The hemp plant is a variety of Cannabis sativa that has been cultivated for its fiber, not any psychoactive effects. Many strains of hemp have none of the mental effects associated with cannabis. This type of hemp has been used as a fibre source, for oil, and as an important source of nutrition for thousands of years.
When it comes to nutrition, hemp seeds are the most important part of the plant. The seeds can be eaten whole or without the hull. They can also be turned into milk that’s similar to soy milk. Hemp seed oil can be used as a cooking oil in the same way as olive oil. There are even hemp seed supplements available in case you want to enjoy some of the impressive health benefits of hemp in your diet.
Hemp seed oil is commonly used in health products due to the nutritional value and ability to act as a carrier or certain nutrients.
The vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in hemp seeds can provide some significant health benefits. For example, hemp oil is rich in vitamin E, which is useful for helping keep your immune system functioning. It also acts as an antioxidant, helping reduce free radicals that can cause cell damage in your body.
Technically a nut, hemp seeds are very nutritious. They have a mild, nutty flavor and are often referred to as hemp hearts.
Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat. They are exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3).
They also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which has been linked to several health benefits.
Hemp seeds are a great protein source, as more than 25% of their total calories are from high-quality protein.
That is considerably more than similar foods like chia seeds and flaxseeds, whose calories are 16–18% protein.
Hemp seeds are also a great source of vitamin E and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
Hemp seeds can be consumed raw, cooked or roasted. Hemp seed oil is also very healthy and has been used as a food and medicine in China for at least 3,000 years.