Protein is not only for bodybuilders looking to bulk up or health and fitness enthusiasts interested in staying trim. Everyone needs this essential macronutrient as it is one of the body’s primary building blocks. The body converts dietary protein into amino acids. A majority of the body’s metabolic processes make use of these amino acids.
Your body doesn’t store protein. Therefore, it’s crucial that your diet contains the recommended daily amount. A healthy diet should include 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (0.36 grams per pound) of body weight. This totals approximately 46 grams and 56 grams per day for the average sedentary woman and man respectively.
The quality of the protein you eat has a more significant impact on your overall health than the quantity studies show. This is because when you’re eating a protein food group, you’re also eating what comes with it. For example, there’s 33 grams of protein in a 4-ounce broiled sirloin steak but also 5 grams of saturated fat. A 4-ounce ham offers up 22 grams of protein with 1,500 milligrams worth of sodium.
Hemp protein, from the seeds of the hemp plant, is a nutritional powerhouse and an excellent source of plant-based protein.
This particular super food has become quite popular among people in Perth, ACT as described on this page.
Plant-based proteins are viewed less favorably than animal-based proteins as the majority are not complete proteins. Hemp does not have this challenge.
Hemp seeds contain the nine essential amino acids – histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine – needed to build and repair protein tissues in the body. The only other plant that offers this is soybeans. Soy, however, contains less protein than hemp and causes bloating and gas.
Hemp seeds are also a better source of plant-based protein. The seeds don’t irritate the stomach or cause gas as they are free of oligosaccharides, a carbohydrate-based molecule.
In addition to protein, hemp seeds also contain fat, carbohydrates, fiber, and some sugar. They also have vitamin C, vitamins A and E, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, and folate.
Cannabis-derived protein is one of the currently lesser-known uses of hemp, but it’s gaining more notoriety all of the time(especially with the move towards more vegetarian food sources as opposed to meat as the primary protein source).
Benefits of Hemp Protein
The benefits of this amazing substance are far-ranging.
A tablespoon of hemp seeds (about 30 grams) has 9.46 g of easily digestible protein. Protein helps maintain, develop, and repair body tissue, including hair, skin, eyes, muscles, and organs. It is also a significant source of energy and forms the base for antibodies that help prevent infection, illness, and disease are protein-based. Without protein, hormones like insulin would be nonexistent. Also, certain necessary chemical reactions like digestion of carbohydrate and fat molecules would occur inefficiently or not at all.
Rich in fiber
As a fiber-rich plant protein, hemp can provides a significant portion of the 20 to 35 grams daily dietary fiber recommendation. Fiber-rich diets offer several valuable health-promoting properties, including lowering the risk of heart disease by improving blood cholesterol levels. It can also reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, constipation, and diverticular disease.
Improves heart health
Hemp protein contains a large amount of arginine or L-arginine. This amino acid produces nitric oxide molecules that dilate and relax blood vessels. This action reduces high blood pressure and lowers the risk of coronary heart disease.
Hemp protein also contains an ideal 3:1 balance of omega-3 fatty acids vs. omega-6 fatty acids. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-3 fatty acid, can help prevent coronary heart disease and reduce the symptoms of PMS. GLA can also help, reduce the effects of prolactin, a hormone that in high amounts cause anorexia nervosa, liver disease, kidney disease, and hypothyroidism.
High in minerals and antioxidants
Hemp protein contains vitamin E, tocopherol, and phytol. These are antioxidants that support immune function, prevent inflammation, and promote eye health. They also lower the risk o coronary heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and atherosclerosis.
Hemp also has plenty of the minerals you need for overall good health like phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, and copper in hemp.
Other health benefits of hemp protein include increasing energy/productivity and improving metabolism. It can also reduce food cravings and improve the immune system.
How to Use Hemp Protein
Here are some of the various forms this protein comes in listed below.
Keep in mind that hemp flour is typically a lot lower in protein than most of these food items described here.
This is important to remember because people often get these various products confused.
Hemp Protein Powder
Hemp protein powder comes from milled hemp seeds. The powder is gluten and lactose-free and is popular as a supplement that maximizes exercise recovery, boosts energy levels, and aids in resistance training. You can blend it with smoothies or shakes. Use it also for baked goods, pancakes and hot cereals.
Hemp flour has a lower concentration of protein than hemp protein powder concentration. This product comes from defatted hemp seeds and is excellent for baking. Hemp flour, however, has no leavening agents. It will work for flatbread but needs to be mixed (1:1 ratio) with all-purpose flour for baked goods that need to rise.
Whole or shelled (hulled) hemp seeds have a mild, nutty flavor (a cross between pine nuts and walnuts with a hint of quinoa). You can have them either raw, cooked or roasted. Eat them as a snack or sprinkled on a salad or cereal. You can also bake with hemp seeds. The recommended daily serving of shelled hemp seeds is four heaped teaspoons (approximately 42 grams).
Hemp oil comes from cold-pressed hemp seeds. Drizzle the oil over vegetables or soups, or mix in salad dressings and smoothies. Hemp seed oil is unstable at high temperatures, so it’s not suitable for cooking. The oil can be applied topically for anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, or anti-aging benefits or taken orally. The recommended oral dose is 1 to 2 tablespoons.
Hemp milk, a blend of the seeds of the hemp plant and water offers more protein and healthy fats than almond or rice milk. It has less protein than cow’s milk but has a high polyunsaturated fat content that can help lower bad cholesterol. The milk has an earthy taste and chalky texture that takes some getting used. Use hemp milk the same way you use regular milk.
Side Effects and Precautions
Most people tolerate hemp protein well. However, the high fiber content can cause gas, bloating, or diarrhea if too much gets consumed too quickly. Even though the plant is in the cannabis family, you won’t get high as it contains very little of the psychoactive compound THC.