The seeds, which can be bought here on our site, are not intended as food (and are a very expensive choice in that case!), but here is a post about hemp seeds as a superfood. The small, beautiful seeds have become very trendy as food, as they are bursting with good nutrients for the body!
In this blog post, we will discuss the many health benefits of the hemp plant, a quick guide to hemp products as a staple food, and finally a small list of retailers where the products can be purchased.
Are you interested in buying hemp seeds/cannabis seeds for non-food purposes or growing your own seeds, for example? See our huge selection here.
What makes hemp seeds a superfood?
The proteins in hemp seeds
Hemp is a great source of protein and a good alternative to animal protein such as meat and dairy products. Hemp seeds contain 30-35% more protein per gram than any other seed in the world, which in relative terms actually surpasses meat, fish and eggs!
Protein, as we know, is essential for the body, even vital; but it also has the advantage of being harder to convert into energy compared to carbohydrates and fats. For this reason, protein provides a longer feeling of satiety, which is good if you want to avoid consuming too many calories.
If you want to lose weight, hemp seeds are a good addition to your diet for 3 main reasons:
- Protein is the most filling macronutrient per calorie.
- A high protein intake during weight loss minimises loss of muscle mass.
- Protein has a high thermal effect – i.e. it requires a lot of energy for the body to break down and absorb protein. In fact, you don’t get 25% of your calories from protein. So the 25% “disappears” and you can eat more and still be in calorie deficit.
The essential amino acids in hemp seeds
Hemp seeds contain all of the 9 types of so-called essential amino acids. Our bodies need 22 different amino acids as the basis for building and repairing tissues, DNA, RNA, signalling substances in the brain and nervous system, and the fats needed in our cells.
Several of the amino acids are produced by the body itself, but these 9 amino acids phenylalanine, isoleucine, lysine, histidine, leucine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan and valine are not produced by animals or humans and therefore have to be introduced from outside through the diet. That’s why these 9 are called the essential amino acids – and they’re all found in hemp!
In addition to this, the hemp plant also contains the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), as well as the omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is not found in any other plant. The ratio between the two is even almost perfect at 1:3. That’s three times as much omega 6 as 3.
The Danish Heart Association recommends that we eat these fatty acids as they prevent a number of cardiovascular diseases. Omega-6 fatty acids lower the risk of coronary heart disease, while omega-3 fatty acids lower the risk of death from heart attacks.
Dietary fibre, nutrients and vitamins
Hemp seeds are also rich in dietary fibre and contain magnesium, iron, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin E and vitamin D – the latter in particular can be difficult to get enough of through a regular diet (especially in winter).
Depending on how the hemp plant is treated and which parts of it are used, the nutrient content will change, but below is a quick table based on raw, shelled hemp seeds:
Guide to food from hemp seeds
The most commonly used hemp product in cooking.
These are small, have a delicate nutty flavour, and are available both with and without shell. In shell, they are relatively hard and crunchy, while shelled hemp seeds – that is, without shell – have a softer texture similar to sunflower seeds.
Hemp seeds can be included in a wide variety of dishes and have gained a lot of popularity, as they – due to their high nutritional content – have become known as a superfood! In addition, they taste good and are simple to use. They can be sprinkled on porridge or yoghurt, mixed into smoothies, muesli, bread, salads and much more!
Hemp seeds are a great source of fats, but contain slightly less fat than many other nuts (see table below). However, as mentioned before, hemp seeds have a strong and complete amino acid composition, which makes hemp seeds a core healthy food for especially the physically active person!
Hemp seed oil
Has a soft, mild, nutty taste, very similar to flaxseed oil, for example.
However, if you look at the nutritional content, hemp seed oil is in many ways healthier than most other oils.
Hemp seed oil is high in polyunsaturated fats.
Polyunsaturated fats – like unsaturated fats – tolerate minimal heat or none at all. The smoke point of hemp seed oil is 165 °C, which is quite low for frying and hot dishes in general. For this reason, avoid using the oil for frying – save it for making amazing cold dishes!
Hemp seed oil should always be stored in the refrigerator.
A protein supplement that can be purchased as a powder. Hemp protein has been nicknamed “the king of vegetable proteins” because it is super easy for the body to absorb.
As well as being easily digestible, it is gluten, sugar and lactose free and contains all the essential fatty acids we need. Since it’s made from the hemp plant, there’s nothing animal about it, making it perfect for vegetarian and vegan cooking.
Protein contributes to the creation and rebuilding of muscle, making it a great supplement for those who exercise, especially if you are vegan. The total protein content of 34.6 g per 100 g is higher than other seeds, as well as meat, fish, poultry, dairy products and nuts!
Hemp protein, being made from plants, tastes green and healthy (but not great). Fortunately, it is easy to camouflage in food and drinks by using several ingredients.
For example, in smoothies, but also in cakes, pies, muffins and bread. The best result when baking with hemp protein is achieved with a mixing ratio of 25% hemp protein to 75% flour.
Is flour milled from hemp seeds that have been pressed for oil, and has a relatively coarse texture.
With its green colour, it’s super pretty, looks great on the plate and is as healthy as it looks!
It has a host of uses in baked goods and muesli, as well as for thickening sauces, soups or as a fibre and protein supplement for smoothies.
The coarse flour is high in fibre, gluten-free and good for the digestive system.
However, precisely because it is a coarse flour, it is recommended that you replace only 10-20% of the flour in a given recipe with hemp flour. It gives the best result.
As with hemp seed oil, hemp flour must not be heated above 165°C, otherwise the coveted healthy fatty acids break down. However, for baking, temperatures up to 180°C can be used, as the temperature inside the bread does not exceed the maximum 165°C.
List of traders of hemp products
Hemp products are now available in most major supermarkets, as well as in virtually all health food stores. However, the widest and largest selection can be found online, so here is a list of some good retailers: