The earliest recordings of hemp seeds are from 25 B.C., however, for much of the last four decades they have been considered as illegal as the marijuana plant they are derived from. Most countries, especially the United States, would not differentiate between hemp seeds that were safely cultivated and the psychoactive plant itself. Today, marijuana restrictions have relaxed due to the plant's positive medicinal uses. In turn, hemp seeds are becoming more available and accepted across the globe, bringing with them an array of nutritional value.
Essential Amino Acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and protein is one of the major building blocks of life. Your body produces some amino acids known as non-essential, but it does not produce essential amino acids. Hemp seeds contain all twenty amino acids including nine of the essential amino acids needed by the body. Amino acids are used in just about every human function including bone and muscle growth, pregnancy, hormone regulation and digestive function.
Essential Fatty Acid
Even though it has the dreaded word 'fat', essential fatty acids are extremely important for a healthy body. Hemp seeds carry all that is needed including omega-3 and omega-6. Hemp has more essential fatty acids than any other source including fish, flaxseed and nut oils. These fatty acids are paramount in preventing such things as depression, osteoporosis and heart disease. They have also been associated with the reduction of joint pain and memory loss.
Neurotransmiters keep the electrical nerve impulses firing throughout the body and most importantly in the brain. Essential amino acids from hemp seeds directly effect the chemical process that results in healthy nerve functioning. When incorporating hemp seeds into your diet it is almost as if you are giving the synapses, which are the spaces between the nerves, a booster shot. This may enable your nervous system to respond faster when doing activities such as sports.
Hemp seeds are a great way to advance your workout or sports performance. Because of their high amino acid content they directly effect muscle performance offering an extra edge when it comes to muscle building, stamina and recovery.
Hemp seed does not cause bloating or gas which is often associated with soy and does not contain phytic acid (also found in soy) which prevents proper mineral absorption.
Forms of Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds can be used in a variety of ways to take advantage of their powerful nutritional value.
- Hemp milk - when hemp seeds are ground they can form hemp milk which is excellent over cereal or alone.
- Hemp seeds - sprinkling hemp seeds over cereal, into salads or eating handfuls with some raisins are easy ways to incorporate them into your diet.
- Hemp seed oil - although hemp seed oil is not the best choice to use for cooking, it can be used in baked goods, salads and taken orally by the spoonful. One teaspoon a day will give you the recommended daily dose of essential fatty acids.
- Although hemp seeds contain tiny amounts of THC, the psychoactive property in marijuana that makes you high, it is so small that even large amounts will not affect you.
- Hemp seeds are used in many non-edible products such as soap, shampoo, body lotion and wood polish.
- Hemp seeds have a sweet nutty taste.