Hemp Protein: Health Benefits, Nutrition, and Uses

Hemp protein comes from the cannabis plant and is an excellent source of plant-based protein. It doesn’t contain any THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. It’s a very sustainable plant that can grow in a variety of climates, and the different parts of the plant can be used in many ways.

History shows that hemp seeds as a food source go back thousands of years. Documents show that hemp was an important source of protein, fiber, and medicine in the Mediterranean, Egypt, and Morocco many centuries B.C.

You can eat hemp seeds in two ways: with the shells removed or as a powder made from ground-up seeds. Both ways provide a great source of nutrition and many health benefits. Whether you already eat a plant-based diet or not, hemp protein can become a great staple in your diet.

Health Benefits

There are several health benefits of hemp protein, which is why people have been eating it for thousands of years. Here are some of the top benefits of both hemp seeds and hemp protein powder:

Lean Source of Protein

Hemp seeds and powder are lean sources of plant-based protein, making them a great supplement to a plant-based diet. If you’re trying to lower your meat intake, you can try incorporating hemp products into your diet. About 25% of each hemp seed is protein, and the seeds are quite low in fat.

Eating lean proteins boosts metabolism, benefits digestion, and promotes lean body mass. Hemp protein doesn’t contain any cholesterol or saturated fats, unlike many sources of animal proteins. Three tablespoons of hemp protein powder contain around 90 calories and 3 grams of fat while packing in 15 grams of protein.

Rich in Amino Acids

The human body needs 22 amino acids to function properly. Amino acids are used by the brain to build protein. The body gets amino acids from food, typically from animal products like meat, milk, and eggs.

However, hemp products contain all of the amino acids needed to help repair muscle cells, regulate the nervous system, and regulate brain function. This makes them a great substitute for animal products, especially since your body cannot produce many of these acids by itself.

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May Prevent Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer

Both hemp protein powder and hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids help to maintain good cardiovascular health. They protect the heart, help to maintain lean body mass, and maintain brain function.

Thanks to these essential fatty acids, one of the most important benefits of hemp protein is that it can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Hemp contains tocopherols, or compounds that naturally help to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The natural properties of hemp products help promote antioxidant activity in the body, too.

Hemp products also have high levels of polyunsaturated fats that support heart health. They do this by preventing artery blockage and lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Polyunsaturated fats can also benefit you after a cardiac event since they work to protect the heart.

Vitamins and Minerals

Another health benefit of hemp protein is that it’s a natural source of many important vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy. In particular, hemp products are good sources of iron, magnesium, and manganese. These minerals help to keep several parts of your body working properly, in addition to preventing sickness and disease.

Hemp seeds and hemp protein powder also contain a healthy dose of potassium, which helps balance your body’s water and electrolytes. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain about 370 milligrams of potassium, which is twice what you’ll get from other sources like spinach and oranges.

Amounts and Dosage

There are many ways that you can incorporate hemp products into your diet. A standard serving of hemp seeds or hemp protein powder is about 3 tablespoons, or 30 grams. You can add the seeds to salad, casserole, cereal, baked goods, or smoothie bowls.

Hemp protein powder is a good choice if you’re a fan of smoothies. It blends in well, and it’s a great source of vegan protein if you’re looking for a boost before or after a workout. You can also blend the powder into yogurt or smoothie bowls.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on November 10, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

Euphytica: “Hempseed as a nutritional source: An overview.”

Food Revolution Network: “All About Hemp Seeds — A Nutritionally Dense Superfood.”

Fundación CANNA: “Nutritional benefits of hemp seeds.”

Hemp Benefits: “Benefits of Hemp Protein for Health.”

Nutrition & Metabolism: “The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed.”

One Green Planet: “Why This Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Protein Needs to Be Every Fitness Buff’s Best Friend.”

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