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Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds – Boosting Immunity

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With my love of using hemp in my diet I thought it was time to explore the health benefits of hemp in our diet.

One of the most important sets of nutrients for an optimised immune system are essential fatty acids – particularly omegas-3 and -6.

Hemp seed is one of the most well-balanced sources of these omegas so I’ve asked hemp and nutrition specialist Dr Bronwyn Blake from Vasse Valley to tell us why we should all include hemp seed in our diets. Here’s what she has to say. 

As the effects of COVID-19 grip our nation, healthy eating has never been more important.

Eating a diet rich in a variety of plant-based foods is one of the best ways to protect yourself against infection.

Plants contain compounds that our body needs to produce its own set of compounds, including enzymes, neurotransmitters, cells etc.

These elements keep our body in balance and functioning properly. They are also vital for a well-functioning immune system.

One of the most important sets of nutrients for an optimised immune system are essential fatty acids – particularly omegas-3 and -6.

hemp plant

Health Benefits of Hemp in your Diet

The list of health benefits of hemp linked to good fats, particularly omega-3 are far reaching.

Scientifically proven benefits include:

  • Reduced depression and anxiety
  • Improved eye, brain and cardiovascular health
  • Reduced ADHD symptoms in children
  • Reduced symptoms of metabolic syndrome
  • Fight inflammation and autoimmune disease
  • May reduce asthma, liver fat and menstrual pain
  • Improved sleep and some skin conditions
  • May aid weight loss

Now here’s a curveball! A lot of these conditions are also treatable with medicinal cannabis! There is a common denominator here and that is the body’s Endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is a homeostatic regulator – continually working to maintain a state of biological balance.

It is in close and constant communication with the immune system. Starting to see a connection here?

For more information read my blog The Endocannabinoid System and your health.

hemp products, carrots and tomatoes on a cutting board

Striking the Right Balance

Did you know your body can produce its own cannabinoids? These are the compounds famous to the cannabis plant.

When our body doesn’t produce enough of its own cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) the ECS can’t function properly and some of the conditions listed above, plus a range of others, can present themselves.

What are Endocannabinoids

Now here’s the final piece of the puzzle, endocannabinoids are lipid-based neurotransmitters, meaning they are synthesised from fats and carry messages around the body.

Not surprisingly, studies have shown you can boost your production of endocannabinoids by increasing your dietary intake of omega-3s and other essential fatty acids.

It is important to note that you need these fats in the right balance.

A healthy ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can enhance the activity of the ECS.

Endocannabinoids are produced from arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid.

Having enough arachidonic acid is essential for endocannabinoid production, but having too much may lead to down-regulation of cannabinoid receptors and things will fall out of balance.

bowl of hemp seeds with a few hemp leaves

Omega-3 and 6 and Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds

Omega-3 fatty acids are needed to balance the omega-6 fats so the ECS can function properly.

These fatty acids are much harder to come by in the diet.

An ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the diet is about 3:1, and the typical western diet often has a 10:1 ratio, or even worse!

One of the most well balanced sources of omegas can be found in hemp seed.

Hemp seed was legalised for human consumption in Australia in 2017 and is on its way to becoming a pantry staple.

A nutritional powerhouse, full of omega-3 and 6, and a complete protein, hemp seeds have about 3300mg of Omega-3 and 8100mg of omega-6 in 3 tbs.

The ratio of omega 3 to 6 is almost ideal in hemp seeds. As for protein, hemp seeds are 33% protein and contain all the essential amino acids and nearly all the amino acids.

Other sources of Fatty Acids

Whilst hemp seeds are amazing, the best diet is a varied one. Other sources of well-balanced fatty acids include ground flax seeds and flax oil, chia seeds, walnuts, sardines and anchovies, eggs (pasture-fed or omega-3 enriched only).

Try to include some of these in your diet every day.

I recommend making your own hemp mylk as a dairy-free milk alternative (recipe included at the end of this blog!) and using hemp seed oil coupled with Vasse Valley’s award-winning dukkah as a salad dressing. 

Hemp seed oil and parts of the hemp plant on a white table

Phew, that was a lot of information!

I guess the bottom line is, fat is an essential part of your diet, so long as it is the right fat and in the right balance.

Our body, including our immune system, cannot function properly without enough of these good fats in our diet. In the words of Mother Teressa – ‘To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it’.

Check out my latest blog to learn more about How to support your ECS without using cannabis.

While you’re there, make sure you purchase a bottle of our nutritious hemp seed oil or other hemp seed products and please, stay safe, sanitised and sane during this challenging time.

Keto Meal Plans & Support
cup of hemp mylk

Make Your Own Hemp Mylk

Get all the health benefits of hemp with this hemp mylk recipe. This is the basic recipe but feel free to get creative with flavours!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Australian Keto
Recipe Category: Low Carb
Calories: 225kcal
Author: Megan Ellam
Servings: 4 serves
Tap or hover over number to scale ingredients
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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup raw hemp hearts
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 date optional

Instructions

CONVENTIONAL METHOD

  • Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy.
  • Filter through a fine mesh cloth or nut milk bag, if required.

THERMOMIX® METHOD

  • Place all ingredients into mixer bowl. Mix 1 min/speed 9.
  • Filter through a fine mesh cloth or nut milk bag, if required.

Notes

Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Shake before every use. Enjoy!
Nutritional does include the date. For a keto diet there is only 2g net carb per serve without the date

Nutrition

Serving: 1serve | Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 194IU | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 5mg | Magnesium: 3mg | Net Carbs: 3g
Tried this recipe?Mention @meganellam or tag #madcreations!
man and woman with 2 small children on a farm

This post was put together by scientist and business owner Brownyn Blake.

Located in the beautiful Margaret River Wine Region, Vasse Valley’s owners Chris and Bronwyn Blake have been growing hemp since 2015.

The couple’s motivation was ignited after learning about hemp’s multitude of uses and potential role in our fight against climate change.

Vasse valley logo

As major advocates of shopping local and healthy eating, team Vasse Valley have leapt into the spotlight as Western Australia’s first paddock-to-plate hemp foods business.

Their mission is to create innovative and nutritious hemp foods  consumers can trust. 

hemp dukkah packet and hemp plant

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hemp milk in a cup with hemp seeds on the side

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2 responses to “Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds – Boosting Immunity”

  1. helen cullen says:

    Very informative article. Congrats to Vasse Valley for all they have achieved in such a short time. More hemp seed recipes please.

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      Absolutely Helen. How great is it to not only have an amazing supplier in Australia, but also so much information and recipes that we can use.

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