The Goodness of Hemp - for your body and the environment
Hemp: Nature's Perfect Food
Humans have long considered hemp one of nature's perfect foods, because hemp seeds and oil are exceptional sources of easily digestible protein and essential fatty acids. The seeds are rich in Omega 3 and 6 Essential Fatty Acids and contain all 10 Essential Amino Acids. These nutrients are essential because we do not manufacture them naturally and our bodies require them to function; consequently, we must get EAAs and EFAs from the foods we eat.
Scientific research shows that a higher intake of Omega 3s, in particular, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in healthy people, and decreases the risk of heart attacks and cardiac arrest in heart disease patients (1).
Hemp Seeds contain high amounts of magnesium, calcium, potassium, phytosterols, sulfur, vitamins E & C, fiber, iron, riboflavin, beta-carotene, niacin and thiamin. They are also the highest vegan source of edestin, a simple protein that is responsible for the functioning of your immune system.
Hemp is a valuable source of:
- Amino Acids
- Omega-3 & Omega-6 ('good' fats)
- Natural vitamins and minerals
Hemp Protein Vs. Other Proteins
- Hemp protein is more easily digestible than cheese, eggs, meat, milk, or any other food high in protein.
- Hemp protein has no cholesterol, in fact, Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fats may reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke.
- Hemp has no hormones, unlike soy, which contains phytoestrogens that mimic the action of estrogen in the human body. Scientists have linked abnormally high levels of estrogen to certain types of cancers and developmental abnormalities in infants. Soy also contains natural toxins or "antinutrients" that block the enzymes needed for protein digestion.
- There are no know allergies to Hemp, which makes it safe for everyone to consume - babies, mothers, seniors, body builders, and those with health problems.
Ways to include Hemp Foods in your diet:
Hemp protein makes wonderful smoothies and comes in a variety of flavors, such as chocolate, Amazon Acai, and Vanilla Spice. Two of the best companies that sell it are Nutiva, and Living Harvest.
Hemp seeds have a delicious, nutty flavor and can be added to smoothies, sprinkled on salads, or eaten alone.
Hemp products such as ice cream, health bars, burgers, milk, seed butter, flour, and even waffles have slowly found their way into stores. Check with your local health food store such as Trader Joe's or Whole Foods.
Hemp and the Environment
For centuries we cultivated this versatile plant to make ropes, paper, medicine, clothes and fuel in most parts of the world. In fact, until we came to depend on petroleum as the main source of fuel, most lamp oil was made from hemp seed.
Hemp is a particularly high yield fiber crop; for instance, an acre of hemp produces four times as much paper as an acre of trees. Items made from the plant include: textiles, paper, construction material, canvas fabrics, plastics, and fuel.
Some of the positive attributes of hemp are:
- Hemp grows quickly in most climates and can be successfully grown in arid regions with relatively short growing seasons.
- Hemp takes only moderate amounts of water to grow.
- We can cultivate hemp in as few as 100 days and it conditions the soil for future crops, due to the plant's deep root system.
- Hemp is a natural herbicide that grows without the need for pesticides.
- Hemp can lift heavy metals from polluted soil.
- Clothing made from hemp is considerably more durable and therefore longer lasting.
- The cultivation of hemp means less deforestation. Hemp is also very effective in absorbing carbon dioxide. These are two key factors in reversing the greenhouse effect.
- Hemp paper is naturally acid-free. It has superior strength, folding endurance and can last for hundreds of years.
- Hemp fuels like Methane and methanol actually emit 50% less air pollution than their fossil fuel competitors.
In short, hemp is an extremely beneficial, eco-friendly plant that could provide the key to repairing the damage we have done to our planet, while at the same time nourishing our bodies.
"Where there is Hemp, there is Hope."
History of Hemp and Cannabis
Links to Cool Stuff
- Industrial Hemp Information and Advocacy - Vote Hemp
Non-profit organization dedicated to the education, advocacy and legislation for supporting industrialized hemp.
A digital library and museum for all things hemp! Articles, poetry, essays, editorials...it's all here.
- Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America
Scientifically-based article about the many uses and unlimited potential of hemp.
- 1. Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University
A description of Essential Fatty Acids, their functions and disease prevention capabilities.
More by this Author
Today, our civilization is mostly concerned with what goes on above ground. Our cities are bustling cosmopolitan centers for commerce and business transactions - rarely, if ever, do we consider what might be lurking...
Crumbling buildings, dilapidated staircases that go nowhere, wildly overgrown vegetation, wolves hunting through the abandoned city in packs...these are images and scenes from our modern existence, though they may seem...