Hemp Hearts

Little Known Health Benefits of Hemp Hearts

Hemp hearts are the soft inside of unshelled hemp seeds which come from the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). They are a relative of the marijuana plant, but differ in the compounds they contain, especially in the content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which produces the mind-altering or psychoactive effects typical of marijuana. Hemp hearts can be consumed either raw, roasted, or cooked (1).

Hemp hearts are highly nutritious, containing no cholesterol, but rather rich in protein, healthy fats, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. A 30g serving (three tablespoons) contains 15g of fat (12g of which is polyunsaturated fat and 2g of monounsaturated fats), 10g of protein, 1g of carbohydrate, and 1 g of fiber. It also contains significant amounts of manganese (100% of daily value, DV), magnesium (45% DV), phosphorus (35% DV), thiamine (25% DV) and iron (20% DV) (2).

Benefits

  1. Promotes cell growth and repair. Hemp hearts are rich in proteins, which are the building blocks of life as they body’s cells need protein for growth, development, and repairs. Proteins are needed to metabolize food, for enzyme reactions, oxygen transport and for the smooth functioning of many other activities in the body (3).

  2. Boosts bone and muscle health. Hemp hearts contain a significant amount of magnesium which plays a vital role in maintaining healthy bones. It helps to increase bone density and prevents the commencement of osteoporosis (4). Magnesium also helps to relieve muscle cramps, muscle tension and back pain as it functions as a muscle relaxant, controlling muscle contraction (5).

  3. Improves brain function. Hemp hearts are an excellent source of manganese, which is essential for the normal functioning of the nerves and brain. It is component of superoxide dismutase (SOD), which is an important enzyme with potent antioxidant activities. It breaks down the superoxide free radicals, which cause excessive oxidation reactions that eventually destroys cells and cause oxidative stress. The oxidative damage of brain cells in the neural pathway is implicated in the onset of many neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington disease (6, 7). Besides several research studies have proven a relationship between low blood manganese levels and seizures as in seen in epilepsy and convulsions. Low manganese levels cause the accumulation of glutamate which provokes the occurrences of seizures (8).

  4. Improves heart function. Hemp hearts contain no cholesterols; thus, they do not increase blood cholesterol levels. Also, they contain a good quantity of fiber which binds to cholesterol in food and prevents their absorption into the bloodstream. Additionally, the fat in hemp seeds is primarily the healthy fats; omegas-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-6 (linoleic acid). These fats reduce low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol and boost high-density lipoprotein (good) cholesterol. Their regular consumption is associated with a significantly reduced risk for the development of atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart attack (9).

  5. Boosts reproductive health. Manganese in hemp hearts plays a crucial role in the production of sex hormones in the body. Its deficiency is deemed a cause for infertility. Besides manganese is reported to suite pre-menstrual symptoms (PMS) in women (10).

  6. Aids metabolism. Manganese in hemp hearts helps to activate enzymes involved in several metabolic activities in the body. They help with the digestion proteins and utilization of amino acids, as well as with carbohydrate and cholesterol metabolism (11). Besides the fiber in hemp hearts helps to draw water from the intestines, that improve bowel movements and prevents constipation. Fiber also feeds healthy bacteria in the gut that boosts the health of the digestive system and strengthens general host immunity (12).

Hemp hearts are delicious nutty flavored seeds, loaded with lots of nutritional benefits. They are a reputed super food and definitely a good addition to any healthy diet plan.

 

REFERENCES

  1. Health benefits of hemp seeds. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2022, from WebMD website: https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-hemp-seeds

  2. Natural hemp hearts. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2022, from Manitoba Harvest website: https://manitobaharvest.com/products/natural-hemp-hearts

  3. I. Baum, J., Børsheim, E., R. Allman, B., & Walker, S. (2020). Health benefits of dietary protein throughout the life cycle. In The Health Benefits of Foods - Current Knowledge and Further Development. IntechOpen.

  4. Castiglioni, S., Cazzaniga, A., Albisetti, W., & Maier, J. A. M. (2013). Magnesium and osteoporosis: current state of knowledge and future research directions. Nutrients, 5(8), 3022–3033. doi:10.3390/nu5083022

  5. Moretti, A. (2021). What is the role of magnesium for skeletal muscle cramps? A Cochrane Review summary with commentary. Journal of Musculoskeletal & Neuronal Interactions, 21(1), 1–3.

  6. Holley, A. K., Bakthavatchalu, V., Velez-Roman, J. M., & St Clair, D. K. (2011). Manganese superoxide dismutase: guardian of the powerhouse. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 12(10), 7114–7162. doi:10.3390/ijms12107114

  7. Takeda, A. (2003). Manganese action in brain function. Brain Research Reviews, 41(1), 79–87. doi:10.1016/s0165-0173(02)00234-5

  8. Grant, E. C. G. (2004). Epilepsy and manganese. Lancet, 363(9408), 572. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(04)15558-X

  9. Manganese. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2022, from Mount Sinai Health System website: https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/manganese

  10. Rodriguez-Leyva, D., & Pierce, G. N. (2010). The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed. Nutrition & Metabolism, 7(1), 32. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-7-32

  11. Manganese. (n.d.-b). Retrieved August 25, 2022, from Nih.gov website: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Manganese-HealthProfessional/

  12. Fiber. (2012, September 18). Retrieved August 25, 2022, from The Nutrition Source website: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/

 

 

 

 

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