Superfood: Hemp Seeds

by Lauren on October 20, 2011

hemp hearts

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John and I were at the St. Lawrence Market this past Saturday picking up some wild salmon for dinner, a yummy cheese to pair with Pinot Noir, and some chia seeds (we seem to be going through a lot of these little suckers lately).

When we were scooping out our chia seeds, a customer came by and told us to try a sample of the “super food” that keeps him looking so young. This guy did look great for his age, so we agreed. We were given a sample of raw hemp seeds, and they were surprisingly good! They taste nutty and have a creamy texture. I did some research on the nutritional benefits of this little seed (as of recently, my only knowledge of hemp came from my high school hippy days when I used the string to make necklaces & bracelets), and I was pleasantly surprised with what I found.

Here are the health benefits of hemp seeds:

-Very high in EFAs (essential fatty acids) such as: Omega-3 & Omega-6, which are super vitamins that keep your brain sharp, are good for your skin, circulation and can help prevent heart disease

-Flax seeds, chia seeds & walnuts are all good sources of Omega-3, but hemp seeds are EVEN BETTER

-1 tbsp of hemp oil provides you with your daily requirement of EFAs (15 ml) and does not throw off the delicate balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6, which should ideally be a 1:1 ratio

-Hemp seeds are high in protein and are actually a complete protein source. This is rare as most vegetarian protein sources must be paired with a whole grain to become complete (ex. Beans with brown rice = complete protein). Another complete vegetarian protein is soy

Gluten free (safe for those with celiac disease)

High in fiber

-A great source of healthy minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese

-An antioxidant (helps protect you from free radicals that can damage your cells & skin a.k.a helps prevent premature signs of aging)

-There are no known food allergies to hemp seeds

These little seeds taste great so you can easily eat them raw. 2 tbsp is 90 calories and contains 2g of fiber & 5g of protein. Add them to your cereal, oatmeal, salads, smoothies or eat them straight up!

Sources: Wikipedia & Manitoba Harvest (read Mike’s Story!)

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