Nature's Path Blog

The Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds

Posted by Kate Barrington on June 07, 2017 under Healthy Food & Recipes

The hemp plant has been cultivated for more than 12,000 years and, while it has great economic significance, it still gets a bad rap. Unfortunately, many of the negative things people believe about this plant are false, or they don’t tell the whole story. Keep reading to learn the truth about some common misconceptions about consuming hemp and to learn the top 5 health benefits of hemp seeds.


The Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds | Nature's Path


Misconceptions About Consuming Hemp

Due to its association with the recreational drug marijuana, many people have a negative opinion about the hemp plant and related products. While it is true that both hemp and marijuana come from the same plant speciesCannabis Sativa L. – there are some important differences between the two. It is the flowering tops and the leaves of the Cannabis plant that contain the psychoactive elements as well as the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that most people associate with the drug marijuana. The seeds and fibers of the plant, on the other hand, contain very low levels of THC.


Because hemp contains less than 0.3% THC – this is the line that marijuana plants cross – consuming it isn’t going to get you high. In fact, hemp plants and marijuana plants, though they come from the same species, are cultivated very differently. Hemp plants are grown for their seeds and fiber while marijuana plants are cultivated for their THC content. The seeds of the hemp plant consist primarily of essential fatty acids as well as protein, fiber, and other nutrients. These seeds also contain the cannabinoid known as cannabidiol, but it doesn’t have any effect on your conscious state.


The Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds | Nature's Path


The Top 5 Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds

Now that you know the truth about consuming hemp products, you may be wondering what benefits these foods can provide. The seeds of the hemp plant are particularly nutritious – so much so that they are often considered a superfood. Here is an overview of the top five health benefits of these seeds:


1. Rich in Essential Nutrients

The myriad health benefits of hemp seeds are related to their nutritional content. The shelled seeds of the hemp plant contain about 35% essential fatty acids and 33% plant protein. These seeds contain all nine essential amino acids and they are an abundant source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) as well as dietary fiber.

2. May Reduce the Risk for Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the number-1 killer worldwide but consuming these little seeds could reduce your risk. These seeds are particularly rich in the amino acid arginine which plays a role in the body’s production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide causes the blood vessels to dilate and relax which lowers blood pressure and reduces your risk for heart disease.


The Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds | Nature's Path


3. Supports Healthy Weight Loss

Due to their content of dietary fats and fiber, these seeds may help you to feel fuller longer, repressing your appetite in support of your weight loss goals. Just keep in mind that, due to their fat content, these seeds are fairly high in calories.


4. Aids Healthy Digestion

In addition to their protein and fat content, the seeds of the hemp plant are also rich in dietary fiber – both soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber from these seeds can add bulk to your stools, helping to keep your digestion regular. The mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber also aids the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut which supports healthy digestion as well as a strong immune system.


5. Improves Hair, Skin, and Nail Health

Hemp seeds contain more than 30% fat and they are particularly rich in alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and linoleic acid (omega-6). These oils are frequently used in cosmetics because they have the ability to penetrate through layers of skin to promote cell growth. Consuming these seeds can help to repair and moisturize dry and damaged skin – they also support healthy hair and nails.


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Rich in essential fatty acids, protein, fiber, and other important nutrients, seeds from the hemp plant are a powerhouse of healthy nutrition. The next time someone expresses concern about consuming hemp products, you can address their misconceptions and enlighten them about the health benefits of these tasty seeds.


How to Incorporate Hemp Seeds into Your Diet 

Really you can add hemp seeds into almost anything for an extra boost of nutrition, healhty fats, and fibre. Check out our top 5 products using hemp


What to know more about the health benefits of other organic foods? Learn about oats, chia seeds, coconut, Baobab, and cacao.


The Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds | Nature's Path


Written by Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is a certified Fitness Nutrition Coach and writer specializing in the health and fitness niche. She uses her coaching experience to inform and inspire her creative content in addition to supporting her own efforts in maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. She graduated from Marietta College with a degree in English and shares her passion for health and wellness by spreading knowledge about healthy eating, exercise, and natural remedies. She enjoys cooking, painting, and climbing and is a loving mother to a collection of pets.