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Hemp and Health
Hemp is truly a miracle of nature for its:Versatility: It can be used for so many different purposes such as clothing, shoes, diapers, rope, canvas, cellophane, paints, fuels, chain lubricants, biodegradable plastics, paper, fiberboard, cement blocks, food, cosmetics, and soap. In fact, there are over 25,000 products available around the world today that incorporate hemp. Environmental-friendliness: Hemp is easy to grow and is able to adapt to different climates. It doesn't require much fertilizer, herbicides or pesticides to grow well. Age-old reliability: For thousands of years, hemp has been a daily part of life for many civilizations. It has only been in the last 70 years that, because of a smear campaign orchestrated by large industrial interests, hemp has developed a reputation as an illegal drug synonymous with marijuana. It was categorized as a hard narcotic equal to heroin... without any supporting evidence.
... And perhaps, most importantly...
Hemp is an excellent source of nutrition for the human body. The edible component, the seed, is one of the plant kingdom's most concentrated, complete and balanced sources of all Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) and Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). That is why we call them a Foundation Food. Our bodies need these essentials for life.
Hemp seeds are also high in other important nutrients including vitamins, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phytosterols, chlorophyll, fiber, iron, enzymes, and more. It is TRULY and super whole food!
What are hemp seeds?
Hemp seeds are the edible part of the Cannabis Sativa L plant. They are a tiny fruit-like nut covered by a hard shell and part of the “achene” family (similar to sunflower seeds.) Hemp seeds can be pressed for oil, milled into a protein powder or hulled for their delicious nut. Hemp seeds have been cultivated as a food for centuries, from China to Europe to Africa and North America.
What does "Bahuja" mean?
Three distinct cultures have embraced the hemp plant as sacred: The Fakirs in India called it "BAAA;" the Hunas in Hawaii called it "HOOO;" the Lamas in Tibet called it "JAAA." We named the hemp seed BAHUJA in reverence to its significance as the optimal food for humans.
Is hemp the same as marijuana?
No. While Hemp and marijuana are both varieties of Cannabis Sativa L, Hemp is grown for food and fiber, and contains only trace amounts of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the psycho-active component of marijuana. Hemp foods are legal and safe to consume without any chance of getting high or urine testing positive for THC. As a comparison: hemp seed foods have less THC than there is arsenic in wine and less THC than mercury in your drinking water.
Is hemp legal?
Hemp is produced in many countries around the world. The main producers include Canada, France (Europe's biggest industrial hemp producer) and China, but there are also a couple dozen more countries around the world that produce industrial hemp, including Australia, Great Britain, Russia and Spain.
Even though it is currently not legal to grow industrial hemp in the U.S. (under Federal law because of its relation to marijuana, the U.S. Government does not consistently distinguish between marijuana and the non-psychoactive hemp used for industrial and commercial purposes), it is legal to export hemp into the U.S. (and to process, consume and wear it there). And interestingly enough, more hemp is exported to the U.S. than any other country.
Some states in the U.S. actually defied Federal law and made the cultivation of industrial hemp legal, but have not yet begun to grow hemp because of resistance from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
Some interesting facts from the American history:
"It was legal to pay taxes with hemp in America from 1631 until the early 1900s." [Source: LA Times, August 12, 1981]
"Refusing to grow hemp in America during the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries was against the law! You could be jailed in Virginia for refusing to grow hemp from 1763 to 1769." [Source: "Hemp in Colonial Virginia" by G.M. Herdon]
"In 1937, the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act HR 6385 was enacted, which required a special $100 per ounce tax to be paid on the sale of marijuana to consumers. By association, because they [marijuana and hemp] come from the same family of plants, the same new rules were applied to hemp. This effectively brought hemp's glory days to an end. Critics of the bill pointed to those thought to gain the most from it: Randolph Hearst who owned large timber holdings that fed the paper industry; DuPont who dominated the petrochemical market and manufactured plastics, paints, and other products of fossil fuels that hemp competed directly with. Within a few years after the passing of this law, the government banned hemp cultivation completely." [Source: DrugLibrary.org]
Will I fail a drug test if I consume hemp food products?
No. Even though it is possible, you would have to consume several liters of the hemp oil in a month, in order to fail a drug test. We guarantee that there is 0.00% THC in our hemp foods. All Hemp harvested for food products are bred with low THC content, and what we use is monitored by the Government of Canada.
Why should I eat hemp foods?
Hemp seeds are one of the plant kingdom’s most concentrated, complete and balanced sources of all 10 Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) and Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). That is why we call them a Foundation Food. Our bodies need these essentials for life. Hemp seeds are also high in important nutrients including chlorophyll, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, phytosterols, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, calcium, fiber, histidine, iron, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin and thiamin and live enzymes.
