Health benefits of hemp seeds
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Many people consider hemp seeds to be a superfood. The seeds have a rich nutritional profile and provide a range of health benefits.
Although hemp seeds come from the Cannabis sativa plant, they do not produce a mind-altering effect.
These small, brown seeds are rich in protein, fiber, and healthful fatty acids, including omega-3s and omega-6s. They have antioxidant effects and may reduce symptoms of numerous ailments, improving the health of the heart, skin, and joints.
In this article, we look at the various benefits of hemp seeds and provide tips for adding them to the diet.
These seeds are full of nutritious compounds, including:
Share on Pinterest Hemp seeds are a complete source of protein, providing all nine essential amino acids.
Hemp seeds contain almost as much protein as soybeans. In every 30 grams (g) of seeds, or about 3 tablespoons, there are 9.46 g of protein.
These seeds are a complete source of protein, meaning that they provide all nine essential amino acids.
Amino acids are the building blocks for all proteins. The body cannot produce nine of these acids, so a person must absorb them through the diet.
Relatively few plant-based foods are complete sources of protein, making hemp seeds a valuable addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Hemp seeds are especially rich in an amino acid called arginine, which has benefits for heart health.
2. Unsaturated fats
The health benefits of polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, are becoming increasingly well known.
Hemp seeds are a great source of essential fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3.
The body cannot produce essential fatty acids, and the body must absorb them from the diet. They are crucial for long-term health.
The ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s is also important.
In general, people tend to eat too many omega-6s and too few omega-3s, but adding hemp seeds to the diet may help to promote a balance.
According to results of a 2015 animal study, incorporating hemp seeds and hemp seed oil to hens’ diet led to eggs with increased levels of omega-3s in the yolks and a more healthful omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.
Also, hemp seeds are low in saturated fats and contain no trans fats.
Much of the fiber in a hemp seed lies in its outer hull, or shell. If possible, purchase hemp seeds with the hulls intact.
However, even without the shells, hemp seeds are a god source pf fiber, with three tablespoons containing approximately 1.2 g of fiber.
Consuming enough fiber every day can:
- reduce the appetite
- help with weight management
- work to stabilize blood sugar levels
- promote the health of the gut
4. Minerals and vitamins
Hemp seeds contain an impressive array of vitamins and minerals and are especially rich in:
- vitamin E
They are also a good source of iron, zinc, and B vitamins, including:
- vitamin B-6
Alongside the nutritional benefits, some research suggests that hemp seeds have a wide range of positive health effects. They may:
5. Protect the brain
A study published in the journal Food Chemistry found that hemp seed extract has antioxidant effects in lab tests. These effects may result from the seeds’ cannabidiol (CBD) content.
Results of a review from 2018 suggest that CBD and other compounds in the seeds may have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, effects and may also help to regulate the immune system.
The review suggests that, because of these potential properties, CBD may help with neurological conditions, including:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- multiple sclerosis
- neuropathic pain
- childhood seizure disorders
6. Boost heart health
The medical community believes that omega-3 fatty acids improve the health of the heart and reduce the risk of issues such as arrhythmias and heart disease.
Hemp seeds contain high levels of omega-3s and a healthful ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.
The seeds also contain high levels of arginine, an amino acid that turns into nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide is essential for artery and vein dilation, and it helps keep blood vessel walls smooth and elastic.
Lowering blood pressure, eating a healthful diet, and participating in varied forms of exercise may help to decrease the risk of heart failure.
7. Reduce inflammation
The amount of omega-3s in hemp seeds and the seeds’ healthful omega-3 to omega-6 ratio can together help to reduce inflammation.
In addition, hemp seeds are a rich source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid which may also have anti-inflammatory effects.
Some studies on animals suggest that GLA can act as a potent anti-inflammatory. However, recent studies in humans suggest that the acid is not always effective.
A review in The European Journal of Pharmacology states that humans process GLA in a very complicated way, which may explain why the studies in humans produce more varied results than those on animals.
When looking at these studies, it is important to note that researchers usually use high concentrations of hemp seed extracts and that eating the seeds may produce less dramatic effects.
Reducing inflammation may help manage the symptoms of chronic diseases , such as:
- metabolic syndrome
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease
8. Improve skin conditions
Atopic dermatitis (AD) and acne can both result from chronic inflammation. The anti-inflammatory compounds in hemp seeds may help.
Among other possible dietary causes, acne may be linked to a deficiency in omega-3s. The high omega-3 content in hemp seeds may help to manage and reduce acne symptoms.
A 2018 review explored the effects of dietary changes on skin diseases. While the authors found evidence that eating more omega-3s may improve symptoms of acne, determining the extent of the effects will require more research.
The authors also note that prebiotics and plant fibers may help to manage symptoms of AD. Hemp seeds are a rich source of plant fiber.
9. Relieve rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. It causes the immune system to attack its own tissues, which leads to inflammation in the joints.
