Hemp Seed Benefits
Hemp seeds contain all eight essential amino acids and all essential fatty acids in ideal ratios for human nutrition. Hemp plants are environmentally friendly, requiring no herbicides or pesticides to produce a bumper crop of highly digestible nutrition-packed food, which is used throughout the world to treat malnutrition.
Essential Fatty Acids
Because our bodies do not manufacture essential fatty acids (EFAs), they must come from dietary sources. According to Udo Erasmus in his 1993 book, “Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill,” hemp seeds contain 80 percent highly unsaturated oils, a good source of EFAs that lubricate cell membranes, eliminate toxins and fight depression, viruses, bacteria, fungi and PMS symptoms. They also help muscles recover from exercise by pushing out lactic acid, help lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease, speed healing and enhance the beauty of skin, reduce inflammation and inhibit tumor growth.
Hemp seeds contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese. They are gluten-free. According to a 2004 study by the University of Kuopio in Finland, the protein in hemp seeds is as complete and more digestible than protein found in meat, milk, eggs or soy. One pound of hemp seeds can supply enough vegetable protein to sustain human nutritional needs for two weeks. One tablespoon of hemp seed per day provides the recommended daily allowance of essential fatty acids. Hemp seeds are high in soluble and insoluble fiber that aid in digestion and are a good source of B vitamins as well as vitamins A, D and K.
Russians enjoy hemp butter (similar to peanut butter), cereals and baked goods. In Africa, hemp milk provides a weaning formula for toddlers and is used to treat malaria. In China, hemp is used to treat constipation and hemorrhoids. Hawaii became the first state in America to plant industrial hemp crops to replace the ailing sugar industry; however, most hemp foods sold in the United States come from Canada.
Hemp seeds can be eaten raw or ground, sprouted or made into hemp tea or hemp milk. They can be added to cereals, salads and baked goods or used as a nut butter. Once hemp oil has been pressed out, the remaining protein and fiber, or presscake, is used in nutritional supplements and pet food.
Cold pressed, unfiltered, unrefined hemp oil must be stored appropriately in the refrigerator or freezer and used by the expiration date to prevent rancidity.