8 Benefits Of Hemp Seeds
No. not that kind of hemp.
You totally had a hemp necklace back in middle school. But these days, you’d probably rather eat hemp than wear it.
Yep, hemp is now a bonafide superfood: “Hemp is super-nutritious and although tiny, quite mighty,” says Amy Shapiro, R.D., founder of Real Nutrition.
To reap the benefits, Shapiro suggests adding one daily tablespoon of hempseed—also known as hemp hearts—to your diet in a variety of ways. Mix them into to your smoothie or bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. And at dinner or lunch, sprinkle them on top of your salad, grain bowl, or plate of pasta.
You can also try hemp milk—a non-dairy option made from blending hemp hearts with water. And there’s hemp oil, which Shapiro says may (bonus!) help prevent eczema flareups. Meanwhile, hemp butter—ground-up hemp hearts—makes a healthy peanut butter substitute.
“There are really no negative side effects [to consuming hemp] except if you take blood coagulants, you should increase your hemp intake slowly as it may cause bleeding risks,” says Shapiro.
And yes, hemp does come from the same family of plants as marijuana. But no, it won’t get you high—there’s a distinct difference between psychoactive and non-psychoactive forms of hemp, according to the journal Nutrition and Metabolism. In fact, hemp seeds contains less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—which is super minimal.
So no, the hemp seeds in your cereal won’t make you laugh at Pineapple Express, but they might help you enjoy a healthier life in the following ways.
1. Hemp seeds can help build muscle mass.
Skip the protein powders and add a dose of protein-rich hemp to your smoothie to change things up. Shapiro says that unlike most plant-based protein sources, hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Three tablespoons provides 10 grams of protein—the same amount as a Go Macro protein bar or three ounces of cottage cheese.
2. They can boost energy.
Hemp seeds contain a small amount of complex carbohydrates (about a gram per tablespoon), which releases glucose slowly into the bloodstream, according to The American Heart Association, and prevents that dreaded energy spike and subsequent crash.
3. They may help you lose weight.
Weight loss occurs when you expend more calories than you take in, so hemp seeds won’t singlehandedly help you shed pounds. But they might help “if it replaces fattier and richer types of proteins in the diet,” such as red meat or whole-fat dairy, says Shapiro.
She adds that consuming it in other forms may also help with weight loss. For example, hemp milk has fewer carbohydrates and sugars than regular dairy milk, and hemp protein powder is a great addition to smoothies to help control appetite.
Hemp seeds are packed with all kinds of nutrients from protein to fiber and omega-3s. Here's how you can incorporate these seeds into your diet, plus the health benefits.
Should I Be Eating Hemp Seeds?
When you think of hemp, you probably don’t think of something you eat! But hemp seeds — kind of like flax seeds or chia seeds — are growing in popularity, and are now sometimes also added to cereals, bars, grain dishes, etc, as well as sold on their own. Here’s a little more info about hemp, in case you’re interested in trying it out.
What are hemp seeds?
Hemp seeds are in the seed/nut family, and have a nutty flavor and crunchy texture, kind of like flax or chia seeds.
What’s healthy about hemp?
Hemp seeds are a great plant source of protein and healthy fat, and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Some people say that they have more energy and improved digestion when they add hemp seeds to their diet (probably because of the fiber, protein, and healthy fat content).
Should I start eating hemp?
If you’re a vegetarian, or someone whose trying to eat more protein from plant sources, you may want to try hemp seeds. They’re also great for people who like to sprinkle flax, wheat germ, chia seeds, granola, or nuts on top of yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, salads, etc. It’s always good to eat a variety of foods, and hemp is one other crunchy, healthy item you can add into your rotation.
Are there any reasons not to eat hemp?
Like all nuts and seeds, hemp seeds are a dense source of calories and fat. Two tablespoons of hemp has about 85 calories, and 7 grams of fat (the good kind of fat: unsaturated), so it’s not something that you’d want to just start sprinkling on everything you eat, unless you reduce calories somewhere else to compensate. If you want to try hemp, make sure that you account for the extra calories, or you’ll find yourself gaining weight slowly over time.
What can I do with hemp seeds?
Sprinkle them on yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, and salad. Add them to granola, baked goods, or bread. Here are some recipe ideas. Just remember to use hemp seeds as a replacement for other seeds/nuts you normally eat, as opposed to just adding them in as extra, since that will simply increase the calories and fat in your meal or recipe.
Do you have any recipes with hemp on Eating Made Easy?
What brands of hemp seeds are the best?
The only two I’ve tried are Happy Hemp and Manitoba Harvest. They’re both organic, and they tasted equivalent to me, so I think either of these would be a good place to start.
Should I Be Eating Hemp Seeds? When you think of hemp, you probably don’t think of something you eat! But hemp seeds — kind of like flax seeds or chia seeds — are growing in popularity, and