You have probably used or at least heard protein supplements. Looking at the assortment of available protein-product varieties available, it is easy to get lost in your quest to find the ideal one for you. One factor you may have noticed recently is the rising number of products made with hemp. So what is hemp protein and is it healthy?
The resurgent popularity of hemp is not by chance. Hemp is nature’s multi-tasker with uses range from medicinal to building materials. Its seed is a healthy protein source while its stalks and leaves can be turned into environmentally sustainable plastics, textiles, and paper. It can even be fermented and transformed into biofuel!
What is hemp protein?
Similar to the entire plant, the nutrient-dense hemp seeds can also be turned into several products. You can cook or eat them whole as part of a crunchy addition to salads, smoothies, and soups. When processed, they make hemp milk (a healthier alternative to cow milk) which is great served in a cup of tea or in your morning muesli. You can also cold-press these seeds to extract polyunsaturated-acid rich oil (hemp oil). The resulting ‘cake’ of this cold press can be ground and milled into (hemp) protein powder.
Hemp seeds comprise health-boosting nutrients.
Hemp seeds have the second highest plant protein percentage (soybeans have the highest). They contain 21 amino acids, nine of which are ‘essential’ (meaning they cannot be produced by the body and must be consumed), and all are necessary for maintaining optimal health. While hemp is not the only species with 21 amino acids, it however supersedes the other alternatives such as flax seeds because of its high globulin edistin percentage (65%).
Globulins fall in a class of ‘simple proteins’ called globular proteins that also comprise Hemoglobin, enzymes, fibrinogen, Immunoglobins, antibodies and most hormones-all essential for life.
Consuming foods with high-globulin content is the simplest way aid your body in producing globulins. Additionally, hemp protein contains albumin which is a globular protein that makes it easily digestible. With a high percentage of essential nutrients that are easy to absorb, hemp protein is excellent for boosting overall well-being.
The EFA (essential fatty acid) content of hemp protein also adds to its health benefits. It features Omega 3 and 6 at the optimal 1:3 ratio.
EFAs are crucial for mood management, general wellbeing, and brain health. In fact, EFA supplementation has been proven to prevent numerous chronic illnesses. Modern diseases such as cancer, heart disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s share a principle characteristic – low-grade inflammation. EFAs minimize inflammation and can therefore work effectively in lowering your risk of illness as well as help heal your body.
Fiber is essential for the maintenance of optimum health. Studies indicate that the body needs a minimum daily fiber intake of 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women to maintain optimum health. Unfortunately, current diet trends are high in animal products and processed foods but quite low in fiber content. Hemp protein features a high fiber content of about 3g for each tablespoon). According to scientific studies, consumption of sufficient fiber works well to protect you against numerous chronic diseases such as colon cancer and diabetes.
Additionally, fiber slows your digestion down allowing you to feel fuller for longer while also helping you resist food temptation. Call it your ideal weight loss plan.
High on Hemp?
Contrary to common perception, hemp protein will not get you high. Hemp seeds don’t have any psychoactive compounds.
With its discrete earthy flavor, hemp protein works exceptionally well in recipes with strong tasting ingredients such as cacao. As nature’s very own multi-tasker, what better way to utilize hemp’s remarkable properties than to bake yourself some delicious and healthy brownies?
- Walnuts – ½ cup (you can use other nuts if you prefer)
- Rice flour – ¼ cup
- Hemp Protein – ¼ cup
- Cacao powder – 5 Tbsp.
- Ripe bananas – 2
- Maple syrup or honey – ¼ cup
- Vanilla powder – 1 tbsp.
Optional: Add some chocolate chips (a handful), goji berries, or cacao nibs for added texture
- Place the walnuts (nuts) in a food processor. Blend until coarsely grinded.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor. Blend until they mix well. Fold in the additional optional ingredients (goji berries or chocolate chips).
- Pour this mixture into a brownie tray or cake tin
- Bake for between 14 – 18 minutes at 350°F in a pre-heated oven
This is a delicious, gluten-free, processed sugar-free, vegan, brownie goodness to satisfy your chocolate cravings!
The uses of hemp seem to know no bounds. Its assortment of nutritional properties works well not just in pushing for an ecological world, but also in helping cleanse and maintain the health of your inner ecosystem by supporting both your physical and mental wellbeing.