December 02, 2021

Healthy Hemp: A Plant Protein Powerhouse

Hemp protein is a nutrition superstar packed with essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and of course, plant-based protein.

The entire hemp plant has some pretty fantastic properties, too! We’re talking disease-preventing, mood-boosting, stress-relieving potential.(1)

That’s a lot of reasons to invite hemp into your snacks, meals, and holiday spreads.

Whether you’re not yet acquainted with hemp or you love it and can’t get enough, pull up a chair and situate your napkin. We’re digging into a healthy feast of factoids about hemp and hemp protein!

What Is Hemp, Exactly?

Hemp is a plant in the cannabis family. Cannabis sativa L., to be exact.

While hemp is closely related to marijuana, it only contains trace amounts of THC, which isn’t enough to be intoxicating. (Hey, we all have relatives we don’t share traits with, right?)

That means you can serve up your vegan pumpkin hemp heart pie to the whole family come Thanksgiving, kids included!

Something to be aware of: When people say “hemp,” they could be referring to the plant or a part of the plant. Many different things can also be made from hemp and may be called hemp-based or hemp-derived.

It sounds confusing, and it can be until you learn about hemp’s many uses. Let’s carve into the details!

What Is Hemp Used For?

Kind of like deciphering your granny’s turkey stuffing recipe, understanding the uses for hemp is easier when you break it down by ingredient.

Nutrition-packed seeds from the hemp plant may be shelled (aka hulled) to reveal tender hemp hearts.

Hemp hearts and unhulled hemp seeds can be:

  • Eaten as-is (though hulled hemp hearts are far more enjoyable to nibble on than unhulled seeds)
  • Ground into protein powder
  • Cold-pressed to make hemp seed oil — a fantastic, healthy option for salad dressings
  • Transformed into plant-based meat (although they haven’t mastered hemp-based turkey yet)
  • Blended with water to make plant-based milk and cream (Hemp milk PSL, anyone?)
  • Added to a wide variety of foods like cereal, bread, and even pet food

The rest of the hemp plant consists of stalks, leaves, and flowers. These parts of the hemp plant can be used to make:

  • Hemp fibers for clothing, rope, and other textiles
  • Plant-based plastics
  • Cosmetics
  • Paper
  • Hemp-derived CBD oil and CBD products
  • A whole lot of other everyday things you might not suspect!

As you can see, hemp is extremely versatile. But let’s get back to a form of hemp you can gobble down guilt-free: hemp protein!

The Benefits Of Hemp Protein

Other than being an excellent source of protein, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients, hemp seeds have clear advantages over other protein sources.

We’re grateful for hemp because…

Hemp Protein Is Clean & Lean

Just three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain 10 grams of protein, making them an excellent source of lean protein.

Meat and dairy products are rich in protein, but they also contain high levels of trans fats and saturated fats. The Standard American Diet tends to be higher in trans and saturated fats from these animal-based sources.

  • Trans fats have been linked to inflammation and cholesterol levels — risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions.(2)
  • Saturated fats are okay in moderation, but too much saturated fat increases the risk for heart disease and weight gain.(2)

Hemp seeds are low in saturated fat and virtually free from trans fat. That’s a win for heart health and overall wellness.

Learn more about the Standard American Diet and how hemp can help inThe Benefits Of CBD Oil For The Standard American Diet after this.

Hemp Protein Is A Complete Protein

Proteins are our body’s building blocks, and amino acids are the building blocks of protein.

Our bodies produce some amino acids, but not all. There are nine amino acids we get from food, which are known as essential amino acids.

Unlike many plant-based protein sources, hemp seeds contain all nine essential amino acids, including omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s have been found to reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health, among other health benefits.(3)

Hemp Protein: How Much Per Day?

The amount of hemp protein powder or hemp seeds you eat depends on how much protein you’re getting from other sources, your weight, and your activity level.

As a general rule of thumb, one serving = 15 grams of protein.(4)

You can calculate your protein needs with a handy protein calculator. (There are many available online.) Or, ask your healthcare provider how much protein you should be eating. Then you can figure out how many servings of hemp protein you need per day.

