What is Hemp?

We have a new seed on the block, say hello to Hemp…

Hemp has gained immense popularity recently and it seems like everyone is consuming it, from hemp seeds to hemp protein!

For those new to hemp, I know what you’re thinking….Say what? Marijuana!?

So yes..and no… Hemp and marijuana actually do come from the same plant species, Cannabis Sativa L, but have different concentrations of THC (substance that makes you high..). Hemp has < 0.3% of THC so (sorry?) you would need a lot of it to get the effects of marijuana.

When it comes to food and nutrition, the seeds of the plant is where it's at.

Hemp seeds can be pressed for oil, milled to make protein powder, or shelled and ready to eat.

hemp seeds

If you’re using seeds, they are great to sprinkle onto salads and yogurt. It has a nutty flavor, similar to that of sunflower seeds. They are rich in magnesium (a mineral that helps with relaxation), iron (common deficient mineral, especially in vegetarians), and what makes it unique is that it contains essential fatty acids omega 3s and omega 6s (reduces inflammation and supports overall heart health).

Some nutrition information on Hemp Seeds 

2 Tablespoons of hulled hemp seeds contain

5g of protein

6g fat (mostly from Omega 3s and 6s)

2g fiber

Next up, Hemp Protein

Used to add to smoothies, it is easily digested and contains all essential amino acids, which makes it a great option for vegetarians and vegans. When you consuming the powder, you’re getting omega 3s and 6s, vitamins, and minerals as well.

2 Tablespoons of hemp protein powder 

9g protein

2.5g fat

11g fiber

And now, Hemp Oil

hemp oil

Can be used in cooking but because of it’s low smoke point, it is not recommended for high-heat cooking. Therefore, it is commonly used to add to salad dressings, sauces, dips, and shakes (link to recipes).

A recent study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that hemp oil contains compounds that have antioxidant and anticancer benefits such as tocopherol, which is known to be “beneficial against degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s.”

If you’re interested, here are some food companies that do hemp: Manitoba Harvest, Nutiva, Hippie Butter, Ziggy Marley.

If you’re new to hemp, have I convinced you to get on board? Do you use hemp seeds or  use the protein in your smoothies? What about hemp oil?

Happy Hemp-ing (seeds only..),

Joanna

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