31 Oct Hemp Hearts: What are They and What are Their Benefits?
WHY WE 💖 HEART HEMP HEARTS 💖!
Hemp hearts (technically, a nut) may be tiny, but they are packed to the brim with nutritional goodness! In fact, many dietitians and nutritional experts consider hemp hearts to be nature’s perfect balance of protein, essential fatty oils, vitamins, and fiber.
Also widely considered a superfood (how do they find capes that small?), adding hemp hearts to your diet and nutrition plan is easy and can provide numerous benefits. Some even refer to hemp hearts as the most nutritionally complete food on the planet.
WHAT ARE HEMP HEARTS?
Hemp hearts are simply shelled hemp seeds. They’re safe for kids, seniors, and everyone in-between! Yep, the seeds that sprout into that hemp plant are just like the adult plants – containing trace amounts of THC in small enough quantities that there is no worry of psychoactive effects.
Hemp hearts are 100% legal and sold all over the world and the U.S., mostly at specialty, organic grocery stores, but can also sometimes be found at popular chain grocery stores, too. It all depends on the store’s inventory and what part of the country you live in. With minimal effort, and a little searching on your part, you’ll find them and then discover why so many people love them!
WHAT DO HEMP HEARTS TASTE LIKE?
When poured out in your hand, hemp hearts look like common bird seed, but much softer to the touch. Smaller than oats or quinoa, but slightly larger than table salt, they’re pretty comparable to chia seeds.
The taste is very similar to raw, unsalted sunflower seeds. A little earthy, a little nutty, they’re definitely quite mild on the palette. Some describe them as “buttery”, while others characterize them as “bland.” It’s this semi-neutral flavor that allows hemp hearts to be sprinkled onto and incorporated into various foods and recipes with little to no effect on the overall taste of the original item or dish.
WHAT CAN I ADD HEMP HEARTS TO?
Boost your breakfast with protein and essential fatty Omegas! You can add hemp hearts to cereals, oatmeals, and granolas with ease–just spoon it in and stir it up. Same goes for yogurt, acai bowls, and smoothies. If you’re preparing more traditional breakfast fare, just measure out a few tablespoons and mix hemp hearts into a pancake and/or waffle batter.
At lunch or dinner, you can top off salads or soups (try toasting hemp hearts to add a little extra crunch and flavor). Mix some sesame seeds together with hemp hearts and use as a topping for stir fry or Asian noodle dishes.
For heartier dishes (see what we did there?) you can make homemade pesto sauce with hemp hearts for a yummy twist on pasta or make a pizza, using the hemp heart pesto instead of pizza sauce. For a double-whammy dose of protein, add some hemp hearts into ground meat for hamburgers or tacos.
As for desserts and sweets, the sky’s the limit! Because hemp hearts can be added into just about any baking mixture or batter, you can make cookies, brownies, and cakes a lot more nutritious in exchange for a sugar overload.
If you’re cutting back or skipping a meal, add hemp hearts to your smoothie or shake. The dense proteins will help you stay full longer, helping you fight cravings, overeating, and other dieting program pitfalls.
Hemp Hearts Recipes
You’ve digested all this great info about hemp hearts. Ready to give them a try? Pair these tips and recommendations inside these delicious recipes today.
HEMP HEART NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS
Described by some as a “gift from nature”, hemp hearts contain the most well-rounded and balanced nutritional profile. Hemp hearts boast the most concentrated balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins, and enzymes. All these plus hemp hearts contain basically no sugar, starches or saturated fats, and it’s no wonder why so many rave about their nutritional potential.
Okay, for all you ingredient and label readers out there, it’s time to get to it. What exactly is in hemp hearts that makes them so good for you? You want some numbers, right?! Let’s breakdown the percentages of a hemp heart’s makeup: they’re 25% protein, 35% fatty acids and 27% carbohydrates (primarily fiber and complex carbohydrates).
Hemp Hearts Protein
Let’s start with how much protein hemp hearts pack. 100 grams of hemp hearts equals 37 grams of protein! To compare, 100 grams of soy is equal to 36.5 grams of protein. That’s right, hemp hearts have even more protein than soy! That makes hemp hearts the Earth’s best source for plant-based protein.
If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, that’s important information. Hemp hearts contain more amino acids (proteins) than milk, meat or eggs. Giving you an amazing answer to “How do you get your protein?”
Hemp Hearts Fiber
Hemp hearts are easily digestible by the human body, which is rare for plant-based proteins. As a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, hemp hearts possess many health benefits related to the digestive system.
Soluble fiber works in the intestines to lower levels of LDL cholesterol, while insoluble fiber has been linked to lower risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and constipation.
Hemp Hearts Vitamins and Minerals
Hemp hearts are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B1, B2, D, and E, as well as the minerals magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron.
Hemp Hearts Omegas
Hemp hearts are 30% healthy fats (not the saturated, bad, kind), which are an abundant source of essential fatty acids like omega 6 and omega 3. In fact, hemp hearts contain more omega 3 essential fatty acids than any fish (sorry salmon!). With hemp hearts, your kitchen is better stocked to help you meet the 3:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 that is considered optimal for human health.
Each one is full of love, and of course, hemp hearts. Give your body a hemp hug, today. Enjoy!
Get more information on hemp here.