Healthy Eating

The Impressive Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds

Plus delicious ways to add this superfood to your diet.

By: Lexy Parsons

Hemp seeds: the small but mighty superfood that you need in your diet! Maybe you’re new to this plant-based super-seed or maybe you pour them on just about everything. Either way, no judgment! Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other good-for-you nutrients (like healthy fats and plant-based protein), hemp seeds are a nutrient-dense must-have. From raw hemp seeds to hemp milk and hemp seed protein powder, these mild yet nutty seeds are popping up all over the shelves. So, what exactly sets them apart? And why should you sprinkle (or pour) them into your diet? Ahead, we’re sharing all you need to know about these tiny but powerful seeds. 

What Are Hemp Seeds?

The hemp seeds you’ll find at the store are often “hulled” meaning their hard, crunchy shell has been removed. What you’re left with are soft (yet still slightly crunchy) hemp seeds, commonly referred to as hemp hearts! These hemp seeds (or hemp hearts) are jam-packed with tons of nutrients, including plant-based protein, Omegas, and fiber. But, more on that below! 

The Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds

In addition to adding a delicious and nutty flavored crunch to your recipes, hemp seeds are loaded with nutritional value.

Here are some of the benefits of hemp seeds and why they make a delicious addition to a healthy diet. 

Complete Plant Protein Source

More than 25% of hemp seeds’ total calories come from plant-based protein. In fact, by weight, they are one of the highest plant protein sources! Plus, they contain all 9 essential amino acids, which is less common among plant foods. And — unlike many nuts, grains, and seeds –—the protein from hemp seeds is highly digestible. A mere two tablespoons packs about 5 grams of protein — sprinkle these seeds on everything! 

Rich in Fiber 

Speaking of digestion, hemp seeds are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, making them a superior gut-supporting nutrient. They help feed the healthy bacteria in your gut to promote a diverse microbiome – and as you may know, our gut is thought to be our second brain! A healthy gut is linked to just about every system in our body, so we want to keep it fueled and happy. And back to the fiber, the rich fiber content in hemp seeds can increase satiety, support weight loss, and reduce blood sugar levels and sugar cravings.

Rich in Heart-Healthy Nutrients 

While hemp seeds contain all essential amino acids, they are particularly high in the amino acid arginine. Based on research, arginine may improve blood flow in the arteries of the heart, thereby reducing blood pressure and benefiting heart health. Plus, hemp seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, another heart-healthy nutrient that may help lower triglycerides and reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. 

Reduce Inflammation

In addition to inflammation-busting Omega-3s, hemp seeds contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid that packs an additional anti-inflammatory punch. And thanks to their antioxidants, these tiny seeds can fight free radical damage helping soothe inflammatory skin conditions like acne.

How to Add Hemp Seeds To Your Diet

With a mild taste, hemp seeds can easily be added to your diet. They’re yummy in both sweet and savory foods, can be used raw as a topping for smoothies and salads, and can even be turned into milk! Hence why we think you should sprinkle these little guys on just about everything you can. 

Add Them to Smoothies & Breakfast Bowls 

They are tasty in both hot and cold dishes, and pair well with sweet or savory flavors! Blend them into your smoothie recipe or sprinkle them on top of breakfast bowls like warm oats, yogurt bowls, or chia seed pudding.

Use Them as a Topping For Salads

With a mild nutty taste and a slight crunch, hemp seeds are delicious on top of any salad recipe. And since they contain 5 grams of protein for every 2 tablespoons, you’ll want to give a heavy-handed pour!

Blend Them Into a DIY Hemp Seed Milk

Similar to homemade cashew milk, hemp milk is one of those no-straining-required milks! All you have to do is blend it up in a high-speed blender with some water and any additional add-ins, like Medjool dates, vanilla extract, or a pinch of sea salt. 

Add Them to Baked Goods

Muffins, cookies, cupcakes, pancakes… you name it! When whipping up your baked goods batter, add a tablespoon (or two) of hemp seeds for a nutrient-rich protein boost. 

You can use them as a topping for any homemade recipe, too! 

Sprinkle Them over Avocado or Nut Butter Toast

Seriously, they go well with everything — savory toasts included. Here are some toast combos to try:

  • Avocado + balsamic + hemp seeds 
  • Peanut butter + banana + hemp seeds + honey
  • Yogurt + almond butter + blueberries + cinnamon + hemp seeds
  • Avocado + lemon + hemp seeds + sea salt

As you can see, there are so many ways to enjoy these protein-packed seeds! With benefits like these, don’t be shy — sprinkle them on everything!

The Bottom Line 

Hemp seeds are delicious and jam-packed with nutrition. They are the ideal source of plant-based protein and will pack in a healthy dose of essential fatty acids and fiber. Go out and grab a bag of these mighty seeds and start sprinkling them into your diet!