What is all the hype over Hemp Hearts™ (shelled hemp seeds)? It used to be that those of us consuming ground flaxseed on a daily basis were so ultra healthy. Now flaxseeds (whole and ground) are showing up in mainly white flour bagels sold at popular coffee chains. In other words, flax has gone main stream. As a result, the healthy foodies have upped the ante. They are filling their carts with chia, salba and hemp food products. These rich vegan sources of omega-3 fatty acids and fibre are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Hemp Hearts™ are marketed as the most concentrated and best balanced source of proteins, essential fats and vitamins in Nature. What is also important to note is that these powerful little shelled hemp seeds are void of excess carbohydrates, sugars and saturated fats. These little, white orbs of nutrition are H E A L T H Y !
Who could benefit from a daily dose of 2 to 4 Tablespoons of these “super seeds” blended into a shake, sprinkled on oatmeal, or mixed into Greek yogurt and berries?
- People interested in preventative health and wellness
- People with obesity
- People with chronic constipation
- Elderly individuals with chronic health problems
- People with high blood pressure
- Individuals on carbohydrate-reduced diets
- Individuals battling high cholesterol
- People with Celiac Disease
- People battling depression
- Pregnant and lactating mothers
Nutrient Profile of Hemp Hearts™ (Chia and Salba are very similar)
A 4 Tablespoon serving supplies: 240 calories with a nutrient breakdown that is Oscar-worthy: 15 g of essential fats, 15 g of protein, 4.5 g of carbohydrate, 2.5 g fibre,
- More digestible protein than meat, whole eggs, cheese, cow’s milk or any other high protein food.
- Better spectrum of available proteins than soybeans
- Can be eaten by those unable to tolerate nuts, gluten, lactose or sugar; there are no known allergies to hemp foods.
- Gluten-free, sugar-free, milk-free, nut-free
It is important to note, that the higher caloric and essential fat content should not be a turn off. Higher concentrations of healthy fat provide satiaty, reduce inflammation which in turn can help prevent disease and aid in weight loss, and assist in creating a much healthier cholesterol profile (hemp seeds are full of plant sterols). All too often, we go for the “cheap”. The low cal, no-fat food only to find we aren’t making any head way in our efforts to achieve our health goals and this creates confusion and discontent. When you finish your current supply of flax, get edgy and try these super seeds and reap the benefits.
*Organic whole grain brown rice can take longer than the more refined brown rice such as Uncle Ben’s
By Debra Basch, RHN
Director of Nutrition &
Certified Personal Trainer