Proteins, amino acids, antioxidants, essential fatty acids useful for heart health, able to lower cholesterol, fiber, vitamins and mineral salts.
Hemp seeds are considered, nowadays and thanks to the numerous scientific researches that have studied their properties, real supplements.
Hemp seeds, properties
These seeds, technically considered nuts, are completely devoid of psychotropic substances and are precious sources of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids in the ratio 1-2, which is considered optimal for the health of the human body (Callaway et al, Euphytica, 2004). Among these fatty acids we can find, mainly, linoleic acid, alpha linolenic acid and gamma linolenic acid, substances beneficial for the health of the cardiovascular system. In addition to this, hemp seeds help lower cholesterol, they are rich in proteins, provide fiber, vitamin E and mineral salts such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, iron and zinc (Jung Lee et al, Mol Cells, Apr 2011 - Mattila et al, Plant Foods Hum Nutr., Mar 2018). But hemp seeds are also an interesting source of amino acids, in particular arginine. Arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide, a molecule that plays an essential role in regulating fibrinolysis, that is the system that counterbalances blood clotting. Moreover, nitric oxide regulates also the vascular tone and the interactions between platelets and artery walls, thus affecting the heart health. This consideration is in fact supported by the results of several scientific studies according to which arginine-rich foods have been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk (Rodriguez-Leyva et al, Nutr Metab, 2010). Hemp seeds also help fight constipation, are antioxidants, neuroprotective and regulate the immune system (Zhou et al, ACS Omega, Nov 2018). Finally, dietary hemp seeds have been shown to help counteract the symptoms of atopic dermatitis, such as itching and dryness (Callaway et al, J Dermatolog Treat).
Hemp seeds, where they are found and how they are eaten
Hemp seeds can be found in specialized stores and natural food shops, are crunchy and have a flavor similar to hazelnuts. These seeds can be used to enrich salads, fruit salads or yoghurt, but prefer them raw in order to preserve their properties.