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The World of Hemp as Food

Hemp seed, or hemp nut, as the contents of the hemp seed hull is more properly called, is arguably the most nutritious single food item on the planet. The government of the most powerful nation on earth calls it a threat.

Well, it might be a threat to the pocketbooks of some of the folks who buy congressional seats for other folks, but it's not dangerous to you and me. Hemphasis believes that it is a crime against humanity to prohibit the cultivation of hemp.

How insane is the goverment's policy? I just ate a meal prepared with hemp seed, hemp protein powder and hemp seed oil, while wearing a hemp shirt and examining a hemp camera bag that just came in the mail. All these products were legally trucked past barely-surviving South Dakota farms.

Hemp nut is a complete source of protein at 31% protein, a complete source for essential amino acids (EAAs) having substantial amounts of all 10 essential amino acids, and a compete source of essential fatty acids (EFAs), with optimal amounts of Omega-6, Omega-3 and GLA. Hemp is the only food with all four EFAs and EAAs.

Hemp nut (30-35% oil) is the highest in total essential fatty acids, at 80-81% of total oil volume, of any food source.

Hemp: A Complete Food

by Jeremy Briggs

Hemp seed oil can be used as cooking oil, to be added to hot pastas or mixed with salad dressings. Hemp seed "nut" (that which remains after the removal of the seed shell), may be added to many foods or incorporated in baking, and can withstand temperatures up to 300 degrees without hardening.

Pressed seed cake, or hemp meal (what remains after the oil has been pressed out), can be made into a cooking powder or flour. Hemp meal is also an ideal feed for animals. Recent experiments in Kentucky reveal that hemp-fed cattle require less feed and digest it more efficiently. Hemp seeds are also the preferred seed among birds. It is said to improve the frequency and mood of canary song.

Hemp nut is the most nutritious and easily digestible food on the planet, the only complete source of all the following: protein, essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Hemp is the only food which supplies all man's dietary needs in one source -- the only food which can sustain human life without any other source of nutrition.

Hemp foods contain 35% carbohydrates, 30% fat, 35% fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, and in particular vitamin E, and only 8% saturated fat, or less.

Complete Protein

Hemp contains 25% - 31 % protein, second only to soy (35%), but the protein in hemp foods is more easily digestible, because hemp contains globular proteins, albumin 33% and 65% edistin (a Greek word meaning edible), which have structures very similar to proteins made by the blood, which makes them readily digestible. A handful of hemp seed provides the minimum daily requirement of protein for adults. No other food source provides complete protein in such an easily digestible form, not even soy. Soy protein content is fairly difficult to digest.

Hemp foods contain all eight essential amino acids, Leucine, Lysine, Threoine, Phen+tyro, Valine, Meeth+cyst, Isoleucin, Tryptophan, with higher amounts of each than other main sources of protein, like egg whites, tofu, human milk, and whole cow's milk. Besides these 8 essential amino acids, hemp foods also provides the necessary types and amounts of amino acids the body needs to make serum albumin and serum globulins, two other amino acids essential to life. All of this makes hemp a complete source of protein.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

EFAs are essential to tissue growth and help regulate many internal functions, which makes consuming them critical. Essential fatty acids are by definition, essential, because they can't be produced by the body, but must be obtained through diet, for proper growth and body functioning.

Hemp has Highest EFA Content

Hemp food (30-35% oil) is the highest in total essential fatty acids, at 80-81% of total oil volume, of any plant and provide the perfect ratio of Omega-6 (around 60%) to Omega-3 (20 %), a 3 to 1 ratio; the ratio recommended by health experts. Hemp nut is the only food item containing every EFA -- including rare stearidonic acid (SDA), and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), or super Omega-6, which is absent in flax and other major oils. GLA helps treat neurodermatitis, arthritis, and PMS, and together SDA and GLA reduce symptoms of atopic dermatitis and other skin diseases.

EFAs help organ muscles to contract, regulate stomach acid, help lower blood pressure, help maintain body temperature, regulate hormone levels, and break up cholesterol, while aiding in fat transportation and metabolism. The EFAs in hemp also help improve brain function.

EFAs support the immune system and guard against viral infection. Thus, they help cancer, HIV, and other patients whose immune systems are weakened. By reinforcing the immune system, hemp foods help aid in making a person healthy. Health experts have concluded that a diet rich in EFAs is one way to ensure that a person becomes and remains healthy.

Here are the conditions which may be helped by EFAs: addiction, arthritis, attention deficit disorder, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, earache, edema, fatigue, immune deficiency, menopuase, MS, obesity, osteroporosis, premenstrual syndrome, tuberculosis, athersclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and skin conditions such as eczema, neurodermititis, and psoriasis.

EFAs also aid in cardiovascular health, which most Americans could improve upon, help stop sudden cardiac death, help improve mood in bippolar cases, and EFAs also help the reproductive system and should be consumed regularly by all pregnant women, because EFAs are vital to infant development.

