Why You Need More Hemp in Your Diet

Everyone has an opinion about what you need in your diet, and you already know you should drink more water and eat your leafy greens. But you may be missing out on the benefits of another green plant’s seeds—hemp.

People tend to ignore the benefits of hemp seeds because of the cultural stigma surrounding cannabis, despite the medical varieties of the plant. Hemp has been marginalized due to being categorized with marijuana, as it also contains a small portion of tetrahydrocannabinoids (THC). You’ll eat the hemp seeds (containing 1.5 percent of THC), not smoke them. There are no psychotropic reactions to hemp seeds, and their nutritional profile offers significant benefits for your health.

Hemp Crop Products Are Diverse

Hemp is one of the most industrially diverse, widely utilized crops in the world. Hemp’s fibers are some of the most durable natural fibers, and the plant can grow without the aid of pesticides or herbicides.

Many beneficial products are made from hemp. Hemp oil, made by pressing the seeds, is a popular form of the plant. It soothes pain and improves digestion, among other benefits. Other products made from hemp oil and hemp include:

  • Building materials
  • Textiles
  • Plastics
  • Cleaning products
  • Body care products
  • Health food

Hemp is a diverse crop used around the world to produce a wide variety of products and should not be confused with marijuana, though it comes from the same plant. In fact, there are more than 50,000 uses for hemp. You’ll find hemp in items you use every day—clothing, soap, lotion, and oil paint, just to name a few. It’s rich in GLA, which improves your skin, but it’s also a superfood you should include in your diet.

The Benefits of Hemp Seeds as Health Food

Hemp crop products may be used to build your home, clothe you, and more, but consuming hemp as a health food will also benefit you. On their own, hemp seeds are a powerful health food choice offering a significant health boost.

  1. Cancer

Hemp seeds will naturally lend strength to the immune system and balance out inflammation levels, due to its high levels of GLA and omega-3 fats. Medical journals have reported that hemp seeds have may be useful for treating cancer:

  1. Healthful Heart

Preserving or improving heart health through diet typically requires plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats—all of which consuming hemp seeds provides. Add two or three tablespoons of hemp seeds to your morning smoothie for a dose of these nutrients.

Research shows that hemp seeds can improve cardiovascular health by lowering your blood pressure, raising your HDL cholesterol, and reducing triglyceride levels.

  1. Skin, Hair, and Nails

Hemp oil is regularly used in high-end beauty products and commonly used in soaps, lotions, and lip balms. The oil improves red, dry, flaking skin as it penetrates layers of the skin to promote cell growth.

Research reveals that the fatty acids in hemp seed oil improve eczema, or atopic dermatitis, which causes dry, inflamed skin. It’s also beneficial for other skin disorders, such as psoriasis. Eat a few tablespoons of hemp seeds daily to gain these benefits. You could also make or purchase a skin cream containing the oil.

  1. Digestion

Fiber is essential for digestive health, and hemp seeds have more than enough to meet your daily needs. The roughage of the seeds fuels your gut’s probiotics to keep your immune system robust.

High fiber foods naturally relieve constipation. In one study, patients with constipation took hemp seed pills over an eight-week treatment and an additional eight-week follow-up period. The study found that hemp seeds were more effective than a placebo. It was found that 7.5 grams of hemp seeds was the most effective dose.

  1. Joint Pain and Arthritis

Consider using hemp seed oil or hemp seed to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. One study discovered treatment with hemp seed oil encouraged cell death at particular doses but overall reduced the survival rates of MH7A rheumatoid arthritis fibroblast-like synovial cells. To receive the full benefits, consume one tablespoon of the oil every day with a supplement of fish oil.

  1. Weight Loss

Hemp helps decrease sugar cravings and will help you feel fuller for longer. Add a few tablespoons of hemp seeds to breakfast items to maintain a healthy appetite, as its natural fiber content aids satiety to boost weight loss.

  1. GLA-Rich

GLA stands for gamma-linolenic acid—an essential building block of prostaglandins, which work similarly to hormones. They control inflammation, regulate body temperature, and smooth muscles. It also aids hormone health and helps reduce PMS symptoms. GLA-rich foods can also help with ADHD, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and skin allergies.

Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil provide many excellent health benefits. Hemp contains omega-3 fatty acids and is GLA-rich. It also functions as a perfect protein, since it contains all twenty amino acids, including those the body doesn’t produce.

Chances are you’ve already used a hemp product. So why not include the superfood hemp in your diet?

Image from iStock/rezkrr

Jennifer Landis

Jennifer Landis is a nutrition nut, fitness fanatic, and the blogger behind Mindfulness Mama. She loves yoga, running, and English Breakfast tea. Follow her on Twitter: @JenniferELandis

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