Hemp Seed

Nadia Galinova
Translated by
Nadia Galinova
Hemp seed

The hemp plant has been cultivated for a very long time. It is believed to be one of the first crops grown by man. From hemp, people made clothes, paper, strong ropes and produced oil. Folk medicine around the world includes hemp in its recipes, because we can rightfully call it a medicinal plant. Food was also enriched by hemp seeds.

It should be clarified right away that hemp seeds do not contain psychoactive substances like marijuana. They contain only useful ingredients - high-quality proteins and amino acids, minerals and fiber. Therefore, they are a perfect addition to healthy diets.

This fact was also known to the ancient people, who included hemp seeds in their diet. It is interesting to trace the path of the hemp seed to the tables in different parts of the world.

The history of hemp seeds as human food

In the 2nd century, Galen wrote in his notes that people put fried hemp seeds in their desserts. In 1950, the world learned that mothers of the Sotho tribe in the southern parts of Africa put hemp seed in their children's porridge.

Hemp oil is extracted from hemp, which is a popular food in India and Russia. Monks in Europe are also aware of the nutritional properties of hemp seeds and include them in their diet 3 times a day in everything they eat - soup, porridge, dessert.

The Polish and Lithuanian people prepared hemp seed soup every year on Christmas Eve, because they believed that their deceased loved ones visited them at that time and this treated them to the holiday. Ukrainians and Latvians used to do something similar on Three Kings Day.

Chinese peasants in the northern part of the country regularly consumed hemp seeds, and during the starvation at the end of World War II, the seeds of the plant were included in the recommended diet of the Chinese. During periods of starvation, Australians also resorted to this plant in the 19th century.

The history of hemp seeds in the diet of peoples is long and suggests that they were used as food for their composition and impact on bodily health.

Nutritional composition of hemp seed

Hemp seeds contain more than 30 percent fat. The wealth of two main fatty acids - omega-6 and omega-3 - is impressive. It also contains linolenic acid, which is very beneficial for health.

High-quality protein in these seeds is not only contained, but also accounts for more than 25 percent of the total calories. This amount is more than even chia seeds and flax seeds, which are known for their protein.

Hemp seeds also contain vitamin E in good amounts, as well as minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.

Beneficial properties of hemp seed

The benefits of consuming hemp seed are in a very wide range - health of the internal organs, beauty, tonicity, medicine. Here are some of them.

1. Supports the heart - thanks to the content of the amino acid arginine in the composition, nitric oxide is produced in the body. It expands and relaxes the blood vessels, lowers the blood pressure and regulates the work of the heart. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and destroys free radicals. Gamma-linolenic acid reduces the risk of inflammation and supports the heart.

2. Improves the appearance of the skin - the fatty acids in the seed improve the immune system. According to studies, the use of hemp seed oil in people with eczema improves the levels of fatty acids in the blood. It also relieves dry skin and reduces itching. Gamma-linolenic acid prevents inflammation and improves skin condition.

3. The role of protein - almost a quarter of calories come from protein. This protein is similar to beef and lamb protein, about 11 grams of protein from 30 grams of seeds. This means all the essential amino acids for the body from consuming the seed. It also contains the amino acids methionine, cysteine, arginine and glutamic acid. Plant proteins are well digested in the body.

Hemp seed benefits

4. Beneficial for PMS and menopause - for women with PMS, just 1 gram of essential fatty acids taken per day with hemp seeds leads to a significant reduction in symptoms. Gamma-linolenic acid relieves the symptoms of menopause, by regulating the imbalance of hormones and inflammation.

5. Improves digestion - hemp seeds are an excellent source of fiber, which is due to the good work of the intestinal tract. The content of nutrients and valuable digestive bacteria is very beneficial for digestion. The seeds can also regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Peeled seeds contain a lot of fiber, because the fiber coating has been removed.

6. Other useful properties - crushed seeds produce hemp milk. It is an analgesic, diuretic and anti-inflammatory agent, besides food source. The oil protects against strokes and thrombosis. It is soothing and a cough reliever.

Hemp seed storage and consumption

Hemp seeds are extracted from the hemp plant. After crushing and diluting with water, hemp milk is made from them. After grinding, hemp flour is obtained and included in various recipes. Hemp cheese is popular. Protein powder can also be found. All products are available in health food stores.

Hemp seeds offer many possibilities for consumption. They are eaten raw, roasted or cooked. Hemp oil is a healthy food and has been used as such for the longest time in China, dating back 3000 years ago.

The ideas for adding hemp seeds to food are endless - they can be sprinkled on salad, added in pilaf, in oatmeal, in yogurt, in muesli. The idea is to put them in the bread or sprinkle the pastry before putting it in the oven. Hemp seed in salad dressing is also an option.

Storing hemp seeds is not difficult. A hermetically sealed container is needed, which should be kept in a dry and cool place. After opening, most products made after processing hemp seeds are kept refrigerated. In order not to damage the fatty acids, peeled hemp seeds should not be heated above 180°C.

Harms and contraindications of hemp seed consumption

These seeds are safe to eat as long as it is done in moderation. Overdoing it can lead to mild diarrhea, because they have a laxative effect.

With a sensitive digestive system, they should be consumed carefully. Starting with 1 teaspoon and increasing them gradually.

It should be borne in mind that these seeds act as anticoagulants and there is a risk of heavier bleeding. If taking drugs with such an effect, a doctor's consultation is necessary before taking hemp seeds.

Creative ideas for hemp seed in food

- Smoothies with strawberries, coconut and lime with the addition of hemp seeds - the recipe includes cashews, a mixture of coconut and lime and hemp seeds. A creamy mixture with a tropical flavor is obtained.

- Chocolate protein bars - made by mixing dates, chia seeds, hemp seeds and cocoa. The mixture is formed into balls and each one is like a protein bomb for the day.

- Hemp Seed Energy Bars - made from cinnamon, turmeric and hemp seed ground into flour. They can also be used as a light breakfast.

- Hemp Seed Pesto Pasta Salad - The cooked pasta is poured with a creamy basil hemp pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and arugula. It can also be eaten as a main course.


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