One of the earliest types of plants cultivated that we know of is hemp. This plant also happens to be a very nutritious ingredient or food item which you can add to various recipes and dishes. As a crop, hemp is very eco-friendly because it grows at a fast rate, it's naturally resistant to pests, and the plants grow in proximity to each other. Because of all these traits, hemp can also out-compete weeds which means that you won't have to use herbicides on them. Hemp seeds contain a lot of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrientswhich make it great for vegans. Also, the seeds aren't considered a food allergen which makes them suitable for those with food allergies and intolerances. Read on to learn more about hemp and why vegans should start adding this to their diets.
The health benefits of hemp for vegans
As aforementioned, hemp contains proteins and other types of healthy components. Even though this comes from the same plant family as marijuana, it doesn't contain THC, the component which makes people high. Hemp is a highly sustainable plant, and its versatility makes it suitable for various applications. If you're a vegan, you may find it difficult to get all the protein your body requires as you don't consume meat. That's okay though because hemp can be one of your plant-based protein sources. Here are the other benefits this miracle plant has to offer for vegans, vegetarians, and other people looking for new and healthy foods:
- It has an amino acid profile that's complete Unlike other types of seeds, hemp seeds contain a complete profile of all amino acids, both the non-essential and the essential ones. This makes hemp one of the very best kinds of protein sources which are plant-based. The body needs the amino acids found in hemp for various purposes including repairing and fuelling the cells of the muscles, regulating the brain's neurotransmitter functions as well as the functions of the nervous system.
- It's an excellent lean protein source Although hemp seeds do contain some fat, their protein content is the lean type of protein. People can make hemp protein through the process of cold-milling. When the seeds undergo this process, some of the fats get eliminated leaving only the natural proteins. Being a lean protein source, hemp seeds can benefit your digestion and promote a lean and healthy body mass. Also, hemp protein doesn't contain any saturated fats and cholesterol.
- Gives the metabolism a boost Because of the lean protein and amino acid content of hemp seeds, it can give your metabolism a boost naturally. When the body digests protein, it needs more energy compared to when it digests carbohydrates or fats. This means that the body starts burning more calories when you consume the seeds.
- Also, it may energize you Hemp also contains magnesium, zinc, and iron. These particular nutrients are essential for the optimization of energy especially for vegans who follow plant-based diets. Rather than consume protein supplements or protein powders, it's better to acquire these nutrients from raw food sources such as hemp.
- It's high in fiber Most of the plant-based protein sources also contain some fiber. But none of these compare to the amount of fiber found in hemp and chia seeds. This is another beneficial component because fiber helps protect the heart, regulate the levels of blood sugar, aid in digestion, and maintain a healthy weight.
- It's affordable Although hemp comes with a lot of health benefits, it's also very affordable. Because of its excellent sustainability and it's only processed mildly, you can purchase hemp at a very reasonable price. This feature makes it very appealing especially for vegans who have a hard time finding food items which won't break the bank.
- It's tasty too Here's another benefit to look forward to! Hemp seeds have a rich and nutty taste, and they pair well with various ingredients, recipes, and dishes. You can even use hemp flour as a replacement for regular flour when baking or in other types of cooking.
- It doesn't contain a lot of carbohydrates A lot of times, people keep a close watch on their carbohydrate intake. Fortunately, you won't have to worry about this with hemp. This is because it has low amounts of net carbohydrates. Following a plant-based diet that's also low in carbohydrates is highly beneficial for your weight and blood sugar levels.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties Hemp proteins are greenish-brown in color which indicates the chlorophyll that hemp seeds naturally contain. This green pigment offers alkaline protection to the body to fight against inflammation. Also, hemp proteins contain a lot of potassium which may aid in balancing the body's balance of water and electrolytes. This, in turn, may help prevent joint pains and muscle cramps.
- The body processes it easily This feature makes hemp perfect for vegans, vegetarians, and other people who want to consume more types of plant-based foods. And since you can use the seeds in various recipes, you'll never get bored!
How can vegans consume hemp?
When shelled, hemp seeds are also called hemp, hearts and they're one of the healthiest types of seeds you can consume. We've discussed all the health benefits of the seeds as well as all the nutrients they contain. Hemp seeds are very versatile because you can use them in different ways such as:
- In baked goods and bars Hemp seeds can be a great addition to muffins, bread, cookies, granola bars, protein bars, and other types of homemade goodies. They will add texture, flavor, and a huge nutrient boost.
- In salads You can easily elevate a salad's nutrient density by adding hemp seeds to it. Before digging into your salad, add a few tablespoons of the seeds for the texture, flavor, and nutrient boost. You can also blend the seeds into the salad dressing to make it thicker, creamier, and healthier.
- In smoothies Aside from the nutrient boost, adding hemp seeds to smoothies can also give them a protein punch. The seeds will help give your smoothies a creamier texture when blended. Or if you want the crunch, then top the seeds over the smoothie instead of blending them in.
- In muesli and granola Finally, you can also add hemp seeds to your muesli or granola recipes. This will make your recipes healthier, give them a nutty flavor, and that appealing crunch.
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