Hemp is known to be one of the hardiest, most versatile crops. Besides being an easy-going and resilient plant, hemp has been historically cultivated for its nutritional, medicinal and industrial purposes. (And yes, being described as “easy-going and resilient” is our new life goal.) While its origins leave much room for debate at the dinner table, what’s known is that hemp has been around for more than ten thousand years. We weren’t kidding when we called it hardy! Hemp is now quite popular and cultivated in all corners of the globe, from Asia to the United States, Canada, Europe and Africa.
So, what are hemp hearts? Simply put, they’re hulled (that’s fancy for shelled) hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are known as the edible fruits of the famous ‘Cannabis Sativa’ plant. These seeds were traditionally a by-product of industrial use, but more recently, they’ve stolen the spotlight for their incredible nutritional value.
And if you’re wondering: unlike recreational cannabis, the only high you’ll get from hemp seeds comes in the forms of protein, fat, and super great health benefits. Another common question we hear: do hemp hearts contain CBD? The answer is no. CBD lives in the flowers and the leaves of the hemp plant, not in the seeds. There is no THC or CBD in hemp hearts.
Once hulled, the hemp seed uncovers the most tender (and loving) part of the seed – the hemp heart. Hemp seeds are a kind reminder that at the end of the day, we’re all just protecting our heart. Hemp hearts are the most nutritious (and arguably the sweetest) part of the seed.
At Everipe, we heart hemp, so much so that we’ve made it a key ingredient in all of our superfood smoothie kits. Here’s a few reasons why:
Hemp heart nutrition: A great source of plant-based protein
Hemp hearts are one of the best sources of plant-based protein, for a few reasons. One serving of hemp hearts provides about 10g of protein - pretty darn good for a little seed! Hemp protein contains all 20 known amino acids – including 9 essential amino acids. Meaning, hemp hearts are a complete protein source, providing your body with the necessary building blocks to live to the fullest!
To sweeten the deal, 65% of the total protein of hemp seeds comes from a protein called edestin, which is effortlessly digested, absorbed and used by the body. Hemp seeds are also hypoallergenic, making them a fabulous alternative to some other plant-based proteins like soy and tree nuts.
Hemp hearts give you healthy fats
By now, most people in the health food space have heard the term “healthy fats” being thrown around. Well, enter hemp hearts, one of the best plant-based sources for healthy fats. They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, known to be anti-inflammatory, good for muscle and joint repair, and proven to prevent chronic diseases. Hemp hearts are also home to omega-6 fats, which bring a whole bunch of other health benefits. Both omega 3 and omega 6 fats are “essential,” meaning they can’t be made in our body, so we have to get them from the diet. Luckily, a serving of hemp seeds is a one-stop shop when it comes to getting your daily amount of these fats!
Every tbsp of hemp seeds provides your body with about 1,000 mg of omega 3 and 2500 mg of omega 6 fats. Clearly, a small serving of hemp (perhaps nested into your favorite superfood smoothie) goes a long way.
Hemp: the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory immune booster
Some of those healthy fats mentioned earlier also double as powerful antioxidants. Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), a type of omega-6 fat, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which can prevent chronic illnesses. Yep, these small but mighty seeds can protect against diseases like cancers, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more. But wait, we aren’t quite done yet – GLA can also help people suffering from conditions like eczema, dermatitis, arthritis and multiple sclerosis by reducing inflammation. The fats in hemp hearts also provide key support to the immune system – and really, if we’ve learned anything this year, immunity is king!
Hemp hearts are good for the heart
Fittingly enough, hemp hearts have proven to be heart healthy. The healthy omega 3 and 6 fats in hemp hearts seems to be the most likely cause for some of these benefits. Though the anti-inflammatory properties of hemp could be the true source, because it prevents damage to blood vessels, and decreases the risk of heart disease.
Bottom Line: Hemp elevates smoothies into the realm of superfood status
Hemp hearts are a glowing example of a complete, plant-based superfood. They come well equipped with an arsenal of essential fatty acids, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Hemp hearts are one of the super ingredients that help our smoothies reach their superfood status! In each Everipe Smoothie Kit, you’ll find a superfood packet loaded with hemp hearts and other super ingredients that add an extra layer of nutritional “oomph” to keep you nourished throughout the day.