In 2014, research conducted in human cells suggested that hemp seed oil could have anti-rheumatic effects.
However, a 2018 review found a lack of conclusive evidence to suggest that cannabinoids could effectively treat rheumatic diseases. The authors noted that more research is needed.
Hemp seeds contain plenty of protein, healthful fatty acids, and fiber.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) , 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds contain 116 calories and the following nutrients:
|Total fatty acids||14.62 g|
|Monounsaturated fatty acids||1.62 g|
|Polyunsaturated fat||11.43 g|
|Saturated fatty acids||1.38 g|
Hemp seeds are also a healthful source of vitamin E and minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Hemp seeds are small, brown seeds from the Cannabis sativa plant. They have a rich nutritional profile, with high concentrations of protein and healthful fatty acids. Wide-ranging research suggests that the seeds may reduce symptoms of specific ailments. Learn more about the benefits of hemp seeds here.
Hemp Protein: Health Benefits, Nutrition, and Uses
In this Article
In this Article
In this Article
- Health Benefits
- Amounts and Dosage
Hemp protein comes from the cannabis plant and is an excellent source of plant-based protein. It doesn’t contain any THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. It’s a very sustainable plant that can grow in a variety of climates, and the different parts of the plant can be used in many ways.
History shows that hemp seeds as a food source go back thousands of years. Documents show that hemp was an important source of protein, fiber, and medicine in the Mediterranean, Egypt, and Morocco many centuries B.C.
You can eat hemp seeds in two ways: with the shells removed or as a powder made from ground-up seeds. Both ways provide a great source of nutrition and many health benefits. Whether you already eat a plant-based diet or not, hemp protein can become a great staple in your diet.
There are several health benefits of hemp protein, which is why people have been eating it for thousands of years. Here are some of the top benefits of both hemp seeds and hemp protein powder:
Lean Source of Protein
Hemp seeds and powder are lean sources of plant-based protein, making them a great supplement to a plant-based diet. If you’re trying to lower your meat intake, you can try incorporating hemp products into your diet. About 25% of each hemp seed is protein, and the seeds are quite low in fat.
Eating lean proteins boosts metabolism, benefits digestion, and promotes lean body mass. Hemp protein doesn’t contain any cholesterol or saturated fats, unlike many sources of animal proteins. Three tablespoons of hemp protein powder contain around 90 calories and 3 grams of fat while packing in 15 grams of protein.
Rich in Amino Acids
The human body needs 22 amino acids to function properly. Amino acids are used by the brain to build protein. The body gets amino acids from food, typically from animal products like meat, milk, and eggs.
However, hemp products contain all of the amino acids needed to help repair muscle cells, regulate the nervous system, and regulate brain function. This makes them a great substitute for animal products, especially since your body cannot produce many of these acids by itself.
May Prevent Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer
Both hemp protein powder and hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids help to maintain good cardiovascular health. They protect the heart, help to maintain lean body mass, and maintain brain function.
Thanks to these essential fatty acids, one of the most important benefits of hemp protein is that it can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Hemp contains tocopherols, or compounds that naturally help to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The natural properties of hemp products help promote antioxidant activity in the body, too.
Hemp products also have high levels of polyunsaturated fats that support heart health. They do this by preventing artery blockage and lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Polyunsaturated fats can also benefit you after a cardiac event since they work to protect the heart.
Vitamins and Minerals
Another health benefit of hemp protein is that it’s a natural source of many important vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy. In particular, hemp products are good sources of iron, magnesium, and manganese. These minerals help to keep several parts of your body working properly, in addition to preventing sickness and disease.
Hemp seeds and hemp protein powder also contain a healthy dose of potassium, which helps balance your body’s water and electrolytes. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain about 370 milligrams of potassium, which is twice what you’ll get from other sources like spinach and oranges.
Amounts and Dosage
There are many ways that you can incorporate hemp products into your diet. A standard serving of hemp seeds or hemp protein powder is about 3 tablespoons, or 30 grams. You can add the seeds to salad, casserole, cereal, baked goods, or smoothie bowls.
Hemp protein powder is a good choice if you’re a fan of smoothies. It blends in well, and it’s a great source of vegan protein if you’re looking for a boost before or after a workout. You can also blend the powder into yogurt or smoothie bowls.
Euphytica: “Hempseed as a nutritional source: An overview.”
Food Revolution Network: “All About Hemp Seeds — A Nutritionally Dense Superfood.”
Fundación CANNA: “Nutritional benefits of hemp seeds.”
Hemp Benefits: “Benefits of Hemp Protein for Health.”
Nutrition & Metabolism: “The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed.”
One Green Planet: “Why This Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Protein Needs to Be Every Fitness Buff’s Best Friend.”
Discover all the health benefits of hemp protein powder and hemp seeds and why you should incorporate these plant-based proteins into your diet.