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Hemp, recognised mainly for its association to the marijuana plant, has been around for decades but is only now just starting to become more mainstream, and with good reason. Though the main point that seems to get people talking about hemp is its relation to the marijuana plant, it has wide-ranging benefits, not only for your health and wellbeing, but also for your clothing and your car. Hemp is often still looked at as being controversial, with some states in America banning the growth of Hemp for industrial purposes, and completely missing the amazing benefits that hemp can bring to many industries and to the environment, as we work on becoming a more sustainable planet.

Hemp seeds, also commonly known as Hemp hearts, are one of the best superfoods around, when it comes to nutritional value, and they are especially beneficial to those who are vegan or vegetarian.

A rare find in the plant world, hemp is a complete protein source, containing all of the essential amino acids. Amino acids are essential in providing the building blocks of your body, helping with everything from healing to growing muscles. They are not naturally formed in your body so you get these amino acids from meat or dairy products. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, then hemp is a great superfood for you to include in your diet.

Hemp seeds have other various benefits for your overall health and wellbeing, containing 30% of fat, rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha linoleic acid (omega-3). They are also a great protein source, as more than 25% of their calories come from high quality protein, and 2-3 tbsp. contains the same amount of protein as lamb or beef.

Research conducted into the inclusion of hemp in your diet has produced staggering results. One study found that when Rheumatoid Arthritis patients used hemp oil, it encouraged the death of cells that activate arthritis like symptoms, reduced the inflammation levels and strengthened the immune system.

Another study found that cannabinoids derived from hemp seeds could inhibit cancer growth and metastasis, particularly in lung cancer, which gives hope to those who may have run out of options for treatment or to use as a trial alongside any treatment they are receiving.

While Hemp does come from the same species of plant as marijuana, it only contains trace amounts of THC, which causes the side effects from marijuana, therefore is safe for everyday use. Though in some circumstances it can also show a positive result in urine based drug tests and they also have anticoagulant properties, which inhibits the clotting when you are bleeding, so those who are on any prescriptions containing anticoagulants should consult their GP.

 

How to use Hemp seeds:

Hemp seeds are sensitive to heat and light, so there’s no need to soak them. It is best to store them in a cool, dry place or in the fridge. Hemp seeds can be used in a multitude of things, you can add them to your smoothies, or grind them up and sprinkle them on your yoghurt, cereal or salads.

 

Nutrition Profile:

Calories: 180

Calories from Fat 126

Total Fat 14.0g

Saturated Fat 1.5g

Polyunsaturated Fat 10.0g

Monounsaturated Fat 1.5g

Potassium 300mg

Total Carbohydrates 2.0g

Dietary Fibre 2.0g

Protein 10.0g

Calcium: 2%

Iron: 20%

 

Not just a Superfood

Hemp not only has amazing benefits for our health, but also benefits the planet, with the gentler footprint on planet earth, benefiting many industries from the fashion to motor industry. While hemp is now becoming increasingly popular and more attention is being brought to this brilliant superfood, it has been around for centuries. It is thought that Hemp was first around in 150 BC where it was used for textiles and the earliest record of hemp farming was recorded 5000 years ago in China, where they used hemp for ship sails and ropes.

When you conjure up an image of hemp clothing, your first thought may turn to hippie tie-dye clothing, but as our production methods have improved so has the style of clothing that hemp can be turned into. We now have the ability to source hemp from a wide range of places, meaning we have varied textures available, depending on the growing region.

It is one of the most sustainable fabrics to grow, as it is fast growing, requires little water and no pesticides or herbicides to grow, when compared to cotton which is more water intensive and produces less fibers per acre. It also has the added benefit of being a tough and durable material which means clothing will be long lasting, so less clothing going to waste, and is naturally anti-microbial meaning hemp keeps the wearer cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The cultivation of hemp also improves the soil health by replenishing vital nutrients and preventing erosion, giving extra incentive to increase our growth of this amazing plant while also protecting the planet.

 

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