Is Hemp Oil a True Superfood?
There is some controversy surrounding the word hemp particularly because it refers to those products that are made from the Cannabis plant, apart from marijuana. The seeds, oil, as well as the fiber of the plant are used to make numerous hemp products like food and drinks as well non-food materials such as paper, fabric, and rope. Contrary to popular belief, hemp products are completely legal since most of the THC has either been removed or because they are made from plants that have low THC content; a compound known to have psychoactive properties.
Hemp oil – a superfood?
Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds which are rich in nutrition. They contain essential proteins and fatty acids along with minerals and vitamins. They are also full of iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and potassium phosphorous; all the nutrients required for development and normal body function. They also contain essential polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids including omega-3s which helps to fight symptoms of depression, cancer, and coronary heart disease. Hemp seeds also contain GLA and are known to help with numerous maladies, including attention deficit disorder and allergies and can help lower cholesterol levels too.
When hemp is uncooked, it contains an ideal amount of omega fats 3, omega fats 6, and omega fats 9 that are not produced by the body but are vital for the immune system, cell growth, and healthy circulation. Hemp is a perfect vegetarian alternative and can help with high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, and eczema. Evidence also suggests that hemp can improve memory and regulate hormonal balance.
Benefits of hemp oil – the superfood
Apart from the omega fatty acids, hemp oil, as well as the seeds, contain fats that are not commonly found in other sources; SDA and GLA. Both of these have shown to relieve symptoms of a few skin diseases such as dermatitis. Meanwhile, the benefits of GLA are not only limited to the skin. Getting a sufficient amount of GLA can increase the metabolism, reduce symptoms of PMS, improve conditions of nails and hair, decrease inflammation, and lower levels of bad cholesterol. GLA is particularly beneficial for those suffering from fibromyalgia, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, as well as other inflammatory diseases.
The fatty acids in hemp oil benefit the brain health. Diets that are rich in the fatty acids present in hemp, particularly the perfect ratio of the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids have shown to reduce or delay the symptoms of a number of brain diseases including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Hemp oil is ideal for vegetarians as well because attaining the correct balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids for vegans and vegetarians can be tough. With incorporating hemp oil in their diet, vegans can reap the benefits that come from having this ideal ratio.
The oil can be advantageous for people with diabetes as well. Due to the low sugar and carbohydrate content, the oil is a great food additive for those diagnosed with diabetes. The nutrients in the oil can help moderate the levels of blood sugar.
Hemp oil contains the essential fatty acids that are needed for healthy cell membrane structure and to prevent damage to the myelin sheath; the membrane that protects nerve cells.
Precaution when using hemp oil
It is recommended that you use the oil in only cold or warm dishes instead of using it to saute or fry. Heating the oil can convert the polyunsaturated fats into unhealthy compounds. Plus, remember that while hemp oil is a superfood and has a few health benefits, it should be avoided by patients with prostate cancer and by those that take blood thinners.