The Importance of Adding Hemp Seeds to Your Diet

For villagers in Bama Yao, China, the average life expectancy is exceedingly high indeed. The village is home to numerous folks above the age of 100 who benefit from a clean environment and a diet rich in nutrients. One of the secrets to their extended lifespan takes the form of a tiny seed which they consume in abundance: the hemp seed.

Little Seed, Big Benefits

Hemp seeds contain a wide array of nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, D, and E; omega-3 and -6 fatty acids; and phytol, an antioxidant. This makes this little seed a massive package of health benefits, which include a stronger mind, improved cardiovascular health, and a reduced risk of cancer. Given this range of benefits, it is no wonder the centenarians in Bama Yao live as long as they do, but that’s not the whole story. In addition to all the aforementioned perks, hemp seed is known to help with chronic inflammation.

Inflammation and Healing

Chronic inflammation is linked with a variety of age-related health issues, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The risk of getting these diseases can be reduced by dealing with the inflammation linked to them. Hemp seeds, which are rich in the omega-6 fatty acid GLA, can block molecules that bring about inflammation. Furthermore, GLA converts into prostaglandin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory substance in its own right.

The effects of hemp seeds on inflammation have been shown in studies on atopic dermatitis, or eczema. One study examined the effects of hemp seed oil versus olive oil on patients. During eight weeks, randomized groups took 2 tablespoons of either hempseed oil or olive oil daily. After that period, they switched treatments for eight weeks, and then went through a four-week period without treatment. Those who used hemp seed oil saw a 29.4% decrease in skin dryness and a 39% decrease in skin itchiness. This was due to the anti-inflammatory effects of the hempseed oil.

Eating It, Enjoying It

Given their nutty flavor, hemp seeds and hemp seed oil can be easily incorporated into your diet. The seeds are great sprinkled on cereal or yogurt, and they can easily be baked into cookies, muffins, bread, and granola bars. The oil can be drizzled on pasta, blended into smoothies, and mixed into soups. Put it on toast as a butter substitute. It can also make a great addition to salad dressings and sauces.

Hemp seeds are a tasty way to improve your health. You can reap the benefits from these seeds by adding the seeds or oil in your diet.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Trish Cowper

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