Published on July 24th, 2013 | by Andrea Bertoli4
The Health Benefits of Hemp
Hemp is a super awesome crop: it’s sustainable, easy to grow, and makes a ton of cool products for us to use– it can be made into building materials, clothing, fuel and most importantly for us: FOOD. Learn more cool facts about hemp here.
Almost all of the hemp consumed in the United States is grown in Canada, as it’s not legal (yet) to grow this awesome crop here. Because it is related to marijuana, it is classified as a narcotic, and the government isn’t so cool with supporting this crop. But don’t worry– you ABSOLUTELY cannot get high from eating hemp. There is like, 0.001% THC (the psychoactive component of marijuana) in hemp foods. And don’t worry, you will still pass your drug tests! But on to the GOOD stuff about hemp:
We talk often here on Vibrant Wellness Journal about the importance of healthy fats in our diets, and hemp can be a great part of that. There are so many health benefits of hemp! According to The Nourishing Gourmet, hemp “has a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats at around a three to one ratio. This won’t help correct your omega balance if it’s off, but it gives you the right balance to start with.” While all EFAs are important, we tend to have a higher ratio of Omega-6, which is found in refined vegetable oils. Other good sources of fatty acids include flaxseeds and chia seeds. For more about essential fatty acids, check out World’s Healthiest Foods.
Vegetarians and vegans can get protein from a myriad of sources, but hemp seems to be one of the best. The protein found in hemp seeds (or in hemo protein powder) is very digestible and seems to be easier to assimilate than other plant-based proteins. According to Body Ecology, hemp contains “all 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce, and a high protein percentage of the simple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins.“
Hemp seeds are nutty and a teeny bit sweet. They can be blended into smoothies and dressings, or simply sprinkled onto salads. I like them on top of my oatmeal or over fresh fruit. They are not crunchy like nuts, but offer a really nice, soft texture. Hemp oil is a beautiful, deep green and has a fresh, grassy flavor. This oil can be used for dressings and garnishes, but never for cooking. Hemp protein powder can be used instead of soy, whey or others for smoothies and for energy bars. It too has a bit of a nutty, grassy flavor but it works great in green smoothies.
This past week we’ve been sharing recipes for awesome hemp foods (have you noticed?) with the help of our friends at Manitoba Harvest. They generously shared hempseeds and hemp protein powder for us to play with in our kitchen. We made some Homemade Hemp Protein Bars with pumpkin seeds and chocolate, Chocolate Energy Bars/Crumble that is a perfect afternoon snack, and shared a recipe for incredible Creamy Almond Hemp Dressing (and tips for perfect coleslaw), and we’ve been making a bunch of green smoothies too! Check out their product line, and get your downloadable coupons here (Download the CDN Coupon or the USA Coupon!). And to learn more about why hemp is the sustainable crop of the future, check out these facts about hemp from Green Living Ideas.