Hemp and Health in the Kitchen

Welcome back! This month we are going to explore the health benefits of hemp seeds. As a huge advocate of hemp seeds, I use these little nuggets of joy for basically everything from smoothies, to pesto, to combining it with my raw cacao chocolate.

First off, let’s start by explaining something…hemp seeds are of course produced from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. As you know, hemp is commonly confused with marijuana, as it belongs to the same family. Yet the two plants are quite different. Most notable is the level of THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Hemp contains less than 1 percent of the psychoactive drug while marijuana contains up to 20 percent or more. To grow marijuana you must acquire a special seed that grows a plant high in THC. Commercial hemp seed contains very low amounts, plus they contain a substance that counteracts THC.

So, what makes the hemp seed so good? Well, they are very easily one of the most nutritious foods available in nature. They contain high amounts of essential fatty acids, essential amino acids and proteins. Which if you have a vegan or raw food diet, you understand the importance of consuming the highest amount of amino acids for they are the building blocks of protein. These essential amino acids include: Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine. Evidence suggests that these little seeds are packed with such high concentrations that we can sustain our dietary needs with them, even if you just add them to the already existing diet. With that being said, top your stir-fry with them tonight.

Hemp seeds contain all of the 20 amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce. That’s pretty for real. Only comparable to MACA, really? Hemp seeds contain the perfect balance of essential amino acids for sustaining good health. Hemp seed oil contains necessary fatty acids, also known as good fats.

They have high percentages of the simple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins. (Well that’s nice.) Also, recent studies have shown that consuming hemp seeds, whether raw or in oil form, has the capacity to aid in the healing process of diseases related to immune deficiency.

These seeds are nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid (EFAs), with more essentiaDr. Pepper Hernandezl fatty acid than flax or any other nut or seed oil. Mind officially blown. Essential fatty acids are not synthesized by the human body naturally, and this is what makes hemp seeds an excellent food source of essential fatty acids.

They are a superior source of protein for vegan, vegetarian or raw diets because the high quality of proteins. This, in addition to the a range of vitamins and minerals in hemp seeds combined with omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids makes it pretty close to perfect.

Hemp seed oil also provides an adequate supply of antioxidants (Vitamin E), carotene (precursor to Vitamin A), phytosterols, phospholipids and a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, along with modest amounts of iron and zinc. Hemp seed oil also provides a good source of chlorophyll. But the juicing of the leaves blows this out of the water. I suggest combining these daily.

A perfect three to one ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid – those are known for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system. The daily recommended allowance of hemp seed oil is 14-28 ml (1 to 2 tablespoons). This allowance provides between eight to 16 grams of Omega 6 (LA) and between three and six grams of Omega 3 (LNA).

If you want to keep your heart healthy, they say you should try and consume a large amount of hemp seeds, as they are rich in essential fatty acids. It has been known to help with circulation and heart function. Moreover, it produces phytosterols which help in reducing the amount of cholesterol in the body, thereby removing fat buildup in the arteries.

A rich source of phytonutrients, the disease-protective element of plants with benefits protect your immunity, bloodstream, tissues, cells, and skin, while also improving organ functions and mitochondria.
They are also known to have the richest source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids. They say about 75-80 percent. In general, North Americans have a high dietary deficiency in EFAs due to our high intake of animal fats versus plant fats, caused by our high consumption of processed foods and meats versus natural organic foods. (What? So spread the word!)

Not only can hemp seeds provide delicious and nutritious benefits to people, they can also be used in pet foods and taste good too.

Hemp seed food products are also considered more allergy-free than many other seeds.

Besides the bulleted list of all the nutritional facts, did you also know that the protein content of the hemp seed is supposed to be very digestible. Many people noted their personal experience of finding that hemp seed protein did not cause bloating or gas, like whey, or similar protein shakes did. Unlike soy, hemp seed doesn’t contain phytic acid — that anti-nutrient that prevents us from absorbing minerals. At the very least, this makes hemp seed a step up from soy.

So much info, so little time to share everything but hope this sums it up or at least starts your journey . I have included an amazing recipe from my little raw cookbook I am currently putting together. Try it and tell me what you think:

Go forth..Go Cannabis..

 

Screenshot 2016-08-31 14.24.34Ingredients:

½ cup hemp seeds

1 garlic clove

2 cups post juiced cannabis leaf

2 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pink himalayan sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Juice your cannabis leaf and store the juice. With the paste or bi-product, make the pesto.
  2. Pulse the hemp seeds and garlic in a food processor. Add the cannabis leaf and pulse again.
  3. Add the lemon juice, a few generous pinches of salt and pepper and pulse again.
  4. While the blade is running, drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape the sides of the food processor if necessary, and pulse again. Season to taste.

Note:

Cannabis Leaf can vary in bitterness – if your pesto is a little too bitter for you, add a drop of honey (or maple, if you’re vegan). If it tastes a little too raw for you, (and you do cheese) you can add parmesan or nutritional yeast to make it richer.

Written by Dr. Pepper Hernandez

Dr. Pepper Hernandez is a Naturopathic Nutritionist, Cannabis Therapy Consultant, Raw Food Chef and Medical Intuitive that holds multiple certifications, honors and degrees. To find out more about her local private practice and offerings to our community you can find her on the massive interwebs at drpepperhernandez.com.
*All information in this article is for educational purposes only. Please check with your Educated Primary Health Care Physician, Raw Food Nutritionist or Healthcare Provider before beginning any new diet or lifestyle change.

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