blood sugar, promotes heart health, decreases risk of stroke, enhances weight loss and management, helps remove yeast and fungus from the body, reduces the risk of diverticulitis, lowers the risk of hemorrhoids, provides some relief from IBS, and reduces the risk of gallbladder and kidney stones.
Magnesium: regulates melatonin hormone for better sleep, relaxes the nervous system, helps cells store more energy, helps the body produce more Insulin like Growth Factor (IGF-1 helps with growth and strength in muscles), better flexibility, supports bone integrity and strength, remineralizes teeth, alkalizes the body, hydrates, relieves constipation, assists enzyme function, diabetes.
Iron: helps carry oxygen through our body and help keep our blood cells healthy.
Calcium: helps maintain heart rhythm, muscle function, and more. There's good evidence that calcium can help prevent or control high blood pressure. It also may reduce PMS symptoms as well as preventing certain cancers. Calcium with Vitamin D may help protect against breast cancer in premenopausal women.
Phosphorus: is required by the body for bone and teeth formation and allows for proper digestion of riboflavin and niacin. It aids in transmission of nerve impulses, helps your kidneys excret wastes, gives you energy, forms the proteins that aid in reproduction, and may help block cancer.
More than half of all bone is made from phosphate, and is also utilized to maintain tissues and fluids.
Ways to add hemp seeds to your daily diet:
•Hemp seeds can be a great dairy alternative. Hemp milk and and hemp ice cream are loaded with all the nutritional benefits of the hemp seeds without the irritating "protein" of cows milk.
•Breakfast foods and baked goods are another fun way to add hemp seeds. Add a handful of hemp seeds to the batter of muffins, cookies and breads. With a naturally nutty flavor, hemp seeds can also be used as a substitute in recipes that call for other types of nuts.
•Salads can get a nutritional boost by sprinkling a few tablespoons of hemp seeds on to it.
•Superfood vegan pesto can be made with hemp seeds! I use this pesto over my gluten free pasta. It also is very tasty as a pizza base alternative to tomato sauce.
•Smoothies blending a tablespoon of hemp seed can make your smoothie extra nutritious without affecting the flavor.