Hemp hearts are a simple solution for adding heartiness to a slew of dishes and increasing protein intake. There’s also a laundry list of health benefits that hemp hearts can offer: They're a noticeable source of fiber, pack an arsenal of vitamins, and are filled with calcium and iron. According to the USDA, hemp hearts are comprised of 25 percent protein and more than 20 percent in fiber. Hemp hearts also contain all of the nine essential amino acids. Sprinkling an ounce of this nutty topper on your favorite salad will run you 160 calories and provide 10 grams of protein.
Hemp Hearts - Nutritional Facts
These small, white unshelled hemp seeds are rich in protein, fiber, and healthful fatty acids, including omega-3s and omega-6s. They have antioxidant effects and may reduce symptoms of numerous ailments, improving the health of the heart, skin, and joints.
Hemp hearts contain almost as much protein as soybeans. In every 30 grams (g) of seeds, or about 3 tablespoons, there are 9.46 g of protein. These seeds are a complete source of protein, meaning that they provide all nine essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks for all proteins. The body cannot produce nine of these acids, so a person must absorb them through the diet. Relatively few plant-based foods are complete sources of protein, making hemp seeds a valuable addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Hemp hearts are especially rich in an amino acid called arginine, which has benefits for heart health.
The health benefits of polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, are becoming increasingly well known. Hemp hearts are a great source of essential fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3. The body cannot produce essential fatty acids, and the body must absorb them from the diet. They are crucial for long-term health. The ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s is also important. In general, people tend to eat too many omega-6s and too few omega-3s, but adding hemp hearts to the diet may help to promote a balance. Hemp hearts are low in saturated fats and contain no trans fats.
Hemp hearts are a god source pf fiber, with three tablespoons containing approximately 1.2 g of fiber. Consuming enough fiber every day can:
- reduce the appetite
- help with weight management
- work to stabilize blood sugar levels
- promote the health of the gut
Minerals and Vitamins
Hemp hearts contain an impressive array of vitamins and minerals and are especially rich in: vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.
They are also a good source of iron, zinc, and B vitamins, including: niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin B-6 and folate.
Hemp Hearts: Health Benefits
Alongside the nutritional benefits, hemp hearts have a wide range of positive health effects.
Boost heart health
The omega-3 fatty acids improve the health of the heart and reduce the risk of issues such as arrhythmias and heart disease. Hemp hearts contain high levels of omega-3s and a healthful ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. They also contain high levels of arginine, an amino acid that turns into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is essential for artery and vein dilation, and it helps keep blood vessel walls smooth and elastic. Lowering blood pressure, eating a healthful diet, and participating in varied forms of exercise may help to decrease the risk of heart failure.
The amount of omega-3s in hemp hearts and the healthful omega-3 to omega-6 ratio can together help to reduce inflammation. In addition, hemp hearts are a rich source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid which may also have anti-inflammatory effects. Reducing inflammation may help manage the symptoms of chronic diseases, such as:
- metabolic syndrome
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease
Arthritis and Joint Pain
Research has shown that hemp hearts and hemp seed oil can be helpful in relieving rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Hemp heart consumption lowered the survival rate of MH7A rheumatoid arthritis fibroblast-like synovial cells, and at certain doses it even promoted cell death. Hemp hearts and hemp seed oil has anti-arthritic effects, which can help patients suffering from its symptoms.
Has anti-aging properties
The oil in hemp hearts can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as prevent signs of aging from developing. The linoleic acid and oleic acids found in hemp hearts can’t be produced by the body but can play a crucial role in skin health and anti-aging, so they’re important nutrients to add to the diet.
Improve skin conditions
Atopic dermatitis (AD) and acne can both result from chronic inflammation. The anti-inflammatory compounds in hemp hearts may help. Acne may be linked to a deficiency in omega-3s, the high omega-3 content in hemp hearts may help to manage and reduce acne symptoms.