Hemp Seeds Help You Fill Up On Fiber

Hemp seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Both are important for good digestion.

Getting enough fiber is crucial for weight management, balanced blood sugar, and gut health.

Unhulled hemp seeds have much more fiber than hemp hearts. They aren’t as easy to eat as soft hemp hearts straight-up, but there are lots of hemp protein powders and hemp seeds products that make getting your fiber easy and tasty.

Hemp Has Super Plant Powers

Okay, maybe “superpowers” is stretching it a little far — we’ll let you be the judge, though!

We tend to put hemp in the “super” category because:

  • Hemp is full of phytonutrients.Phytonutrients are natural plant compounds that bolster immunity, reduce inflammation, protect cells from damage, and ward off disease. You can phyto-power your nutrition with hemp seeds, hemp protein, CBD oil, or any other form of edible hemp.
  • Hemp contains non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including CBD, CBG, and CBN — just to name a few.Each cannabinoid has unique benefits. For example, cannabidiol (CBD) may help reduce pain and inflammation, ease anxiety, and improve sleep.(1) Hemp seeds don’t contain CBD, but they do contain other cannabinoids.(5) To get the goodness of CBD and hemp, go for hemp-derived CBD products.

What do you think? Does hemp take the cake? Maybe this next point will help you decide…

Hemp Protein Just Plain Tastes Better

Hemp seeds have a mild, nutty flavor. When made into protein powder, they’re fairly neutral and can be combined with great-tasting flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and pumpkin spice.

Plus, hemp protein doesn’t get all gummy and weird like other vegan protein powders.

When you compare hemp protein vs whey protein, hemp protein has more omega healthy fats, fiber, iron, and calcium — and it tastes just as good, if not better!

Need we say more?

How To Use Hemp For a Healthier Lifestyle

Ready to fill up on the smorgasbord of good-for-you properties in hemp? It’s easy to make simple swaps to get more into your diet.

For example, you could…

  • Go meatless more often by eating hemp protein, hemp seeds, and other hemp products. Reducing the number of animal products you consume and more plants in their place is better for your health.
  • Celebrate with hemp! Invite hemp recipes onto your holiday table to bring some balance into the indulgent feast. Search for vegan desserts and recipes that use hemp to build up your repertoire of hemp-based meals.
  • Swap hemp protein powder in for whey or other protein powders. You’ll get plenty of protein and more nutrition, and have loads of great-tasting options to choose from.
  • Consider hemp-derived CBD products when you’re looking for a natural remedy — like when the in-laws are on their way over before the turkey is even in the oven and you need to de-stress — or to relieve that eggnog hangover the next day.

Discover more ways CBD can benefit vegans and vegetarians — readThe Benefits Of CBD Oil For Plant-Based Diets next.

Hemp: More Than A Side Dish

Step aside, self-proclaimed superfoods. Hemp is the real deal!

Hemp seeds are tiny, protein-packed packages that give your body the nutrition it needs to be strong and healthy. Between hemp hearts and hemp protein powders and products, there’s no shortage of ways to have your plant-based protein and enjoy eating it, too!

CBD oil is another hemp-derived product that delivers the powers of hemp in each dose.

Supplement with hemp or try hemp recipes and CBD to bring some plant power to your holidays and every day.

TRY HEMP-BASED CBD TODAY

References

  1. Perez, L. (2021). 9 Science-Backed Benefits Of CBD Oil. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/health/body/cbd-oil-benefits
  2. Mann, D. (2020). Trans Fats: The Science and the Risks. Nourish by WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/trans-fats-science-and-risks#1
  3. Hjalmarsdottir, F. (2018). 17 Science-Based Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-health-benefits-of-omega-3
  4. (2015). Hemp Protein for Sports & Fitness. PeaceHealth. https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/hn-10013909
  5. Citti, C, et al. (2019). Cannabinoid Profiling of Hemp Seed Oil by Liquid Chromatography Coupled to High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry. Frontiers. Plant Science. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2019.00120/full


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