Super Food: Hemp Seed’s Surprising Benefits

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Cannabis, also known as hemp, may be illegal in some parts of the world but did you know it’s actually a super food? Although hemp is mind-altering, it does not have any psychoactive properties. It could get people high through a strain called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Hemp may be prohibited in various places—including some states in the US—but hemp seed is widely available in most health stores.

Hemp seed—which is sold in shelled seeds, flour, or oil form—contains a variety of disease-fighting compounds. Research shows that hemp seed can lower blood pressure, inhibit the risk of developing heart diseases, and even reduce your risk of cancer. Other benefits of hemp seed include:

High in Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 are important in promoting better heart health. These fatty acids contain compounds that cut the risk of heart disease. And guess what? Hemp seed is also rich in omega-3 and omega-6!

Essential fatty acids are also effective in preventing various skin problems including eczema, severe acne, and psoriasis. Hemp seed’s rich concentration of essential fatty acids also helps prevent degenerative diseases like cancer and ward off various cardiovascular diseases. And unlike fish-based essential fatty acids, hemp seed does not contain mercury.

It Contains Gamma-Linolenic Acid

Just like flaxseed and Evening Primrose, hemp seed contains a high concentration of Gamma-Linolenic Acid or GLA. GLA is a type of plant-based fatty compound that, when taken, gets converted by the body to reduce inflammation and stimulate the growth of healthy cells.

GLA is used to treat various ailments ranging from polyps in the mouth to systemic sclerosis. GLA is also used to cut the risk of heart disease, diabetic nerve pain, hay fever, and metabolic syndrome. GLA is also linked in inhibiting the onset of breast cancer. Cancer patients turn to help seed’s GLA content to manage pain, deal with depression, and prevent chronic fatigue.

High in Amino Acids

Amino acids help in preventing fat buildup in the body, boost the immune system, and maintain a healthy central nervous system. For those looking to keep fit, the amino acids in hemp seed also help in muscle and bone development. Amino acids are also instrumental in repairing—and even forming—tissues, muscles, skin, and hair. Other health benefits of amino acids include preventing Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, HIV/Aids, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and even liver diseases.

It Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Hemp seed contains anti-inflammatory compounds like plant alcohols and sterols. It’s high in antioxidants, soothes irritation, and prevents the onset of fatal diseases, including cancer. The anti-inflammatory compounds in hemp seed also help flush out toxins from the body, improve the texture of the skin, and soothe inflamed, acne-prone skin! In a 2005 study, researchers concluded that hemp seed contains rich levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs. PUFAs are beneficial in maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails.

It’s Good for the Heart!

Hemp seed is best known for its heart-friendly properties. Apart from improving heart health, it can also prevent blood clotting, cutting down the risk of myocardial infarctions. Clinical studies show that hemp seed may help prevent coronary heart diseases and prevent clot-induced stroke.

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