Hemp seeds: properties, benefits

Hemp seeds are rich in vitamins, minerals, omega 3, proteins and anti-inflammatory substances that give this food several beneficial properties for our health.

Hemp seeds are a very nutritious food which, thanks to its amino acid completeness, has recently spread all over the world as a support for vegetarian diets . Hemp seeds are the seeds of a plant, cannabis sativa, existing in different varieties, which is used not only for food purposes, but also for the production of paper, feed and biofuels.

Cannabis sativa is also used medically as a support to various drug therapies and works as an analgesic, antiemetic and anti-nausea also in chemotherapy or radiotherapy therapies.

From a food point of view, on the other hand, in addition to seeds, it is possible to use hemp flour, hemp oil and leaves. It should be emphasized that hemp seeds do not contain THC, which is responsible for the psychoactive effect of cannabis, therefore their consumption is authorized and, indeed, as we will see, it brings various health benefits.

Hemp seeds: characteristics and nutritional values

Hemp seeds are such a complete food that they can be considered a real supplement. They are an excellent source of protein and contain all essential amino acids; low in carbohydrates but moderate in fiber and moderate in fat, as in most seeds.

The saturated fat content remains very low, as does the monounsaturated fatty acid content. They also contain a fair amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega 3 and omega 6 series, as well as various vitamins and mineral salts that we will deepen in the next paragraph. Let’s now see the table with the nutritional values ​​for 100 g of hemp seeds.

Nutritional values ​​per 100g of hemp seeds:

  • Kcalories: 553 kcal
  • Waterfall: 4.96 gr
  • Proteins: 31.56 gr
  • Fat: 48.75 gr
  • Carbohydrates: 8.67 gr
  • Sugars: 1.5 gr
  • Fiber: 4 gr
  • C vitamin: 0.5 mgr
  • Thiamine: 1.275 mgr
  • Riboflavin: 0.285 mgr
  • Niacin: 9.2 mgr
  • Vitamin B6: 0.6 mgr
  • Vitamin E: 0.80 mg
  • Zinc: 9.90 mg
  • Soccer: 70 mgr
  • Phosphorus: 1650 mgr
  • Magnesium: 700 mgr
  • Sodium: 5 mgr
  • Potassium: 1200 mgr
  • Iron: 7.95 mgr
  • Glycemic index: 35

Hemp seeds: nutritional properties

It is clear that the content of minerals and vitamins per 100 g of hemp seeds is really high. It follows that the benefits of hemp seeds will be numerous. In fact, we can see that B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium are abundant. While the sodium content is decidedly moderate (5 mg per 100 g of product). So let’s see together what properties these nutrients give to hemp seeds.

  • Vitamins of group B: they are essential for our metabolism: they are part of enzymes that are essential for the correct functioning of our organism. As far as vitamin B1 or thiamine is concerned, 100 gr of hemp seeds cover our daily requirement, as regards B2 or riboflavin about 20% of the daily amount needed. And again, 100 grams of hemp seeds contain about 50% of the niacin needed daily, the deficiency of which causes pellagra, and just under 50% of vitamin B6. In general, therefore, the high content of B vitamins allows us to improve our cardiovascular and neuronal health;
  • Vitamin E: the LARN estimate the daily requirement of an adult man in 13 mg of vitamin E. Hemp seeds contain 0.80 mg, therefore about 6% of the requirement. Vitamin E is an extremely important vitamin and represents a very powerful antioxidant able to act against free radicals and protect us from oxidative stress;
  • Calcium: 100 grams of hemp seeds contain 70 mg of calcium, a mineral essential above all for the well-being of our bones, but also for the transmission of the nerve impulse. The need for calcium increases with age and during pregnancy and in this regard supplementation with hemp seeds could be useful;
  • Iron: Iron is also well represented. In fact, an estimated 8 mg of iron per 100 g of hemp seeds and the recommended daily intake of iron is about 10 mg in men and 18 mg in fertile women. This need further increases during pregnancy. Iron is necessary to be able to transport oxygen to all parts of the body and its deficiency can cause anemia, with consequent fatigue, loss of appetite and asthenia;
  • Phosphorus: 100 grams of hemp seeds contain about double the phosphorus needed daily. This nutrient is essential for the production of energy, growth and bone metabolism;
  • Magnesium: mineral with multiple properties and useful for our general well-being. 100 g of hemp seeds contain a very high quantity of magnesium (700 mg for a recommended intake of 240 mg);
  • Potassium: another very important mineral, especially for the hydroelectric balance of the body. 100 grams of hemp seeds contain about 30% of the recommended daily amount;
  • Zinc: essential for the proper functioning of the immune system and for the maturation of the gonads. 100 grams of hemp seeds meet the daily zinc requirement of an adult man.

