Go! Vegan Spotlight – HEMP
Make room for the latest challenger to become number 1 seed and micro-booster – Hemp. We all know about the super-seeds that are chia and flax and I’m sure you have heard of the hemp plant and some of its other uses, but did you know this fresh smelling little thing is one of the best places to get your essential fatty acids – Omega-3 and Omega-6.
Fun fact: hemp contains 0.3% THC (the active compound in marijuana). This isn’t enough to have an active effect on your mind so don’t be alarmed. The effect of hemp seeds do however, like marijuana, have some medicinal qualities on the human body.
As more and more of us go vegan it becomes increasingly important to ensure information about health-promoting foods is easily available to us to ensure that our diets are varied and contain every element of nutrition that our bodies need. For vegans hemp can fill a role that fish may have once played in pescatarian and omni diets.
Essential fatty acids – previously obtained through fish, whilst people swallow over-sized plastic-y capsules of cod liver oil. No more. Over 30% fat.
Protein – 25% of the calories in hemp come from protein thereby beating chia and flax by 50%. The proteins are comparable to those of meat, milk and soy sources of protein in terms of complete proteins (it contains all the essential amino acids our bodies require). Complete proteins are quite difficult to find in the plant-based diet, so praise be to hemp!
Fibre – full of fibre the hemp seed can help satiate your hunger for the day as well as help make your digestive system the efficient and healthy mechanism it should be! It will help relieve constipation, promote your probiotics which in turn secures a robust immune system.
Iron – The mineral I’d say most people worry most about as vegans (and rightly so). Iron deficiencies can have crippling effects to your everyday life and so ensuring we get enough is on the top of the agenda. A heaped tablespoon of hemp can provide up to 10% of your recommended daily iron, so make sure you are adding it to at least one meal a day.
Magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc – Essential for a healthy immune system, repairing cells and tissues and forming bones. One tablespoon can give you up to 25% of both your daily recommended intake of both phosphorus and magnesium. Not too shabby eh?
More, More, More!
- Great for hormone health – hemp is rich in Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA), which are vital for bodily functions that help control inflammation, temperature and hormone health. Studies have highlighted that hemp can help with women suffering from PMS symptoms.
- Improving heart health – the building blocks to a healthy heart are found within hemp seeds: healthy fats, plant-based protein and lots of fibre. Research has shown hemp to improve cardiovascular health and reduce high blood pressure.
- Benefits for skin & hair – hemp is used in high-end cosmetic products as it helps improve dry and flaking skin, but your skin and hair can benefit from the nutritional contents of hemp by eating as well as rubbing all over your face.
Out of all of the Go! Vegan products that we select and send out hemp is the number one micro-booster for salads. The slight crunch and fresh scent combines perfectly with any vinaigrette or lemon based dressing. A fresh-leaf salad, or even a cold noodle salad are not complete without tablespoon of shelled hemp seeds sprinkled on top.
Hemp also fairs well in the morning with a handful chucked into your porridge oats or in granola. Mix it into your yoghurt or smoothies if you fancy too!
For our gluten intolerant friends out there they can even be used to make a healthy alternative to breadcrumbs!