Hemp is closely related to marijuana, but don’t worry – if you don’t live in a state where the use of medical or recreational cannabis has been made legal, then this can be a safe, lawful alternative to smoking the herb. It won’t get you high, and it won’t put your next drug test in jeopardy either! Hemp has a huge range of benefits that are causing it to boom in popularity all over the world. It can be consumed in a variety of different forms; seeds, flour, powder, and oil are just some of the most popular. Naturally, hemp seeds are very rich in Omega-6 and Omega-3, protein, fiber, and essential amino acids. So, what health benefits can you gain from consuming more hemp? Let’s find out!
#1. Improve Your Skin
Has your skin been feeling a little dull and dry recently? Perhaps you’ve been using more moisturizer than normal, or suffering with flaky, itchy skin. If this is the case, then hemp can help. Since it’s so rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, hemp oil is an excellent natural moisturizer and emollient. Pure hemp oil can be used to treat dry skin or hair, whilst including more hemp seeds in your food will help to improve the elasticity and moisture of your skin from the inside out.
#2. Lower Your Cholesterol
Since hemp oil is the only vegetable oil to contain both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, it is a great choice of food or supplement for lowering cholesterol. Since it is made with absolutely no animal products and is purely plant-based, hemp oil is a perfect choice for vegetarians or vegans who may otherwise struggle to get an ample amount of these nutrients in their diet. Hemp oil works to lower cholesterol by speeding up metabolic processes in the body; in turn, this leads to fat burning at a faster rate and therefore less being deposited on the artery walls.
#3. Boost Your Immune System
Including hemp oil, seeds, or flour in your cooking is a great way to boost your immune system and be more resilient to disease. The Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids found in hemp and hemp oil help to improve and regulate intestinal flora, in turn, this helps to build a natural barrier against microbes. As a result, you’ll be less susceptible to catching disease and will heal more quickly.
#4. Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes
Since it has a very low carbohydrate and sugar content, hemp is the perfect dietary supplement for you if you are trying to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, hemp and hemp oil can be a great food supplement for those who already suffer with diabetes; it contains nutrients which can help to regulate sugar levels in the body.
#5. Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is still the number one killer globally. However, consuming hemp has been shown to reduce your risk. Along with being effective for lowering cholesterol levels, hemp contains an amino acid known as arginine, which is used in the body to produce a substance known as nitric oxide, a gas molecule that causes blood vessels to dilate and relax. This results in lowered blood pressure and reduced inflammation, both associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease.
#6. Balance Your Hormones
If you are a lady who suffers from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or is currently going through the menopause, then consuming more hemp in your diet, or vaping with hemp oil, can help to relieve some of the symptoms. Physical and emotional symptoms that typically appear in PMS and menopause are usually caused by a sensitivity to the hormone known as prolactin. A substance known as Gamma-linolenic acid, found in hemp seeds, causes prostaglandin E1 to be produced in the body, which can help to reduce the adverse effects of prolactin. In a study carried out with women suffering from PMS, taking 210mg of GLA per day reduced symptoms such as breast tenderness, mood swings, irritability and excess water retention.
#7. Improve Your Digestive System
Fiber is an important nutrient when it comes to the digestive system; especially soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like substance in your gut and is a valuable source of nutrients for digestive bacteria. Insoluble fiber is used in the body to add bulk to fecal matter, helping food and waste pass through the gut easily. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of both these types of fiber; with 20% insoluble fiber and 80% soluble. Getting enough of both fiber types in your diet will reduce any problems with digestion. Bear in mind, however, that shelled hemp seeds tend to contain less of this nutrient; the shell is the most fiber-rich part of the seed.
#8. Reduce Weight and Build Muscle
Since around 25% of calories in hemp seeds come from protein, it is a very rich source of this essential nutrient. In fact, when measured by weight, hemp seeds provide very similar amounts of protein to meats such as beef or lamb. They are considered to be a complete protein source, as they provide all the amino acids that your body needs including lysine, which is rarely found in plant-based protein sources. As mentioned earlier, this means that hemp seeds, powder and oil are an excellent source of protein for non-meat eaters, who may otherwise struggle to get the right amount of nutrients from a solely plant-based diet. Since the digestibility of hemp protein is better than most other plant-based sources, it is one of the best options for helping with building muscle and losing weight.
#9. Protect Against Cancer
THC is usually talked about in terms of smoking marijuana, however, small trace amounts can also be found in hemp products due to its close relation to this plant. However, there’s no need to worry – this small amount is unlikely to get you high and as long as you buy an FDA regulated and approved hemp product, you can be sure that it is completely legal across the U.S. and in most other countries around the world. Research has shown THC, even in minimal doses, has anti-proliferative properties for tumor cells, and is widely believed to aid with the prevention of various types of cancer in the body.
#10. Improve Your Mental Health
If you have been suffering from high levels of stress or even anxiety, getting more hemp in your diet may be the solution that you’ve been looking for. Similar to many other seeds, hemp seeds are a very rich source of magnesium, B vitamins, and of course amino acids, which results in them being a natural stress-buster. Magnesium is an essential mineral for mental health since it works to support the brain’s neurotransmitter function; in turn, regulation of neurotransmitters and other brain chemicals can help to reduce the symptoms of chronic stress and/or anxiety. In addition, the amino acids found in hemp will build protein, providing more energy for your body and mind to get through stressful times. In addition, a deficiency of amino acids in the body can often result in the overproduction of stress hormones.
#11. Reduce Joint Aches and Pains
Hemp seeds, flour and oil can be a very powerful solution for those who suffer from pains and aches in their joints. Even those suffering from joint conditions such as arthritis may be able to benefit from using hemp as a dietary supplement. The gamma linolenic acid found in hemp oil doesn’t just reduce the symptoms of menopause or PMS; it helps to reduce inflammation all over the body. In turn, this reduces the strain on joints leading to pain reduction in the affected limbs.
#12. Decrease Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, can result in an increased risk for serious conditions or diseases, including heart disease and stroke. Although diet and lifestyle changes, for example getting more daily exercise, is widely known as the best way to reduce your blood pressure, it is lesser-known that hemp seeds can have a very similar effect. In a study where participants were compared to control groups, hemp seed meal protein hydrolysate was shown to be effective in reducing high blood pressure. This is due to the relaxing effects of the nutrients found in hemp seeds on the blood vessels in the body.
#13. Prevent or Treat Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that attacks the central nervous system, resulting in various adverse symptoms and often physical disabilities. Multiple studies have been conducted to investigate therapeutic methods of preventing and/or treating MS; hemp seeds were discovered to be effective for improving the clinical symptoms of relapsing MS patients when supplemented with evening primrose oil. Since the seeds improve the mitochondrial and myelin membranes in the body, some have even suggested that it may be very effective in preventing the onset of MS.
There are many different ways in which hemp seeds and oil can benefit your health! Have you seen health improvements from consuming hemp? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.