7 Proven Health Benefits of Hemp Seed + 5 Recipes
Hemp seed is a superfood that is often used as a high-quality and vegetable protein source.
Besides that hemp seed is a good source of essential proteins, hemp seed has many health benefits.
What you will learn in this article:
- What are the 7 proven health benefits of hemp seed
- Whether you get high when you eat a lot of hemp seed
- Whether there are healthy fatty acids in hemp seed
- How to make hemp milk
- How much hemp seed you can eat per day
At the bottom of this article, I conclude with 5 delicious hemp seed recipes that you can use immediately.
What is hemp seed?
Hemp seed is the seed of the hemp plant. Technically, hemp seed is a nut variety and it also has a mild nutty taste.
Hemp seed is used to extrude hemp oil, and the pulp that remains behind it is touched by proteins. This pulp is the basis for hemp protein powder.
In addition to hemp seed, the hemp oil is also sold as a superfood in the hemp protein powder.
Hemp oil is rich in essential fatty acids and hemp protein powder is rich in essential amino acids.
High from hemp seed?
Let me start by removing your possible concerns about the consumption of hemp seed as a superfood. If you use hemp seed
then you do not have to worry that you are not going through a drug test or that you can not drive your car properly.
Hemp seed contains only minute traces of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana). The concentration of THC in hemp seed is so low that eating normal amounts of hemp seed will have no effect (source, source).
In both Canada and the United States, hemp seed has been permitted to be sold for consumption only for about 10 years. Hemp seed was not allowed for this because of the strict legislation regarding stimulants.
Nutritional value hemp seed
The nutritional values of (peeled) hemp seed differ per brand but are reasonably close together.
Below we give you the nutritional value of AH hemp seed.
Hemp seed contains many vitamins and minerals. What these are you can not tell from the packaging of hemp seed. I did some research for this. I come to the following average values per 100 grams of peeled hemp seeds:
Mineralen Per 100 grams of hemp seed
Calcium 145 mg
Iron 14 mg
Magnesium 483 mg
Phosphorus 1160 mg
Potassium 860 mg
Zinc 7 mg
Vitamins Per 100 grams of hemp seed
Vitamin A 3800 IU*
Vitamin B1 0.4 mg
Vitamin B2 0.11 mg
Vitamin B3 2.8 mag
Vitamin B6 0.12 mg
Vitamin D 22.77.5 IU*
Vitamin E 90 mg
* IU stands for International Unit. 400 IU = 10 micrograms (0.01 milligrams)
Health benefits hemp seed
All health benefits of hemp seed I have collected for you in the infographic below which I have made.
Under the infographic, I go deeper into the health benefits.
Health benefit # 1: a vegetable source of essential proteins
Hemp seed is considered a complete protein source because it supplies all essential amino acids.
What makes hemp seed so special is that it is one of the few plant sources of all essential amino acids.
Essential amino acids are amino acids that the body can not make itself from other amino acids and therefore must be obtained via the diet.
Hemp seed ideal for vegetarians and vegans
Hemp seed is an important food supplement for vegetarians, vegans and anyone who wants to eat less meat.
Absorbed by the body
Hemp proteins are also better to digest than proteins from other vegetable sources such as nuts, grains and legumes (source).
The amino acids in hemp seed
The following amino acids are contained in 100 grams of hemp seed:
Amino acid Per 100 grams of hemp seed
Alanine 1.28 grams
Arginine 3.10 grams
Asparaginic acid 2.78 grams
Cysteine 0.41 grams
Phenylalanine 4.57 grams
Glutamine 1.14 grams
Histidine 0.71 grams
Isoleucine 0.98 grams
Leucine 1.72 grams
Lysine 1.03 grams
Methionine 0.58 grams
Phenylalanine 1.17 grams
Proline 1.15 grams
Serine 1.17 grams
Threonine 0.88 grams
Tryptophan 0.20 grams
Tyrosine 0.86 grams
Valine 1.28 grams
Other protein sources which can be considered complete have an animal origin such as meat or chicken. Hemp seed and quinoa are the only vegetable foods whose proteins may be considered complete.
