Hemp seeds contain complete protein. They are a highly digestible balance of all 20 known amino acids (both essential and non-essential) and in higher quantities than most other plant sources of protein. Hemp seeds are 33-35% protein. A mere 2 tablespoons of hemp seed contains approximately 11g of protein! Hemp seeds contain the globular plant proteins edestin (65-67%) and albumin (33-35%). Globular proteins are responsible for enzymatic functions in the blood plasma and for antibody formation, making them critical for strong immune function. Edestin is considered the most easily digestible protein and is very similar to protein in the human body. Albumin is another highly digestible and quality source of plant protein.
Hemp contains the highest known levels of edestin in the plant kingdom making it a superior source of protein. Hemp seed is also free of trypsin inhibitors and oligosaccharides, two factors that affect the absorption and digestibility of other plant sources of protein. Hemp seeds have a near perfect ratio of omega-3 (alpha- linolenic) to omega-6 (linoleic) essential fatty acids (EFAs). The ideal ratio is considered to be 4:1 (omega-6: o m e g a — 3) ; hemp seeds have a ratio of 3.38:1. These fatty acids are required by our body via our food; we cannot synthesize them our- selves, thus the term, “essential.” Most Americans consume far more omega-6 and not nearly enough omega-3; this imbalanced ratio seems to go hand in hand with the common degenerative diseases of today. EFAs have a critical role in growth and development, inflammation response, mood regulation, immune strength, cardiovascular and neurological health, cellular respiration and more. Hemp also contains the fatty acids gamma-linolenic acid (omega-9), stearidonic acid, and oleic acid.
The fat in hemp seed oil is 75-80% polyunsaturated fat (also known as EFAs) and less than 10% saturated fat. Hemp nuts contain approximately 44% fat. This overall fat percentage is lower than most nuts and carries with it the extremely desirable abundance of EFAs. Hemp seeds are a good source of iron and also contains significant levels of the antioxidant vitamin E. Hemp seeds and oil contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is nearly identical in molecular structure to our blood and is thus extremely beneficial to building the blood, nourishing, and detoxifying the body. While the quantity is not nearly as high as the chlorophyll content of other blatantly green foods, like wheatgrass or leafy greens, the more we can increase our intake of chlorophyll the better. Chlorophyll’s presence in the hemp nut is another testament to its amazingly balanced nature.
Hemp oil is unique in its culinary compatibility and flavor. It has a deliciously nutty and rich, yet delicate nature. Essential fatty acids are very susceptible to the effects of light, heat, and oxygen (as most plant foods are). This means that any hemp products (or any EFA rich food) should be stored in the refrigerator in sealed light-impermeable containers and not heated in any way. Some products recommend refrigeration only after opening. That is most likely fine; however shelf life is generally increased when these products are kept cooler. EFAs and proteins change drastically when they are heated and can transform the fats and proteins from being extremely healthful to extremely harmful. Any temperature over the enzyme threshold temperature of 115F will initiate these harmful changes.
This is the best form currently available to us and is the hemp seed nut in its most whole state. Hemp seeds are widely available in health food stores and co-ops, raw food product stores, and on the Internet. Sprinkle them on your salads, eat a handful alone, or blend them into a creamy sauce, smoothie, or soup. Keep in mind that blending causes rapid nutrient destruction and oxidation, so you won’t get as much from them by blending them as you would eating them whole. Without any sweetener, this milk makes a delicious base for a creamy dressing or soup. Consuming the most whole form of a food in order to benefit from the synergistic nutritional effect it has to offer, and to minimize nutritional losses and modifications caused by processing. This form comes most highly recommended.
This is the finely ground form of the hemp seed nut, similar in consistency to almond or peanut butter. lt has a green tinge to it due to its chlorophyll content. While nut butters are delicious with a consistency that makes them quite versatile and enjoyable, there is always the question of how hot did the commercial grinder get? Anyone who has attempted to make nut or seed butter in their own home, whether using a homogenizing juicer, food processor, or other equipment, knows that homemade nut and seed butters are never as oily and smooth as commercially made ones, unless you process the butter for lengthy periods of time until it gets quite hot.
There is no doubt that makers of “raw” nut and seed butters do not intentionally heat their product, the heavy and quick work of commercial grinders naturally generates a considerable amount of heat. That heat releases a lot of the oils causing a commercially ground nut or seed butter to seem much more creamy and oily than one made at home. What’s wrong with this deliciously creamy spread? Heat and oxidation can easily equal the damage of fats and proteins. There is no practical definitive way that we, as consumers, can tell how much damage was done in this process. If you aren’t going to make it yourself, look for the brand with the least amount of oily separation in the jar. This is not to say that all raw nut and seed butter are bad, just use caution and use whole hemp seed nuts as more of a staple, saving the nut butters for more recreational use. They too can be used in smoothies or dressings/sauces, and as a spread. Check ingredient labels; salt or other ingredients may be added.
HEMP SEED OIL
The oil from the hemp nut can be used in dressings / sauces, drizzled on your meal, in a smoothie, or ingested as a supplement. Again, the importance of cold-processing is extremely critical. This oil is always packaged in a dark, opaque bottle, and needs constant refrigeration. Like flax oil, it is highly perishable and should be purchased in small bottles so that it will not remain opened and unused in storage for a lengthy period of time. Never use hemp oil for cooking, as the healthy fats will be transformed into harmful fats. While this oil is certainly high quality, keep in mind that oils bring pure fat to the table and whether good or bad, too much causes distress in the body. The first choice is always the whole hemp seed nut because you get the whole balanced food and not just one aspect of it, in a less processed state. Use all oil sparingly and it can be a healthy addition to your daily intake.
HEMP PROTEIN POWDER
In a purely hemp form, this powder can be useful for boosting a blended mixture. Hemp protein powders may contain other ingredients, some of which are quite desirable, and others, such a sweeteners and flavorings, not so much. Look for cold-milled brands to ensure that processing has had minimal detrimental effect on the nutritional quality of the powder.
Hemp milk has recently become popular, but use caution as some products have sweeteners and stabilizers to make it shelf stable which would take it off the raw product list. You can make your own hemp milk by blending the seeds with three times as much water as nuts and then straining it (optional). Most people prefer to slightly sweeten their hemp milk by adding a few drops of stevia or other good sweeteners.
HEMP FLOUR & OTHER PRODUCTS
Most of these products do not have a place in a raw food diet. Hemp flour is usually incorporated into baked goods using flour and other processed ingredients.
One more bonus of consuming hemp seeds, they are relatively economical costing roughly the same price per pound as other popular organic seeds. Adding hemp to your diet is an investment in your health that is well worth making!
WHY IS HEMP FOOD GOOD FOR YOU?
BECAUSE OUR BODY HAS AN ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM!
The endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS), named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.
Cannabinoids and omega 3 are both missing key components in the signature American diet that helps with brain function. Dementia and Alzheimers Disease is on the rise in the US. Adding hemp to your diet will assist in obtaining a healthier lifestyle.