It seems like every time you turn on the news there’s been yet another new discovery of food that’s being categorized as a “superfood.” But the latest proclamation may be the  most “super” of all foods; we’re talking about hemp!

There are certain foods which possess an impressive range of health benefits and go well beyond their mere nutrient value that fall under the unique category of “superfoods.” One of the oldest and yet seemingly most misunderstood superfoods known to man is hemp.

220px-Hemp_bunch-dried_out_-seeds_close_up_PNr°0063This particular plant genus is an incredible multi-purpose species that can be produced for a boundless array of uses such as paper, rope, building materials, medicines and clothing. And it just so happens that it’s also one of the most nutritionally well-balanced foods on the entire planet.

Hemp has been cultivated and used by many ancient cultures since the initial documenting of history. Researchers discovered its use in China, India, Babylonia, Persia, Egypt, and the native cultures in North and South America. Hemp fiber was used to make rope and cloth, while the stalk was used to make paper. These same cultures also used the seeds for nutritional purposes by ingesting the shelled nut or by processing the seeds into oil, butter and flour for cooking purposes.

In today’s day and age, hemp seeds are used to make everything from frozen waffles and milk, to protein powders and ice creams. Awareness regarding the miraculous hemp plant and its numerous health benefits is beginning to reach the masses as more people are integrating hemp into their daily diets. Even celebrity types such as Dr. Oz and Oprah have come out as hemp seed fans.

Raw hemp seeds are high in protein, fiber and healthy fats. They contain an almost ideal balance of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which support heart and brain health and are thought to balance hormones.

hemp1Adding the recommended 3-tablespoon serving of this indeed “superfood” to your diet over the course of the day is as simple as blending the seeds into smoothies or sprinkling them on oatmeal, cereal yogurt, salads, grilled fish, or they can be eaten directly like sunflower seeds.

Hemp protein is recognized as one of the very few plant-based complete protein sources to have ever been revealed. This means that this powerful protein contains sufficient quantities of all 9 essential amino acids. Hemp also happens to be a great source of sulfur containing amino acids methionine and cysteine, which are essential for cellular detoxification and the production of vital enzymes. Additionally, hemp protein is rich in branched chain amino acids that are required for muscle growth and repair.

Virtually 60 percent of protein found in hemp is made up of a globulin source referred to as edestin, with the approximate remainder being made up of albumin. The molecular structures of both albumin and edestin possess similarities as to that of the protein which is found in the human body. Due to this common link, hemp protein is easily absorbed into the human bloodstream and utilized for important roles as dire as DNA repair.

hemp 1Fast-paced lifestyles and eating on the run can lead to less than stellar choices when it comes to searching for some type of sustenance to fuel our body’s complex nutritional needs, which is why a large percentage of the world’s populace is suffering from abnormal fatty-acid ratios.

When it comes to the human body, two indispensable forms of essential fats are those of the abovementioned omega 6 and omega 3 varieties. Due to heavy consumption of processed vegetable oils, grain-fed meat, poultry and dairy products, most people have very high levels of omega 6. According to the World Health Organization’s recommendations, our diets should consist of 4:1 omega 6, omega 3 ratios.

The typical western diet produces a ratio ranging approximately from 20:1 to an extraordinarily high 50:1. Abnormal ratios of these essential fatty-acids can be the source of heavy increases in inflammation which subsequently can lead to accelerated aging and cause diseases to advance into dangerous, irreparable stages.

The astonishing hemp plant contains the optimal ratio of 3.75:1 (omega 6:3) which deems it to be a commanding source for an anti-inflammatory diet. Hemp is also a great source of the omega-6 essential fat gamma linoleic acid or GLA. Significant quantities of GLA can only be found in hemp and a few other sources such as borage oil, evening primrose oil and black currant seed oil.

hemp 2Due to the inadequate availability of GLA through other food sources, much of our society is deficient in this individual essential fatty acid. GLA can play a vital role in terms of reducing inflammation in our bodies and  it happens to be one of the most dominant nutrients for balancing hormones. Not to mention the fact that ingesting satisfactory amounts of GLA reportedly promote healthy skin, hair and nails.

GLA is also acknowledged to have a significant effect on increasing one’s metabolism by encouraging stored fat, known as brown adipose tissue (BAT), to be effectively used for energy purposes. Furthermore, GLA activates the metabolic process by providing key nutrients for the cellular energy system termed the sodiumpotassium pump. When our body’s sodiumpotassium pump is operating effectually throughout every cell, it has the ability to remove toxic substances from deep within the cell structure. If the pump is operating ineffectually, then the cells will store toxins and the metabolism will be decelerated.

When you calculate the magnificent attributes that gamma linoleic acid add to this all natural product which possesses one of the best sources of omega-3 and omega-6 in proper ratios and contains all 9 essential amino acids, along with all 21 known proteins, it factors out to be one of the finest sources of complete proteins known to all mankind.

So, is hemp worthy of being categorized as a “superfood?” With all these outstanding health characteristics it quite plausibly could be the most perfect food source ever ingested! Got hemp? Super!

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