What’s So Special About Hemp Seed?

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “hemp,” I think about something you smoke that’s illegal in most states.

And in fact, if you look up “hemp” on Wikipedia, you will find this:

“Hemp is a commonly used term for high growing varieties of the Cannabis plant and its products, which include fiber, oil, and seed. Hemp is refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel.

“Other variants of the herb Cannabis sativa are widely used as a drug, commonly known as marijuana.”

So, when I attended a seminar on healthy eating at a recent produce convention in Vancouver, Canada, you can imagine my surprise that Adam Hart, the speaker and author of “Power of Food,” was talking about eating hemp seeds! In fact, he brought out a jar of his personal stash (no pun intended) to share with the audience of about 100. He talked about hemp seeds as being a good source of energy, almost like drinking a glass of fresh green juice.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - What's on Karen's Plate? - Hemp seeds (Wikipedia)

By the way, Adam, who is in his mid-30s, looked AMAZING. He was dressed in his fitness gear, and it didn’t look like his body fat was over 15 percent. You could see that he was strong and muscular.

His story was just as amazing. When he was in his late 20s, he was 40 pounds overweight, depressed, and diagnosed as pre-diabetic. He turned to extreme exercise like rock climbing as a way to deal with his stress, and he changed his eating habits so he could enjoy those activities. You can read his whole story here.

That story may sound similar to those of other inspiring, now-healthy people, but I found his message unique. His philosophy is, “Don’t take anything away from your diet. ADD something to it.”

And, of course, that “something” that he talked about was hemp seeds.

Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical until I took a taste. They were pretty good—crunchy with a mild nutty flavor. The samples he passed around the room were mixed with sesame, sprouted buckwheat, flax, and chia seeds.

What makes hemp seeds good for you is their protein and essential amino acids. So they’re especially great for all you vegans and raw-food eaters out there. And if you are allergic to soy like I am, it’s a good alternative source of protein. Hemp seeds also contain a good amount of magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamin E, and fiber. Hemp milk has the same health benefits as the seeds from which it is made.

I hope I’m not sounding like a vitamin peddler! But like many of my friends and colleagues, each year that goes by seems to bring on a few more aches and pains. I find myself looking for alternative ways to stay healthy and fit, whether it’s exercising more often, trying yoga, or changing my eating habits. So what Adam talked about really resonated with me.

Last week, I ran into another produce person who was in the audience with me when Adam spoke. She called out to me, “I bought hemp seeds! Did you?” I told her I did.

We commented to each other that eating one tablespoon of hemp seeds with every meal seemed to give us the boost we need. All those healthy fatty acids are definitely doing their job of moderating our blood sugar level!

So next time you read about hemp seeds—and believe me you will, as they are one of the top trending ingredients in healthy and vegan foods—consider giving them a try.

Enjoy!

Karen

3 thoughts on “What’s So Special About Hemp Seed?

    • Hi Danette! I can help you with that. Hemp seeds are sold at most health food stores and markets like Sprouts and Whole Foods. They are also available online. Hope that helps!

  1. Thanks Karen. Will add hemp tot he list of seeds to ADD into my diet. Like many seeds with fatty acids, storing them in a cool dry place (even refrigerator) is key to keeping the oils from going rancid.

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