Hemp seeds are small, dark brown, nutty seeds from hemp plants.
Many people are prematurely scared away by the idea of hemp seeds since they originate from hemp plants, Cannabis sativa, which are from the same species as cannabis.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that hemp seeds do not contain enough amounts of THC to produce the drug-like effects experienced when using marijuana.
These seeds are notorious for their large fiber content, which is used in modern production to create fabrics and papers, such as canvas, linen, tea bags, and paper money.
Additionally, hemp seeds contain many nutrients, minerals, and healthy fats that have numerous benefits for the human body.
Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds
Hemp Seeds are Nutritious
Hemp seeds contain two vital proteins – edestin and albumin. Both proteins are considered “high-quality storage proteins” and contain a nutritionally significant amount of all essential amino acids.
Most importantly, however, hemp seeds contain exceptionally high levels of the amino acid arginine, which has anti-inflammatory advantages. To add to these benefits, hemp seeds are great sources of Vitamin E and B, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Hemp seeds are filled with lots of protein and healthy vitamins and minerals.
Rich in Fatty Acids
Containing over 30% fat, hemp seeds contain exceptional amounts of two essential fatty acids – linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linoleic acid (omega-3).
The ratio of these two fatty acids is 3:1, which is considered an optimal amount for a healthy human. Amazingly, these two fatty acids have benefits ranging from increasing cell growth, regulating the immune system, and eliminating symptoms of skin disorders.
The optimal ratio of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids found in hemp seeds help regulate many internal processes to keep the body healthy.
Keep Your Heart Healthy
Heart disease is the number one cause of death around the world. Fortunately, the risk of heart disease may be reduced due to several benefits of hemp seeds.
First of all, as previously mentioned, hemp seeds contain arginine, which produces nitric oxide and therefore dilates blood vessels and decreases hypertension. Lower blood pressure correlates to a lower risk for heart disease and/or stroke.
Furthermore, several studies have demonstrated that an increased intake of arginine can lead to decreased C-reactive protein levels, which is a marker for systemic inflammation known in heart disease. The nitric oxide produced by arginine in hemp seeds results in enlarged and relaxed blood vessels, decreasing heart disease and stroke risk.
Affect Immune Response
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids play a key role in the body’s immune responses.
Such fatty acids affect both the immune system and various autoimmune diseases through gene regulation, the production of cytokines, signal transduction pathways, and antioxidant enzymes.
By regulating all these mechanisms, hemp seeds have been known to produce immunosuppressive effects and reduce immune-mediated inflammation.
Hemp seeds’ omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help regulate the body’s immune system.
Help Treat Skin Disorders
The oils present in hemp seed can penetrate the innermost layers of the skin to promote the growth of more skin cells, alleviating dryness and leading to smoother, healthier skin.
This effect is due to its polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), omega-3, and omega-6.
For example, studies have demonstrated that patients who had hemp seed oil to use for their eczema saw increased levels of the aforementioned fatty acids, which in turn relieved their dry skin itchiness, and decreased their need for medication. In addition, the oils in this specific seed allow skins to become hydrated and healthy due to increased skin cell growth.
Contain Ample Protein
It has been said that hemp seed protein content is comparable to that of beef, lamb, or even quinoa.
A mere 30 grams of this seed can provide about 11 grams of protein, which constitutes nearly 25% of its total calories. Since they provide all essential amino acids, which the body cannot produce, hemp seeds are considered a complete source of protein.
Because of this, they are also known as a natural appetite suppressant since proteins are harder for the body to break down, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer – the key to natural weight loss.
Hemp seeds contain incredibly high amounts of amino acids, which slow the digestion process and therefore keep the body feeling fuller.
Naturally Balance Hormones
The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), experienced by over 80% of women of reproductive age, are most likely caused by an imbalance of the hormone prolactin.
However, the gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) present in hemp seeds is an essential building block for prostaglandin, a hormone that can reduce prolactin’s physical and emotional effects.
Because of the high amounts of GLA found in hemp seeds, it is also predicted that hemp seeds can additionally reduce the symptoms of menopause because of the seed’s ability to regulate hormones.