Recommendation of vegetable protein sources
Although sufficient protein is included in our Western diet, health organizations (source) are increasingly making recommendations to (partially) replace animal protein sources with plant protein sources.
Hemp seed is very suitable for this. Hemp seeds can easily be sprinkled over the salad or mixed in the yogurt or in a green smoothie.
Hemp seed contains a very high protein content as a vegetable protein source, so only soybeans contain more proteins. However, the hemp seed proteins are better absorbed than the proteins from soybeans.
Hemp seeds contain 31 grams of protein per 100 grams.
The role of proteins for our health
Proteins are the building blocks of our muscle and body cells and play an important role in muscle recovery, muscle building, our overall resistance to pathogens and our hormone regulation.
In many cultures, hemp seed has been an important food source for thousands of years. Nevertheless, in recent years, serious research has been conducted into the nutritional value and potency of hemp seed as a dietary supplement.
The composition of hemp seed
Hemp seed consists for 30% of fatty acids and 25% of proteins. In addition, it consists of dietary fiber, carbohydrates (3%), moisture, vitamins and minerals. Especially for the composition of the fatty acids, one is very enthusiastic about hemp seed as a superfood.
Essential fatty acids
Hemp seed contains two essential fatty acids in large quantities. These are linolenic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid).
The beauty of hemp seed is that omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids are present in a healthy 3-1 ratio (source).
Hemp seed consists of 30% fatty acids and in addition to the aforementioned fatty acids gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Under the influence of vitamins B3, B6 and C, GLA is converted by the body into prostaglandins 1 and 3. This acts as an anti-inflammatory, lowers blood pressure and has a vasodilating effect. The production of cholesterol is also inhibited (source).
All fatty acids in hemp seed
Below you will find an overview of all fatty acids contained in hemp seed:
- 56% linolenic acid (omega 6)
- 22% alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3)
- 9% oleic acid (unsaturated fatty acid)
- 5% Palmitic acid (saturated fatty acid)
- 5% Gamma-linolenic acid (an unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid)
- 2% stearic acid (saturated fatty acid)
Health benefit # 3: healthy hormone balance
The gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in hemp seed has a hormone regulating effect on the thyroid gland and pancreas. It can reduce the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, including symptoms associated with menopause and PMS. These are mood swings, depressive symptoms and fatigue complaints (source).
This study in which the improvement of the menopause complaints was demonstrated has also been performed on rats.
Evening primrose oil, GLA and PMS
Other research (source) in which women received evening primrose oil showed that the symptoms associated with PMS were reduced. Evening primrose oil, like hemp seed, contains a high concentration of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
GLA and weight gain
GLA also regulates the hormones involved in the hunger and weight gain such as insulin. There is no scientific evidence, however, that hemp seed helps to lose weight or stay on weight.
Hemp seed is a good source of dietary fiber. Hemp seed contains both insoluble and soluble dietary fiber in a ratio of 4: 1.
Insoluble dietary fibers in hemp seed are important for proper bowel movements and prevent diarrhea and constipation (source).
The soluble dietary fibers ensure a delayed absorption of glucose and thus prevent peaks in the blood sugar level (source). Preventing peaks in blood sugar levels means that the body does not have to make less insulin. What is important in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and in maintaining a healthy weight.
Health benefit # 5: a good night’s sleep
As you probably already noticed with the nutritional value of hemp seed, hemp seed is especially rich in minerals such as magnesium. Magnesium is closely involved in the production of hormones that are involved in our sleep rhythm (source).
Under the influence of magnesium, the body can release serotonin which is converted into melatonin in the brain. Melatonin plays an important role in our sleep rhythm and is often the key to a healthy night’s sleep and the remission of insomnia.
Health benefit # 6: reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
Nitrous oxide ensures that the blood vessels relax and widen. This reduces the blood pressure and thus reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (source, source). In hemp seeds, there is a high concentration of the amino acid arginine of which the body can produce nitric oxide.
Anti-inflammatory effect of GLA
As discussed earlier, hemp seed is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is associated with an anti-inflammatory effect. An anti-inflammatory effect is important in the fight against cardiovascular diseases (source).
Prevent blood clotting
A study from 2007 showed that hemp seed can prevent blood clotting and thus helps against thrombosis, strokes and heart attacks.
