Shelled Hemp Seeds: Superfood or Psychogenic?!

imageWould it surprise you that this Spicy Raw Hot Chocolate is made with shelled hemp seeds, as are the Oh-So-Chocolatey Hemp Seed Coins? In fact, milk as well as paper, textiles, rope, plastics and biofuel can all be made from hemp. Paper from hemp is environmentally many times better than paper made from wood (it can be recycled over and over again), and the cultivation of hemp plants uses far fewer chemicals than cotton and 50% less water.

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Hemp is undoubtedly one of the most versatile and environmentally friendly plants on the planet and its fruit are one of the most versatile, healthy seeds for the human body.

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Hemp plants thrive almost everywhere and are grown all over the world including Canada, France and China. Benjamin Franklin grew hemp and The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.

If This is the Case, Why is Hemp Production Banned in the US?

Oh ok, you want to jump right into it! It’s a good question, the answer to which I, and millions of others, fail to understand.

So let’s deal with the thorny problem of whether or not this reputedly hippy dippy plant is a psychogenic and worthy of being listed in the US under Controlled Substances.

The problem for US authorities since 1950 when the growing of hemp was banned, is that they failed – and continue to fail – to see the difference between Cannibis Sativa L. (hemp) and its sister variety, Marijuana, which comes from the same species but is definitely not the same plant. They are very, very different. Marijuana is 20% psychoactive drug, Hemp 0.3%, and even less when processed into milk or oil.

Therefore, NO, hemp seeds will definitely NOT make you ‘high’! (sorry).

(The US failed, however, to ban hemp products in 1970, and as a result, Americans obtain most of their hemp products via imports from Canada).

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Now We’ve Got That Out of the Way, What are the Health Benefits of Shelled Hemp Seeds?

Ah, now the good bit:

This little seed is so powerful in its health properties, you’ll wonder why you’ve never heard of it or used it before.

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First, the nutritional content:

  • 2-3 Tbsps of hemp seeds contain about 10-11g of protein, providing all 9 amino acids essential for human health.
  • They are one of the most easily digestible sources of protein, not likely to cause bloating when used in protein shakes, unlike whey protein.
  • 25% of the calories is made up of protein, more even than chia or flax seeds (16% – 18%). (Hemp Protein Powder is an efficient way of getting more protein when blended into a shake, useful for post workout recovery).
  • Hemp seeds have a perfect ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 essential fatty acids. Inflammation occurs when there is too much Omega 6.
  • They provide Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorous, Sulphur, Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Zinc, B Vitamins, Vitamin D and Vitamin E.

Why We Should Eat Shelled Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds have been shown to have many health benefits,  here are just a few:

  • Hemp seed oil has been used medicinally in China for 3000 years.
  • Because they are high in Gamma-Linolenic Acid, hemp seeds can be effective in reducing symptoms of PMS and Menopause, similar to Primrose Oil. It is believed they may help Regulate Hormonal Imbalances and Reduce Inflammation.
  • They may help reduce the risk of Heart Disease through the dilation and relaxation of blood vessels which lowers Blood Pressure and reduces Inflammation.
  • The ability to Reduce Inflammation can also help with symptoms of Immune Deficiency Diseases.
  • Other benefits include relief from Arthritis, Increased Energy, Normalising Blood Cholesterol, Better Skin.
  • Some studies show hemp oil can improve Eczema and relieve Dry, Itchy Skin.
  • Hemp seeds are more Allergy-Free than many other seeds.
  • They have been used as a treatment for patients with tuberculosis which renders them nutrient-deficient.

 Convinced? I Knew You Would Be! So How Do You Use Hemp Seeds? Here Are Some Ideas:

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Hemp seeds are delicately nutty (a bit like the author!) and can be used to make Hemp Milk, eaten raw when sprinkled on desserts, breakfast cereal/muesli, or blended in smoothies or ‘baked’ into raw treats. There are a number of recipes on the blog. See below or in Menu above for links to other recipes.

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Here is a simple and light breakfast or dessert recipe:

1 Frozen Banana

2 Dried Apricots

1 Small Glass Hemp Milk

Blend until smooth

Pour into a small bowl

Serve with sliced fresh Apricot, Sprinkling of Hemp Seeds & a Blueberry (or 2)

A wonderful, chilled start to a warm Summer’s day (I just know that as soon as I post this, it will be freezing and blowing a gale!)

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There are more recipes using hemp seeds in Nut Milks, Shakes & SmoothiesMore Smoothies! and More Raw Treats!

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Thank you to Timelesswheel for providing the prompt for this post!

Next up: Linseeds!

 We buy our hemp protein powder and shelled hemp seeds from http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/

Sources: Body EcologyAuthority NutritionSeed GuidesDr Axe

Copyright: Chris McGowan

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