hemp seed

hemp seed

In our southern neighbors, the popularity of hemp seed and its derivatives soared. A market survey has shown that over the last two years.

Hemp and marijuana: the same thing?

Since 1998, commercial production of hemp seed  is permitted in Canada under the Industrial Hemp Regulations. But beware, the varieties classified in the “industrial hemp” category are different from those commonly called “marijuana“. Unlike their illegal cousins, the approved varieties have a low THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).

In the US, cultivation of industrial hemp seed  is still prohibited, but the import of seeds, oil, flour and other products made from industrial hemp is permitted. Moreover, products that currently invading the US market come largely from Canada.

Its nutritional profile

Why do some people add oil  seed to their menu? For the taste, perhaps, but especially for the nutritional benefits attributed to them, including their content rich in protein and good fats.

The proteins of the seed

Hemp seed contain a good dose of protein – more than flax seed, sunflower and sesame.

However, like most vegetable proteins, they are incomplete. They contain all the essential amino acids, but some are not present in sufficient quantities to meet the needs of the organization. Note that this feature does not cause problems if you have a balanced and varied diet. Indeed, by dialing your menu with a variety of foods from the four food groups of Canada’s Food Guide, you fill up daily of all the essential amino acids you need.

The fatty oil

The main health argument  is definitely the content of essential fatty acids of the oil. Its oil indeed contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is part of the family of omega-3, and linolenic acid (LA), which is part of the family of omega-6. These unsaturated fats, essential, are called essential because the body is unable to synthesize (produce).

It is therefore absolutely get them from food. But many scientists blame the modern diet to be too high in omega-6 and too low in omega-3. Why? Here is one of the proposed explanations: the high consumption of oils rich in omega-6, used extensively in the food industry. To rebalance the omega-6 / omega-3 ratio in our diet, it is recommended to limit foods high in omega-6 and to make a good place to those that contain lots of omega-3.

Hemp seed oil contains three times more omega-6 than omega-3. This report is interesting when compared to other oils such as safflower oil, used extensively by the industry, or sunflower oil. However, It does not win the prize. Indeed, canola oil contains two times more omega-6 than omega-3, and even better, flaxseed oil has the inverse ratio of the hemp seed oil: three times more omega-3  fatty acid than omega-6!

Cardioprotective properties and antieczema?

There is very little scientific data available on the health benefits of hemp. In fact, three studies were identified. Two of them have addressed the possible cardioprotective properties associated with hemp. The first, conducted in rats showed that those who had a diet containing hemp seed better salvaged after ischemia (cessation or significant reduction of blood flow in heart arteries). In this study, It  was compared with palm oil and hemp seed from which the fat had been partly removed.

The second study compared the effects of hemp and flax seed oils on blood cholesterol levels. Fourteen healthy individuals who participated in the study were taking daily 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of oil, then repeated the experiment with another. Treatment continued for four weeks and were each separated by an interval of four weeks. No significant differences on blood cholesterol levels were observed between each treatment.

The third study compared the oil from hemp seed and olive oil for their ability to soothe the symptoms of atopic dermatitis (eczema). Sixteen people divided into two groups participated. One or other of the oils was made for eight weeks at 30 ml (2 tablespoons) per day. After four weeks of “rest”, “treatments” were reversed from one group to another.

The “manual” hemp

Since it contains a high proportion of polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6), It  is not suitable for cooking.

Use it so for cold seasoning: to water the vegetables lightly steamed or for making a dressing for salad, for example. Because of its taste “grassy”, it goes particularly well with bitter greens (arugula). Shelled hemp seeds are tender to the bite and have a delicate nutty flavor. We can snack on as is or sprinkle them on a salad or rice. As with other foods rich in omega-3, it is recommended to refrigerate.

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