Hemp seeds are obtained from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. These small, brown seeds are edible and are highly nutritious and laden with potential health benefits.
They are rich in fiber, protein, and fatty acids. Hemp seeds have a mild nutty flavour. These seeds are also known as bhang key beej, hemp hearts, bitter root, or milkweed.
Nutritional value of Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are a rich source of proteins, fiber, and healthy fatty acids. It contains vitamins A, B, C, & E apart from minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, a 2 tablespoon of hemp seeds weighing 20 gm contain 111 calories, 6.31 gm of proteins, 1.73 gm of carbohydrates, 9.75 gm of fat, 1.59 mg of iron, 14 mg of calcium, 240 mg of potassium, 140 mg of magnesium, 330 mg of phosphorus, 1.98 mg of zinc, and 22 mcg of folate.
Potential Health Benefits of hemp seeds…
Boosts heart health
1. The amino acid, arginine present in hemp seeds leads to the production of nitric acid which dilates and relaxes the blood vessels, causing decreased blood pressure and reduces the risk to heart diseases.
2. The gamma-linolenic acid present in hemp seeds reduces the inflammation, which lowers the risk of heart diseases caused by inflammation.
3. Hemp seeds lower the risk of blood clot formation, decrease blood pressure, and help the heart to recover post-heart attack.
4. The essential fatty acids found in hemp seeds decrease the cholesterol levels, preventing heart diseases.
5. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids present in hemp seeds contribute towards the prevention and reduction of cardiovascular diseases.
Aids healthy digestion
1. The soluble fiber from the hemp seeds adds bulk to the stools thus, ensuring smooth digestion.
2. The soluble and insoluble fiber in hemp seeds helps in the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut which enables healthy digestion.
Promotes weight loss
1. The Gamma-linolenic acid present in hemp seeds decreases sugar cravings and suppresses appetite thus, promoting weight loss. This acid also prevents the regaining of weight.
2. The dietary fats and fiber content of hemp seeds help feel fuller for longer periods thus, suppressing appetite.
Prevents and treats diabetes
1. Hemp seeds provide a good amount of magnesium which maintains healthy blood sugar levels. Magnesium breaks down the sugars and helps decrease the risk of insulin resistance.
2. Hemp seeds are rich in fatty acids that have a high potential in treating and preventing diabetes.
Hemp seeds ‘‘Bhang key Beej’’ contains antioxidants which have neuro-protective, anti-inflammatory and Immunity boosting properties. In India, growing hemp is legal in the states of Uttarakhand, UP and Himachal Pradesh, but under legal guidelines.
Other possible Benefits…
Hemp seeds produce numerous health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as builds stronger bones,improves cognitive function, reduces symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause, reduces inflammation, improves skin conditions, relieves rheumatoid arthritis.
Also helps build muscle mass, boosts energy, promotes good quality sleep, boosts the immune system, eases arthritic pain, prevents perinatal depression and preterm delivery, promotes easier birth, and enhances hair growth.
How to incorporate Hemp seeds in the Diet?
Hemp seeds can be consumed raw, roasted, or cooked with other foods. They can be utilised in a range of dishes, from sweet to savoury. They offer a little crunch and a nutty flavour. They can be added to our diet in a variety of ways, some of them are as follows…
- As a snack.
- To make flour.
- Added to pesto.
- Used on yogurt.
- Eaten as popcorn.
- To make hemp milk.
- To make a pie crust.
- Used as a condiment.
- Sprinkled over salads.
- Used as a cooking oil.
- Added to baked goods.
- Topped over the smoothie.
- Used on oatmeal or cereal.
- To make vegan protein powder.
- Used for salad dressings and sauces.
- Use to coat fish or chicken before baking.
- Used in meal bars or granola bars.
How to prepare Mango Banana Breakfast Smoothie?
Take 1 medium banana. Cut it into chunks and freeze it for approximately 6 hours or overnight.
Take the frozen banana, 1 cup frozen mango cubes, 1 cup low-fat milk, 1 tablespoon hemp seeds, 1 tablespoon oat bran and ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, and put it in a blender.
Blend the ingredients until smooth.
Garnish it with hemp seeds.