From improving cardiovascular health, easing the joint pain to help with digestion, hemp seeds provide a broad spectrum of health benefits.
Hemp seeds are counted among the most nutritious seeds in the world. After all, they benefit heart, digestive system, brain and skin. Hemp seeds have the concentrated balance of essential fats, vitamins, enzymes and proteins, making them good for overall health.
Besides, hemp seeds are one of the rare plants in the world to contain a sufficient amount of gamma-linolenicacid or GLA, which is effective in suppression of many diseases. They are particularly suitable for those who have food allergies, digestion problems, stomach sensitivity and pesticides sensitivity (as hemp is grown with little to no pesticide. And consuming hemp seeds won’t get you high.
It is true that hemp seeds or hemp hearts are obtained from hemp plant or Cannabis sativa that is a part of the marijuana family. However, it contains a trace amount of THC, the active chemical in marijuana, so it won’t get you high. Another reason is that hemp plants and marijuana plants are cultivated differently, although they belong to the same species. Hemp plants are cultivated for their seeds and fiber while marijuana plants are grown for THC.
Hemp seeds are safe and healthy to eat. They are basically the fruit or nut of the plant and look like a small crunchy seed. The husk is removed with a mechanical process, leaving with them a white, soft and creamy substance. Now that you are familiar with hemp seeds, let’s take a look at what advantages hemp seeds can deliver.
Here is an overview of the top 11 health benefits of hemp seeds:
1. Containing Essential Nutrients:
Hemp seeds are packed with essential nutrients that are great for overall health.
- Vitamin A – Good for eye, hair, skin and immune function
- Vitamin B1 – Great for nervous system and brain development
- Vitamin B2 – Improves eyes and skin
- Vitamin B3 – Good for digestion
- Vitamin B5 – Supports liver in metabolizing toxins
- Vitamin B6 – Helps form red blood cells
- Vitamin D – Makes bones stronger and helps utilize calcium
- Vitamin E – Increase metabolism and supports hair, nail, and skin health
- Calcium – Promotes healthy bone development
- Iron – Helps the blood carry oxygen
- Magnesium – Good for muscles function, plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism
- Manganese – Increase healthy sugar metabolism, antioxidant properties
- Phosphorus – Keeps acid/base in balance in the body, helps build bones
- Potassium – Keep sodium in balance, helps regulate fluids in the body
- Zinc – Improve nerve and muscle function, keeps copper in balance
2. Supporting Cardiovascular Health:
Several studies have proved that how hemp seeds benefit cardiovascular health. According to one study, hemp seed contains essential fatty acids that control blood circulation and minimize inflammation.
The protein found in the seeds can effectively minimize plaque buildup in arteries preventing the risks associated with various heart conditions like stroke and cardiac arrest.
Another study suggests that hemp seeds can improve cardiovascular health and high blood pressure. The gamma-linolenic acid found in hemp seeds has also been associated with reduced inflammation, which may minimize the risk of heart disease.
3. Helping Prevent Cancer:
Hemp seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fats and GLA, which naturally balance inflammation and supports the immune system as well.
The British Journal of Cancer opines that the THC in hemp seeds can reduce the risk of glioblastomamultiforme, a form of brain cancer. The same THC is found to be effective in the prevention of advanced stage breast cancer by Breastcancer.org.
A team of researchers from the University of Rostock, Germany discovered that cannabinoids in hemp seeds can thwart cancer growth and metastasis.
So, on the basis of these studies, it is proved that hemp seeds can be some of the best cancer fighting supplements available.
4. Being Good for Brain:
Did you know hemp seeds are considered brain food? The reason is pretty simple—they stabilize the mood; minimize anxiety and improve memory.
Cannabinoids found in hemp seed oil mimics major receptors in the brain. And studies have proved this can minimize anxiety and depression. The oil is also high on anti-depressant effects, according to a Brazilian study.
Also the findings suggests that Δ9-THCA can potentially protect brain cells from degenerative diseases.
The seeds also deliver essential nutrients to the brain. For example, hemp seeds contain magnesium which helps support neurotransmitter functions in the body, thereby reducing anxiety and stress. They also contain amino acids which keep your mind stable and calm. Finally, hemp seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids which support your hormones and brain.
5. Being a Great Source of Plant-Based Protein:
Protein makes up the 25% of total calories coming from hemp seeds. 30 grams of hemp seeds contain nearly 11 grams of protein. The seeds are considered a complete source of protein, which means they deliver all the essential amino acids.
Remember, essential amino acids are not produced in the body and need to be taken from the diet. And there are a few plants with complete protein sources. Hemp seeds are high on the amino acids methionine and cysteine. They also contain arginine and glutamic acids.
