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Health Benefits of Hemp


In November 2017 we finally saw the legalisation of hemp for food consumption. This is really ironic because people have been consuming it for well, a long time. When we refer to hemp it is the seeds and oil from the cannabis plant. It does not contain any THC the active component of cannabis that gives it a “high”. Previously hemp seeds, oil and protein were sold with a warning that they were not for food consumption and were to be used for external use only. Apparently, hemp seeds make a wonderful body scrub. I have been selling and recommending people to use hemp for years now, and I don’t think one person used it to exfoliate their skin.

Health Benefits of Hemp

Hemp has some valuable nutritional properties. Hemp is a good source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Hemp is also a good plant based protein. For those people who are following a vegan diet is a worthy inclusion.

Hemp seeds and oil have been associated in supporting a myriad of health conditions everything from epilepsy, cancer to arthritis. Research shows that hemp (Cannabis Satvia) has the ability to reduce oxidative stress associated with various conditions. Hemp protein is well tolerated and in conditions associated with cancer treatment, inflammatory bowel disease and Autism Spectrum Disorder, hemp. Hemp has been researched to benefit cardiovascular disease. Reducing cholesterol, hypertension, atherosclerosis and reducing the incidence of blood clots.

Hemp is a worthy consideration for those individuals who are trying to improve their cardiovascular health with dietary measures. The benefits to the cardiovascular lie in the omega 3 and Linoleic Acid content of hemp. Hemp is also a rich source of potassium and magnesium which also benefit hypo tension and cardiac muscle contractions.

When individuals are attempting to reduce their cholesterol or blood pressure they often cut back on their protein and fats. This has side effects including fatigue, sarcopenia (loss of muscle), poor skin and hair quality. Including a plant based protein such as hemp may reduce these side effects.

Hydrolysed hemp protein is a great alternative for those people who cannot tolerate whey proteins and are looking for an alternative to rice and pea proteins.

Tips on how to use hemp in your diet:

  • Sprinkle seeds over salads

  • Add to smoothies and juices. You could use either the seeds, oil or protein depending on your preference.

  • Use hemp oil on raw vegetables and salads

  • Try making hemp protein balls

  • Add a table spoon to oats or Bircher muesli

  • Using a food processor make a hemp and cashew spread.

I recommend keeping hemp in the fridge as the high fat content could make them susceptible to rancidity.

Chocolate Hemp Cups

Of course, you can get Reese’s Peanut butter cups anywhere, but why be ordinary? This recipe adapts the idea of the peanut butter cup, instead of being laden with sugar it is full of nutrient dense ingredients that provide an abundance of essential fats, vitamin E, protein and polyphenols.

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 cup of hemp seeds

  • ½ cup of pistachio kernels

  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste

  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin coconut oil

For the chocolate:

  • 1 cup of raw cocoa powder

  • ½ cup of extra virgin coconut oil

  • ½ cup of cocoa butter

  • ¼ cup of maple syrup

  • Tiny pinch of sea salt

Directions:

To make the filling combine hemp seeds, pistachio kernels, raw honey, vanilla paste and coconut oil in a food processor. Process until ingredients resemble a thick paste.

To make the chocolate, put cocoa butter, coconut oil and maple syrup in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Once cocoa butter and coconut oil have melted completely add raw cocoa and salt and mix until smooth.

Using mini cupcake cases pour a small amount of chocolate into the cases. Put them in the freezer until firm. Place a small amount of the paste on top of the chocolate then pour more chocolate mixture to enclose the cups.

Tip:

You may have too much filling, if so you can make them into hemp Bliss Balls. Simply roll the remaining mixture into either raw cocoa powder or fine coconut. Totally delicious and so easy.

References:

  • Rodriguez-Leyva, D., & Pierce, G. N. (2010). The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed. Nutrition & Metabolism, 7, 32. http://doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-7-32

  • Abraham T. Girgih 1, Adeola M. Alashi 1,2, Rong He 1,3, Sunday A. Malomo 1, Pema Raj 4,5, Thomas Netticadan 4,5 and Rotimi E. Aluko 1,*A Novel Hemp Seed Meal Protein Hydrolysate Reduces Oxidative Stress Factors in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats

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