If you’re looking for one of the easiest superfoods to add to your diet, go pick yourself up some hemp seeds. The seeds of the hemp plant, cannabis sativa, are so versatile, they can be added to just about anything.
A little bit about hemp seeds: they’re technically a nut and have a mild, nutty flavor. And while they won’t get you stoned, they do contain a trace amount of THC.
Not only are they rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, they contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which in and of itself has been linked to improving skin health, arthritis, high cholesterol and ADHD, to name just a few benefits.
Here are 9 other science-backed health benefits linked to hemp seeds, the super-fuel you need more of in your life.
1. Reduces The Risk of Heart Disease
Hemp seeds contain high amounts of arginine, which produces nitric oxide — a metabolic precursor for the production of nitric oxide (NO), a molecule now recognized as a pivotal signaling messenger in the cardiovascular system. It forces the blood vessels dilate and relax, which, in turn, leads to lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease.
2. It’s Great For Skin
Because of the high amount of fatty acids, hemp seed oil can help treat eczema (by improving blood levels of essential fatty acids), dry skin, aging skin and psoriasis by inhibiting the growth of overactive skin cells.
3. Great Source Of Protein
More than a quarter of a hemp seed’s total calories come from high-quality protein, which is about double that of chia seeds and flaxseed and almost as much as a soy bean.
4. Naturally Balances Hormones
Because hemp seeds are high in GLA and contain the perfect balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, they balance hormones and may reduce symptoms of menopause.
5. Aids Digestion
Whole hemp seeds contain lots of fiber, some of which is insoluble, which get the digestive tract moving in the right direction. Look for hemp seeds than have not been hulled, as it’s the shell of the hemp seed that contains the most fiber. Some call it the best colon cleanser on the planet.
6. Relieves Stress
Hemp seeds contain a large amount of magnesium, which supports neurotransmitter functions in the body and helps reduce stress and anxiety. Just 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds contain 45 per cent of your magnesium requirement, which blow other plant-based foods out of the water.
7. May Relieve Arthritis Pain
The CBD in hemp seed oil helps reduce joint pain and inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis.
8. Fights Cancer
Because of its natural balance of essential fatty acids and GLA, hemp seeds help balance inflammation and strengthen the immune system. According to a study published in The British Journal of Cancer, the THC in hemp seed can stop and reverse glioblastoma multiforme — the most common and most malignant of brain tumors.
Other studies suggest hemp oil is effective in fighting other types of cancer, too, like breast, skin and ovarian.
9. Help Treat Multiple Sclerosis
According to clinical trial data, hemp seeds can be beneficial in helping MS patients. The study concluded that “co-supplemented hemp seed and evening primrose oils with hot-natured diet (such as peppers) can have beneficial effects in improving clinical symptoms in relapsing remitting MS patients and significant correlation was found between expanded disability status scale (EDSS) and immunological findings.”