Hemp hearts are dehulled seeds of the hemp plant, a variety of Cannabis. Hemp hearts are a superfood that can be eaten raw or used to make milk, oil, cheese substitutes, or protein powder. They have a rich nutritional profile and provide a varied range of health benefits. In the middle of our search to make everyday meals more nutritious, hemp seeds or hemp hearts come as the perfect solution.
What are Hemp Hearts?
Hemp hearts are raw, hulled hemp seeds. They are the soft, chewy centre found inside the shell of the hemp seed. A couple of spoonfuls of these hemp hearts pack a massive amount of essential nutrients into our diet. Plus they’re easy to eat and cook with and they have a pleasantly nutty taste.
Hemp hearts are a simple solution for sneaking in some extra nutrition and protein punch into your diet.
Did you know that these hemp hearts are also hypoallergenic?
That is to say, it has a low allergy potential. That makes it a great replacement for soy and peanuts.
So, you can consume hemp hearts in any form- raw or cooked!
Nutritional Value of Hemp Hearts
Hemp hearts are incredibly nutritious. These small, green-white hemp hearts are rich in protein, fibre, and healthy fatty acids including omega-3s and omega-6s.
They also exhibit some antioxidant effects that may prove helpful in managing symptoms of Alzheimer’s, chronic pain and improving overall heart health.
About 25% of calories in hemp hearts come from protein, which is relatively high. They are a complete source of protein which means that they provide all the essential amino acids. Your body cannot produce essential amino acids and must obtain them from your diet. Hemp hearts contain all 9 essential amino acids. These are especially rich in the amino acid arginine—famous for its benefits on heart health. They also contain 20-40% Albumin and 60-80% Edestine, a structure closely similar to proteins manufactured in our blood. This makes hemp protein easily digestible. Relatively few plant-based foods are a complete source of protein, making these a valuable addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Hemp hearts are a great source of healthy fats too. Hemp hearts have over 30% fat and contain healthy fatty acids, particularly omega-3 and omega-6. Hemp seeds also contain GLA (gamma-Linolenic acid) which helps in balancing hormones in the body. It has anti-inflammatory effects and helps eczema, arthritis, and muscle pain.
These also contain phytosterols. These are plant cholesterols that help in reducing the amount of bad cholesterol in the body. By removing the fat in the arteries, phytosterols keep the good cholesterol and blood sugar at healthy levels while improving blood circulation.
Also, hemp seeds are low in saturated fats and contain zero trans fats. This is wonderful because trans fats are responsible for raising bad cholesterol levels in the body.
In about 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds, there is approximately 1.2g of fibre. These fibres act as antioxidants that help the digestive system and boost daily energy. They contain 20% soluble and 80% insoluble fibre, which aids in digestion while helping lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health. The presence of insoluble fibre has also been linked to a lower risk of diabetes.
Hemp’s high content of fibre and unsaturated fats keeps energy high and helps to prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Minerals and Vitamins
Hemp seeds are rich in vitamins B(0.5mg/100g) and E(90mg/100g) and dietary minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus(1160mg/100g), potassium(859mg/100g), iron(74mg/100g), and zinc(7mg/100g).
A 100g serving of hemp hearts contains approximately:
- 0.5 mg of Vitamin B
- 90 mg of Vitamin E
- 700 mg of Magnesium
- 1160 mg of Phosphorus
- 1200 mg of Potassium
- 7.9 mg of Iron
- 9.9 mg of Zinc
How to use Hemp Hearts?
Hemp hearts are not only extremely nutritious but also super easy to consume. You don’t need complex recipes to add them to your everyday food.
Sprinkle them onto your cereal or blend them into your smoothies, there are endless ways to use hemp hearts.
Probably the best way to start the day! Adding a handful of hemp hearts into your pancake batter takes your breakfast up a nutritional notch.
Hemp hearts salads are also a popular breakfast choice. You can make a healthy salad dressing just by sprinkling them over your salad. Or even better, use hemp seed oil as your salad dressing! Sprinkling hemp hearts on your toasts give them a healthy twist. Alternatively, just go ahead and bake bread with hemp hearts or hemp seed powder.
And nothing stops hemp hearts from making Indian breakfast even better. Adding hemp seeds to your paranthas is a great way to give our desi food a protein power-up twist.
Hemp Beverages on-the-go
Hemp hearts taste even better when blended into smoothies. You can make a Green Goddess Smoothie (with spinach and coriander), a Strawberry Smoothie, or even a Blueberry one. they go well with all flavours so there’s no keeping yourself away from their nutritional benefits.
You can also make your own vegan milk with hemp seeds. All you need to do is blend them with water and strain. Here is a quick recipe for making vegan hemp milk.
DIY Vegan Hemp Milk
- Mix 1/2-1 cup of raw hemp seeds with 3-4 cups of water.
- Blend in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Strain using cheesecloth, nut milk bag, or a thin towel to further refine it.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Munching on Hemp
Hemp seed protein bars are great post-workout food. Hemp hearts yoghurts are also a popular option. Hemp chips are another great option to include these nutritious seeds in your everyday diet.
For a proper meal with a punch of hemp seeds, we have a variety of options. From burgers to frittata, you can add hemp seeds to give yourself the much-needed protein boost. You can also add hemp to your desi curries. Hemp seed Paneer, mushroom, or mixed vegetable is a great way to give yourself that protein punch while satisfying your Indian taste buds.
Hemp seeds in rice pilafs are also a great way to devour a delicious meal without giving up on nutrients.
Hemp hearts make healthy desserts possible! Hemp Heart Brownies are one of the most popular ways to consume hemp hearts. Apart from that, you can also make Hemp Hearts Pistachio Ladoo and treat yourself to some Indian sweets.
Hemp cookies and cakes are also great dessert options. Hemp hearts are little bundles of health and can so easily be consumed. From a light snack to a hearty meal, you can sneak in the goodness of hemp seeds in a lot of ways! Which one is your favourite?
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