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Hemp is The Best Protein-Packed, Anti-Inflammatory Superfood You’re Not Eating
Let's separate the myths from the facts — how is it different from marijuana?
Hemp is having a big moment right now and shows no signs of slowing down! Since being legalised for Australian consumption in late 2017, many people are turning to hemp for its powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects. But just as many are still confused about the nature of this superfood.
Despite becoming one of the most popular ingredients in salad dressings, baked goods, smoothies, and even artisanal chocolates and gummy lollies, questions about hemp still abound. Is it safe for anyone to eat? What are its healing benefits? Is it possible to get high from it? Can you overdose on it? What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?
To bring you up to speed, we decided to separate myth from fact and chat about the amazing nutritional profile of hemp. Keep reading to find out why the humble hemp seed is becoming the emblem of healthy haute cuisine!
First, let's bust the top 5 myths about hemp....
1. You won't get high or fail a roadside drug test by eating hemp.
TRUE — hemp and marijuana come from the same plant species/family, Cannabis Sativa, but they have *completely* different properties, functions and applications. The hemp used in products for consumption (like our hemp protein, hemp oil and hemp seeds) contain no, or very low (<0.5%), levels of THC, which is the hallucinogenic associated with the mind-altering properties of marijuana.
According to David Gillespie, Australia's Assistant Minister for Rural Health, the likelihood of low-THC hemp products delivering a positive drug test is "virtually impossible". You definitely can’t get high by eating hemp or suffer from a drug overdose!
2. It's legal to consume hemp in Australia.
TRUE —since November 12, 2017, low-THC hemp products can *legally* be sold for human consumption in Australia and New Zealand.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) conducted a major review in 2017 and determined that “low-THC hemp seed foods are safe for consumption and can provide a good alternative source of nutrients and polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially Omega-3 fatty acids.”
Did you know?
Hemp seeds are considered a 'complete protein.' They contain more protein per 100g than both chia or flax seeds and can help boost the healing and repair of muscles and body tissue.
3. Hemp is only safe for adults.
FALSE—low-THC hemp is safe for people of all ages! Despite the stigma, hemp seeds, hemp protein, hemp flour and hemp oil are tasty, healthy and safe products for your entire family to consume.
You can add hemp to everything, from savoury falafels and hummus to smoothies and sweet treats like bliss balls, pancakes or granola bars. Hemp has a nice, mild nutty flavour, so your lil’ picky eaters won’t even be able to tell!
4. Hemp seeds are low-allergy, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian.
TRUE — hemp seeds are a great alternative to popular tree nuts like cashews, peanuts, pistachios and macadamia nuts because they are low-allergy.
Packing snacks for the school run can be a nightmare with the number of allergies and foods that are off limits. But hemp seeds are the perfect option! They’re a great low-allergy, gluten-free ingredient for shareable snacks, but with a similar taste and texture to tree nuts. They’re also suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Important note: If you have an allergy, always check the ingredients and allergen information thoroughly on any product before consuming it. Hemp products may be contaminated by nuts or other allergens when being packaged or processed.
5. Hemp is not good for your digestion.
FALSE — whole hemp seeds contain high amounts of fibre, both soluble and insoluble, which greatly benefits your digestive health. Hemp may also help to produce short-chain fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation in the intestines and strengthen your colon cells.
However, de-hulled or shelled hemp seeds (aka ‘hemp hearts’) contain very little fibre, and are therefore not as effective for supporting your digestion.
Did you know?
Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats and essential fatty acids. They also contain high amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, calcium, iron and zinc.
What's the best way to use hemp products?
Hemp oil — cannot be heated, so you can’t cook with it. But you can use it for skin care or salad dressings, sauces and smoothies. Hemp oilhas anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which means it’s great for anti-aging, supporting your immune system and reducing the risk of disease.
Hemp seeds — can be eaten raw, cooked or roasted. Hemp is considered one of the most nutritious plants in the world and the seeds contain all 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential ones that our bodies cannot produce on its own! Hemp seeds make a great addition to smoothies, cereals, yoghurt, salads, bread, pancakes and other baked goods.
Hemp protein — is easily digested by the body and can be added to anything where you’d like extra protein. Hemp protein is an ideal vegan and vegetarian alternative and has high nutritional content which can give your metabolism a boost, fight cravings for unhealthy sugars, and increases your body’s fat-burning potential.
Hemp flour — is a great gluten-free flour alternative that can be used in any baked goods, such as bread, muffins, crepes and cakes, or for thickening sauces. Hemp flour is a good source of high-quality fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Where can you buy hemp products?
At Nutrient Avenue, we have a great selection of hemp seeds, hemp protein, hemp flour, hemp oil and other hemp products. You can shop our full range here!