Top 20 Uses of Hemp Seeds
Let’s start with some numbers. Here’s what 100 grams of a particular edible item can offer you:
- 553 kilocalories of energy
- 56 grams of protein with all the 10 amino acids essential for human health
- 1 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) – necessary for human health
- 4 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids – also good for human health
- 6 grams of saturated fatty acids – bad for human health
- 0 grams of trans fatty acids – bad for human health
- 0 milligrams of cholesterol
- Several important minerals
- Vitamins A and E
What would you say about that dietary item? Ask what that wonder food is, right? Well, that’s hemp seeds for you. These seeds are nuts that come from the hemp plant, also known as the industrial hemp.
Hulled Hemp Seeds
These miracle seeds, however, are not just an amazingly nutritious dietary supplement for human beings with a number of health benefits. They are multifaceted enough to be useful in many ways.
Let’s get you acquainted with the top 20 uses of the versatile hemp seeds.
Hemp Seeds as Dietary Supplement
The rich nutritional profile of hemp seeds makes them a worthy dietary supplement. Just two to three teaspoons a day can take care of an entire range of nutrients that the human body needs. Edible in both hulled and dehulled versions, these seeds are usually free from causing any allergic reactions.
Hulled hemp seeds are whole ones with their shells intact. Dehulled hemp seeds have their shells removed. They also go under the name of hemp hearts. Hemp hearts retain most of the nutrients, but they are poorer in their fiber content than their hulled counterparts. The fiber is mostly in the shells.
Hemp Seeds for a Stronger Immune System
Omega 3 and omega 6 are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that the human body needs for a variety of health benefits. However, they interact with each other in complex ways. That is why health experts say that these two fatty acids are ideal for human health only in a particular ratio – 1:3.
One portion of omega 3 to three portions of omega 6 fatty acids. Incredible though it may sound, that is the exact proportions in which these two fatty acids are present in hemp seeds. Not for nothing, these seeds have earned the tag of superfood!
Consumption of hemp seeds can help strengthen our immune system because of this optimal balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. That protects us from immune deficiency and autoimmune diseases.
Hemp Seeds for Vegans
Yes, these seeds are a blessing for vegetarians and vegans. Few plant proteins are as complete as hemp seeds. They compare with chia and soy seeds in their amino acid profiles. However, hemp seeds have the advantage of the perfect omega 3 and omega 6 ratio, which the other two nutritious plant protein sources lack.
Out of the various amino acids that we need, there are eight that the human body cannot produce. There are another two that the human body cannot produce in adequate quantity. Hemp seeds are a winner as they contain all ten.
Also, there are hemp milk and cheese substitutes made with hemp seeds for vegans and those with severe lactose intolerance.
Hemp Seeds for Cardiovascular Health
The nutritional profile of hemp seeds is in itself an indication that these seeds are good for cardiovascular health. Any food item rich in good fats and low in bad fats, and zero cholesterol content would naturally aid the human heart to perform better.
The presence of omega 3 fatty acids in just the right proportions also promotes heart health. Health experts inform us that omega 3 fatty acids contain both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These acids have preventive advantages against heart attack and stroke.
These two acids also decrease the chance of death by unexpected failure of heart functions for people with existing heart disease. Known as sudden cardiac death (SDC), this is one of the major causes of adult natural death in the USA.
Omega 3 fatty acids help improve cardiac health by facilitating blood pressure and triglyceride management. They also slow down the growth of plaques in arteries and decrease the possibility of irregular heart rhythms.
Hemp Seeds for Cell Health
The primary action of omega 6 fatty acids in our body is to maintain the health of our cells. Too little or too much of omega 6 have serious implications for the cells in our body. Medica research reflects that omega 6 contained in nuts is more beneficial for human health than the omega 6 in seed oils.
Some seed oils contain omega 6 fatty acids in amounts exceeding what is beneficial for human health. Omega 6 in nuts, on the other hand, helps improve cell health and thus contributes to a number of diseases related to how our cells function. Cancer is a typical example.
Hemp seeds are nuts, remember? And they contain omega 6 fatty acids in the exact proportion that is ideal for us humans.
Hemp Seeds for Skin Health
Hemp seeds are rich in their oil content. It is possible to cold-press hemp seeds for extracting this oil. As rich as hemp seeds in its nutritional quality, this edible oil is also good for topical use.
There are medical studies to demonstrate that consumption and/or topical application of hemp seed oil helps improve skin health. It helps reduce skin disorders like eczema, multiple sclerosis, and acne. Hemp seed oil can also naturally hydrate our skin without clogging the pores. That reduces itchiness and dry skin.
Hemp Seeds for Hair Health
Cold-pressed hemp seed oil also improves scalp and hair health, experts claim. There are not too many studies available to demonstrate the exact benefit of hemp seed oil for scalp and hair. However, studies demonstrate the positive effect some other oils like coconut oil has. Many of the same benefits are also present in hemp seed oil.
Hemp Seeds for Menstrual Health
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common condition that a majority of women in the reproductive age group faces. PMS leads to physical and emotional stress. There are medical studies that reflect that hemp seeds contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which helps reduce PMS syndrome.
