Technically, hemp â€œseedsâ€ are really not seeds at all, they are actually a fruit. Tiny and round, sort of like itty bitty sunflower seeds, they have a pleasing, mild and slightly nutty flavor. Unlike sunflower seeds they arenâ€™t crunchy but instead are a bit more like sesame seeds, but even softer in texture. Hemp seeds sort of taste like pine nuts, but have an even mellower, milder flavor. Hemp seeds are an incredible vegan source of biologically available and easily digested protein. For those who are allergic to soy, hemp seeds are a great vegan alternative. Hemp seeds contain all 10 essential amino acids. And did you know 3 Tablespoons of Hemp Seeds = 11 grams of protein.
Hemp seeds contain a healthy anti-inflammatory 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fat. In addition, hemp seeds contain an especially beneficial type of omega-6 fat called GLA (gamma linolenic acid). GLA is a direct building block of good anti-inflammatory hormones. Unfortunately, this special omega-6 fat is not typically found in foods (in fact I think hemp seeds are the only edible food source of GLA.) While itâ€™s true your body can convert the typical food version of unprocessed omega-6 called linoleic acid (LA) into the â€œuseableâ€ GLA form your body needs, the conversion process can be thwarted by many internal and external factors. For example, with the passing of birthdays, the less efficient the enzymes your body uses to convert LA into GLA become. Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, infections, and even stress can reduce your bodyâ€™s ability to convert dietary LA into GLA. This is a bad deal because GLA is very important for achieving optimal health. But simply by incorporating hemp seeds into your diet on a regular basis you can be sure of getting a healthy dose of GLA. Hereâ€™s a short run down of the health benefits of GLA:
- GLA supports a healthy metabolism and facilitates fat burning (some people who struggle with weight loss despite eating a healthy diet get a weight loss boost simply by adding GLA to their diets.)
- GLA can help reduce hormone-mediated nuisance symptoms (bye-bye PMS!)
- GLA supports healthy hair, nail and skin health.
- GLA decreases the tendency of inflammation in general. This can be helpful to anyone with an inflammatory condition such as asthma, MS, fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc
- GLA helps lower bad LDL cholesterol and improve cholesterol ratio
Hemp seeds are rich in disease-fighting, plant-based phytonutrients and anti-aging antioxidants such as vitamin E. Hemp provides a rich array of minerals including zinc, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron. Because hemp seeds have such a mild unobtrusive flavor, they keep a low profile and can easily hide out in a wide number of dishes. Smoothies seem to be one of the easiest ways to sneak hemp into my own diet. Iâ€™ve found I can sneak hemp seeds into vegetarian chili, oatmeal, and even pureed bean & vegetable soups. Probably the easiest way to eat them is to just sprinkle them right on top of my salad.
I went ahead and decided to try out the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts, Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds to see if they were as good as they sounded. Manitoba is an excellent brand and this item is conventional not organic but Manitoba sells organic hemp as well. The purity and sheer great taste and texture make these a primary addition to my daily diet for a complete omega profile. I love having them straight out of the bag they are this good! I particularly love how they taste in my blueberry yogurts, smoothies, and mixed with my breakfast cereal! I`m just amazed at how much it really improves the taste of products; something I would have never thought of (or heard of until this product). You do need to keep in mind this is a raw food and needs to be kept in a very cool dry place ( as in an insulated pantry ) or very tightly sealed from moisture in one`s frig. Keeping it in the frig you always have to contend with not letting any moisture enter into the packaging which will destroy the product. I am very satisfied with the product and highly recommend it!