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Wellness: Superfoods – Hemp, help yourself

Wellness: Superfoods – Hemp, help yourself

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Looking for a healthy, natural supplement? It doesn’t get any better than hemp.

Hemp is the common term for a variety of plants in the cannabis family. This beneficial and versatile plant can be turned into fibers, oil, wax, resin, cloth, fuel, and a wide range of other useful products. Hemp is one of the most widely utilized and diverse industrial crops in the world. Its fibers are among the longest and most durable of all natural fibers, and it can even be grown without herbicides and pesticides.

Hemp seeds are regarded by some to be one of nature’s perfect foods — a superfood. The human dietary benefits have been associated with improved heart health, digestive health, immunity and organ function, as well as lower blood pressure. With a nutrient composition that includes 25% protein, 35% fatty acids and 27% carbohydrates, hemp offers an alternative for meeting your daily nutritional needs, as follows.

A complete protein source, with a concentrated balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins and enzymes, and a relative absence of sugar, starches and saturated fats

  • High fiber content
  • An excellent source of omega 3 and omega 6, without containing any of the eight main allergens: milk, egg, fish, crustaceans, wheat, soybeans, peanuts and nuts
  • Contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a necessary building block for some prostaglandins, hormone-like chemicals in the body that help smooth muscles, control inflammation and regulate body temperature, and are vital to other body functions
  • Contains all 20 amino acids, including the nine that our bodies cannot produce

Where to buy

Hemp seeds are available at Almacen Organic & Natural in Tamarindo, and at various supermarkets in the area.

How to use

You can add hemp seeds to smoothies or grind them up and sprinkle them on your yogurt, cereal or others meals. Eat as a snack or mix with sauces or dips.

Hemp seeds are also available as hemp nut butter, which you can enjoy in the same ways as peanut or almond butter. Also, much like almond milk, hemp milk can serve as a milk substitute.

HEMP SEED HUMMUS

Hummus is doubly virtuous as both a taste bud-friendly and nutrient-dense snack food. It’s a source of protein and various essential vitamin and minerals. Although high in fat, hummus contains mostly the “good” kind — heart-healthy unsaturated fat. Adding chickpeas and hemp seeds to this hummus recipe makes it all the more healthy as a delicious, finger-licking, snack-a-thon worthy dish.

Ingredients

  • 4 tb of hemp seeds
  • 4 tsp. of lemon juice
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas or canned garbanzo beans
  • 2 tb of water
  • 2 cloves of small garlic, minced
  • 6 tb of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • Paprika, red pepper flakes and chopped parsley or coriander for garnish

Method

Grind hemp seeds in a grinder (spice grinder or pestle and mortar).
Place in a food processor along with lemon juice, chickpeas, water, garlic, olive oil and salt.
Blend until smooth. Add water if needed for thinner consistency of hummus.
Serve on a plate or in a bowl, with olive oil drizzled on top and sprinkled garnish ingredients.

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