The use of Hemp in food products was just legalized in Australia and products have started to flood the market! While the close relationship to Cannabis has raised concerns with some, others praise the new nutrition packed 'super-food'. We look into the newcomer on the Australian market to present you with 6-Must-Know Hemp Facts to make your decision of going Hemp or not a little bit easier.
1. Related to Cannabis
Hemp food products are usually made from Hemp seeds derived from the Hemp plant, or Cannabis Sativa, as it's also called. Yes, you read that right, Hemp foods comes from the same plant as Cannabis and contains THC (the hallucinogenic substance found in marijuana), which has been the main concern for approval of the product. However, it has been proved that you cannot get high from consuming hemp seed products and that's why it's now permitted in Australia and New Zealand. The level of THC found in Hemp products is so low it's not even traceable, about one-tenth of the amount found in Marijuana, and that's why some experts claim you get all the benefits that the Cannabis plant actually has, but without the negative effects of the dangerous and mind-altering high from THC.
2. Great for your heart & skin
Hemp seeds are very high in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) which promote cardiovascular health and can naturally lower blood pressure, decrease the risk of blood clot formation and even help the heart recover after a heart attack. Therefore, Hemp seeds can be a great plant-based source of healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats in your everyday diet. As if that wasn't enough, the healthy fats can also have amazing effects on your skin and benefit healthy cell growth! The high rate of healthy fats improves dry, red and flaking skin and has even been proven to relieve symptoms of various skin disorders as skin allergies, psoriasis and eczema.
3. Great Source of Protein & Minerals
Hemp seeds are a great protein source, especially for vegetarians and vegans as it comes from 100% from plant-based sources. As much as 25% of their total calories in Hemp seeds comes from high-quality protein, which is considerably more than similar foods like chia seeds and flaxseeds, which has only about 16–18%. They're also a great source of vitamin E and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
4. Stabilises your hormone levels
For women, sensitivity to hormone prolactin can result in problems as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and strong symptoms of menopause. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), found in hemp seeds, produces prostaglandin E1, which reduces the effects of prolactin. Hence, Hemp seed oil has been shown to stabilise hormone imbalances and inflammation to relieve women from breast pain/tenderness, depression, irritability and fluid retention, all symptoms that are associated with PMS and menopause. Unstable hormone levels can also cause problems that inflict men too, as weight management issues and skin break-outs, which can be eased by ingesting GLA found in Hemp.
6. Strengthens your immune system
As Hemp seeds are high in fatty acids of omega-3 fats and GLA, it helps to naturally balance inflammation levels and strengthen the immune system. It has been shown to have benefits for people suffering from arthritis and joint pain and using Hemp seeds as an addition to your diet may be one of the top cancer-fighting foods available. The cannabinoids derived from hemp seeds can inhibit cancer growth and metastasis, particularly in lung and brain cancer.
6. Gut health & weight loss
Hemp seeds are high in both insoluble and soluble fibre, creating a healthy mixture of roughage that feeds the probiotics in your gut and helps secure a robust immune system. This is very important as a healthy digestive system through a high
fibre diet can help lower cholesterol, keep your blood sugar stable, enable healthy bowel movement, make it easier to lose weight, and even help keep you alive longer! Hemp is a natural appetite suppressant and can help you feel full longer and reduce sugar cravings, partly due to the
fibre in hemp seeds, which promotes satiety and in turn aids weight loss. By adding hemp seed to your breakfast you can curb excess hunger throughout the entire day, resulting in healthy weight management and a happy gut.