Hempseed or hemp oil is produced from the stems, leaves and particularly the seeds of the hemp plant and is produced when these cuts are all stripped from the plant, compressed and finally extracted into a highly nutritious oil form. This oil might be considered a superfood by many nutritionists and health specialists in Australia due to its incredible nutrient density, vitamin & mineral content, its rich levels of antioxidants like flavonoids plus chlorophyll, as well as its unique omega 3 and 6 fat profile.
In this article we’ll examine the how and why of hemp seed and what makes it such a potent nutrition addition for the average person, increasing your overall dietary quality hugely while providing a range of other beneficial effects to the body. All of this comes from a clear, almost golden liquid with a mild nutty flavour and rich texture that embodies its healthy fat content. The great news is its also vegan-friendly and entirely natural, making it great for those on all-plant diets.
What makes it a superfood?
Let’s cut to the chase – we are going to make the claim that hemp seed is a superfood. Here’s why – it’s all natural and from whole plant sources. This means that it contains the full spectrum of plant nutrients and phytonutrients which are highly antioxidative and protect, plus enhance, our cell and metabolic health. A big part of this is from chlorophyll which is what gives the oil its near green-gold color. You’ve heard of this substance – it’s what makes plants green. But it’s also what makes them extremely healthy for the body as it helps protect against free radical damage, when consumed and broken down in the body.
Other key plant nutrients include terpenes, which are the ‘smell’ enzymes produced in many plants like lavender and tea tree, also highly nutritious and protective of cell health, as well as flavonoids, cannaflavins, carotene and beta carotene. In combination these range of plant nutrients are highly beneficial and supportive of overall immunity, metabolic function and physical wellbeing. These nourishing effects are not unique to hemp but are common amongst other seed groups too including chia, pumpkin, flax and many other seeds however hemp seeds also contain Omega 3, 6 and GLA which may set it apart – more on this to come. First let’s understand a bit more about the contents of hemp seed and how they benefit us. Per tablespoon, one can get 0 grams carbs, 125 calories, 0 grams proteins, and 14 grams fat in hemp seed. While on the surface this may not look that great – low protein? The facts contained in the seed are hugely nutritious – a generous portion of these is from ALA, GLA and polyunsaturated acids, all of which contribute to improved heart health, increased cardiovascular strength and resilience as well as heightened brain function. Further, the fats in hemp seed which also include monosaturated fats add moisture and shine to our hair.
They may help in promoting healthy skin and hair growth, in treating psoriasis as well as enhancing skin fullness, moisture and overall appearance or youthfulness. It is also helpful in controlling dandruff and can treat scalp psoriasis for many people. Like coconut or argan oil, hemp seed oil is rich in fats that support the surface of our body and sebaceous glands plus epidermis. Hemp seed can also be refined down into a powder. This can be used as a protein source, making it easy to digest as a liquid, in addition to being able to be combined into coffee, smoothies, cakes, desserts or other cooking forms for a huge nutrition hit. For more details on using hemp oil for your skin check online where you can find some great insights.
How does it work – benefits to know
Outside of its amazing nutrition content, hemp oil contains chemicals like tannins and Lanoxin which lowers our blood pressure; slows down our heart rate, and may also, bizarrely, increase our urine output. These compounds are rare in plants but may improve our cognitive health. It is also extremely helpful in curing blood pressure issues and hemp oil has been used by patients for decades in many countries. While we know of its antioxidants and blood pressure reducing qualities, the hemp oil we are affiliated with may also help in protecting from many chronic illnesses like other plant foods. In 2007 a study showed that it also can prove helpful in helping to protect against inflammatory bowel problems like colitis. Its best used in combination with other plant foods to maximize vitamin content. Hemp oil can make your food taste good as a bonus and can give valuable nutrients like vitamin E and K.
Aging – how hemp seed might help
While still being researched, there are signed that hemp seed has anti-aging properties, particularly for the skin and hair. Hemp oil has the ability in slowing the skin’s aging process and improves skin health, it has some acids which are responsible for making the outer layer of the skin strong (called gamma linoleic acid). It boosts oxygenation of the skin and contains vitamin E, which supports the production of red blood cells. These cells play a key role in boosting the dilation of blood vessels. Thus, blood can move more easily in the vessels, transporting nutrients across the body more effectively. Hence, it slows aging process and improves circulation – although this hasn’t been shown in all individuals tested.
Which hemp seed oil to pick
One must give their full attention on researching the product before purchasing – ensure you compare prices, ingredients and quality online, we always opt for organic products. You must see third-party lab tests and quality assurance labels. Many providers just sell olive oil as hemp oil which is misleading. You might also want to look for something stronger known as CBD oil if you have problems like arthritis, anxiety or pain. Cannabinoids in this oil known as cannabidiol can soothe the mind and body, easing it out of symptoms and assisting with many other areas like sleep. We recommend buying a full spectrum CBD oil if you’re looking to shop for it in Australia, as this oil has terpenes and is rich in healthy fats that isolate oils won’t contain. It’s able to better activate your endocannabinoid system to maximize the amount of anti-inflammatory and health promoting compounds that will be present in your body.
Lastly, you should keep in mind that although hemp seeds do not possess psychoactive effects, they do act differently on an individual’s brain and body so results can vary. Whether you’re using hemp seed oil for dietary purposes just to receive higher levels of healthy fats, more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants or looking to use it for hair and skin, it’s a great choice to use daily. You can add it into coffee, salads, as a dressing or even just drink it straight. We use ours in smoothies. We’ve looked at how hemp oil is a superfood because of its unique blend of omegas, ALA, GLA and antioxidants. We then explored how it really benefits your body, why using it is smart and what to look out for when buying it.