Australians can now eat hemp seeds as of 12 November 2017. While local jurisdiction laws are slowly being amended around the country, The Australian and New Zealand Food Standards committee approved the proposal to permit the low-THC seed to be sold as a food product where other countries in Europe, also Canada and the United States of America have been selling the food for awhile now. It is a seed that has been used around the world for it’s high source of nutrition and fibre. Hemp seeds contain any of the psychoactive properties that marijuana contains when smoked, so you can relax that it won’t damage your brain. In fact, it can help your body in a variety of different ways.
Otherwise known as industrial hemp, hemp is a cannabis place species that can be used to make lots of products. Other varieties of the cannabis plant species are more commonly referred to as marijuana. Hemp contains very low levels of THC (delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the bit that will make you high. The whole hemp plant is quite diverse and can be used to create a number of products including textiles, body care products, building materials, cleaning products and plastics. This means that the farming of hemp has the potential to help our Aussie farmers. “The hemp industry will help Australian farmers as well as the local economy through new infrastructure and jobs. With the dairy industry in strife, hemp gives farmers a viable choice,” Ms Kuyumgian-Rankin, owner of the Hemp Gallery in Sydney. The bit we can eat is the hemp seed itself which can be processed to produce hulled seeds, oil, flour and protein powder.
The hemp seeds that we are now allowed to eat here in Australia, are like a little nut with a crisp shell and a soft heart. They are the fruit of the hemp plant. The heart of the nut is the bit inside the nut which is creamy in texture and is how you can usually buy the seed. It can be used to make non-dairy milk, in smoothies, yoghurt, cereals, muesli bars, snack foods, and baked goods such as breads and muffins. Research is showing that hemp seed is an excellent source of nutrition.
28 grams of hemp seeds contains approximately:
- 161 calories
- 3.3 grams carbohydrates
- 9.2 grams protein
- 12.3 grams fat
- 2 grams fiber
- 2.8 milligrams manganese (140 percent DV)
- 15.4 milligrams vitamin E (77 percent DV)
- 300 milligrams magnesium (75 percent DV)
- 405 milligrams phosphorus (41 percent DV)
- 5 milligrams zinc (34 percent DV)
- 3.9 milligrams iron (22 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligram copper (7 percent DV)
It has also been found to have a high amount of protein and essential amino acids, one of the highest plant-based sources around. They have a great ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids of 3:1, and is high in GLA which has been proven as a natural way to balance hormones. They also contain a high level of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
Why You Should Eat Hemp Seeds
While hemp seeds are being adorned with the ‘superfood’ label, it isn’t a miracle seed. Just like all the superfoods, basically they just pack a lot of punch for the amount you eat. So if you want to get a lot of nutrition out of the food you eat, then you should start trying to include hemp seeds into your diet. Bear in mind that to see health benefits, you need to be eating a balanced healthy diet and exercising regularly. There aren’t any risk factors for eating hemp seeds and aren’t known to cause any drug interactions. However if you are on anticoagulants you should just consult your medical professional to make sure there aren’t any possible drug interactions as they inhibit blood platelets and may cause a bleeding risk. If you are an otherwise healthy body, then you won’t harm yourself by sprinkling a pinch on your cereal of a morning.
They are good for a number of health reasons:
- Good for Heart Health. As already mentioned, hemp seeds are a good source of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) which has been linked to reduce inflammation and thus may reduce the risk of heart diseases. Studies have also found they contain high amounts of arginine which is processed in the body to help lower blood pressure and also reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Good for Skin Health. As hemp seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acid, and balanced optimally, they can affect immune responses in the body which may benefit some skin diseases. Hemp oil has been studied to have a positive effect on people with eczema, dermatitis, dry skin and itchiness.
- Good for Hormonal Health. The amino acid GLA produces prostaglandin E1, which reduces the effects of prolactin. Premenstrual symptoms and menopausal symptoms are caused by sensitivity to the hormone prolactin. Therefore hemp seeds may help to reduce the symptoms experienced such as breast pain and tenderness, depression, irritability and fluid retention.
- Good for Gut Health. De-hulled, the hemp seed has a great balance of soluble and insoluble fibre. Both types of fibre aids digestion and improves gut health.
Hemp seeds are sold in health foods and expect to see them more readily available in the coming years as the Australian hemp farming industry gains momentum.