Get High on Health with Hemp, The New Super Seeds

Cannabis has never looked so good

Aparrna Gupta

Tiny but potent, seeds (flax, sunflower, pumpkin, etc) are now considered the missing link in your diet. These seeds are the answer to a robust immunity and healthy hair and skin. And the newest super seed that should be on your must-try list are hemp seeds. Yes, you heard it right! Despite its dubious reputation, thanks to its association with cannabis plants and marijuana, the seeds are nutritional powerhouse. 


Yash Kotak, Co-Founder & Director, Boheco & Boheco Life brekas down the difference between hemp and usts the myths that surrounds hemp and marijuana. 

Marijuana:

  • Is a species of the cannabis family,
  • contains noticeable THC known for the narcotic element that results in the euphoria feeling.
  • This species grows up to 4-6 feet and is shrubbier. 

Hemp:

  • is an industrial strain of the cannabis family and has been documented in the ancient texts for its many nutritional, fibre and therapeutic values.
  • Hemp contains considerably lower or no levels of THC,
  • grows up to 8-12 feet and has a robust fibre. Hemp fibre has evolved from sails of maritime vessels and cattle rope to sustainable apparel and, now, wholesome nutrition.
  • It is the only plant seed source of Edestin Protein—a protein source that is highly digestible by the human body.

Why is hemp in the spotlight?

If you are vegan, vegetarian or just looking for ways to lower your meat intake, hemp seeds are your new BFFs as these are exceptionally rich sources of whole vegetable protein. The protein content in hemp seeds is comparable to that in soybeans. In every thirty grams of seeds, or about three tablespoons, there is 9.46 grams of protein. 



Hemp seeds are also low in carb and saturated fats, and free of sugar, gluten and trans fats, making them suitable for most new-age diets. Dr Siddhant Bhargava, Fitness & Nutritional Scientist and Co-Founder, Food Darzee, explains, “Adding just about 2 tablespoons of hemp to your meal will add about ten grams of protein. These seeds are a total source of protein, which means that they offer all the 9 vital amino acids, thus making hemp seeds an indispensable addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Moreover, it is packed with essential fibre, both soluble and insoluble, which facilitates your body to flush out the toxins to keep your gut healthy.” 

Sounds too good to be true? There’s more. “Hemp seed oil is a significant source of healthy fats with  the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio being 3:1, which, according to reports, is considered to be the perfect ratio that facilitates in lowering blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and reduces chances of coronary ailments and stroke,” adds Bhargava. Not just this, hemp has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, high healing power along with the seeds cause zero or minimal damage to body organs—no wonder wellness experts are raising a toast to this super seed!


Hemp is also gaining favour due to its role in environmental preservation. Hemp requires less water, no pesticides, helps soil recover its natural physiological balance, removes five times more CO2 from the air and can make almost everything that can be made from trees. 



How does Hemp keep you healthy?

Did you know that a teaspoon of hemp seeds a day can help keep the brain fog away? Dr Bhargava says, “Cannabidiol (CBD) and other compounds present in the hemp seeds may have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory effects and may aid in regulating the immune system.” According to reports CBD compounds from hemp seed extract also have the ability to act as antioxidants. 


Hemp seeds are especially rich in an amino acid called arginine, which has benefits for heart health, says Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Consultant Dermatologist & Hair Transplant Surgeon, MedLinks. It is a great natural supplement for women as regular intake of these seeds also helps keeping the menstruation cramps in check. “These seeds are excellent way to boost immunity due to their essential fatty acid content,” states Dr Deepti Bagree, Head of Department – Healthcare Division, RESET-Holistic Living Concepts. “Immunity being the foundation to prevent diseases makes hemp seeds a must have food.”

Hemp for glowing skin and lustrous hair

Hemp seed oil is rich in omega acids 3, 6, and 9, which all facilitate in hydrating the skin when applied topically or ingested internally. Look for hemp in your anti-ageing and anti-acne skin care. “GLA, an Omega-6 Fatty acid component of hemp, holds powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help to calm inflammation and irritation on the skin. The linoleic acid and oleic acids found in hemp can’t be produced by the body but play a very crucial role in skin health and anti-aging,” explains Dr Chaturvedi. 

This is one of the most versatile oils which can be used to hydrate dry as well as acne-prone skin. Kotak points out that since hemp seed oil is non-comedogenic, it does not block the pores of the skin. “It’s high phytochemical content gives it anti-bacterial properties, which help reduce vulnerability to skin infections,” he adds. 


These tiny seeds pack in punch when it comes to hair as well. Dr Bhargava explains how hemp seeds works inside out, “Hair is composed of keratin, up to ninety percent of which is a protein. Hemp oil can help proteins in keratin, particularly when incorporated in your daily diet. The hemp oil also stimulates circulation of blood in the scalp, which ensures that hair follicles are nurtured to support hair growth.”

What’s the best way to consume hemp?

The best way to consume them is to soak them overnight and consume advises Dr Bagree. She gives a few more ideas to add hemp to your diet:
  • You could also extract milk from hemp seeds and make a smoothie out of it, 
  • add roasted seeds as topping in porridge,
  • sprinkle hemp seeds, along with other seeds or nuts, on a salad,
  • consume hemp oil available. 

Kotak is convinced that hemp’s the new way to healthy, “Bake with it or blend a spoonful of hemp protein with your favourite juice, lassi, smoothie, milk or water or even your khichdi.” 


What the recommended dosage?

The amount of hemp seeds consumed usually depends on factors like age of the person, health conditions, on-going medication, level of physical activity and if you have any allergies. “One can start with safely consuming about one teaspoon of this super food,” advises Dr Bhargava. Ideally hemp seeds are quite safe when consumed in a moderate quantity but the probable side-effects could include lowering of heart rate so people with a slow heart rate and those on medication for monitoring heart rate should evade this superfood.


Images: Shutterstock.com

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