Health benefit # 7: good for the skin
In people with eczema, the consumption of hemp seed turned out to improve the blood levels of essential fatty acids (source). Fatty acids play an important role in the immune reactions of the body and are therefore important for people with eczema (source) or other skin complaints such as dry or irritated skin (source).
Partly thanks to the healthy ratio of 3: 1 between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, the consumption of hemp seed can have a beneficial effect on the skin.
Other health benefits hemp seed
Hemp seed consists of many different minerals, vitamins, fatty acids and amino acids. By listing the health benefits for each mineral, vitamin, fatty acid or amino acid you get an almost infinite list of health benefits.
For example, hemp seed is good for the memory, because of the omega 3 fatty acids and helps hemp seeds in getting lower cholesterol.
In this article, I have limited myself to the health benefits that make hemp seed fairly unique and therefore this list of health benefits is not ‘complete’.
If you miss an important and proven health benefit of hemp seed then let us know in the comments.
On some websites you can read that hemp seed (or cannabis) can prevent cancer, helps with psychoses and MS. There are indeed indications that cannabis can indeed be a preventive agent for these diseases. However, there is still insufficient scientific evidence and research to be sure.
So far, only the effect in mice has the effect of phytocannabinoids on cancer cells scientifically established (source).
Does hemp seed help with weight control?
Hemp seed is also touted as a dietary supplement for weight loss.
However, scientific evidence that you have fallen from hemp seed is nowhere to be found (if you do, please share it in the comments below).
The beneficial effect on your hormone regulation
The fact is that the fatty acids in hemp seed support a good hormone balance. For example, the fatty acids in hemp seed are involved in insulin management. A healthy hormone system is an important condition for losing weight (fat burning).
Longer saturated with proteins
Another fact is that hemp seed is rich in proteins. Proteins can support you during weight loss. Proteins ensure that you have a satisfied feeling for a longer time after the meal so that you do not get too fast in between snacks.
Longer saturated with fibers
Hemp seed is also rich in dietary fiber, these also have the effect that you feel satisfied longer after the meal.
All in all, hemp seed has a number of good qualities that can support you in losing weight. On the other hand, hemp seeds with 625 kcal per 100 grams are very high in calories.
Hemp seed could support
If you want to lose weight, there are also enough other foods to find with equivalent supporting properties.
In my opinion, hemp seed can support you during weight loss if the hemp seed is part of a balanced diet.
Hazards or side effects of hemp seed
The contact of hemp seed with the hemp plant can leave traces of THC on the hemp seed. In rare cases, people may feel ‘high’ due to the consumption of hemp seed. However, this can not hurt and is at best an uncomfortable feeling if you do not expect it.
How much hemp seed a day?
For people with sensitive intestines, it is recommended to slowly build up with the use of hemp seed. Start the first day with just 1 teaspoon to see how your intestines respond.
Be careful with hypersensitivity to THC
Also for people who are hypersensitive to THC (the substance in marijuana of which you become stoned or high) is recommended to start with a low dose of hemp seed. The amount of THC in hemp seed is indeed very low but can vary per brand, manufacturer or harvest.
The hemp seeds may also have been in contact with the hemp plant so that traces of THC may have remained on the hemp seeds.
Hemp seed as a protein source
Adults who use hemp seed as the (main) source of protein may eat 50 to 75 grams of hemp seed per day. Because hemp seed is rich in dietary fiber you will have to make sure that you drink enough to prevent constipation. If you are on the line then keep in mind that hemp seed contains a lot of calories.
It contains 625 kcal per 100 grams because of the high content of fatty acids.
Hemp seed because of health benefits
you use hemp seed because of the health benefits, you can use 1 to 3 tablespoons of hemp seed a day to benefit from the beneficial effects on your health.
How much hemp seed can children eat?
Children can also eat hemp seed, the concentration of THC in hemp seed is so low that they will not notice it.
Children can eat 25 to 40 grams of hemp seed per day.
Buy hemp seed
Hemp seed (peeled) can be bought at many health food stores, online at various web shops.
Which hemp seed do I recommend and where do I order it?
