A Versatile Superfood – The Benefits Of Hemp Seeds

hemp-foods-selectionOver the past few years, quite a number of seeds have been dubbed as superfoods for the wide range of benefits they offer, most notable of which are flax and chia seeds.

Another type of seed that has been consumed since ancient times by various civilisations and which has regained prominence is the hemp seed which is derived from the industrial hemp plant.

The industrial hemp plant is one of the most versatile plants in the world. It has been used for the manufacture of paper, clothes, oil and beauty products.

The seeds (or more technically, the fruits) are akin to small sunflower seeds. Many who have tried eating them have noted their mild and nutty flavour which makes them a versatile ingredient for various dishes. What are the benefits of hemp seeds?

Three tablespoons of these seeds contain 11 grams of hemp protein. Hemp protein is favoured because it is a complete protein source. This means that this type of protein contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs to repair and create new cells and which the body cannot produce by itself. Additionally, this protein can be easily digested by the stomach and does not have effects like bloating and gas which are associated with other protein sources.

Hemp seeds are also a good source of both omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids with a ratio of three to one. Aside from this, hemp seeds are one of the few sources of gamma linolenic acid or GLA.

What’s the deal with GLA? GLA is known to aid in metabolism and the burning of fat. It is also beneficial in the reduction of hormone-mediated nuisance symptoms as well as inflammation. Apart from these, GLA can help lower bad cholesterol while improving the health of hair, nails and skin.

These seeds are also a rich source of phytonutrients, antioxidants like vitamin E and minerals, notably calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc.

What’s the best way to add these seeds to your diet? Because of their mild flavour profile, these seeds can be easily added to just about any dish without changing the overall taste of the food. These seeds can be added to salads, soups, smoothies, puddings and granola.

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