Ever wonder why everyone’s talking about hemp seeds? Well, they’re good for you! I’m referring to the delicious, smooth, nutty- flavored seeds – not the psychoactive hemp seeds used to grow marijuana. The edible seeds are used to make hemp milk, hemp oil and hemp protein powder. The seeds also produce a plant that serves as the raw material for a variety of products including textiles, clothing, paper and biodegradable items.
Hemp seeds can benefit health in a number of ways. They’re high in protein, containing all of the essential amino acids, and high in vitamins and minerals. They’re also chock full of essential and friendly fats including omega-3s and the omega-6 fat, gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Essential fats are necessary for the proper function of every cell in your body.* When a fat is called “essential,” it means your body can’t manufacture it from other ingredients. In other words, you must ingest it in order to have this critical nutrient in your body. You can always take these fats in supplement form, but ideally, they’ll be a regular part of your diet.
If you’re new to hemp, here are a few ways to start enjoying it:
1. Sprinkle a teaspoon of the seeds on top of your morning cereal or oatmeal. They add a new tasty dimension!
2. Try hemp milk, which has a different flavor than rice or soy milk, but once you familiarize yourself with it, you may find it addictive.
3. Scoop some hemp protein powder into your morning or post-workout smoothie. It tastes especially great mixed with a banana and blueberries.
4. Drizzle hemp oil on salad or soup. Here’s a simple hemp dressing I like to make:
Hemp & Honey Salad Dressing
2 Tbsp. hemp oil
2 tsp. honey
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. brown rice vinegar
1 cup American parsley
1 Tbsp. white onion
1 cup water
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 30-60 seconds.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Laurie Steelsmith, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health. She is the co-author of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine and co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness.