Looking for glowing skin, a healthy heart, and improved digestion? Look no further than the newest superfood to hit the shelves, hemp seeds. But could eating hemp seeds get you in trouble with the law? Everything you need to know is right here in this post.
What are hemp seeds?
Isn’t hemp, marijuana? Your right, kind of. Hemp seeds are the edible seeds of the hemp plant, which is a variety of cannabis. However, while the plants are from the same family, hemp plants contain no or very low levels of THC, the chemical associated with the psychoactive properties of marijuana. The good news (or bad news depending on how you roll), is that you won’t go all Snoop Dog after eating a few hemp seeds…promise.
What are the benefits of hemp seeds?
Hemp seeds may be small, but they pack a big nutritional punch! They contain all the amino acids needed to keep our bodies in tip top shape, and are a great source of essential fatty acids, magnesium, iron, potassium, fiber, and vitamin E. Fans of hemp seeds claim they have a wide range of health benefits, including:
Heart Health – the essential fatty acids in hemp seeds can reduce blood cholesterol, and reduce inflammation that causes high blood pressure and poor blood circulation.
Glowing Skin – antioxidants such as vitamin C combined with the anti-inflammatory properties of the omego-6 in hemp seeds mean great skin, hair, and nails.
Digestive health – the soluble fibre in hemp seeds keeps the digestive tract healthy, and can ease constipation and bloating.
Keeping us strong – the amino acids in hemp seeds are the building blocks of protein and play a key role in developing, maintaining and repairing our muscles.
How do I eat them?
Hemp seeds are just like other seeds. You can sprinkle them on smoothies, oats, pancakes, salads, pasta and vegetables, or mix them with other nuts and seeds to make granola or healthy crackers.
Do they taste okay?
Yep, they definitely pass the taste test. They have a have a mild flavour somewhere between a sesame seed and a pine nut, so they are tasty, but not overpowering. They are also big enough and soft enough that they don’t get stuck in your teeth. Anyone who has eaten chia seeds will know what a mean!
Still not convinced?
Hemp seeds are a super easy way to boost the nutritional value of your meals. With nothing more than a sprinkle you have a complete protein and a big dose of good fat. Sprinkle them on hot chips, and you’ve got yourself a healthy meal – well healthier than it would have been without the hemp seeds anyway.
Now if you have read this post you know that I don’t count calories. However in the interest of full and honest disclosure, be advised that hemp seeds are a concentrated source of calories. 2 tablespoons contain about 100 calories, about the same as a medium banana. So if you are that way inclined, you may want to use them a little more sparingly.
But there is something I haven’t told you…
Now I have to fess up…hemp seeds are not permitted for human consumption in Australia. Yep, prohibited, banned, unlawful, if you sell them for food you could be fined up to $200,000, honest to goodness they are fully blown illegal!
When I purchased hemp seeds from the supermarket the front of the pack clearly stated that by purchasing the product I was agreeing to use the product for external use or that I would eat the hemp seeds in a country where it was legal…which…in case you were wondering… is any where else in the world except Australia and New Zealand. Just to make sure you don’t do anything untoward with the hemp seeds…like eat them…the nutritional information and serving suggestions on the back of the pack were covered by a sticker with directions for making hemp body cream…as you do.
Seems that our Government is concerned that making hemp based food available for consumption might send mixed messages about the safety of cannabis and complicate drug testing.
But don’t despair there may be some hope for those of you who want to get your hemp seeds on. In 2012 the Food Standards Australia New Zealand recommended that hemp be approved as a food source. This recommendation is currently under review by the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council. We will keep you posted.
Oh and if any one asks, for the purposes of this post I most definitely consumed hemp seeds in a country where they are legal 😉
Have you tried hemp seeds? What do you think about the current laws in Australia prohibiting their sale for consumption as food?