Quantcast

5 Great Ways to Include Hemp Seeds in Your Daily Diet

Food

You may have encountered a hemp enthusiast at a jam-band show or a street fair, and maybe were a little taken aback by his sheer, raw passion for this plant. Hemp will save the world, many of these evangelists proclaim! It could transform the economy! You can make anything out of it, clothes, houses, you name it! It's the most complete health food there is! If only it were legal ...

These little seeds pack a nutritional punch and can be eaten so many ways.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Hemp is a variety of cannabis. Hence it's illegal to grow in the U.S., although there is a push on to make it legal to grow industrial hemp with a low content of psychoactive compounds. (And Colorado farmers just harvested their first small, legal crop, thanks to a legalization measure passing there). But it is available in Canada, and hemp seeds, powders and foods made with them are widely available in groceries and health food stores. No, they won't get you high but the health food claims for hemp are largely accurate. (No, you won't be able to fly or leap tall buildings in a single bound).

The seed of the plant is especially high in nutritional value. These little nuggets of nutty flavor contain all eight essential amino acids, complete high-quality protein that's more digestible than protein from other sources, various minerals such as zinc and magnesium, and lots of healthy fatty acids, including alpha-lineoleic acid, a variety of Omega-3 fat, as well as Omega-6. The health benefits are myriad: improved heart health, better digestion and circulation, protection against certain cancers, reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, strengthening the immune system and decreasing inflammation. And there are multiple, easy ways to work them into your diet.

They're delicious and easy to eat as a snack. You can eat a handful of the shelled seeds, as is or toasted, as a snack. And there are many treats available in health food stores or from businesses that specialize in hemp products—healthy "candy" bars that blend hemp seeds with coconut, chocolate, nuts or fruit. There's a so-called "goo ball" available from hemp products outlet Plant Kingdom in Ohio that contains a dizzying array of healthy ingredients including chia seed, cranberry, almonds, organic cocoa nibs, locally grown puffed spelt and much more.

The seeds are also the perfect salad ingredient. Throw a handful on top of your kale, maybe along with some nuts and dried cranberries to add a little crunch and texture and make a big bowl of tasty superfoods for a super-healthy meal. You can also throw a toss some into your smoothie where their soft, mellow flavor blends right in with your other ingredients. You can puree the seeds or get a hemp powder supplement. Either way it's so good for you.

Hemp oil can be used in place of olive oil on your salad, or it can replace flaxseed oil in your smoothie—it's got more nutritional value than either. It's not a cooking oil though, and you'll want to keep it refrigerated to maintain its freshness. Look for cold-pressed organic oil in your local health food store.

Hemp granola cereal for breakfast is a way to get your day off to a flying start. You can also toss some in your oatmeal to give it a nutritional wallop—or grab a hemp bar to take on the road if you're in a hurry. They all have the proteins, healthy oils and amino acids to keep you feeling great and full of energy all day.

Hemp seeds are used to make non-dairy "dairy" products like hemp butter, cheese and milk, a great substitute for the animal-derived versions if you're a vegan. Like soy and rice milk, hemp milk is shelf-stable. Try it if you want to avoid soy (one of the products most likely to contain GMOs) or if you need to steer clear of products containing gluten. It's deliciously creamy, great to drink and great on that hemp granola cereal as well.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

8 Superfoods You Should Eat This Fall

10 Best Ingredients to Include in Your Superfood Smoothies

Why Antioxidants in Superfoods Are Essential to Your Diet

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Aerial view of Ruropolis, Para state, northen Brazil, on Sept. 6, 2019. Tthe world's biggest rainforest is under threat from wildfires and rampant deforestation. JOHANNES MYBURGH / AFP via Getty Images

By Kate Martyr

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest last month jumped to the highest level since records began in 2015, according to government data.

A total of 563 square kilometers (217.38 square miles) of the world's largest rainforest was destroyed in November, 103% more than in the same month last year, according to Brazil's space research agency.

From January to November this year an area almost the size of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico was destroyed — an 83% overall increase in destruction when compared with the same period last year.

The figures were released on Friday by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and collected through the DETER database, which uses satellite images to monitor forest fires, forest destruction and other developments affecting the rainforest.

What's Behind the Rise?

Overall, deforestation in 2019 has jumped 30% compared to last year — 9,762 square kilometers (approximately 3769 square miles) have been destroyed, despite deforestation usually slowing during November and December.

Environmental groups, researchers and activists blamed the policies of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro for the increase.

They say that Bolosonaro's calls for the Amazon to be developed and his weakening support for Ibama, the government's environmental agency, have led to loggers and ranchers feeling safer and braver in destroying the expansive rainforest.

His government hit back at these claims, pointing out that previous governments also cut budgets to environment agencies such as Ibama.

The report comes as Brazil came to loggerheads with the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) over climate goals during the UN climate conference in Madrid.

AOSIS blasted Brazil, among other nations, for "a lack of ambition that also undermines ours."

Last month, a group of Brazilian lawyers called for Bolsonaro to be investigated by the International Criminal Court over his environmental policies.

Reposted with permission from DW.

The Carolina parakeet went extinct in 1918. James St. John / CC BY 2.0

The Carolina parakeet, the only parrot species native to the U.S., went extinct in 1918 when the last bird died at the Cincinnati Zoo. Now, a little more than 100 years later, researchers have determined that humans were entirely to blame.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
An elephant in Botswana. Mario Micklisch / CC BY 2.0

Two hunters who shot and killed a research elephant in Botswana and then destroyed its collar to hide the evidence have been banned from further hunting in the country.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Brianna Elliott, RD

Vitamin C is a very important nutrient that's abundant in many fruits and vegetables.

Read More Show Less
BLM drill seeders work to restore native grasses after wildfire on the Bowden Hills Wilderness Study Area in southeast Oregon, Dec. 14, 2018. Marcus Johnson / BLM / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

In 2017 the Thomas fire raged through 281,893 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, California, leaving in its wake a blackened expanse of land, burned vegetation, and more than 1,000 destroyed buildings.

Read More Show Less