Are Hemp Hearts the Secret Elixir of Youth?

Christine Colbert April 29, 2021 0 comments

How to use hemp hearts to boost health over the long term.

Hemp hearts are simply hemp seeds without their shell. And these contain properties that combat key challenges met by aging populations. Here are some simple, denture-friendly, ways to add hemp seed to the senior’s diet and learn the science behind it all.

What Are Hemp Hearts? 

Hemp seed is the fruit of the Cannabaceae plant, Cannabis sativa. Generally, these seeds end up in palatable products like hemp hearts (shelled hemp seed), hemp seed oil, hemp milk, and other appetizing adds to a kitchen arsenal. Eaten raw, the outer layer of hemp seed is crunchy, with a soft interior that boasts a flavour like a pine nut. These seeds usually come from hemp strains that offer high levels of CBD and low levels of THC, thusly eliminating intoxicating properties.

Four Science-Backed Reasons to Try Hemp Seeds or Hearts

1. Hemp and Heart Health

As a matter of fact, eating more hemp seed and hearts may support cardiovascular health. Over time, inflammation can play a role in heart disease and function by creating an environment that is conducive to the growth of plaque build-up in arteries. As a result, these plaques can loosen off into the bloodstream and cause heart attacks or heart failure. Fortunately, hemp seeds are rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s) which have anti-inflammatory functions.

One such PUFA is the powerful anti-oxidant called alpha linolenic acid (ALA). It is instrumental in reducing oxidative stress, a known contributor to heart disease [1]NS Dhalla, RM Temsah, T Netticadean (2000). Role of oxidative stress in cardiovascular diseases. PMID:10872549. DOI:10.1097/00004872-200018060-00002and inflammation [2]Fehmi Odabasoglu, Zekai Halici Aygun, Mesut Halici, Fadime Atalay, Ahmet Cakir, Elif Cadirci. Yasin Bayir, Halis Suleyman. (2010)α-Lipoic acid has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties: an … Continue readingwhich can optimize longevity.

older adults in aerobics class

2. Hemp Seeds for Arthritis

Arthritis is the inflammation of joints caused by over-use, malnutrition, auto-immune disease, and aging. Interestingly, hemp seeds or hearts may aid in the management of arthritic joints because of the anti-inflammatory properties of its potent nutrient, gamma-linolenic Acid.[3]Rakesh Kapoor, Tung-Shendg Huang (2006). Gamma linolenic acid: an antiinflammatory omega-6 fatty acid. PMID: 17168669. DOI: 10.2174/138920106779116874

As hemp seed contains significant amounts of fatty acids, evidence [4]Mini Jeong, Jaewook Cho, Jong-II Shin, Yong-Joon Jeon, Jin-Hyun Kim, Sung-Joon Lee, Eun-Soo Kim, Kyungho Lee (2014).Hempseed oil induces reactive oxygen species- and C/EBP homologous protein-mediated … Continue readingsuggests it may support in the mitigation of arthritic processes, a daily aggravation for many seniors.

3. Hemp Seeds and Brain Health

The hemp seed is composed of several different lignanamides, a chemical compound found in plants. Moreover, these seeds house cannabisin, which may help preserve memory and ward off inflammatory brain disease. Additionally, hemp seeds also contain a lignanamide named phenyl propionamide (TPA), a bioactive lignanamide that has anti-oxidative functions.[5]Xiaoli Yan, Jiajing Tang, Carolina dos Santos Passos, Alessandra Nurisso, Claudia Avello Simoes-Pires, Mei Ji, Hongxiang Lou, Peihong Fan (2015) Characterization of Lignanamides from Hemp (Cannabis … Continue reading

Studies suggest TPAs can be successful in significantly reducing neuro-inflammation, a characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, inflammation is a catalyst to memory loss and dementia. By adding hemp seed to a healthy diet, there is potential to protect the brain, and stave off age-related brain disease.

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4. Hemp Seeds (not Hearts) May Improve Digestion.

By ensuring the proper consistency of stool, absorption of nutrients, and transit time, fiber plays a critical role in the function of a digestive system. Basically, the hemp seed is an abundant source of fiber and may help in the prevention of digestive ailments. And it’s the shell of the hemp seed that houses all the fiber.

Diverticulitis, colon cancer, and constipation are hallmarks of inflammation in the digestive tract.  Importantly, this can be helped by proper fiber intake. As the body ages, the efficiency of the digestive system decreases, thus emphasizing the importance of proper fiber consumption. Hemp seeds are an incredible source of fiber. They provide 16.8 grams per fifty-six gram serving and may be a simple solution to managing fiber intake for older adults.

Hemp seed is chock full of nutritional benefits. In addition to the above mentioned advantages, hemp seed possesses lots of protein and magnesium. These can also help with weight management, something that is critical to the overall health and quality of life for seniors as described below.

The Importance of Hemp Protein

Hemp seeds and hemp hearts are a fantastic source of protein. At least two to three tablespoons provides eleven grams of protein, making up twenty-five per cent of its’ calories. According to this Globe and Mail article, the same measurement of hemp seed can provide 116 grams of protein, which equates to one-quarter of a day’s requirement.

Certainly, protein has several different functions in the body, including the regulation of the immune system, proper pH levels, and calorie stores. As a matter of fact, protein is responsible for the reparation of tissues caused by injury or aging. It is also a building block for the structure of the body. Explicitly, without protein, the human body becomes sluggish, and hemp seeds/hearts may be an easy addition to bolster energy.

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Why do you Need Magnesium?

If high protein content is not convincing enough, hemp seeds and hearts are also a great source of magnesium. In fact, there are 140 milligrams of magnesium per two tablespoon serving. Magnesium is essential to overall health due to its many functions in the body. Further, magnesium contributes to health through several immune, nerve, heart, and blood pressure regulatory capabilities. Moreover. deficiency of this mineral has links to the development of osteoporosis, as well as coronary artery disease, two threats to the health of seniors.

Weight Management with Cannabis Hemp

Fortunately, hemp seed and hearts can even assist in proper weight management. Known as a superfood due to their incredible vitamin, protein, and fat content, these seeds contain many components that lend to the ability to satiate appetite. Altogether, adding a small amount of hemp hearts to a smoothie can contribute to proper digestive motility, and assist in curbing appetite, while adding energy. These key attributes are paramount for successful weight management, and the overall health of seniors.

hemp hearts on wooden spoon

How to Eat Hemp Hearts

  • Salad: hemp hearts make a great garnish to salad. Worried about these getting stuck under dentures? Swap out olive oil dressing with hemp seed oil for flavor and nutritional benefits. Check out this recipe for Greek salad.
  • Smoothies: Hemp hearts, seeds, and oil can be added to your favorite smoothie recipe.
  • Hemp seed pudding: Blend two ripe bananas, two tablespoons of hemp hearts, a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, three tablespoons of coconut milk, two cups of organic blueberries, and pitted dates (to taste) for a delicious hemp seed pudding.

Incorporating bulk hemp hearts in your daily life could provide numerous health benefits. Generally, choosing organic hemp hearts further reduces exposure to potentially harmful toxins that may accumulate in hemp seeds. In conclusion, hemp should be part of a healthy lifestyle!

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