Hemp seed that I use and recommend myself are the Sevenhills. This is 100% organic hemp seed and peeled, making it better absorbed.
CBD oil is a dietary supplement that I regularly take. It does not contain THC. The oil is made from fiber hemp and has many proven health effects. Good CBD oil can be ordered here.
Keep in mind that CBD oil is more powerful than hemp seed.
Buy hemp oil
If you want to use hemp seed because of the healthy fatty acids, you can also buy hemp oil. Check advertisement above! This oil is not heated above 42 degrees so that all nutrients have been better preserved. There are also various webshop that sells hemp oil.
Buy hemp protein powder
If you want to use hemp seeds purely for the proteins, you can also buy hemp protein powder instead of hemp seed.
Hemp protein powder has a protein content of between 30 and 50 grams per 100 grams. The fat content is a lot lower than that of hemp seed: about 10% so it also contains fewer calories.
Eating hemp seed
Hemp seed has a mild nutty flavor and can be used in many dishes.
Do you want to eat hemp seed or eat unpeeled?
You can eat hemp seeds with (unpeeled) or without skin (peeled). Uncut hemp seed contains more dietary fiber and slightly more nutrients, but the disadvantage is that the hard peels can sit between teeth.
Uncut hemp seed is actually a bit cheaper than hulled hemp seed.
Hemp seeds can be eaten by putting a number of tablespoons through your yogurt or smoothie. You can also sprinkle it over the salad or put it through the soup.
You can also drink hemp seed by turning it into hemp milk. Hemp milk is a good milk substitute for anyone with a cow’s milk allergy, lactose intolerance and a good alternative for anyone who prefers not to drink milk.
With recipe 2, later in this article, you will find how you can make hemp milk yourself.
Hemp oil can be used as you use olive oil with the exception of baking. Hemp oil has a fairly low smoke point (165 degrees) which makes it unsuitable for baking.
Hemp oil can be used as a basis for your salad dressing or you can mix it in your smoothie.
With hemp flour, you have a huge amount of possibilities to process hemp in your food. You can make bread with it, pancakes, pizzas, crackers and cookies.
It is a bit of a problem if you are baking with hemp flour. Hemp flour does not contain gluten, which makes it badly binding. You can solve this with, for example, arrowroot.
Personally, I am not a proponent of hemp flour because you are heating it, because of this, nutrients are lost.
RAW hemp seed
At the bottom of this article, I will give some delicious recipes based on raw (RAW) hemp seed where you do not have to heat it so that the nutrients remain preserved.
Disadvantages hemp seed
Using hemp seeds as a protein source is quite expensive. If you do not necessarily want to eat vegetables, you are cheaper to use (also) animal protein sources such as meat, fish and eggs. Other good and cheaper vegetable protein sources are quinoa, nuts and legumes.
Hemp seed recipes
Because hemp seed through the yogurt is very boring, we give you a number of tasty and especially healthy recipes based on hemp seed.
Hemp seed recipe 1: Walnut hemp seed bites
In this recipe, walnuts, dates, coconut and hemp seeds are processed.
Walnuts are a good source of healthy fatty acids, proteins, minerals and dietary fiber. Walnuts are considered by many to be the most healthy nut type.
Coconut is a good source of dietary fiber and also contains quite a few proteins.
The dates in this recipe are meant to give the bites a deliciously sweet taste without having to add sugar. Dates are nowadays used in more and more bars and bars as sweeteners because they are healthy and contain many nutrients.
Because dates contain dietary fiber, the sugars are absorbed less quickly by the blood. Which prevents excessive peaks in blood sugar levels.
All in all, the walnut hemp seed bites consist of exclusively healthy ingredients. The walnut hemp seed bites are ideal to take as snacks or after exercise. Due to the carbohydrates of the dates and the proteins of the walnuts and the hemp seed, the muscles can recover well after a workout.
- 15 stoned dates
- 150 grams of walnuts (unroasted and unsalted)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut grater or fresh coconut
- 3 tablespoons RAW hemp seed
Put the ingredients together in the food processor and mix the whole on the pulse mode until everything is mixed well. Transfer the mixture from the food processor to a dish. Take a scoop of the mixture with a tablespoon and roll a ball.
