Hemp Nuts: Ancient Superfood
Hemp seeds have an established place in history as a nourishing and delicious food. Cultures from around the world have their local recipes. Russians make porridge, sweets and a delicious butter said to be superior to peanut butter. The Chinese enjoy snacks of roasted seeds and in South Africa babies are weaned on a hemp “Pablum”. In fact, the medicinal properties of hemp seeds in ancient Chinese pharmacopoeia are substantial. No other single plant source can compare with the nutritional value. Both the complete protein and the essential oils contained in hemp seed are in ideal ratios for human nutrition.
IDEAL VEGETABLE PROTEIN!
A pound of hemp seed would provide all the protein, essential fatty acids and dietary fiber necessary for human survival for two weeks. The protein in hemp contains all eight amino acids essential to life and is easily digested. For this reason it is used in many parts of the world for treating malnourishment.
DANGERS of “low fat” and “no fat”
Recent trends to produce “low fat” and “no fat” foods present untimely dangers to human biology. In an effort to reduce the intake of saturated fats which are attributed to excess weight gain, food manufacturers are producing products that contain no source of essential fatty acids. An ideal fat source needs to contain a balance of essential fatty acids (EFAs). They are known as Omega-3 or alpha linolenic acid and Omega-6 or linoleic acid. Hemp foods and hemp oil will be at the head of the “good fat” line, since they contain 80% EFAs. Fats and oils provide a carrier for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. They also produce energy. As the trend towards “nutraceuticals” (nutritional foods or substances which prevent disease) continues, the increasingly sophisticated consumer will turn to hemp seed.
HIGH FIBER – little “colon cleansers”
Although little has been written about the fiber content of hemp seeds in North America they continue to be the most popular remedy for constipation and hemorrhoids in China.
Nutritional Analysis of Hemp Seeds
- Protein 22.5%
- Carbohydrates 35.8%
- Moisture 5.7%
- Ash 5.9%
- Calories 503 per 100g
- Dietary fiber 35.1% (3.0% soluble)
- Fat 30%
Essential Fatty Acid Profile
- Omega-3 (Alpha Linolenic) 20%
- Omega-6 (Linoleic) 57%
- Omega-9 (Oleic) 12%
- Stearic 2%
- Palmitic 6%
- Carotene (Vit A) 16,800 IU per pound
- Thiamine (B1) .9mg/100g
- Riboflavin (B2) 1.1mg/100g
- Pyridoxine (B6) .3mg/100g
- Niacin (B3) 2.5mg/100g
- Vitamin C 1.4mg/100g
- Vitamin D 100 IU/100g
- Vitamin E 3 mg/100g
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
EFAs absorb sunlight and keep membranes fluid. Their tendency to disperse gives biological systems the power to carry substances such as toxins to the surface of the skin, intestinal tract, kidneys, or lungs, where these substances can be discarded. EFAs are involved in producing life energy in our body from food substances, and moving that energy throughout our systems. They govern growth, vitality, and mental state. They hook up oxygen, electron transport, and energy in the process of oxidation. Oxidation, the central and most important moment-to-moment living process in our body, is the ‘burning’ of food to produce the energy required for life processes. EFAs are involved in the transporting of oxygen to all our cells. EFAs can be likened to oxygen ‘magnets’ that pull oxygen into our body. Linoleic Acid and Linolenic Acid appear to hold oxygen in our cell membranes, where it acts as a barrier to viruses, fungi and bacteria.
EFAs substantially shorten the time required for fatigued muscles to recover after exercise. They facilitate the conversion of lactic acid to water and carbon dioxide. This is especially important to athletes. EFAs increase metabolic rates. They increase the metabolic rate and burn more fat into carbon dioxide, water and energy sometimes resulting in weight loss. Linolenic Acid and its derivatives can lower cholesterol by up to 65%. It also produces smooth, velvety skin, increases stamina, speeds healing, increases vitality, and brings a feeling of calmness. It reduces inflammation, water retention, platelet stickiness, and blood pressure. It also inhibits the growth of tumors and enhances some immune functions, reduces the pain and swelling of arthritis, and completely reverses premenstrual syndrome in some cases. It has been known to kill malaria and has been used successfully to treat bacterial infections.”