Saturday, September 21, 2013

Article # 546. Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds


Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds come from a plant that is similar to the marijuana plant, but has lower levels of psychoactive cannabinoid compounds. The seeds and seed oil are used in cooking and for food. Typically, the seed’s hard shell is removed before it is eaten. Seeds also are treated so they can’t be planted and grown. Hemp seeds can have health benefits, but you should consult your doctor before adding them to your regimen if you plan to use them to treat a specific condition.

Complete Protein

Hemp seeds are one of the only plant-based complete proteins. They contain all eight essential amino acids, those that your body cannot make and must be ingested. The protein provided by shelled hemp seeds is proportional to both egg whites and soy beans with higher levels of arginine and histidine. It is easily digested and in turn often used to treat malnourishment. The consumption of complete proteins is necessary for survival, while it is also effective in curbing hunger and building and maintaining muscle mass.

Essential Fatty Acids

Fat is an essential part of a healthy diet and shelled hemp seeds are a great source of polyunsaturated fat as well as essential fatty acids. There are two fatty acids that your body cannot produce on its own yet are essential to human life. They are Omega 3, or alpha linoleic acid, and Omega 6, or linoleic acid. The composition and balance of fatty acids in hemp seeds have a positive effect on the inflammatory processes and cell membrane activities in the body that are the infrastructure of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and various cancers.

Vitamin E Effects

Hemp seeds are a source of vitamin E, which can help to boost immune function and alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, according to the University of Michigan. Vitamin E also has a role in red blood cell formation in your body, and helps your body utilize vitamin K, which helps your blood stick together, or 
coagulate, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

Hemp seeds are comprised of 27 percent carbohydrates, almost all of which is in the form of soluble and insoluble fiber. The fibers are found in a 4-to-1 ratio, insoluble to soluble, in shelled hemp seeds. Soluble fiber is responsible for slowing glucose absorption, slowing gastric emptying and increasing the excretion of bile acid, which lowers levels of LDL cholesterol in the body. Insoluble fiber is responsible for moving matter through your digestive system and keeping your bowel movements regular. As a part of a daily diet, it is also associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Other Benefits

Hemp seeds can help you if you are constipated because they act as a bulk-forming laxative, according to the University of Michigan. Bulk-forming laxatives can improve the frequency and consistency of stools, according to M. Borgia, lead author for a study published in the Journal of International Medical Research. Hemp seeds also traditionally are used to treat atherosclerosis, exzema and attention deficient-hyperactive disorder, according to the University of Michigan. However, scientific evidence to back these uses lags, the school advises.

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