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The hemp variety of the cannabis plant has come into the spotlight over the past few years. That’s all thanks to the phytocannabinoid—cannabidiol—that we’ve all come to know and love. However, there are many health benefits of hemp that go beyond the realm of its chemical compounds.
Hemp usage dates back as far as 8,000 BC. Not only was it one of the first textiles, used to make fabrics, rope, and paper, but it was also an incredibly important food source. It’s thought that the Chinese were among the first to recognize it’s nutritional benefits, and therefore maintaining hemp as their staple crop.
Throughout the years it’s been easy to find hemp seeds and powders on the shelves of health food stores. Of course, it’s popularity skyrocketed once CBD took off and the cannabis plant as a whole became recognized for its positive attributes. Either way, the health benefits of hemp have remained the same since the dawn of time.
To learn a whole lot more about hemp and it’s health benefits, keep reading.
The Health Benefits of Hemp
In terms of health and nutrition, hemp is a superfood. You can consume its seeds, its hearts, and even its oil. Before we go into more detail, it’s important to note that hemp seed oil and CBD oil are two very different things. Hemp seeds do not contain CBD or any other phytocannabinoids for that matter.
The three forms of edible hemp all come from the seeds and seeds only. The hearts are the internal part of the seeds and the oil comes from pressing the seeds. Overall, hemp seeds are rich in essential fatty oils and contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals.
The health benefits of hemp are applicable as food, a cooking oil, and in lotions and other beauty products. Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of hemp:
It’s Packed with Protein and Other Nutrients
Hemp seeds are considered a complete protein source because they provide all the essential amino acids that your body doesn’t make on its own. About 25% of the calories that come from hemp are protein, making one serving equal to that of meat.
Hemp seeds also contain vital nutrients such as vitamin E, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, calcium, iron, and zinc. Don’t forget about the essential fatty acids omega-3’s, omega-6’s, and gamma-linoleic acid; all of which contribute tremendously to your overall health.
It’s Heart Healthy
One of the amino acids that hemp seeds contain is arginine. Arginine produces nitric oxide, which is the molecule that makes your blood vessels dilate and relax. A higher intake of arginine can reduce high blood pressure and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
The essential fatty acids within the seeds also contribute to your heart health. Fatty acids are well known to improve arterial function and blood flow, stabilizing your heart’s health, and lowering your overall heart rate.
It’s Good For Your Skin
Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil benefit your skin both internally and topically. The fatty acids we keep mentioning can benefit people with skin issues such as eczema by lowering inflammation and improving blood flow.
Topically, hemp seed oil works as an incredible moisturizer for skin, hair, and nails. Not only does it lock in hydration, but it can balance out oily skin without clogging pores.
It’s also full of antioxidants and minerals, which protect and feed your skin from the inside out and topically. The amino acids in hemp also play an important role in your collagen production, which is critical to keeping your skin healthy and youthful.
It Can Balance Your Hormones
Did you know that hemp has the potential to balance the hormones that make PMS and menopause a nightmare? It all has to do with the hormone prolactin, which is responsible for the painstaking symptoms of that time of the month and the end of days, as some women refer to it as.
Recent studies have shown that the Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) found in hemp seeds can reduce the symptoms of both PMS and menopause by decreasing prolactin sensitivity.
It’s Full of Fiber
Fiber is essential to the health of our digestive systems. It prevents constipation, it balances out gut bacteria, and it keeps away digestive issues as well as gut-related cancers.
Hemp seeds are full of soluble and insoluble fiber. Consuming whole seels with plenty of water can get your bowels moving and help to maintain a healthy digestive system—which also maintains the health of your other systems.
It’s an Immune Booster
As if the omega fatty acids we’ve been talking about aren’t superhero enough, it gets better. The fatty acids found in hemp seeds help to strengthen your body’s cells, helping them to ward off bacteria, pathogens, and viruses. This ultimately strengthens your immune system, keeping your body healthy and the flu at bay.
It’s Brain Food
With all the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants that hemp seeds carry, it’s almost as if hemp seeds were made for your brain. One of those fatty acids known as Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) just so happens to make up a part of the brain and cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex, in particular, is what’s responsible for memory and cognitive function.
People with higher levels of DHA are less likely to develop neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other conditions that affect memory and learning abilities.
Hemp Is For Health
We could go on and on about all the health benefits of hemp. It feeds your body and brain from the inside out, providing you with the necessary protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that keep your body functioning at optimal levels. It’s incredible that only now are people hopping on the hemp train and boosting their health and wellness.
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