Industrial hemp plants can become all kinds of useful products including rope, clothing, insulation, and even building materials. The seeds of the hemp plant are growing in popularity thanks to their nutritional properties. The health benefits of hemp seeds come from their high content of essential fatty acids, protein, and fiber.
Magnesium supports muscle function and, along with sodium and potassium, helps balance electrolyte levels in the body. It also plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism, assisting your gut in breaking down carbs into the glucose your body needs for fuel. Many people tend to be deficient in this vital mineral, and just a one-ounce serving of hemp seeds contains 192 mg of magnesium, about half of your recommended daily value.
Hemp seeds contain several types of fatty acids, but the most important one is GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), which helps regulate hormone levels in the body by supporting prostaglandin production. The proper amount of GLA in your diet can reduce symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, ADHD, some forms of cancer, high blood pressure, acne, and eczema. Though the omega-6 fatty acids in GLA can be harmful in large amounts, moderate consumption is actually very beneficial to our bodies.
Keeping your cholesterol levels in balance and reducing blood pressure can go a long way toward lowering your risk of heart disease. The balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hemp seeds can help your body naturally reduce the levels of bad LDL cholesterol and maintain levels of good HDL cholesterol. This prevents the accumulation of fat in the arteries, which causes blockages. Fatty acids also help relax the arteries, keeping the walls smooth and supple.
Many forms of arthritis have flare-ups -- times where the joints swell more and the pain and stiffness increase. These are autoimmune responses and can have a variety of triggers. Hemp seeds contain terpenes, antioxidants known to be anti-inflammatory and antiallergenic. The antioxidants balance the levels of free radical molecules in the body, damaging compounds that inhibit healthy cell renewal. With high levels of free radicals, inflammation and autoimmune reactions can happen more frequently. Adding hemp seeds to your diet can reduce these reactions, and ease the pain and stiffness of arthritis.
Hemp seeds contain fiber, which can help people realize their weight loss goals. Fiber-rich foods slow digestion, keeping you fuller for longer. This, in turn, allows the food to be broken down gradually and more completely, preventing the blood sugar spikes and crashes that induce cravings. When you're on a weight-loss journey, remaining satiated and preventing cravings can help you maintain your calorie goals. Hemp seeds contribute nutrients you need to reach your desired weight.
High in both insoluble and soluble fiber, hemp seeds provide more than enough bulk to keep your gastrointestinal system regular. Additionally, this healthy mixture of roughage feeds the bacterial flora in your gut and helps secure a robust immune system. Hemp seeds help regulate the speed that food moves through the gut, relieving constipation and preventing diarrhea. The anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the effects of irritable bowel syndrome by aiding proper digestion.
In addition to eating ground or whole hemp seeds, the oil extracted from hemp can be applied topically and is often found in high-end cosmetic products. The oil in hemp seeds absorbs into the inner layers of the skin to promote healthy cell growth — the recipe for smooth, soft skin. Some lab studies show hemp seed oil can have a positive effect on atopic dermatitis, a skin condition that causes inflammation and dryness. When the oil was applied regularly, subjects of the study showed improvement in their symptoms.
Because of their balanced fatty acid profile of omega-3 fats and GLA, hemp seed help naturally reduce inflammation levels and strengthen the immune system. Several types of cancer are caused by free radical damage to the healthy cells, leading to cancerous growths and tumors. Hemp seeds naturally fight the overpopulation of free radical and reduce the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer, among others.
Hemp seeds are more than 30 percent fat and are especially rich in alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and linoleic acid (omega-6). Your brain needs fats to work as fuel for cognitive function. Healthy dietary fats are also necessary for your body to metabolize certain vitamins and minerals in the food you eat. Some, such as vitamins A, B, D, and K, need fat to "unlock" and be used by the body. Hemp seeds also contain all nine essential amino acids, essential for building muscles.
Add hemp seeds by simply eating them raw or roasted. Hemp seeds ground into flour or meal can be added to baked goods and smoothies, and hemp seed oil can be added to recipes or used in cooking. Hemp is naturally gluten-free, so it is an ideal protein source for those with Celiac disease or who follow a gluten-free eating plan for other reasons.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.