I have been raving about a certain super food lately and I wanted to share why. I am madly in love with hemp hearts and use them regularly. They’ve got a lengthy list of health benefits and there are many ways to enjoy them which makes it easy to use them on the daily. My favourite hearts are raw and natural shelled seeds of hemp that are remarkably rich in nutrients. They are teeny tiny little seeds with a subtle nutty taste similar to a pine nut. They are known to have the most concentrated amounts of proteins, essential fatty acids, and vitamins than any other food. In fact, the high quality protein source in hulled hemp seeds is favourably unique. This complete plant based protein is digested easier than any animal protein including eggs, milk, cheese, and meat.
Energy: Hemp hearts provide us with long lasting energy. The bonus here is that this energy is created without the use of stimulants or additives like caffeine, sugars, saturated fats, and fillers. The next time you are craving yet another coffee pick me up or an overpriced energy bar loaded with sugars, try having some hemp hearts instead.
Digestion: Hulled hemp seeds aid in keeping our digestive systems healthy with regular bowel movements. My favourite little gems are equipped with plenty of fibre keeping our intestines in tip top shape reducing the chances of developing any diseases that affect the gut (and there are many). May I also remind you that hemp hearts are easily digestible which is optimal for our hard working digestive systems.
Weight Loss: The healthy and regular digestion that we just covered is always a factor in weight loss and/or maintenance. However aside from this benefit, here is another fun fact about hemp seeds; they reduce cravings. What kind of cravings you ask? Hulled hemp hearts battle the big monsters such as sugars, starches, and saturated fats. This is thanks to their impressive combination of those essential fats, proteins, and health promoting vitamins. The more we add hemp hearts to our daily diets, the more our bodies get that complete balanced nutrition they need to function optimally. This will play a role in diminishing those hunger driven demands for those donuts sitting in the staff room.
Cellular Health: The addition of hemp hearts to a diet will provide many long-term benefits. Improvements in circulation, reduced cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation have been some of the benefits experienced by many individuals. A consistent consumption of hemp hearts will lead to an overall strengthened immune system which will reduce healing time and protect us from all types of diseases and conditions.
HOW TO ENJOY HEMP HEARTS
Hemp seeds can be enjoyed raw or roasted. They can serve as a lovely snack just on their own or their light, subtle, nutty flavour makes it very easy to add hemp seeds to almost anything. I personally love adding hemp hearts to my morning smoothies. Many people tend to forget about adding a source of quality protein in their blends and it is a very important component, especially when consuming a smoothie in place of a meal. I also add hemp hearts into any raw or uncooked dish. I will add them into my overnight oat concoctions, yogurt bowls, salads, in any and all no bake recipes, and even in dips and spreads like hummus or guacamole.
I also include them into cooked dishes, but as a last minute addition. High temperatures can compromise the nutritional content in hemp hearts and considering they are so magical, that’s the last thing I want to do. I will fold in a generous amount of these super seeds into cooked oatmeal, pasta dishes, and soups. I sometimes even make my own hemp milk when I’m in a bind. It is super easy as unlike other nut milks, hemp hearts do not need to be soaked beforehand. Hemp oil is also exceptionally healthy and is used in both culinary dishes and holistic remedies.
As a final note, I would recommend storing hemp hearts (and all types of nuts, seeds, and their flours) in the refrigerator. All nuts and seeds contain precious oils that can spoil quickly. To best preserve the nutrients in these super foods keep them in the fridge or the freezer.
Chantal Urbina is a registered Massage Therapist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. She is passionate about living a life full of health, love, and happiness and that all three start with our diet. “Nature’s healing properties will never cease to amaze me and it inspires me day after day to create and share recipes made with only real whole foods.”