As an added bonus, hemp proteins are easier to digest than protein from grains, nuts and legumes.
6. Easing the Symptoms of PMS and Menopause:
Nearly 80% of women have physical or emotional symptoms caused by PMS in their reproductive age. These signs are majorly due to the hormone prolactin. Here hemp seeds can help as they contain Gamma linoleic acid or GLA that releases prostaglandin E1 that minimizes prolactin.
In one study, several women reported having less PMS after taking 210 mg of GLA per day. Other studies have proved that primrose oil, which contains GMA, may be highly effective in minimizing signs for women for who other PMS therapies didn’t work.
It is also effective in breast pain, depression, irritability and fluid retention caused by PMS.
Given that hemp seeds are rich in GLA, several studies have established that hemp seeds can minimize menopause symptoms. Although it’s still not clear how it works, it has been assumed that the GLA in hemp seeds may regulate the hormone imbalances and inflammation caused by menopause.
7. Improving Digestion:
Talking about soluble fiber, it forms a gel-like substance in the gut. It promotes digestive bacteria in the GI tract and minimizes spikes and blood sugar.
Insoluble fiber helps your body pass food and waste pass through the gut. Plus, the consumption of insoluble fiber can lower the risk of diabetes.
8. Healing Various Skin Conditions:
According to one report, hemp seed oil can be a potential treatment for eczema. Thanks to its essential fatty acids that act as an internal moisturizer, which help ease the symptoms of eczema.
Using the oil several times a day can be beneficial. For dermatitis, the oil should be used every day for 20 weeks.
The oil can help relieve shingles, which is a type of rash. Hemp oil eases the inflammation and even protects the nerve cells that are usually affected in this condition.
The consumption of hemp seed oil can suppress the pain. (Note: consult your physician as each case of shingles can be unique.)
Hemp seed oil is also useful in preventing sunburns. It contains SPF of 6, and this should be great for most people with mild sunburns. Zinc oxide can be added to the oil to enhance its SPF effect.
9. Supporting Hair Growth:
Hemp seed oil contains lipids that boost moisture and shine of the hair. It is effective for fragile strands and helps make hair thicker.
The oil boosts new hair growth as it promotes blood circulation to the scalp.
The oil also minimizes scalp problems like dryness, dandruff and itchiness. Plus, it can be a potent remedy for scalp psoriasis.
10. Aid in Weight Loss:
Hemp is a natural “weight loss” pill for many reasons. First of all, it suppresses appetite and helps you feel full and minimizes sugar cravings. Taking four tbsp. of seeds to your breakfast will suppress hunger pangs the entire day. This may be because of the fiber in hemp seeds, which enhance satiety and in turn helps losing the pounds.
11. Easing Arthritis and Joint Pain:
Hemp seeds can be useful in easing rheumatoid arthritis signs, according to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. The study was conducted to analyze the effect of hemp seed oil in arthritis.
The researchers found that hemp seed oil can reduce rheumatoid cells. They accepted the anti-arthritic effects in hemp seed oil.
A 2011 study found that CBD found in hemp oil can reduce inflammatory pain in rats by slowing down the pain receptors. According to a 2016 study, topical application of hemp seed oil can relieve pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.
How to Use Hemp Seeds?
From topical application to sprinkling over your recipes, there are many ways to get health benefits from hemp seeds.
- Add them to your homemade bars.
- Sprinkle over your salad and smoothies.
- Make hemp seed milk by adding hemp seeds, water and salt to a high speed blender. Blend for 1 minute or until the mixture seems well combined.
- Hemp oil is another great way to use hemp seeds. It can be used for massaging and soothing pain in arthritis or joints. Put two cups of dry, fresh hemp seeds in the hopper. Make sure to place the small container under the press to collect the oil. Crank the handle or turn the motor to operate the machine. Check the oil container and replace it with another once it fills up.
- You can enjoy toasted hemp seeds like popcorn.
- Replace breadcrumbs with hemp to coat fish or chicken.
So this is how hemp seeds can benefit your overall health.
They have wonderful properties that can be useful in easing the symptoms of arthritis, joint pain, depression, heart and digestive health.
However, there are some precautions associated with the consumption of hemp seeds. They are safe when consumed in moderation.
If you have a sensitive digestive system, you should start by eating a small amount like 1 tbsp. If you are taking anticoagulant medication, consult your doctor before consuming a large amount of hemp seed.
Don’t overcook them as they can release harmful noxious peroxides.
Hemp seeds have many benefits as long as you are using them in safe quantity, and that’s too with precautions.