Finally, we would like to underline the perfect balance between omega 6 fatty acids and omega 3 fatty acids of hemp seeds. In fact, the ratio between these two types of essential fatty acids in hemp seeds is 3: 1, a ratio considered optimal. Both of these fatty acids are essential for our health, but they must be rightly balanced, just like in hemp seeds. Omega 6, in fact, if in excess (as in today’s diet rich in industrial products) exert a pro-inflammatory action.

Hemp seeds: health benefits

The numerous nutrients we saw in the previous paragraph give hemp seeds properties that are important for supporting health. Let’s see the benefits of hemp seeds together below.

✓ Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

Hemp seeds contain a fair amount of vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids, which have an anti- inflammatory action and are useful in counteracting oxidative stress. In addition, hemp seeds contain grossamide, a molecule with an anti-inflammatory action. According to some researches, its anti-inflammatory capacity could be exploited in the case of neuroinflammations linked to degenerative diseases.

✓ Useful for cardiovascular health

The high content of omega 3 present in hemp seeds are also essential for our cardiovascular health and in case of hyperdyslipidemias (high cholesterol and triglycerides).

✓ Remedy for constipation

We have seen how the fiber content in hemp seeds is quite high. Precisely for this reason they can be used to promote regular intestinal transit, resulting in a valid help in case of constipation.

✓ Tonic

The high protein content and the presence of all essential amino acids make hemp seeds an important food in all those cases where the diet consists of a low protein content or in which the protein intake is increased.

How many hemp seeds to eat per day?

It is generally known that a quantity equal to 30 g per day of oil seeds or dried fruit is a useful share to exert the benefits of these foods with respect to our cardiovascular system. The advice is therefore to consume this amount, equal to about 2-3 tablespoons or, possibly, a smaller amount if you decide to mix hemp seeds with other oily fruit. It is possible to consume them at any time of the day, adding them for example in soups or salads to main meals or enriching snacks: their content in fiber and good fats, in fact, will allow us to make snacks, which we often consume based on fruit, more satiating.

Whole or hulled hemp seeds?

Differences and which ones to prefer There are two types of hemp seeds on the market: whole and hulled ones. The former still have the outer skin, very rich in fiber; in the hulled ones, the outermost part of the seed is gently eliminated, while maintaining all the nutritional properties of it.

From the point of view of practicality, the hulled seeds are more comfortable to use and do not require any treatment; vice versa the whole seeds must be left to soak for a few hours before their consumption. However, wholemeal seeds are richer in fiber and therefore more useful for those suffering from constipation.

Hemp seeds: some usage tips

Hemp seeds can be found on the market whole or hulled and can be consumed naturally or after roasting. Like all oil seeds, hemp seeds can be used to enrich sweet and savory baked goods and to make salad dressing more interesting. They are also an ingredient suitable for the preparation of homemade protein sauces, smoothies and muesli. They have a pleasant nutty flavor and are particularly digestible; before being added to various dishes they can be crushed as is done with peppercorns.

With hemp seeds a product similar to tofu is prepared, the Hemp-Fu, which is usually stir-fried or used as an ingredient for the preparation of sweet and savory creams. You can also get a drink, Hemp milk.

Finally… have you ever heard of Shichimi? It is a mixture of spices and seeds, belonging to the Japanese culinary tradition, which contains, among other ingredients, also hemp seeds; it has a very aromatic flavor and a characteristic orange color.

Dietary hemp sativa should be stored with care, in an airtight container and away from sources of moisture or in the refrigerator. In addition to hemp seeds, on the market it is possible to find hemp seed oil and hemp flour, which can be used together with other flours for the preparation of pasta, focaccia and pizza.


Cold-pressed hemp seed oil is a valid natural cosmetic with restorative, emollient and moisturizing properties!

Hemp seeds: possible contraindications

No particular contraindication to the consumption of hemp seeds, except for those conditions such as diverticulitis, in which the intake of any kind of seed is not recommended. Also in this case, the advice is not to overdo the daily intake of hemp seeds, but to follow a varied diet by including this beneficial food in small doses.

There are no contraindications in consuming these seeds during pregnancy: in this phase, in fact, the future mother needs an increased intake of calcium and iron, as well as a share of polyunsaturated fatty acids and this food is therefore an excellent supplement. Even in the case of thyroid problems there is no problem with respect to the consumption of hemp seeds, which can therefore be normally used, respecting the previously recommended quantities.

Finally, hemp appears to be one of the foods in which very low concentrations of nickel are found: those suffering from nickel allergy associated with intestinal discomfort can therefore continue to consume this food, preferring it to other oily fruit, which in some cases must instead be limited.

Where hemp seeds are bought

Whole or hulled hemp seeds can be purchased in herbalist’s shops, in shops that deal with natural food and organic products or on specialized websites. They are present in some supermarkets and we advise you to always evaluate the quality of the product, which is poor in additives and possibly organic.


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