hemp seeds

Get “High” on the Benefits of Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are a superfood that has been eaten in Asia and Europe for at least 5,000 years. They’re now becoming known as a superfood, and they’ve earned their title.

Hemp Seed Benefits

Hemp seeds are one of the best superfoods available, especially for vegetarians and vegans. They’re high in protein, and contain all the essential amino acids; so they’re a great food to boost energy. They’re also an excellent source of magnesium and are one of the best vegetarian sources of zinc. As you may know, vegans and vegetarians are more likely to become zinc deficient than meat-eaters, so this is great news.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is also excellent for vegetarians and vegetarians, for two different and important reasons. It has an excellent balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. What’s more, hemp seed oil contains stearidonic acid (SDA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Hemp seed oil is one of the only oils that contain both of these two fatty acids. 

The SDA content is a boon for vegetarians and vegans. Like ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), SDA gets converted to the fatty acid EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which you can only get by eating fish. EPA and DHA are important fatty acids as they’ve been proven to promote cardiovascular health, brain health and development, and good eyes and eyesight.

While ALA has various health benefits, very little of it converts to EPA and DHA. Some studies show the conversation rate is between 0.2% and 21%, but the majority of studies show it’s only 0.05%.

SDA, on the other hand, is much more promising, as 20 – 30% gets converted to EPA.

GLA is also important to optimum health as it promotes cardiovascular health, hypertension, and lowers VLDL and LDL cholesterol levels.

Can You Get High from Eating Hemp Seed?

No, but there has been some confusion about the relationship between hemp seed and the hemp plant (Marijuana). The two are related, but there’s one big difference, hemp seed doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the substance that makes people high, and it’s the reason it’s classified as a drug.

Hemp Seeds vs. Chia and Flax Seeds

Hemp ranks right up there with flaxseeds and chia seeds, but there are some differences in nutrition content and protein. Hemp seeds are higher in protein and shine in their magnesium, iron, and zinc content. Plus, neither flax nor chia seeds contain SDA or GLA (although chia does have LA (linolenic acid) which gets converted to GLA).

Hemp10.3 grams.9 g162
Chia Seeds4 grams10.6 g137
Flax Seeds5 grams7.6 g150

The following is per one ounce (approximately 2 tablespoons).

Hemp Seeds2.7 mg 179 mg3.2 mg
Chia Seedsn/an/a1.0 mg
Flax Seeds1.6 mg110 mg1.2 mg

According to the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA), hemp seeds are also high in manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), and vitamin E.

How to Add Hemp Seeds and All Their Great Benefits to Your Diet

Like flax and chia seeds, hemp is easy to add to your diet. They have a nutty flavor and texture that work well when added to your favorite breakfast cereal. You can also throw a tablespoon into a smoothie, or a glass of almond milk. And, they’re an excellent added ingredient for health bars. Since they’re high in protein, they’re the perfect after-workout food for a quicker recovery.

You can find hemp seeds online and in your local health food and specialty stores.


Self Nutrition Data: Hemp Seed 

Hemp Seeds and Hemp Seed Oil as Food, The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA)

“Hemp Seed: The Most Nutritionally Complete Food Source in the World,”Hemp Line Journal, July-August 1992, pp. 14-15, Vol. I No. 1, Lynn Osburn

National Institutes of Health, Zinc

“Fishy Fat From Soy is Headed for U.S. Dinner Tables,” Science News, Janet Raloff, April 9, 2011

University of Maryland Medical Center, Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Vegetarian & Vegan

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Disclaimer: The information on this site is for information purposes only. It is not intended to replace your healthcare professional or provide diagnosis or treatment.