The presence of GLA in hemp seeds also make them effective in improving menopause-related problems. GLA helps control hormonal imbalance and inflammation resulting from menopause.
Whole Hemp Seeds for Improved Digestion
Hulled or whole hemp seeds are a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fibers. They contain about 20% soluble fiber and 80% insoluble fibers. Fibers in both forms improve our digestive capacity. Soluble fibers are a good source of bacteria that help digestion. Insoluble fibers help reduce symptoms of constipation.
Whole Hemp Seeds for Diabetes Control
Soluble fibers aid the control of blood sugar levels. Consumption of soluble fibers improves glycemia and sensitivity to insulin in both diabetic and non-diabetic persons. Insoluble fiber intake also has beneficial effects for diabetes control, medical studies have shown.
Hemp Seeds for Brain Health
The cannabidiol (CBD) content of hemp seeds has beneficial effects on brain health because of its neuroprotective properties. Neurological disorders on which CBD has a positive effect include childhood seizures, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and neuropathic pain.
Hemp Seeds for Arthritis Control
The gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in hemp seeds has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Hemp seeds intake can thus help in arthritis control. Medical studies have found varying effects on human beings, probably because human individuals have disparate ways of dealing with GLA.
However, there are user accounts readily available on the internet narrating real-life stories of how the consumption of hemp seeds has helped them manage their rheumatic arthritis or osteoarthritis. The perfect balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in hemp seeds is another potential reason behind their positive impact on arthritis.
Hemp Seeds for the Gluten Allergic
Hemp seeds are free from gluten and is an absolute bonus for those allergic to it. Flour made from hemp seeds can replace wheat flour in a number of dishes so that gluten allergic people do not have to give up on all their favorite items.
Hemp hearts can also replace breadcrumbs, which is another benefit for those with gluten allergy. An entire range of cooked and baked items that need breadcrumbs do not need to go out of their diet forever at all.
Hemp Seeds for those with Nut Allergy
Love the taste of nuts, but allergic to them? Hemp seeds will solve the problem for you. Hemp seeds are also nuts. However, they are not known to cause any allergic reactions. Sprinkle hemp hearts on your salad, or yogurt, or any other dish of your choice. You’ll be able to enjoy the crunchy taste and nutty flavor minus the allergy.
Hemp Seeds in Food Products
The growing popularity of hemp seeds has led to the development of a number of food products that incorporate hemp seeds or use derivatives from the seeds. Hemp protein powder is one of the most popular ones among them, especially with athletes and sportspersons.
Hemp milk is another item easily available in health food stores in countries where hemp has been legalized. However, it is easy to make hemp milk at home also. It needs nothing more than blending hemp hearts with the right quantity of water.
Hemp cheese substitutes constitute another readymade food product available in the health food marketplace, Hemp granola bars, and hemp energy bars are also popular items. All of these are made from hemp seeds.
Hemp Seeds for Cosmetics
Because of its beneficial effects for skin and hair, there is a growing range of hair care and skincare products using the oil derived from hemp seeds. These include shampoos and conditioners, soaps, creams, and lotions.
Hemp biodiesel, a natural solution for the fossil fuel crisis, is made by extracting the oil and fats from hemp seeds. It is a long and complicated process to derive biodiesel from hemp seeds. But a bonus advantage is that it will run your car without the polluting effects of petroleum-based fuels.
Hemp Seeds in Animal Feed
The health benefits that hemp seeds have for human beings are also applicable to a considerable extent for animal health. It had been a practice for centuries to mix crushed hemp seeds in livestock feed, which went out of practice only recently.
With the recent re-entry of hemp in our lives, researches are ongoing about the potential benefits of hemp seeds in animal feed. Incidentally, by January 2019, 41 of the 50 US states had already given a green signal to the use of crushed hemp seeds, pellets made from them, and hemp oil derived from the seeds in animal feed.
Hemp Seeds as Bird Feed
If you are a bird enthusiast, you’ll notice that bird books till the other day mentioned hemp seeds as a potentially beneficial bird feed that the winged creatures simply love. Then they mysteriously disappeared and sunflower seeds took their place.
Sunflower seeds are good, indeed, but a sunflower crop usually needs a heavy dose of pesticides. An equally nutritious, if not more, seed to feed your backyard birds or pet birds are hemp seeds. The bonus is that hemp is naturally pest resistant and needs no pesticides. Your birds will love you, believe us!
Hemp Seed Pulp for Your Plants
In case you are a purist and prefer to extract your hemp seed oil at home using a hand crank machine, please don’t just dispose of the pulp in your bin. Feed it the post-extraction pulp to your plants.
They will be happy and thank you in their own language that we, unfortunately, don’t understand. But their health will tell you the story, for sure.
Before We Sign Off
There is one thing that you cannot use hemp seeds for, and that is getting high. Hemp certainly belongs to the same plant species, Cannabis Sativa, as the drug cannabis. But hemp does not have the same chemical composition as its narcotic botanical kin.
It is the high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration (7.5 to 10 percent or higher) in cannabis or marijuana that gives it its psychoactive influence. The presence of this psychotropic element in hemp is limited to 0.3 percent or less. Hemp is not a drug, therefore.