Hemp seed is similar to flaxseed, but because hemp cultivation has historically been prohibited in most of the United States, its health benefits are less commonly known here. But as industrial hemp is putting down new roots in U.S., it’s worth getting reacquainted with the nutritional benefits of this seed.
The term “superfood” gets thrown around a lot, but hemp seed deserves the title. It contains almost as much protein as soybeans, and is rich in vitamin E, calcium, potassium and magnesium. A study conducted in Finland found that both hemp seeds and hemp seed oil are an excellent source of nutrition, and that concerns about THC (the active compound in marijuana) in these food are “not support by scientific evidence.”
But perhaps most importantly, hemp seed contains high levels of essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid, omega-6, and omega-3. Diets rich in these fatty acids, and lower in saturated fats, are associated with lower incidents of heart disease.