For thousands of years, hemp has been cultivated and used for a host of industrial and commercial purposes. The first evidence of its use can be found almost 10,000 years ago, when it was spun into a usable fibre for reasons unknown. In today’s world it is used in a variety of ways including in the production of paper, insulation, textiles, clothing, biofuel, paint and plastics.
However, it is also used as a food due to its wealth of nutritional benefits. It does not contain any of the psychoactive materials associated with its cannabis cousin. Instead, it contains nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fats that can benefit the human body in a variety of ways.
Don’t be overawed by the technical terms of some of the materials found in hemp seeds. While its list of ‘ingredients’ may look like an immense reel of scientific jargon, all should be considered an essential part of a human’s diet.
Firstly, hemp seeds contain a number of vital and rich proteins, the two most prominent being Edestin and Albumin. Both of these proteins hold vast amount of amino acids that are essential to the body. One particular amino acid, arginine, has anti-inflammatory properties and can significantly help in the recovery of short or long term injury.
Hemp oil, extracted from the seeds contains a fatty substance known as gamma linolenic acid. This reduces inflammation in the body, much like arginine. However, it is more associated with the inflammation found in arthritis patients and those who suffer from joint pain.
While the 30% fat content found in hemp seeds can make it seem like they are unhealthy, it is in fact the complete opposite. These tiny seeds are full of rich, healthy fats. Two fatty acids are especially prevalent in hemp seeds; omega-3 and omega-6.
Like many other edible seeds, hemp seeds are extremely high in magnesium and B vitamins. Both of these elements are associated with reducing anxiety and stress. Magnesium does this by supporting neurotransmitter functions in the brain, while B vitamins are extremely adept at regulating stress hormones that are produced.