6 Proof Based Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds

Hemp Seeds

6 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds

 Hemp seeds are the seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. They are from the same species as cannabis (marijuana) but a different variety. However, they contain only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Hemp seeds are exceptionally nutritious and rich in healthy fats, protein, and various minerals. Here are 6 health benefits of hemp seeds that are backed up by science

Hemp Seeds Are Incredibly Nutritious

Technically a nut, hemp seeds are very nutritious. They have a mild, nutty flavor and are often referred to as hemp hearts. Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat. They are exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) They also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which has been linked to several health benefits (1). Hemp seeds are a great protein source, as more than 25% of their total calories are from high-quality protein.

That is considerably more than similar foods like chia seeds and flaxseeds, whose calories are 16–18% protein.

Hemp seeds are also a great source of vitamin E and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc (1, 2Trusted Source).

Hemp seeds can be consumed raw, cooked or roasted. Hemp seed oil is also very healthy and has been used as a food and medicine in China for at least 3,000 years

Hemp Seeds May Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

 Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide  Interestingly, eating hemp seeds may reduce your risk of heart disease. The seeds contain high amounts of the amino acid arginine, which produces nitric oxide in your body  Nitric oxide is a gas molecule that makes your blood vessels dilate and relax, leading to lowered blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease vIn a large study in over 13,000 people, increased arginine intake corresponded with decreased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation marker. High levels of CRP are linked to heart disease.

The gamma-linolenic acid found in hemp seeds has also been linked to reduced inflammation, which may decrease your risk of diseases like heart disease  Additionally, animal studies have shown that hemp seeds or hemp seed oil may reduce blood pressure, decrease the risk of blood clot formation and help the heart recover after a heart attack 

Fatty acids may affect immune responses in your body 

 Fatty acids may affect immune responses in your body  Studies suggest that your immune system depends on the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Hemp seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. They have about a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which is considered in the optimal range.

Studies have shown that giving hemp seed oil to people with eczema may improve blood levels of essential fatty acids.

Hemp Seeds are a great Source of Plant-Based Protein

 Hemp seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. They have about a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which is considered in the optimal range.

Studies have shown that giving hemp seed oil to people with eczema may improve blood levels of essential fatty acids.

The oil may also relieve dry skin, improve itchiness and reduce the need for skin medication 

Hemp Seeds May Reduce Symptoms of PMS and Menopause 

Up to 80% of women of reproductive age may suffer from physical or emotional symptoms caused by premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (20Trusted Source). These symptoms are very likely caused by sensitivity to the hormone prolactin (21Trusted Source).

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), found in hemp seeds, produces prostaglandin E1, which reduces the effects of prolactin (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).

In a study in women with PMS, taking 1 gram of essential fatty acids — including 210 mg of GLA — per day resulted in a significant decrease in symptoms (22Trusted Source). Other studies have shown that primrose oil, which is rich in GLA as well, maybe highly effective in reducing symptoms for women who have failed other PMS therapies. It decreased breast pain and tenderness, depression, irritability and fluid retention associated with PMS (25Trusted Source). Because hemp seeds are high in GLA, several studies have indicated that they may help reduce symptoms of menopause, too. The exact process is unknown, but the GLA in hemp seeds may regulate the hormone imbalances and inflammation associated with menopause

Disclaimer: This article is originally published on  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-health-benefits-of-hemp-seeds

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