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If human beings could cultivate only one plant, hemp would be a smart choice.
Hemp can supply the raw materials to build homes, make furniture, create decorative accessories and clothing, and produce a variety of foods. It can also add a touch of luxury in lotions and creams, keeping your skin soft.
The seeds or “nuts” of the hemp plant are the source of various hemp foods and hemp milk. Hemp seeds are rich in healthful fats and protein, and a good source of fiber.
Hemp is also good for the planet. Unlike most plants that are commercially cultivated, hemp is grown without pesticides because it is naturally resilient. And rather than depleting soil, hemp has a revitalizing effect. Agriculture Canada, that country’s version of our USDA, estimates that per acre, hemp yields four times as much paper as trees and more digestible protein than any other food source. And it takes only three to four months for the plant to mature, making it an extremely sustainable commodity.
We need an optimum balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats. The optimum ratio is somewhere between 2:1 and 5:1. In hemp seeds, the ratio is approximately 3:1, in the optimum range. Hemp oil also contains this beneficial ratio. Hemp protein is easily digested and contains well-balanced amounts of all essential amino acids for older children and adults. (It isn’t a complete protein for children under 5.)
How to Benefit from Hemp
Here are some ways to enjoy hemp. Be sure to refrigerate hemp seeds and oil after opening.
- Eat the seeds as a snack, add them to salads or cereal, or use in place of rice.
- Eat hemp butter like nut butters.
- Drizzle hemp oil on salads or vegetables after cooking.
- Add plain or flavored hemp protein powder to smoothies. Many vegan protein powder blends contain hemp protein powder.
- Drink hemp milk, plain or flavored, or add it to cereals or soup recipes.
- Bake with hemp flour.
- Try Living Harvest’s Tempt ice cream, made with hemp milk.
Can you get high on hemp?
No. Industrial hemp, the plant used to make food, fabric, and other commodities, comes from the same botanical family as marijuana, but is a different plant and does not contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient in the drug.
Editors’ Product Picks
Organic Hemp Hearts
Vegan Smart All-In-One Nutritional Shake
Organic Hemp Oil