by Theo Wright
Hemp seeds, contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life. No other single plant source has the essential amino acids in such an easily digestible form, nor has the essential fatty acids in as perfect a ratio to meet human nutritional needs.
Approximately 35% of the weight of hempseed is hempseed oil, an edible oil that contains about 80% essential fatty acids(EFAs); i.e., linoleic acid, omega-6 linoleic acid 55%), alpha-linolenic acid, omega-3 alpha linoleic acid(22%), in addition to gamma-linolenic acid(GLA), omega-6 GLA ( 1-4%) and stearidonic acid(SDA), omega-3 SDA( 0-2%). Whole hempseed also contains about 25% of a highly-digestible protein, where 1/3 is edestin and 2/3 are albumins. Its amino acid profile is close to “complete” when compared to more common sources of proteins such as meat, milk, eggs and soy. The proportions of linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid in one tablespoon (15 ml) per day of hemp oil provides human daily requirements for EFAs. As opposed to flaxseed oil, hemp oil can be used continuously without getting a deficiency or other imbalance of EFAs. This has been demonstrated in a clinical study, where the daily ingestion of flaxseed oil decreased the endogenous production of GLA.
Hempseed is an adequate source of calcium and iron. Whole hempseeds are also a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, zinc ,copper and manganese.
Hempseed contains no gluten and therefore would not trigger symptoms of celiac disease
There are eight amino acids the human body cannot make and two more the body cannot make in sufficient quantity, so they are essential to life. A diet deficient in any one of them will eventually cause disease and death. These essential amino acids, along with eleven others the body can make from them, are chained together in accordance to genetic guidelines, via RNA formats from DNA blueprints, into structural proteins that give body to life, and into enzymes (globular proteins) that are needed for the mechanics of living.
Hemp is not unique in containing all the essential amino acids in its embryonic seed. Flax seeds also contain all the essential amino acids as do many other seeds in the plant kingdom. What is unique about hemp seed protein is that 65% of it is globulin edistin. That is the highest in the plant kingdom. If you are on a rapid weight loss diet, hemp can give you the nutrition you need with the fewest calories.
Globulins are one of seven classes of simple proteins. Simple proteins are derived from amino acids and contain no non-protein substances. Globulins are in seeds and animal blood. Edistins are found in seeds; serum globulin is in blood. Edistins are plant globulins. And globulins along with albumins are classified as globular proteins. All enzymes, antibodies, many hormones, hemoglobin and fibrogin (the body converts fibrogin into non-soluble, fibrin, a blood clotting agent) are globular proteins. They are responsible for carrying out the main work of living.The best way to insure the body has enough amino acid material to make the globulins is to eat foods high in globulin proteins.
Since hemp seed protein is 65% globulin edistin, and also includes quantities of albumin, its protein is readily available in a form quite similar to that found in blood plasma. Consuming hemp seeds provides the body all the essential amino acids required to maintain health, and provides the necessary kinds and amounts of amino acids the body needs to make human serum albumin and serum globulins like the immune enhancing gamma globulins. Eating hemp seeds could assist people suffering from immune deficiency diseases.
Hemp foods are expanding onto the shelves of grocery and natural food stores across North America. By definition, these are foods containing whole hemp seeds or the oil, nut (hulled seed) and/or flour (ground seed cake) derived from the seeds.Several examples of currently available hemp food products include salad dressings, nutrition bars, breads, cookies, granola, waffles, nut butter, chips, pasta, frozen deserts and cold-pressed oil supplements. These products are sold for much more than their “hemp cachet” alone; manufacturers promote hemp foods for their exceptional nutritional and taste benefits.
Like other oil seeds, the hemp nut consists mainly of oil (typically 44%), protein (33%) and dietary fiber and other carbohydrates (12%, predominantly from residues of the hull). In addition, the nut contains vitamins (particularly the tocopherols and tocotrienols of the Vitamin E complex), phytosterols and trace minerals. Overall, hemp’s main nutritional advantage over other seeds lies in the composition of its oil, i.e. its fatty acid profile, and in its protein which contains all of the essential amino acids in nutritionally significant amounts and in a desirable ratio.
Hemp oil typically contains less than 10% saturated fatty acids, and no trans-fatty acids, which are particularly detrimental to our blood cholesterol balance.
Hemp protein is also of exceptionally high quality in terms of amino acid (AA) composition and protein structure, the latter affecting digestibility and utilization by the human body.
Hemp’s nutritional advantage over other sources of fats and protein thus lies in its highly desirable balance of basic nutrients. Simply put, when eating hemp seed, nut and/or oil, our body obtains much of what it needs without the caloric ballast of non-essential nutrients. Yet, unlike fish and flax oil supplements and assorted protein powders, properly processed hemp seed offers these benefits with the additional bonus of a nice flavor profile – hemp tastes good. Fresh cold pressed hemp oil and hemp nut, particularly when toasted, add a pleasant nutty flavor to many dishes and packaged food products. Hemp nut and oil therefore are attractive both nutritionally and are appetizing, making them modern food sources.
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