You heard correctly: hemp seeds nourish brain health. Although hemp seed comes from the same species of plant as marijuana, it does not contain psychoactive chemicals and it stands on its own regarding health benefits.
WHY HEMP SEEDS NOURISH BRAIN HEALTH
Hemp is considered “brain-friendly” because it’s rich in nutrients, especially omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids – a group of fats the body doesn’t make on its own. A healthy ratio of these fatty acids (EFAs) is generally 2:1. Eating hemp seeds provides that balance, which is important for Westerners whose diets typically include more omega-6 fats. These EFAs, plus antioxidants found in hemp, help reduce inflammation, which plays a crucial role in overall health particularly for the heart and the brain.
The protein in hemp is another stand-out nutrient. Hemp seeds are one of the few plant sources that contain all the essential amino acids the body cannot manufacture on its own and yet are necessary for many bodily functions. Both fat and protein are critical for brain development from conception through birth and beyond. As we age, we need these nutrients to feed the protective layers around nerve tissue. Researchers are actively examining the benefits of hemp seed for brain health and in relation to conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.
HOW TO USE, BUY, & STORE HEMP SEEDS
The light, nutty flavor of hemp seeds makes them an easy addition to anyone’s diet. Enjoy them raw; blend to make hemp milk; mix into cereal, dairy-free yogurt, salads, smoothies, and desserts; or add to soups and other recipes.
Hemp seeds are best bought shelled/hulled and are usually labeled as “hemp seed hearts.” Store in the fridge or freezer for the longest preservation of flavor and nutrient content. You can also store hemp in a dry, cool area away from heat sources for up to one year.
RAW TABOULI & HEMP SEED SALAD
Summer gatherings at the park, campground, or by the water are a perfect way to relax, revive your spirit and reconnect with loved ones. This easy picnic salad supports good health and is a dish everyone will enjoy. Hemp seeds are a great source of plant protein and essential omega fatty acids. The herbs provide antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
For maximum freshness, prep this right before heading out.
Makes 2 servings
- 1 huge bunch of either curly parsley or Italian flat parsley, or 2 smaller bunches
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1 organic tomato, diced
- 5-6 heaping Tbs. of hemp seeds
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Dash of cold-pressed olive oil (optional)
- Sea salt, to taste
Chop the parsley and place in a large bowl, along with the tomato, onion and hemp seeds. In a small blender, or whisked by hand, combine the lemon, garlic, olive oil, and sea salt and blend or mix well. Pour over the salad and toss well.
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What are your favorite ways to nourish brain health? Share in the comments below!
PsychologyToday.com “Hemp: A Recipe for Brain Health” post written by Korn, L.E. Posted 24 Jul 2017. Accessed 6 April 2018: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/rhythms-recovery/201707/hemp-recipe-brain-health
“Characterization of Lignanamides from Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Seed and Their Antioxidant and Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Activities” as cited in GreenMedInfo.com: “Hemp Seed Could Have Anti-Alzheimer’s Benefits, New Study Reveals” posted 24 Dec 2015. Accessed 6 Apr 2018: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/hemp-seed-could-have-anti-alzheimers-benefits-new-study-reveals-1 Full Research Article Link: J. Agric. Food Chem. 63, 49, 10611-10619
Neotrition.com. Food for Thought: “Brain Food Essentials: Hemp Seeds” poste written by Leesa Klich, Msc, Rhn. Accessed 6 April 2018: https://neurotrition.ca/blog/brain-food-essentials-hemp-seeds
PureHealingFoods.com “Hemp Seed FAQ” Accessed 6 April 2018: http://www.purehealingfoods.com/hempHeartsFAQ.php
Callaway, J.C. “Hemp Seed as a Nutritional Resource.” Euphytica (2004) 140: 65. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10681-004-4811-6