I’m excited to feature my very first superfood on the blog – hemp seeds (also known as hemp hearts). These nutty-flavored seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, not only are they high in protein, good fats, vitamins, minerals, and fibre, but they’re also one of my all time favourite foods! For real – I seriously add these yummy little guys to almost everything, from smoothies and wraps to soups and salads.
So why am I crazy for hemp seeds you ask?
They’re high in protein.
That’s right, these little seeds are packed with all the essential amino acids needed to make a complete protein, a term that in the past was reserved only for animal-based protein sources, like meat and dairy. This plant-based superfood is comprised of a whopping 25% protein, which means it’s a great addition to your diet if you don’t eat meat, or if you need that little extra post-workout protein boost. Because protein helps make us feel full and keeps us feeling that way, it’s also very beneficial for those trying to lose weight.
Try adding hemp seeds to your morning smoothie for an easy way to up your protein intake; it will help keep you fueled and full well into the afternoon. Another option is to replace the highly processed protein powder in your pre or post-workout smoothie with a ¼ cup of organic hemp seeds.
They’re full of good fats.
While many animal based foods contain high amounts of protein, they also contain high amounts of saturated fats. Hemp seeds, on the other hand, contain “good fats” known as essential fatty acids – Omega 3 and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). The health benefits of these fats include; the ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, improve circulation, reduced inflammation and give us healthy hair, skin, and nails. GLA also plays an important role in balancing our hormones.
Fats also help keep us feeling full and satisfied. Try adding hemp seeds to your lunchtime soup and sandwich to fight off those pesky afternoon cravings!
They’re a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
The vitamins and minerals contained in this nutrient dense superfood include vitamins A, B1, B2, D, E, and minerals such as calcium and iron.
With the addition of both soluble and insoluble fibre, hemp seeds kick butt when it comes to digestion. Soluble fibre offers nutrients that feed the good bacteria in your gut, which means better digestion of food. And insoluble fibre helps with the elimination of waste and toxins that build up within our digestive tract. Fibre also helps regulate blood sugar; reducing sugar spikes, and plays a key role in regulating cholesterol levels.
With all these health benefits you can see why hemp seeds are one of my favourite foods. And the fact that hemp seeds are so easy to add to almost any meal makes them even more appealing. Consider adding hemp hearts to your next meal by sprinkling them on top of soup and salads, as an alternative to Parmesan cheese on your pasta entrée, as a protein booster in your favourite smoothie, or substitute the milk in your morning latte with some deliciously creamy hemp milk.
For more inspiration on how to add hemp seeds to your daily food routine, check out the recipe links below!