Gamma-linolenic acid, found in hemp, produces a hormone that can reduce the symptomatic effects of prolactin, which is notoriously known as premenstrual syndrome.
Aid in Digestion
Whole hemp seeds are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is an important component of better digestive health. In fact, it is the shell of the hemp seed that contains most, if not all, the fiber found in the seed.
Therefore, de-shelled hemp seeds will incorporate very little fiber into one’s diet.
That being said, the soluble fiber from the shell is a source of beneficial digestive bacteria and can reduce spikes in blood sugar.
On the other hand, insoluble fiber helps food and waste pass through the gut and the intestines, and ingesting insoluble fiber has been linked with a decreased risk of diabetes. With its ample amounts of fiber, the shells of hemp seeds propagate the movement of food and waste through the digestive system.
Help Treat Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, leading to physical disabilities and adverse symptoms.
In multiple studies investigating therapeutic methods for MS, hemp seeds were discovered to have beneficial effects for improving clinical symptoms of relapsing MS patients when co-supplemented with evening primrose oils.
Furthermore, some studies have even said that hemp seeds and oil may prevent multiple sclerosis because of the nut’s improvement effect on mitochondrial and myelin membranes.
Hemp seeds’ improving effect on myelin and mitochondrial membranes supports the theory that this nut can be beneficial in helping MS patients.
High blood pressure can result in a large risk for strokes or even heart disease. However, diet and lifestyle changes have been proven to help decrease one’s blood pressure.
However, lesser-known hemp seed meal protein hydrolysate has also been shown to have similar effects in reducing blood pressure compared to control groups, thereby being a possible therapeutic agent for both prevention and treatment of hypertension.
The relaxing effects of hemp seeds promote dilation of blood vessels, resulting in lower blood pressure and thereby lesser risks of cardiac problems.
The THC in hemp seeds, although very minimal, is seen to have a fair safety profile when administering in appropriate doses, as well as also having anti-proliferative properties on tumor cells.
Such a characteristic is vital in decreasing mass growth in cancer patients around the world.
Hemp seeds have a possibly beneficial effect on cancer due to their supposed inhibition of tumor cell proliferation.
Decrease Stress and Anxiety
Like other similar seeds, hemp seeds have very high levels of magnesium, amino acids, and B Vitamins which makes them a natural antagonist for stress.
Magnesium works to support neurotransmitter function in the brain in order to reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, amino acids build protein and therefore provide energy to keep the body strong.
However, if the body does not get enough amino acids, it can actually produce large amounts of stress hormones.
Furthermore, B vitamins boost one’s metabolism and regulate the stress hormones that are produced, maintaining the homeostasis of the brain and body.
The many vitamins and minerals present in hemp make it a powerful stress reliever.
Reduce Arthritis and Joint Pain
Gamma-linolenic acid is an omega-6 fatty substance found in various plant seed oils, such as hemp oil, which reduces inflammation in the body.
Decreasing inflammation is the main desire for those suffering from arthritis because doing so also decreases the strain on joints and the painful experiences in specific limbs.
The lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids seen in early ancestors, such as 2-3:1, is more advantageous in reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
On the contrary, a higher ratio of such fatty acids, such as 20-30:1, as seen in many Western societies, is believed to be closely related to chronic diseases like arthritis. Therefore, when produced in the correct ratio, the anti-inflammatory effects of gamma-linolenic acid from hemp seeds can allow for joint pain and arthritis relief.
Hemp seed and its numerous health benefits may have been ignored in the past since it comes from the same plant as marijuana and also contains trace amounts of naturally occurring THC.
Marijuana contains nearly 5-10% of THC, whereas industrial hemp only contains about 0.3-1.5% THC – an amount scientifically proven not to produce the variable side-effects that marijuana use does.
That being said, hemp seeds are actually extremely beneficial to one’s health. This is because they are filled with numerous vitamins and minerals, not to mention their large amounts of amino acids, fiber, and fatty acids.
Hemp seeds are so healthy that they have been compared to superfoods like quinoa and high-protein meat sources – the highest compliment a seed could ever receive.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
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