Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hemp Nutrition

Hemp is one of the oldest agricultural crops grown by man. It’s grown for its seed and fiber, and the seed is one of the most perfectly balanced foods we can eat. Phytochemically, it is a cousin of cannabis and for that reason has been outlawed to grow in the United States despite its proven non-hallucinatory and nutritional benefits. Hemp is a pure food from nature not a synthetic supplement. The seed comes from an organically grown plant that is not a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO), and that is naturally free from tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), gluten, dairy, soy, and peanuts, as well as being vegan approved.

Hemp seeds are one of nature’s most perfect and nutrient dense foods. The seed is small, but packed with a highly digestible plant protein, which is free of trypsin-inhibitors and carries 18 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein. They are an excellent source of iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, manganese, and supply folate (Vitamin B9), thiamine (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B6; they contain riboflavin (Vitamin B2), niacin (Vitamin B3), potassium, calcium and Vitamin E. Hemp seeds are high in dietary fiber. In addition to proteins, the seeds provide one of the highest concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids categorized as Omega-6 and Omega-3 in an ideal 3:1 ratio. The hemp seed oil also uniquely contains naturally occurring gamma-l acid and stearidonic acid. Basically, hemp is a superfood and packs quite the resume!

Specifics on Hemp Nutrition

The nutritional composition of hemp seed is quite unique and exceptional! Whole hemp seeds contain approximately 36% dietary fat, 26% high quality and digestible protein and 31% carbohydrates comprised mainly of dietary fiber, in addition to an interesting array of vitamins and minerals. 

Hemp seed’s dietary fat is primarily composed of polyunsaturated fats or the “good fats.” Hemp seed oil’s fatty acid profile is comprised of 80% polyunsaturated fats, 11% monounsaturated fats, 9% saturated fats and zero trans fats. Health organizations (1.) have recommended that fat intake should make up 20% to 35% of your total calories. They further recommend that most of your fat intake should come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, while limiting the intake of trans and saturated fats. Hemp seed dietary fat meets this recommendation.

Hemp Seed Oil contains Zero trans fat and is cholesterol-free.

Hemp Seed Oil provides one of the highest concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) categorized as Omega-6 and Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) in an ideal 3:1 ratio. EFAs are vital for good health but cannot be manufactured by our body, so they must be present in our diet through the foods we eat. EFAs are both important components of cell membranes and are precursors for substances in the body involved with regulating blood pressure and inflammatory responses.

Hemp Seed Oil also uniquely contains naturally-occurring Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) and Stearidonic Acid (SDA). GLA and SDA are direct metabolites of Omega-6 and Omega-3 EFAs, respectively. These two metabolites are important for regulating inflammation and auto-immune functions in our bodies.

Hemp seed is a source of high quality, plant based protein and is vegan. Analysis of hemp food proteins has resulted in a Protein Rating of 40 (2.) and above, meaning that the protein content in hemp foods is not only present in high amounts, but also of a high quality!

Hemp protein is free of trypsin-inhibitors. Trypsin is a key enzyme that breaks down peptide bonds in proteins, enabling protein uptake in the human body. Hemp protein contains no trypsin inhibitors, such as those found in other protein rich sources like soy that can cause flatulence and gas. Hemp seed and foods not only contain a high quality protein, available in high amounts, but they are also free of inhibitors that impede protein digestion making hemp highly digestible.

Hemp protein is very high in dietary fiber. Fiber helps to keep the digestive system healthy and functioning properly. The dietary fiber found in hemp is primarily composed of insoluble fiber, which helps with digestion and maintaining regular bowel movements.

Hemp is naturally gluten and lactose free. Gluten is a type of protein found in most grains commonly used in cereals and baked goods. Most people allergic to gluten have a similar reaction to lactose and soy. Hemp foods naturally have zero gluten and lactose content (3.).
  1. Health Organizations include WHO, FAO, Canada Health and US Food and Drug Administration
  2. Per Health Canada Regulations, Protein Rating = Protein in a Reasonable Daily Intake x Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER); Reasonable Daily Intake for hemp products = 64 grams.
  3. Hemp seed is naturally gluten-free. However, cross-contamination can occur at the field level during handling, transportation and storage. CMJ supplier of hemp food products conducts regular gluten testing on seed lots to ensure that gluten content is <20 ppm, which is the acceptable threshold by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and Health Canada for a gluten-free claim.
The above information taken from the site Hemp 101.

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