Conclusions

Hemp's nutrients are the most important things we can get in our diets, and we Americans are not getting enough. As of now, 90% of Americans do not get enough EFAs into their diet. This is critical because a deficiency in EFAs will result in changes in cell structure (cancer), brittle and dull hair and nails, plus dandruff, allergies and possibly dermatitis.

Hemp foods could help reverse Americans' negative eating habits and make us healthier. Hemp could help us maintain our cholesterol levels while we continue to eat large amounts of animal products. We need EFAs to break down the cholesterol we ingest, so we don't get strokes and heart attacks.

Since hemp is the only food source with all the essential fatty acids, and contains them in perfect proportions (3 to 1, O-6 to O-3), contain all the essential amino acids, and all the protein needed to continue life, it seems silly to ban them. Why ban the most nutritious food source on earth? Seems kind of like a miracle that one food source could contain everything a person needs and in the perfect ratios.

 

 

Hemp can be eaten as oil, which can be added to hot pastas, or mixed with salad dressings. The seed or hemp nut is what remains after the removal of the seed hull. Hemp nuts may be added to foods or incorporated in baking. Pressed seed cake, or hemp meal, is what remains after the oil has been pressed out. Hemp meal can be made into a powder or flour, and fed to livestock.

 

Hemp Oil vs Flax Oil

Like hemp seed oil, flax oil contains high levels of EFAs. Flax oil has more linolenic acid (LNA or Omega-3), at 58 %, but hemp seed oil contains the recommended balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 (3 to 1 ratio), which makes hemp a more desirable food source.

In addition, hemp seed oil contains GLA, which is absent from Flax oil. Hemp oil can be cooked at temperatures up to 300¡ F. for a prolonged period.
Flax, and most other vegetable oils, are too sensitive to cook at high temperature, and form into hydrogenated (hardened) or refined trans-fatty acids, known to be bad for blood cholesterol levels.

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Hemp Nut vs Soybeans

Hemp is a better source of protein than soy, because the protein in hemp is more easily digestible.

Hemp foods are free of the trypsin inhibitors, oligosaccharides, and antinutrients found in soybean, which impair protein absorption and cause digestive problems.

Many people are allergic to soybeans, while hempseed is rarely allergenic. Soybeans are being genetically modified; hempseed is not.

Anything which can be made of soy can be made out of hemp, including milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream.

Note: This chart compares the Dietary Oils in Hemp to other plant-based oils. This is a very important chart for vegans and vegetarians, but further research can show proponents of non-vegan diet that hemp is one of the few plants in the world that can compete with products like fish oil and krill oil supplement .

Other EFA producing Foods: Black Currant (14.5%O-3, 44%O-6 & 19%GLA); Walnut (60% fat content at 5%O-3, 51%O-6).

Essential fatty acids, by definition, are essential and must be obtained through diet. The body can't produce them. EFAs and their metabolites support the immune system and guard against viral infection (cancer, HIV/AIDS). They can selectively kill tumor cells without harming normal cells. EFAs also have anti-mutagenic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. They are required for the structure and function of every cell in the body.

EFAs are essential to tissue growth, cell membranes development, and metabolism. EFAs aid in cardiovascular health, lower serum cholesterol, and blood pressure, help diabetes, arthritis, skin conditions, such as eczema, and psoriasis, help improve brain function, and are crucial to infant development. EFAs also help organ muscles to contract, regulate stomach acid, maintain body temperature, and regulate hormone levels, while aiding in fat transportation and metabolism.

EFAs aid in the following conditions: addiction, arthritis, attention deficit disorder, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, earache, edema, fatigue, immune deficiency, menopause and PMS, MS, neurodermitis and skin ailments, obesity, osteoporosis, premenstrual syndrome, tuberculosis. GLA is helpful in treating neurodermatitis, arthritis treatment, and PMS. Together, SDA and GLA reduce symptoms of atopic eczema, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers, coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis.

A deficiency in EFAs results in changes to cell structure (cancer), brittle and dull hair and nails, plus dandruff, allergies and possibly dermatitis.

 

 
   
Sources for the facts listed in captions under these charts and graphs

Benhaim, Paul; A Modern Introduction to HEMP - From Food To Fibre: Past, Present And Future, Australia (2003).

Conrad, Chris; Hemp for Health, Healing Arts Press. Rochester, VT, (1997)

Dalotto, Todd; The HEMP Cookbook: From Seed To Shining Seed, Healing Arts Press Rochester, Vt (2000).

Essential fatty acids in health and disease; Journal,Assn of Physicians, India (1999 Sep; 47(9)), pp 906-11.

Erasmus, Udo; Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, Alive Books. Burnaby, B.C. (1996).

Horrobin, David F. Essential fatty acid metabolism and its modification in atopic eczema, American Society for Clinical Nutrition (2000).

Leson, Gero; Petra Pless; and John Roulac; Hemp Foods and Oils for Health, Hemptech, Sebastopol, CA (1991).

Miller, Carol, and Don Wirtshafter; The Hemp Seed Cookbook, Hempery, Athens, OH (1994).