Hemp seeds are great-tasting and full of nutritional benefits. Let me stop you right there. Yes, hemp seeds are associated with marijuana, but they do not have the same psychotropic effects one experiences with marijuana. Hemp does contain a minuscule amount of naturally occurring THC; however when THC is not smoked, it has an impressive amount of benefits with barely any side effects. Simply put, you will not experience a high just by consuming these seeds. You will, however, reap a good deal of health benefits.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s check out this highly nutritious seed!
The Versatile Hemp Seed
Hemp seeds are the perfect blend of excellent flavor, texture and nutrition. They’re so good for you in several aspects, too, so you don’t have to feel guilty when eating them. These little seeds have a rich, nutty flavor, similar to hazelnuts or macadamia nuts. Their texture, however, is a bit on the softer side as compared to nuts. Hemp itself and hemp oil are useful for numerous products, as well. For example, hemp is used to make body care products, plastics, building materials, health foods, textiles and cleaning products.
Today, however, we’ll focus on what hemp seeds can do for your health. To learn about the health benefits of hemp seeds, read below.
Here are 7 benefits of hemp seeds:
1. Rich in GLA
Benefits of hemp seeds start with a good dose of GLA, or Gamma-Linolenic acid. This is a necessary building block for some prostaglandins, which are chemicals similar to hormones in the body that help with a variety of body functions. For example, GLA may help promote hormone health, and can help women who suffer from PMS symptoms. (1) But that’s not all that GLA can do!
Additionally, GLA, as well as foods rich in GLA, have been helpful for people with:
- Breast pain
- Diabetes and diabetic neuropathy
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Multiple sclerosis
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Skin allergies
2. Arthritis and Joint Pain
Many people suffer from arthritis or some form of joint pain. However, hemp seeds can help alleviate the pain associated with these conditions. Indeed, research shows that health benefits of hemp seeds extend to treating arthritis, as well. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology examined benefits of hemp seeds regarding arthritis, and found that hemp seed oil lowered the survival rate of MH7A rheumatoid arthritis cells. Furthermore, at certain doses, it promoted cell death, as well. (2)
To reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, take one tablespoon of hemp seed oil daily. Try taking it with an algal oil supplement, as well, as it’s rich in DHA.
3. Weight Loss
As it’s an appetite suppressant, benefits of hemp seeds include aiding in weight loss. In fact, experts recommend adding four tablespoons of hemp seeds to your breakfast. This will help curb excessive hunger throughout the rest of the day. (3) Furthermore, the rich, nutty taste of hemp seeds will help you feel like you’re not missing out on tasty treats. Hemp seeds are one of those food items that you can fully enjoy without worrying about whether or not it’s good for you.
4. Digestive Health
Benefits of hemp seeds extend to your digestive system, too! The fiber present in these seeds is both insoluble and soluble, providing you with plenty of bulk to keep your GI system in good working order. Furthermore, this kind of roughage feeds the probiotics in your gut, which contributes to good gut health.
Benefits of these tiny seeds also include relieving constipation. Researchers in a study conducted at the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that after an eight-week treatment of hemp seed pills, participants experienced relief of excessive constipation. (4)
5. Hair, Skin and Nails
What’s good on the inside…! Hemp seed benefits also extend to your hair, skin and nails. In fact, hemp oil is often included in lip balms, soaps and body lotions. The oil in hemp seeds can penetrate the inner layers of your skin, promoting healthy cell growth. Additionally, researchers discovered that hemp seed oil can help improve symptoms of eczema. (5)
Furthermore, this oil is also good for treating psoriasis. Consume at least a couple of tablespoons of the seeds every day to treat this and other skin conditions.
You can add hemp seeds to the list of powerful cancer-fighting foods. The British Journal of Cancer found that the THC in hemp seeds can stop and may even reverse a deadly form of brain cancer.
Because of its perfect fatty acid profile of omega-3 fats and GLA, hemp seed helps naturally balance inflammation levels and strengthen the immune system. (6)
And a study conducted by the journal Breast Cancer Research discovered that the THC in these seeds can improve advanced stage breast cancer. (7)
7. Heart Health
Benefits of hemp seeds also include promoting heart health. These seeds offer fiber, plant-based protein, healthy fats and a low amount of sugar. All of these components contribute to heart health. In fact, research dictates that these seeds can lower high blood pressure and improve the cardiovascular health in animals and humans. (8, 9)
Add two tablespoons of these seeds to a morning smoothie. This will help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol (LDL), raise good cholesterol (HDL) and improve triglycerides.
How to Enjoy Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds have a nutty, rich flavor and are soft in texture. If you’re getting ready to perform a detox diet, hemp seeds are a great way to incorporate healthy fatty acids into your routine. You can usually buy them in bulk from some grocery stores, or from health food markets. And there are numerous ways you can incorporate hemp seeds into your diet. You can make your own hemp seed milk, for example, right at home. This is often a better idea than buying it from the store, as more often than not, store-bought varieties are mostly water. Hemp seeds themselves are great sprinkled on salads. They’re perfect for sprucing up your leafy greens and other colorful vegetables! You can also use them to help thicken up and add a special taste to smoothies. For a fun new taste and texture, add hemp seeds to your granola or acai bowl. Yum!