Here is some more information on hemp to complement my post on Popcorn and Hemp Oil. I want to emphasize why hemp is healthy and also explain some of the myths out there about hemp. It's actually a great source of protein and essential fatty acids and can be consumed safely with a lot of positive health attributes.
Hemp Then and Now
First I want to touch base about the history of hemp. The first drafts of the United States Declaration of Independence were written on paper made out of hemp fiber. And the first American flag? It was made out of hemp fiber too. Hemp is also used to make clothes, bags and even shoes.
Why it's Healthy - The Amazing Hempseed
Guess what? Hemp seeds contain 3x the amount of Vitamin E than Flaxseeds. Flax is a phytoestrogen, whereas hemp is not. This means that hemp will not impact your levels of estrogen like flax and soy can. Soy also contains natural toxins that block enzymes needed for protein digestion and absorption, but hemp does not contain any "antinutrients" like soy does.
Hemp contains Essential Fatty Acids. Unfortunately, 90% of people consume too little of the EFA's, including omega 3. This happens to be one of the most important EFA's and yes, it's found in hempseeds.
The seeds also contain 10 essential amino acids. They are a great source of protein and are very high in edestin, which is a simple protein that is responsible for proper function of the immune system. Hemp seed is also more digestible than other sources of protein (including meat, dairy and eggs).
It's not Marijuana
The plant that is grown for hemp seeds is a different variety than is grown for marijuana. Hemp seeds contain such a minute amount of THC (the component in marijuana that is responsible for making people high) that you could eat hemp seeds continually, on an ongoing basis, and never register for levels of THC on a test. If this is a concern for you, please visit Nutiva's web site for more information on testing and levels of THC.
Hemp is considered to be hypoallergenic. My daughter is severely allergic to nuts and seeds. But, when I read about hemp being considered a low-to-no allergen food, I decided to give it a try on her. She is able to eat hemp without any reactions of any kind. We are very thankful for hemp. You can use it for a lot of different things and the seeds taste great by themselves (think pine nuts). We also love to make hemp seed butter.
I know that sometimes people think hemp = marijuana. That's why I wanted to clarify some things on hemp, since it is a great resource for nutrition and should not be overlooked.
Hemp is illegal to grow in the United States, so must of the hemp will come from Canada - like Nutiva.
If you are interested in hemp, stay tuned for my next post on Hemp. I'll be taking more about ways to add hemp to your diet!