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A kale and Brussels salad topped with Navitas Organics Hemp Seeds.
June 29, 2022

YQA: What Makes Hemp a Superfood?

Curious as to why hemp is considered a superfood? Learn why and discover answers to some of the most common questions we get about hemp.

Photo credit: Angela Simpson | @myfreshperspective

By: Kali Sink, AAS, NC

Hemp plants are incredibly earth friendly, as they help prevent soil erosion through their deep root network and biomass production. But beyond that, they're also a nutritional powerhouse since their seeds are a rare plant-based source of complete protein and omega-3s. Find out what makes these creamy, nutty seeds a perfect superfood addition to your everyday routine. 

1. What makes hemp seeds a superfood?

While all nuts and seeds are powerhouses of nutrition, hemp has a special place in our hearts. This is because of its essential fatty acid content—or levels of omega-3 and omega-6. Essential fatty acids are special types of fat that are necessary for our health but not created by our bodies. Therefore, we must consume them in our diet. 

Omega-6 primarily supports our inflammatory immune response while omega-3 helps to fight unnecessary inflammation. When we consume too much omega-6 in relation to omega-3, we nudge our bodies into a pro-inflammatory state. Eventually, we can become chronically inflamed, a foundation state for numerous health conditions.

Unfortunately, modern diets lean heavily on high omega-6 oils, like corn, sunflower, safflower and sesame. Even most whole nuts and seeds, like almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, contain significantly more omega-6 than omega-3.

And this is where hemp comes in! Hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts, contain both omega-3 and omega-6 in an ideal ratio of 1:3. This means that when you consume hemp regularly, you support a better balance of essential fatty acids in your body, thus keeping needless inflammation in check.

In addition to its high essential fatty acid content, hemp seeds are considered to be a complete protein due to their full profile of essential amino acids. Hemp seeds contain all nine essential amino acids that cannot be produced by the human body. This rich, plant based protein source is a top choice for those on a vegetarian or vegan diet as they easily incorporate hemp protein powder into their everyday routine. There are also a variety of hemp products such as hemp flour and hemp milk that offer a healthier alternative to standard flours and milks. 

One full serving of hulled hemp seeds (3 tbsp or 30g) will provide you 166 calories, 9.48 grams of protein, over 14 grams of healthy fats, and 1.2 grams of fiber. These hulled hemp seeds are also a great source of minerals such magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc. The abundance of nutritional value makes hemp an easy addition to a healthy diet.

2. I have a bag of hemp seeds in my pantry. What should I do with them?

Hemp seeds are one of our favorite superfoods when it comes to versatility—it’s hard to think of a dish that couldn’t be improved with a scoop of these seeds! With a light, nutty flavor and a creamy texture, enjoying hemp seeds can be as simple as adding them into a smoothie or sprinkling them over a salad.

Looking for something a little more creative? Try using hemp seeds as a condiment! You can create an instantly creamy dressing by blending them into a vinaigrette. Or pull out your food processor and combine hemp seeds with olive oil, basil or other herb of choice, nutritional yeast, garlic and a pinch of salt for a delicious vegan pesto.

Hemp seeds are also a great addition to baked goods, like granola, cookies and crackers. For a nuttier flavor in your favorite treat, toast them in the oven until they are fragrant and golden.

For a dairy alternative, try blending ½ cup of hemp seeds with about 3 cups of water, a pinch of salt, and sweetener if desired. This creamy beverage is the perfect base for smoothies, wellness lattes and granola bowls. 

For more hemp seed recipes, visit our collection HERE.

3. Are there THC or CBD in hemp seeds or hemp powder?

Our Hemp Seeds and Hemp Powder come from Industrial Hemp, a variety of the cannabis family. While the term “industrial hemp” doesn’t exactly bring to mind picturesque organic agriculture, this is exactly the type of hemp that we prefer for its edible seeds! It’s called industrial hemp because of its long history of cultivation for fiber, building materials, oil, fuel, and food.

Industrial hemp by law must contain no more than 0.3% of THC, the psychoactive compound in hemp (compare that to modern marijuana plants, which can contain up to 15%) This compound is concentrated in the flowers of the marijuana plant and is not found in significant quantities in the seeds of any cannabis variety. When it comes to industrial hemp seeds, the amount of THC is so low that it’s typically nondetectable in lab testing and will not show up on a drug test.

What about CBD? This compound is sought after for its anti-inflammatory and anxiety reducing effects and can be extracted from industrial hemp. However, this compound is not found in the seeds; instead, CBD is primarily concentrated in the flowers, leaves and stems.

If you’re worried about ingesting THC or CBD, rest assured that you can enjoy our Hemp Seeds and Hemp Powder with confidence! Every batch is tested by third party, independent labs to ensure a clean, premium product packed with superfood nutrition.

 

Do you have a superfood question for Kali? Send it to her at askus@navitasorganics.com!

See what other burning superfood questions customers are asking in our candid "Your Questions Answered" Blog Series here.

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