The main benefits of hemp seeds for your health, according to an RD
“One serving – three tablespoons – of hemp seeds contains 180 calories, ten grams of protein, two grams of fiber, three grams of omega-3 fatty acids and is packed with micronutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, manganese , thiamin, vitamin E, and iron”, Keri Gans, MS, RDN, author of The small change dietpreviously shared with Well+Good.
According to Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, Registered Dietitian and Founder and Director of Real Nutrition, hemp seeds are super nutritious and a great (and effective) way to spruce up a recipe with longevity-increasing benefits. “Hemp seeds promote heart health because they are an excellent source of L-arginine, an amino acid that leads to the production of nitric oxide which helps dilate blood vessels and promote blood circulation. This, in turn, helps reduce the risk of heart disease,” says Shapiro. In addition to helping with blood flow, she says research shows L-arginine also decreases inflammation due to its effect on C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the body.
Shapiro says hemp seeds also contain two essential fatty acids — omega-3s and omega-6s — which research shows are directly linked to longer lifespan and are integral to brain health and heart health. A recent study actually showed that having higher levels of omega-3s in the blood could predict a lower death rate in people over 65. Meanwhile, omega-6s, when consumed in moderation, produce signaling molecules in the body that are needed for immunity, blood pressure regulation, inflammation, control of blood sugar levels and the functioning of the central nervous system.
Hemp seeds are also the name of the game when it comes to plant-based protein. “They are an excellent source of protein, as 25% of their total nutritional value comes from protein. It’s higher than flax and chia seeds,” Shapiro says. In addition, they are considered a complete source of protein, which means that they contain all the essential amino acids that our body needs. Additionally, she notes that hemp seeds are a good source of fiber that helps improve digestion, regularity, and promote a healthy gut microbiome.
If you’re looking to buy hemp seeds, Shapiro recommends brands like Navitas, Manitoba Harvest, or 365, which are available on Amazon.
4 Brain-Boosting Hemp Seed Recipes High in Fiber and Omega-3s
1. Tahini Hemp Seed Bars
These seven-ingredient tahini hemp seed bars from Running on Real Food are packed with fiber-rich ingredients like rolled oats and come together in the blender in just a few easy steps. Plus, they’re packed with protein and nutty-rich flavor thanks to hemp seeds and tahini (which is made from sesame seeds and loaded with healthy fats and anti-inflammatory properties).
Get the recipe: Tahini Hemp Seed Bars
2. Hemp Seed Energy Bites
These hemp seed energy bites from The Simple Veganista give protein balls a whole new meaning. They’re made with just five ingredients, including hemp seeds, dates and oats, or can be enhanced by rolling them in cocoa powder, grated coconut or cinnamon for extra fiber , antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Get the recipe: Hemp Heart Energy Bites
3. Hemp Seed Chocolate Chip Cookies
Turn dessert into a protein-packed treat with these Hemp Seed Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Conscious Plant Kitchen that are chewy, gooey, and incredibly easy to make. Just like the previous three recipes, the batter can be whipped up in a snap using a handy food processor, making cleanup and sweat-free cooking a breeze.
Get the recipe: Hemp Cookies
4. Hemp Seed Hummus and Jalapeño Cilantro
Just when you thought you couldn’t love hummus anymore, this Hemp Seed Hummus and Jalapeño Cilantro Recipe from Drive Me Hungry enters the chat. It’s the perfect combination of rich, creamy, and spicy, which means it’s basically the perfect dip for dipping fresh vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Get the recipe: Hemp Seed Hummus with Jalapeño Cilantro (No Tahini)
Do you feel a bit behind? Here are a RD’s must-have foods to get you to number 2:
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