Hemp seeds are the seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa.
Hemp seeds are exceptionally nutritious and rich in healthy fats, protein and various minerals.
Here are 5 health benefits of hemp seeds that are backed up by science.
1.Hemp Seeds May Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. Interestingly, eating hemp seeds may reduce your risk of heart disease.
The seeds contain high amounts of the amino acid arginine, which produces nitric oxide in your body.
Nitric oxide is a gas molecule that makes your blood vessels dilate and relax, leading to lowered blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease.
The gamma-linolenic acid found in hemp seeds has also been linked to reduced inflammation, which may decrease your risk of diseases like heart disease.
2.Hemp Seeds and Oil May Benefit Skin Disorders
Fatty acids may affect immune responses in your body. Studies suggest that your immune system depends on the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Hemp seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. They have about a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which is considered in the optimal range.
Studies have shown that giving hemp seed oil to people with eczema may improve blood levels of essential fatty acids.
The oil may also relieve dry skin, improve itchiness and reduce the need for skin medication.
3.Hemp Seeds Are a Great Source of Plant-Based Protein.
About 25% of calories in hemp seeds come from protein, which is relatively high.
In fact, by weight, hemp seeds provide similar amounts of protein as beef and lamb — 30 grams of hemp seeds, or 2–3 tablespoons, provide about 11 grams of protein.
They are considered a complete protein source, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids. Your body cannot produce essential amino acids and must obtain them from your diet.
Complete protein sources are very rare in the plant kingdom, as plants often lack the amino acid lysine. Quinoa is another example of a complete, plant-based protein source.
4.Whole Hemp Seeds May Aid Digestion
Fiber is an essential part of your diet and linked to better digestive health.
Whole hemp seeds are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, containing 20% and 80%, respectively.
Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in your gut. It’s a valuable source of nutrients for beneficial digestive bacteria and may also reduce spikes in blood sugar and regulate cholesterol levels.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and may help food and waste pass through your gut. It has also been linked to a reduced risk of diabetes.
5.Hemp Seeds May Reduce Symptoms of PMS and Menopause
Up to 80% of women of reproductive age may suffer from physical or emotional symptoms caused by premenstrual syndrome. These symptoms are very likely caused by sensitivity to the hormone prolactin.
Gamma-linolenic acid, found in hemp seeds, produces prostaglandin E1, which reduces the effects of prolactin.