The walnut hemp seed bites on the image are about 3 cm tall. If desired, you can make it larger or smaller. The walnut hemp seed bites can be stored in the refrigerator.
Hemp seed recipe 2: Hemp seed green smoothie
You can make this smoothie with (unsweetened) almond milk. A bit more work is to make this smoothie based on your homemade hemp milk. With hemp milk, you create a protein-rich smoothie that is rich in healthy fatty acids.
Making hemp milk
Making hemp milk is done with the help of a blender. Put 60 grams of hemp seed with 200 ml water in the blender and let it blend for a few minutes at the highest setting. After a few minutes, the whole must be smooth and creamy.
If you use the hemp milk for this smoothie then you do not have to add anything. The fruit of the smoothie will provide the flavor. If you want to drink hemp milk just like that, you can add a few drops of pure Stevia and a pinch of Himalayan salt. If desired, also a small amount of vanilla extract if you like it.
This hemp seed green smoothie serves as a meal and you could drink it as lunch or breakfast.
- Ripe and frozen banana (a few hours in advance banana parts freeze)
- A ripe pear
- Half an avocado
- A few stems of parsley
- 75 grams of fresh spinach
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 200 ml homemade hemp milk (or 200 ml unsweetened almond milk *)
* If you want to make this smoothie with unsweetened almond milk, you can add 2 tablespoons of peeled hemp seed.
Put the hemp milk with the spinach in the blender and mix until you have a smooth whole. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix until you have a nice smooth smoothie.
Hemp seed recipe 3: Hemp seed paste
Not scared of the title, this paste contains very few carbohydrates and is super healthy. For hemp seed pasta it is the intention that you make pasta from zucchini. In this wikiHow, you are fully explained how you can do that.
This pasta is quick and easy to prepare and is ideal as a protein and healthy high-fat lunch.
- 1 courgette
- A handful of Cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of peeled hemp seed
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon of hemp oil (or olive oil)
- A pinch of Himalayan salt
Make pasta from the zucchini. Cut half of the Cherry tomatoes. Put all ingredients in a bowl and squeeze the juice from the lemon over the zucchini pasta. Mix well so that the pasta is well covered with the hemp oil and the hemp seed.
To taste you can possibly add a finely cut red pepper through this zucchini salad.
Hemp seed recipe 4: Hemp seed pudding
This pudding is super tasty and easy to make. In this pudding, two superfoods are combined: hemp seed and raw cacao powder.
For maximum health benefits, it is important that you use raw cocoa powder and not ordinary cocoa powder. In raw cocoa powder, all nutrients are preserved and it is extremely rich in antioxidants.
This pudding is completely free of milk and lactose and also contains no added sugars. Use is made of dates to sweeten the pudding in a natural way.
- 10 stoned dates
- 125 ml of water
- 125 grams of ice cubes
- 150 grams of hulled hemp seed
- 6 teaspoons of raw cocoa powder
- A few drops of vanilla extract
Put the dates with the water and ice in a blender and mix until you have a paste. Then add the hemp seed, the cocoa powder and the vanilla extract. Mix until you have a nice smooth mass.
Tip: this hemp seed pudding is tasty with some raspberries or strawberries on it.
Hemp seed recipe 5: Hemp seed energy boost
This dish is a replacement for traditional breakfast cereals. Breakfast grains from a pack often consist of refined carbohydrates. This replacement based on hemp seed gives you slow carbohydrates and lots of dietary fiber. It gives you a lot of energy and is full of nutrients.
This recipe is not really suitable for when you are on the line but all the more if you have an active lifestyle.
- 100 grams of raw and peeled sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons peeled and raw hemp seed
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa nibs
- 2 tablespoons Goji berries
- 2 tablespoons of grated coconut
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- A small tip of Himalayan salt
- 1 tablespoon of honey
Do everything except the honey and the coconut grate in a bowl and mix it together. Then mix the honey through the whole and mix the coconut grater last.
I wish you good luck with these recipes and I hope they taste good!
Did you know that research shows that 1 in 3 just gains from a diet instead of losing weight? (source)
Discover how you lose several kilos per week with tasty and easy to make slimming recipes!
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