Although the leaves of the hemp plant can be eaten, the part of the plant best known for nutritional value is the seeds. These small seeds are highly nutritious, containing essential fatty acids, amino acids, and minerals. About a third of the weight of the seed is made up of oil, and most of that oil is the healthy variety: ALA (alpha-linoleic acid, a type of Omega-3 fat) and linoleic acid. These essential fatty acids (EFA's for short) can benefit your health in many ways. Hemp seeds also contain complete, high-quality protein and all eight essential amino acids.
Because of U.S. regulations, you won’t be able to grow your own hemp plants or buy them at your local farmers market, but you can still reap the benefits of this amazing plant thanks to a growing number of food products at your local grocery store and online. Hempseed and its oil have a unique, nutty flavor, similar to flaxseed.
A continually expanding variety of other hemp food products, like granola, snack bars, protein powders, waffles, and even hemp milk, hemp tofu, and hemp butter are available these days, usually at natural foods stores and online retailers. Keep in mind that the least processed products will be the most affordable, so if you're itching to add the healthfulness of hemp to your diet, try plain hemp seeds and create your own recipes. Here are just a few examples of what you'll find at the grocery these days. Continued ›