When most people hear the word hemp, their minds probably think about marijuana or cannabis.
Though hemp and cannabis come from the same plant, hemp contains less than 0.3% of THC, which NC State explains is an enzyme that contains psychoactive ingredients — basically, you cannot get high from hemp. The seeds have been deemed a “superfood,” an unofficial classification for foods that pack a lot of essential nutrients and are great for general health. In addition to hemp seeds, other superfoods include blueberries, eggs, and kale.
Bon Appétit explains hemp seeds are technically classified as a nut and have a naturally nutty and mild flavor that makes them perfect for sprinkling into food. People on the keto diet love using hemp seeds to make “noatmeal” or low-carb oatmeal, as hemp seeds having zero net carbs (via Carb Manager). While hemp seeds are great for keto diets and those following a vegan diet, these little seeds should be making a stronger appearance in an everyday diet.
Hemp seeds are small but are nutritional powerhouses. According to Medical News Today, 30 grams of hemp seeds contain a whopping 9.46 grams of protein, making the ingredient a great alternative to soybeans as a plant-based protein source. Hemp seeds also provide essential fatty acids, such as the ever-important omega-3. According to Healthline, whole hemp seeds may aid in digestion due to the seeds containing both insoluble and soluble fiber. (One important thing to note: The fiber comes from the shell of the seed, so de-hulled seeds called hemp hearts are not fiber rich.) Due to the seeds’ high levels of fatty acids, hemp seeds may help relieve dry skin and itchiness.
If you’re ready to incorporate more hemp seeds into your diet, the ingredient is extremely versatile and easy to consume daily: Hemp seeds can be blended and strained to make hemp milk, per Minimalist Baker, which is a great non-dairy milk alternative; In the same way, almonds or peanuts can be made into butter, hemp seeds can be also blended for hemp butter; But perhaps the simplest ways to add hemp seeds into your diet is to simply toss them in a smoothie or on top of some yogurt (via Insanely Good Recipes). No matter what avenue you choose, hemp seeds can make for a nutritious addition to any meal.