For all vegetarians, finding a good source of protein is always a challenge. While milk and soy does provide a good amount of protein, they are either not part of a regular diet or not liked by many. In addition, they are missing on one or the other amino acids. This makes the vegetarians feel inferior to their non-vegetarian friends high on amino acids from eggs and chicken.
Enter hemp seeds which have the levels of edestin and albumin proteins much higher than any other plant-based source. In addition, unlike soy it does not have high amounts of phytic acid which blocks absorption of minerals in your body.
While most people face problem digesting high-protein food, hemp seed is easily digestible due to high amount of fiber. The seed contains all 20 amino acids and essential fatty acids. The seed is made up of 35 percent protein, 47 percent good or healthy fat, and 12 percent carbohydrates. However, hemp seed health benefits are not restricted to high protein content. Being also rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, sulphur, phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin E, these seeds makes a perfectly natural food supplement.
What is hemp?
Hemp is known as one of the earliest plant domesticated by man. In fact, it is widely believed that hemp can sustain all of man’s dietary needs and since they are easy to add to any food item, the hemp seeds became even more popular. Besides being an excellent source of protein, hemp contains omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids which are not made by our bodies and should be supplemented from an external source to protect the skin and build the immune system. In fact, it contains seven times the amount of omega 3 fatty acids found in fish hence giving another reason for vegetarians to include hemp seeds in their regular diet plan.
Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids have been found to be excellent in keeping the heart in good health since besides reducing the levels of cholesterol, they also remove plaque build-up in arteries of the heart which is the most common cause of a heart attack and stroke.
How to add hemp seeds in your diet
While hulled hemp leaves, seeds and nuts can be used commonly in various food items, they can also be pressed to get good quality polyunsaturated oil or made into flour to be used for baking and other purposes as a substitute for wheat flour. One of the easiest ways to increase your intake of hemp seeds is to sprinkle them over your salad.
Smoothie made of hemp seeds is very popular while you can also sneak in some of these seeds into oatmeal, vegetarian chili besides vegetable and pureed bean soups. The flour can also help as an alternative for those with gluten allergy. You can have hemp seeds as raw, sprout them or make them into hemp milk quite similar to soy milk.
Besides being excellent source of cooking, oil from hemp seeds can be used to nourish the skin since it gets soaked in the skin easily and prevents ageing because of high vitamin E content which is three times more than that in flax seed.
Hemp seed also contains lecithin which builds up the power of cognition; inositol that helps against problem of hair fall; and phytosterols to maintain hormonal balance. The hemp seed health benefits are numerous and including them in your diet will only increase your stake in good health.
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