What you need to know about hemp
There’s been a lot of buzz around hemp products recently, and we’re excited to have added all sorts of hemp seeds, snacks and powders to our shelves in store. Holistic Nutritionist Natalie Brady shares the nutritional benefits of Hemp to shed some light on why you might want to add these nutrient rich seeds to your next shopping basket.
I am so excited that hemp seed foods have finally been permitted for sale in New Zealand so we can all enjoy all of the wonderful benefits of hemp. Many people are still confused about hemp foods because of hemps relationship to marijuana, however, despite what some may think, hemp seed products do not get you high. Hemp seeds do not contain enough TCH (<.35%) to produce psychoactive effects.
What is hemp?
Hemp seeds are the seeds of the hemp plant, or Cannabis sativa.
Why should you incorporate hemp products into your diet?
Hemp seeds are a complete protein source
Hemp seeds are a fantastic source of plant-based protein because they contain all of the amino acids. This makes it easier for our body to convert this fuel into whatever type of protein it needs, whether that is for producing enzymes, antibodies, insulin or collagen, to name just a few. Protein also helps to keep us satiated as it helps to elongate blood sugar levels, which is important for helping to reduce fatigue and cravings. Just two tablespoons of hemp seeds contain 11g of protein.
Hemp seeds are loaded with essential fatty acids
Hemp seeds are a rich source of two essential fatty acids (EFA’s), omega 3 and omega 6, and they contain the ideal ratio of these for our bodies. The body isn’t able to synthesize these fatty acids on its own, so the more they can be introduced through diet, the better. Essential fatty acids are important for brain health, memory, balanced moods, hormonal health, and support the structure and function of cells.
They are a good source of minerals and fibre
Hemp seeds are a very good source of magnesium with two tablespoons containing 192mg. They are also a good source of zinc and iron. These minerals are important for our overall health and wellness. Dietary fibre is another health benefit of hemp seeds, which is important for healthy digestion, lower cholesterol, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
They have a pleasant taste
Hemps seeds have a slightly sweet and nutty taste. They make a perfect “superfood” because of their nutrient density. You can enjoy hemp seeds, hemp protein or hemp oil blended into a smoothie or baking, or serve a the seeds or oils on top of porridge, salad, granola and muesli.
Nutrient Breakdown of Hemp Seeds (shelled):
*per 30g, 2 tablespoons
Healthy Fats: 13.5g of fat
Magnesium: 192mg – 48% DV
Zinc: 3.5mg - 23% DV
Iron: 2.9mg - 16% DV
Written by Natalie Brady, Holistic Nutritionist.
Ministry of Health. Hemp seed as food. 2019. Available from https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/regulation-health-and-disability-system/medicines-control/industrial-hemp-0/hemp-seed-food
Nutrition Data. Hemp seeds. 2019. Available from. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/629104/2
Callaway, J.C. Euphytica. Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview. (2004). 140: 65. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10681-004-4811-6