Hemp up your diet

Thursday, 14 August 2014 - 6:15am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Hemp seeds are small, nutty-flavoured super seeds with a swanky long resume of nutritious ingredients. They are one of the active ingredients for making the evergreen delicious 'bhang' prepared during holi. Although it belongs to the same family as 'marijuana,' hemp seeds is a distant cousin to them. They have no intoxicating effect. It is a fact that hemp seeds increase energy and are used to aid in depression, but no you can't get high or test positive on a drug test. Despite this clear distinction, many countries ban these seeds from being sold as an off-the-shelf product. Having said that, hemp seeds are leading the way in the health food sections of the world in various high protein high fibre low calorie recipes.

They are small, round balls with crunchy outer shells and they have a taste similar to flaxseeds and pine nuts. Hemp seeds contain many essential nutrients, including an impressive amount of protein, healthy fats, and minerals.

The proteins found in hemp seeds are very easily digestible by the body, making hemp seed a top protein choice for vegans and vegetarians. A tablespoon of hemp seeds has approximately 11 grams of proteins which is high when compared to a whole egg which has around 6 grams of proteins. If you're not a fan of protein powders, hemp is a great alternative because they pack enough protein in a bery small amount.

Moreover, the seeds contain all 9 essential amino acids that are sometimes missing in plant-based foods. Hemp seeds are also rich in essential fatty acids and contain a very healthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 healthy fats. These healthy fats act like antioxidants in the body, fighting annoying unwanted free radicals and aids in weight loss.

These small seeds show big promise towards fighting many diseases. Honestly, there wouldn't be enough space for me to list all of them down, but few of the most important reasons why one should incorporate hemp are; it aids in digestion, weight management, strengthens hair, skin and nails, improves immunity, reduces fatigue and lowers cholesterol.

Hemp seeds are available in the market as hemp seeds or hemp hearts. They start at around Rs.200 for 100 grams and can go up to Rs.400. Since they are incredibly small, incorporating them into the diet is very easy, like sprinkle it on salads or yogurts or simply add them in chapatti flour or rice. They not only add a protein punch but they also help in getting a creamy texture. This particular quality works perfectly while making soup or a smoothie. And if you forget to throw them in the blender, garnish your soup or smoothie with a tablespoon of hemp seeds on top!

It is not a miracle food but one of the most nutritious balanced digestible foods like many others which are good to include in your diet.

Stay Healthy!

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