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Well and Good: The Benefits of Hemp

Industrial hemp is often misunderstood.

Though it is part of the same plant family as marijuana, industrial hemp is not illegal and cannot be used as a drug. In fact, there are many health benefits to ingesting the seeds of industrial hemp, which does not contain the high levels of psychoactive substances found in its illegal cousin.

However, manufacturers and farmers are slowly winning recognition about the great benefits of hemp – the legal kind. And they are creating wonderful products like hemp milk and powdered hemp protein to bring these benefits to consumers.

Industrial hemp seeds are easily digestible, high in protein and omega-3s, and great for people with allergies. In fact, the hemp seed contains all of the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain a healthy life.  No other plant source has them available in such an easily digestible form.

Hemp also has a unique protein structure, so that the way it is utilized in the body is very similar to that of proteins manufactured in our blood stream.  The hemp seed provides an alternative for those allergic to dairy sources of protein.

The omega 3 contained in hemp seed is almost 7 times that available in fish.  It is also a natural source of omega 6, Vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, iron and phosphate.  According to the National Institute of Health, the regular consumption of hemp oil may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes and help reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, mood disorders and Alzheimer’s.   It can also help improve brain development and function in healthy infants and adults.

Added to lip balms, shampoos, conditioners, hand lotions and other body care products, hemp oil appears to help alleviate the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and other skin diseases.

The hemp seeds themselves have a wonderful  light nutty flavor and can be added to applesauce, yogurt, cottage cheese, sprinkled on a salad or cooked cereal, or eaten right off the spoon.  Each serving contains 11 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbohydrates, no cholesterol, no carbohydrates and no sugar.

In our Health and Wellness department we carry several hemp seed products, including hulled seeds, hemp oil in liquid or capsule, as well as protein powders for those individuals who are allergic to whey or soy.  Let me leave you with this recipe for a great protein shake.

Hemp Powder Protein Shake
2 scoops Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 protein powder
2 packs Sambazon Acai puree of your favorite berries
1 cup milk alternative (hemp, almond or rice milk) more to reach your desired consistency.

Combine all ingredients in a blender on high for 2 minutes until creamy.  Enjoy!