November 07, 2016 4 min read
Hemp seeds are a superfood powerhouse of nutrition. When they first came onto the market, people were a little hesitant about using them. They had a slightly nutty taste, grainy texture, and it seemed a bit strange to just eat them out of hand without anything else with them. However, in the past few years, hemp seeds have gained popularity—as have all of its sister products—and for good reason.
Hemp seeds have an excellent 3:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, which is the right amount that we want. Standard North American diets have way too many omega-6 fatty acids in them, which can promote inflammation, and not enough omega-3 fatty acids in them, which quell inflammation, promote heart health, boost mood, help your skin stay healthy, and so much more. Plus, the omega-6s we usually consume are damaged sources like processed foods or fried oils. With their healthy dose of omega-3s, hemp seed will provide you with all the benefits of those healthy fats while at the same time ensuring that you’ll get a healthy source of omega-6s.
One omega-6 fatty acid that is worth noting that hemp seeds have a high amount of is gamma linolenic acid, or GLA. This is a great fatty acid that has proven to have many benefits balancing hormones, which in turn affect your mood, energy, digestion, and much more.
But hemp hearts have more to offer than just their healthy fatty acid profile. They are also a rich source of protein, and are actually a complete protein as they contain all 20 amino acids—including the 9 essential amino acids that we are not capable of making on our own. Hemp hearts are also a good source of fiber to help naturally cleanse the colon and keep things moving. Aside from being the perfect combination of healthy fats, protein, and fibre, hemp hearts contain a variety of different vitamins minerals to help support and maintain general health and wellbeing.
Now that you’re impressed with everything hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, have to offer, you’re probably wondering: how the heck can I enjoy them? Here are 7 ways for you to enjoy the goodness of hemp hearts!
Hemp Seeds: the star player itself! Hemp seeds are a perfect way to reap all the benefits above. They may seem like boring little seeds, but the number of ways you can use them is outstanding. Try sprinkling them on yogurt or oatmeal, or adding them to your morning smoothie. Top a salad or stir-fry with them, or even mix them in with roasted or mashed vegetables. Bake them into muffins, cakes, cookies, bars, and more. Or, simply enjoy them right out of your hand! They are delicious and provide great energy, especially when you’re on the go.
Hemp Seed Milk: there’s a dairy-free milk available from just about every nut and seed on the market today, and hemp seed milk is no exception. Blended with real hemp hearts and available in a variety of flavours, like vanilla, original, or unsweetened from Manitoba Harvest, hemp seed milk is great to add to your smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, or anywhere else you would use milk. It’s a naturally dairy free and vegan alternative to regular milk, has all the benefits of hemp seeds, and tastes great.
Hemp Seed Protein Powder: this is a plant-based protein that mixes well into a smoothie to make for a quick meal or snack, or to take with you on the go. Manitoba Harvest offers a number of different hemp seed proteins, including ones with extra protein, omegas, or fibre, and they mix smoothly and easily into any smoothie. Or try Ergogenics Hemp Protein Powder in chocolate flavor—delicious and creamy!
Hemp Seed Oil: this is a raw, cold-pressed, vegan-friendly oil that contains healthy omegas without any additives or colouring. You can use it like you would other oils in dressings, sauces, and dips, and it’s great to drizzle onto roasted or stir-fried vegetables. One tablespoon contains 10g of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and it adds a delicious nutty flavor! Try it on popcorn with some Herbamarefor a healthy treat. Manitoba Harvest has an organic and natural option, and also offers hemp oil in softgel form to get all the nutrition of this healthy oil on-the-go.
Hemp Seed Snacks: hemp seeds are combined into delicious granola bars and snacks for you to enjoy all their benefits. We carry delicious Hemp Super Snacks by Navitas Naturalswhich combine hemp seeds with different nuts and fruit; delicious granola bars by GORP like Cocoa, Hemp and Almond; Bites from Manitoba Harvest; and hemp seed granola by Nature’s Path. You can choose your favourite snack and enjoy!
Hemp Seed Flour: just like almond and coconut have their respective flours, so does the mighty hemp seed. Hempola makes a Flour Power Hempseed Flour that you can use in all your baking and flour needs to get the benefits of hemp baked right into your yummy concoctions.
Goodness Me! Hempy Hermit Cookies: have you tried these from our Goodness Me! bakery yet?! So healthy, so delicious, and so addicting! We make all our baked goods in house using the best ingredients possible, and our Hempy Hermit Cookies are no exception. They might look and be healthy but they taste like an indulgent treat perfect with your afternoon tea or to share with a friend. Check them out in our bakery!
Let us know some of your favourite ways to enjoy hemp seeds and share your recipes!
Katie has worked in the natural health & wellness industry for over 10 years and is currently studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She is passionate about eating #feelgood food and recognized that this might look different for each and every person. She truly believes that in a healthy lifestyle, you can have your cake and eat your kale, too! Follow her on Instagram @katielmitts
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