Hemp seed is considered a ‘superfood’ for many reasons and scientists are continuing to discover new benefits of the seed and its derivatives.
The American Chemical Society published a January 2014 paper that revealed “just how many healthful compounds hemp seed oil contains.”
1. Rich in Fiber, Vitamins and Minerals
Hemp seed has high levels of fiber and vitamins A, C, and E.
The hemp seeds contain tocopherol, which is known to have benefits in Alzheimer’s and atherosclerosis, and phytol, which has both anticancer and antioxidant properties.
It is also rich in minerals, including phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, and has modest levels of iron and zinc.
2. Fights Bad Cholesterol
Studies suggest hemp seed and hemp seed oil can help break down cholesterol as well as prevent problems caused by high cholesterol, including blood clotting.
3. Improves Skin Condition
Dietary hemp seed oil has shown to improve clinical symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
A 2005 study concluded that its cholesterol and skin benefits were both due to “the balanced and abundant supply of PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) in this hemp seed oil.”
4. Contains Perfect Balance of Fatty Acids
Hemp seed oil contains a 3:1 ratio of the two essential fats: omega-6 and omega-3.
This is the ideal ratio recommended by WHO and Health Canada for cardiovascular health. No other nut or vegetable oil contains this ratio.
5. Prevents Heart Disease
A 2007 study concluded hemp seed can prevent blood clotting, which “may be of benefit in the protection against clot-induced strokes and myocardial infarctions.”
Another study concluded that hemp seed may offer significant protection against stroke.
Finally, the American Chemical Society analysis concluded that the high levels of α-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fat) in hemp seed “may have favorable nutritional implications and beneficial physiological effects on the prevention of coronary heart disease and cancer.”
6. Beneficial in Degenerative Diseases
The same analysis concluded that the level of γ-linolenic acid (an omega-6 fat) in hemp seed “provides it with a high pharmaceutical value for degenerative chronic diseases.”
According to the authors, these may include atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, or certain types of cancer.
7. Reduces Inflammation
Hemp seed contains a variety of plant sterols and alcohols that are known to reduce inflammation, which is a factor in a wide range of diseases.