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Hemp Superfoods {protein, oil, hemp hearts}

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An overview of the nutritional benefits of several hemp superfoods {protein, oil, hemp hearts} & reasons to add them to your eating routine!

three hemp superfoods on a piece of slate

Hemp: An Amazing, Versatile Superfood

Happy Thursday, everyone! I hope this post finds each of you happy and well. Today, I am taking a moment to talk about one of my favorite superfoods: hemp.

I’ve included recipes for hemp hearts and hemp protein powder over the years here on Power Hungry, but I’ve never spent much (ok, any!) time here discussing why hemp products–such as hemp hearts, hemp protein powder, hemp oil, or hemp milk–are worth adding to a clean and healthy eating/living/exercise routine. The time has come!

Is Hemp the same as Marijuana?

First things first: hemp is not marijuana and hemp products will not get you high. While hemp and marijuana are members of the same plant  family (cannabis sativa), but they are not equivalent.

Hemp has been cultivated in China for thousands of years (in fact, sativa is derived from the Latin botanical adjective for “sown” or “cultivated”) for its myriad fiber uses, including ropes, fabrics and paper as well as a highly nutritious food crop. Its hemp’s remarkable nutrition profile–the seeds are rich in both protein and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids–that accounts for its (re)appearance in modern markets as a superfood.

Hemp Protein Powder: One of the Best Plant Proteins 

Let’s talk about hemp’s protein first, which you can add to your diet in the form of hemp protein powder. Hemp protein is considered a superior source of protein–comparable to other sources of protein such as meat, milk, and eggs–because it contains 20 amino acids, including all nine of the essential amino acids that comprise a complete protein.

Hemp protein is also highly digestible (I can attest!), which is why it is one of my favorite protein powders for adding to smoothies, as well as for use in baking (e.g., my Hemp Protein Power Pucks!).

You can find hemp protein in various forms (fiber included, water-soluble, flavored, and more), with protein content ranging from 12 to 20 grams per serving. I am partial to plain varieties (with or without fiber), for their versatility, but choose what pleases you!

an overhead sot of a jar of hemp protein powder with a blue and white spoon

What are Hemp Hearts?

Not a fan of protein powder? Another way to glean the benefits of hemp is with hemp hearts, the shelled, soft-textured seeds of hemp plants:

a pile of hemp hearts on a piece of black slate

What is the Flavor of Hemp Hearts?

Hemp hearts have  a mild, nutty flavor and tender texture that reminds me of pine nuts (but far cheaper!). They are every bit as versatile as other nuts and seeds, so you can add them to baked goods, granola, salads, homemade energy bars, pesto, and whatever else inspires you.

You can also enjoy hemp hearts in milk form (it’s actually my favorite non-dairy milk). Hemp milk is made from pulverizing hemp seeds, blending with water and then straining out the solids. The result is creamy and delicious!

A benefit of hemp hearts, in general, over hemp protein powder is that the former is also rich in hemp oil (most of the oil is removed form hemp protein powders), and hemp oil is a nutritional powerhouse! Hemp seeds (hearts) are 44% edible oil, 80% of which is essential fatty acids (omega-6 and omega-3), but also antioxidants, and other essential nutrients and vitamins.

Hemp Oil (also known as CBD Oil)

All of which brings me to my last option for adding superfood hemp to your routine, with ease: hemp oil, specifically. pure CBD oil.

 

Up until a few weeks past, CBD oil was unknown to me, but then I was given the opportunity to learn more about it courtesy of Receptra Naturals. I was especially interested in trying it given that I am so fond of hemp hearts and hemp protein powder, so I was excited to discover more.

Just to clarify, CBD is the pure oil from hemp seeds, plain and simple, and is patented by the US government as both an antioxidant and neuroprotectant. 

a glass bottle of hemp oil on a piece of black slate

Finding a new plant-based oil supplement that contains both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is a significant drawing point, but I was also curious about some of the claims that CBD oil may help in muscle recovery and overall endurance by reducing inflammation.

My running workouts have intensified in the past months with marathon training (ouch!), so I decided to give it a shot with a very non-scientific, week-long experiment.

a botte of hemp oil surrounded by running gear

 

Here’s what I did: for one week, I used the oil first thing in the morning and just before bed. Then I went about my planned running workout for the week, which included an intense new combination of hills and speedwork.

My very non-scientific conclusion? I felt pretty great by week’s end, whereas I would normally have expected soreness from the changeup in my workout type and variety. Could it be placebo effect? Sure. But I am pleased enough to keep using hemp oil and make it–along with hemp protein powder and hemp hearts–part of my hemp superfood options.

I hope you consider giving some hemp products, a try, too!

Some Hemp Recipes to Try (& Love):

  1. Vegan Pumpkin Hemp Heart Cheesecake {Nut-Free}
  2. Strawberry Hemp Heart Ice Cream {Vegan, Nut-Free, High Protein}
  3. Hemp Protein Granola Bars {vegan, gluten-free}
  4. Vegan Parmesan Cheese (made with cashews or hemp hearts)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Receptra Naturals. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

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