Hemp and Flax Seed for Nutrition
The health product and food market have witnessed a huge uptick in demand for organic, health-boosting, and unprocessed foods. Seeds like hemp seed are ideal for providing large improvements to nutrition quality and nutrient density. Health-conscious people are now more focused on whole food and plant-based living. This focus has caused flax and hemp seed to see renewed interest and uptake. These ancient seeds are full of nourishing compounds like gamma linoleic acid, proteins, and essential long-chain fatty acids. Let’s explore the top benefits of hemp seed and how you can add it to your diet.
Flaxseed is wholesome as 2 tablespoons of flaxseed consists of four-gram fibers, 2.4 grams of omega 3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and a particular form of antioxidant known as lignans. The duo of lignans and ALA deliver big anti-inflammatory benefits and lignans can also assist in lowering blood cholesterol levels. To best access the nutrients of flaxseeds, use them in ground form (as a seed they’ll just pass through the gut).
Hemp Seed Benefits
Hemp seed is probably the most well-rounded and balanced nutritionally of any seed. Hemp seeds contain great amounts of healthy fatty acids, dietary fibers, and protein with a complete amino acid profile. But what’s more – this little seed contains omega 3s – rare but exceptionally helpful compounds for brain and heart health that make it a powerhouse in the nutrition world. Because it’s from plants, it’s also a great choice for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
High in Protein
You’ve found a strong, natural solution if you are looking for a complete source of protein because hemp seeds are full of protein and have nine essential amino acids. Proteins are made up of amino acids (which your body needs to repair and maintain cell health). But not every amino acid can be produced by the body. What this means is each of us needs to intake essential amino acids via our diet. Hemp seeds are comparable to soybeans when it comes to protein. In every 3 tablespoons or 30 grams of seeds, you will get around 9.46 grams of protein, which is low compared to meat products but high in the plant world. Hemp seeds help to contribute to quality amino acids and provide arginine that may aid in cardiac health.
Hemp seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids that are becoming popular in terms of health benefits. They also contain special gamma-linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids. These are also not produced by the body but are essential for the body in maintaining cardio and cell health while providing protective antioxidative benefits. Omega 3 and 6 need to be taken in conjunction at a 1:3 ratio. Hemp seeds have this ideal balance of both omega types to keep the body healthy without emphasizing Omega 6 like most vegetable oils which can cause heart issues.
Fiber for Gut Health
Another important factor that will undoubtedly sway your view on hemp seeds is that it contains a lot of fiber in its shell. Indeed, it’s for this reason you should always look to buy hemp seeds with its shell – but if you cannot purchase them with shells, they are still very beneficial. Approximately 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds contain 1.2 grams of fibers. Fiber intake can help you to lose weight, reduce appetite, improves gut health, and balances the sugar level in the blood.
Flax seeds are a rich source of dietary fiber. They contain 3 grams of fiber which is enough for the daily intake of every person. There are two types of dietary fibers present in the flax seeds one is insoluble which is 60-80% and the other is soluble which is 20-40%. Soluble fiber is known for increasing the consistency of intestinal contents and helping to lower the digestion rate.
Vitamins and Minerals
Both flax and hemp seeds have a lot of vitamins and minerals, especially phosphorus, vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium. Hemp seeds also contain a high amount of zinc, Vitamin B, and iron. Other essentials like vitamin B-6, niacin, thiamine, folate, and riboflavin are also found in flax and hemp seeds, which are critical for long-term health and cell recovery.
Protecting the Brain
In a recent study published in the Food Chemistry journal, it was found that hemp seeds in lab tests have shown antioxidant effects. Both flax and hemp contain powerful Omega 3 fatty acids which help to maintain and recover brain neurons. This may be the reason why these superfoods have anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects, and a positive impact on the immune system.
Similarly, Flax seeds are for you if you don’t eat fish or are vegetarian because they are a rich source of omega-3 fats. They also contain alpha-linolenic acid which is known as a plant-based fatty acid. They are among the two most essential fatty acids that cannot be produced by the body – you must take them in the diet. These fatty acids have proven to be a shield from cholesterol being deposited in the arteries that are harmful to the heart. It also decreases inflammation.
Many medical professionals believe that omega-3 fatty acids present in the hemp seeds can assist with heart health and reduce chronic issues like arrhythmias. Hemp seeds are beneficial for a healthy heart because they have a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6. They also have a high amount of arginine that changes into nitric oxide. It is very important for keeping the blood vessels elastic and smooth, enabling blood flow. This keeps blood pressure low and reduces the risk of heart attacks.
Research has shown that CBD from hemp has a natural ability to lower blood pressure in the body. The seeds of hemp are not as potent in their effect on blood pressure, but still provide benefits. If you eat 30 grams of hemp seeds for six months regularly then your blood pressure will be lower than usual. Systolic blood pressure will be lowered by 10mmHg and diastolic will be lowered by 7mmHg. A study has revealed that if you take CBD daily for three months regularly then your blood pressure will be lowered by 2mmHg.
Research has shown that flax seeds also have a natural ability to lower blood pressure in the body. If you eat 30 grams of flax seeds for six months regularly then your blood pressure will be lower than usual. Systolic blood pressure will be lowered by 10mmHg and diastolic will be lowered by 7mmHg. Another study has revealed that if you take flaxseeds daily for three months regularly then your blood pressure will be lowered by 2mmHg.
Adding Hemp Seeds to Your Diet
Flax and hemp seeds have a lot of nutrients and hence are very beneficial for health. We’ve covered the key nutrients – from high protein and essential fiber to Omega 3 and fatty acids. But what’s the best way to eat them? The most effective way to incorporate them into your diet we’ve found is:
- Sprinkling the seed either whole or ground on yogurt and cereal.
- Adding flax or hemp seed into smoothies.
- Consuming hemp seeds with salads and other nuts
- Supplementing the seed in hemp oil form
Because seeds are small they’re easy to mix into other beverages or food products.
Reducing the Risk of Cancer
Lignans have estrogen and antioxidant properties that assist in lowering the risk factor of cancer and improving health. Flaxseed has 800 times more lignan than plant food. Research shows people who have flaxseed in their diet are at a lower risk of having breast cancer. Moreover, flaxseeds are also vital in preventing skin and colon cancer. But further research is required to back this benefit.
The health food market is seeing a resurgence in interest and use of hemp and flax seed superfoods. We’ve covered the reasons why – these seeds pack high protein, healthy fats and omegas, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and more, enabling your heart and body to perform at their best. Both flax and hemp seeds are powerful storehouses of various nutrients and vital plant compounds like amino acids, lignans, and gamma linoleic acid. These ancient seeds help you to achieve the perfect balance in your diet and can be added easily to smoothies, salads, and more.
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