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Hemp is commonly confused with marijuana. It belongs to the same family, but the two plants are very different. Marijuana is grown to contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that is responsible for its psychoactive properties. Hemp describes the edible plant seeds and only contains a trace amount of THC.
Health benefits of consuming Hemp Foods
Hemp provides healthy fats
It is recommended consuming two 100 gram servings of fish, especially oily fish, each week. This is because fish is a major source of omega-3 fatty acids. If a person does not regularly consume fish, they may not be getting enough DHA or EPA. Hemp is a plant-based source of concentrated omega-3 fatty acids. However, the fatty acids that hemp contains are alpha-linolenic acids (ALA), which are poorly converted to DHA and EPA in the body at a rate of only about 2 to 10 percent. Despite this inefficient conversion rate, hemp is one of the richest sources of ALA, and so still represents a very good source of healthy fat, particularly for those who do not consume fish or eggs. Hemp contains a specific omega-6 fatty acid called GLA and hemp oil contains an even higher percentage of GLA. Hemp seeds also contain phytosterols, which help in reducing the amount of cholesterol in the body by removing fat build-up in the arteries.
Hemp is a protein source
Hemp contains all 10 essential amino acids, making it a good plant-based protein source. Hemp does not contain phytates, which are found in many vegetarian protein sources and can interfere with the absorption of essential minerals.
Hemp is contains magnesium
Magnesium plays an important role in over 300 enzymatic reactions within the body, including the metabolism of food and synthesis of fatty acids and proteins. Magnesium is involved in neuromuscular transmission and activity and muscle relaxation. Magnesium deficiency — which is especially prevalent in older populations — is linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis. Nuts and seeds like hemp are some of the best sources of magnesium.
Research suggests that people experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may be able to alleviate symptoms such as bloating, insomnia, leg swelling, weight gain and breast tenderness by ensuring an adequate intake of magnesium. Magnesium combined with vitamin B6 appears to be most efficacious in these instances.