Raw Hemp Hearts, aka Shelled Hemp Seeds:
A ‘Super-Food’ with Real Health Benefits
Nutritionally, hemp seeds boast one of the best-rounded profiles of all seeds and nuts. It’s hard to imagine a seed just 3 to 6 mm long offering a balanced and solid nutritional portfolio. But hemp’s high concentration of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids is just one of many of its benefits. If there is such a thing as “nature’s perfect food,” I believe that banner belongs to the hemp seed.
Hemp has been cultivated for a long time—mostly for non-consumption purposes such as for making clothing, rope, paper and oil.
The earliest account of hemp seeds used as medicine is found in ancient Chinese literature back in 16th century BC. Later on, an account of Christopher Columbus’s voyage tells about Columbus carrying hemp seeds on every voyage he took. His likely purpose: In case of shipwreck, he could grow hemp crops for food and building materials.
Hemp seeds and marijuana come from the same species of plant—just a different variety. For years, hemp seeds have lain in the shadow of their infamous cousin. Many assumed that, just like marijuana, hemp seeds also contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the substance that gives marijuana its psychoactive effects. Even modest marijuana, however, contains at least twenty times the trivial portion of THC in hemp. Hemp has no drug-like effect.
Hemp seeds have a concentrated balance of proteins, vitamins, essential fats, and enzymes. No troublemakers like sugar, starch, and saturated fats in here! Two tablespoons of hemp seeds deliver 6 grams of fat (including 882 milligrams of alpha lipoic acid or ALA), plus 5 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber. Every serving of hemp seeds also provides a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. You’ll also get a good slug of vitamins such as A, B, E and D, and minerals such as magnesium, sodium, calcium and iron.
Hemp seeds are a real must for raw foodists, vegans, and vegetarians. The hemp seed has a unique amino acid profile: It contains all the amino acids—very uncommon for plant protein sources. Hemp seeds are thus a fabulous nutrient for people who want to be active and whose diet is either exclusively or primarily plant-based. They’re great, too, for those following the paleo diet and for anyone who’s carb-conscious.
Damaged DNA—that’s one of the prime markers (and causes) of aging. The process occurs inside everyone (indeed within all living things) and the damage keeps building. How can you slow that process? Amazing scientific evidence suggests hemp proteins can repair damaged DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Day by day, cell by cell, our resilient human cells can fix most blemishes that occur. Yet not all damage is reparable. Some damage, like strand breaks, cause the body to make mistakes during the repair process, shortening lifespan.
Two proteins found in hemp seeds—edestin and albumin—can help repair damaged DNA that the body is otherwise incapable of fixing. Edestin, found only in hemp seeds, is chemically similar to blood plasma. It promotes a healthy immune system and reduces stress. Albumin protein helps maintain the strength of tissues. Hemp protein contains all twenty known amino acids, among these nine regarded essential because the body, unaided, can’t produce them. All upside, no downside … Hemp works!
Here are just a few rawsome recipes you can make incorporating Hemp Seeds:
Among the health benefits of hemp seeds …
Hemp seeds have essential fatty acids that make them effective in reducing blood cholesterol, preventing plaque buildup in arteries, reducing chances of high blood pressure and leading to more effective blood circulation.
Eating hemp seeds promotes cell growth and rejuvenation. Hemp seed oil is also beneficial for skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema.
Hemp seeds contain essential fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is crucial to the health of the brain as well as the retina of the eye.
Hemp seeds are natural appetite suppressant. They reduce food cravings and alternatively boost the body’s energy levels.
A healthy body
Other benefits of hemp seeds include DNA repair, healthy weight loss, blood sugar control, and higher, more sustainable energy.
Hemp seeds offer a lovely nut-like flavor and creamy texture when chewed. This makes them a perfect addition to many kinds of raw, vegan and vegetarian recipes. I personally love them blended into salad dressings and raw shakes. Pictured to the left is my favorite Banana Hemp Shake!
If you want to try out hemp seeds, they are readily available at most local grocers. Check them out!