This article was originally published in 2017 and is from the Total Holistic Center archive.
Let’s talk hemp seeds and hemp hearts.
The first time I was introduced to them, I was a bit skeptical. I didn’t know what they would taste like and had no clue what to do with them.
I first learned about their benefits about 7 years ago. Now in my household, we don’t go a day without using these powerful little seeds.
Many articles have been written on the benefits of hemp seeds that include and cite scientific studies, so I will not be redundant. Here is one of them. Some have even gone as far as calling hemp hearts the “next superfood”.
Superfood or not, here are four reasons why you should make these seeds an important addition to your menu (and why I personally use hemp seed products):
1. Weight Loss
Decreasing carbohydrate consumption and increasing healthy fat consumption may be key to healthy and sustainable weight loss.
Hemp seeds are high in healthy fatty acids such as Gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA) and Linolenic Acid, which help balance out Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio.
Healthy fats serve as a natural appetite suppressant. The addition of just a few tablespoons to your meals or shakes can help you feel fuller longer and reduce sugar cravings, as hemp seeds are jam-full of healthy fats.
In addition, hemp seeds have high amounts of dietary fiber, which also promotes satiety and in turn aids weight loss.
2. Digestive Health and Improved Immunity
Let’s just say that if you eat hemp seeds and you are generally healthy you should NOT have any problems with constipation.
They are high in insoluble and soluble fiber and provide enough bulk to keep you regular.
They also create a very favorable environment in your gut flora and encourage probiotic (beneficial bacteria) growth, which in turn improves your digestion and immune system. Win-win!
3. Source of Healthy Protein
Everyone talks about protein.
Protein shakes and powders are now super-popular and are a great way to replace meals for faster weight loss or improved athletic performance.
Not all protein sources are equally good though.
Hemp seeds are often called a “perfect protein”, as they contain all essential amino acids (which means it has all the essential building blocks of protein that are needed by the body to function well).
It is very important to consume healthy sources of protein daily to avoid muscle waste, which is natural as you get older. It’s also an important factor in improving muscle growth if you exercise.
4. Heart Health
High amounts of fiber, healthy sources of protein and fats, and eating less sugar is the recipe for a healthy heart. Hemp seeds provide all of these!
Some studies have shown that the addition of hemp seeds to the diet might help lower blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol and improve levels of triglycerides.
All that is not surprising, as the addition of healthy fats to the diet decreases appetite, increases energy levels, and reduces sugar cravings, all of which create a favorable environment for weight loss and more energy to encourage more movement and exercise.
The idea that eating fat will make us fat and is unhealthy is actually a myth. Healthy sources of fat are essential to our health.
In our society, it’s actually the refined carbohydrates that cause most trouble with inflammation, diabetes, and heart disease. Many Americans suffer from insulin resistance, and in that case, consuming refined carbohydrates is like pouring gasoline into the fire.
(There are exceptions; not everyone is insulin resistant and those people will benefit more from high carbohydrate all plant-based diet, but that’s a basis for another article)
Decreasing the refined carbohydrates and replacing them with healthy fats and protein sources in addition to low glycemic index healthy carbohydrates (like most vegetables and berries) is the way to go, in my opinion.
My Favorite Hemp Seed Products
I order these on subscribe and save from Amazon which so far I found is the most cost-effective source of these products. Sometimes I run out even before the month is over as we use them so much and in everything!
I put Hemp seeds into the morning shake for my hubby, into a rocket fuel latte for me, sprinkle them on salads, make homemade hemp milk (use stevia for a low carb version) for my little one and make Keto-friendly low carb desserts like this.
We pretty much only eat organic (and Kosher) in my household so Nutiva brand perfectly fulfills our needs.
2. We also use Nutiva Organic Hemp protein on the days when we need to up our protein intake. Hubby gets a scoop of this every day in his morning shake, I add this to a shake at the end of the day if I didn’t have an adequate protein intake throughout the day.
(I’m not a fan of whey protein due its potential to cause inflammation in the body, and not a fan of soy protein due to phytoestrogens, so this Nutiva hemp protein and Collagen Peptides (like this) are my main go-to protein powders)
Are you using Hemp Seeds in your diet? How do you consume them? What are your favorite recipes? Please share in the comments.
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