What do hemp seeds taste like and how can I incorporate them into my daily diet?
Hemp seeds have a unique, delicious, rich, nutty sunflower flavor that can easily be incorporated into your daily meals.
Sprinkle hemp nuts on salads, cereals, yoghurt, or eat them straight from the bag.
Drizzle hemp oil on steamed vegetables, make a salad dressing with it, use it in a marinade, as a dipping oil with bread (you can also add a little balsamic vinegar), or add it to your hemp protein powder smoothie (blended with fresh or frozen fruits and/or vegetables). You can even sprinkle a bit of hemp seed oil on your pet's food (so it can enjoy the health benefits this nutrition-rich oil brings as well).
Start your morning with a hemp protein powder smoothie (alone or with fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, and for extra health benefit you can also add hemp seed oil as well) and/or as an afternoon-energy snack. You can even use hemp powder into low-temperature baking recipes for added nutrition and extra protein in your baking. If you eat a raw, vegetarian or vegan diet, hemp powder is a great addition to your daily diet to ensure you get the protein you need to get and maintain optimum health.
How should I store my hemp protein powder, hemp oil and hemp nuts?
Once our products are opened, we recommend that they be stored in the refrigerator. Prior to opening, a cool cupboard is sufficient for storage.
Can I cook with hemp seed foods?
Once food is heated above 104 degrees, enzymes begin to be destroyed. To receive all the nutritional benefits of hemp seed foods, we recommend that they not be heated. It also is not recommended to fry foods with hemp oil. Low temperature cooking with hemp seed oil is highly recommended.
See the book "Conscious Kitchen" by Wind Walrath for recipe ideas with hemp seed foods. Wind's book is available in the Conscious Planet store.
What to look for when buying hemp seed oil?
To ensure optimal quality choose hemp oil that is certified organic and produced using cold/expeller pressed methods, and that contains no artificial additives. Always buy hemp oil in a dark bottle.
Can I take hemp food products with me when I travel to the US?
Yes. Even though the US prohibits the growing of hemp in the US, it is legal to bring it into the country as a food source.
Is hemp gluten free?
Yes. If you have a gluten intolerance, or just prefer not to eat gluten on a regular basis, hemp products like hemp protein powder (which is a high-protein, gluten-free flour that is well-tolerated by those with celiac disease or wheat intolerances), hemp milk and hemp seed oil are a wonderful substitute to conventional products that contain gluten.
Tell me about the kind of quality of the fats in hemp seeds?
Compared with most nuts and seeds, the 46.5% fat content of shelled hemp seed is relatively low and is a good source of the natural phytosterols that help manage cholesterol levels. Hemp seed oil has, on average 80%, the highest polyunsaturated fat content of any plant oil and a highly favorable unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio. Hemp seeds offer a well-balanced ratio of 1:3 of Omega-3 to Omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs), as well as being one of the few plant sources of Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) and steriodonic acid ... often referred to as "Super Omegas." GLA is an Omega 6 metabolite. Studies have shown that GLA improves memory and overall mental health, as well as reducing symptoms of skin ailments like eczema, heart health and even fibrocystic disease.
What are Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)?
The major component of fats is short chain molecules know as fatty acids. The two fatty acids that the body does not make are called Omega-3 Linolenic Acid and Omega-6 Linoleic Acid. We need to get these fats from the food chain, which is why they are termed Essential. EFAs are utilized by many of the body's systems to maintain proper tissue function. EFAs are required for energy production, proper functioning of the nervous system, brain development and function, skin health and elasticity, digestive efficiency, normal cardiovascular function, hormone production, and efficient immune response. Due to the popular misconception that fat is “bad” for the body, many people have adopted a low or no fat diet. Coupled with the widespread consumption of processed and genetically modified foods, many people are showing signs of EFA deficiency. Leading researchers are finding a significant link between diseases affecting the nervous system and EFA oil deficiency. Supplementation of EFAs is becoming an integral part of complementary medical protocols.
Don't we need more Omega-3 than Omega-6 fatty acids in our diet?
Hemp is higher in Omega-6 fatty acids than Omega-3. The typical modern diet, heavy in soy and corn oils is often lacking in Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), particularly Omega-3s. However, the debate revolves around what is the correct amount of Omega-3s our bodies need. Experts in the field suggest that the EFA ratio found in hemp seeds and hemp oil are in proportions most suitable for long term use (almost a 1:4 ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s).This is due the fact that people are deficient in BOTH... Omega-3 and Omega-6 EFA's because ... even they are consuming larger amounts of Omega-6... the oil are process damaged and not being utilized by the body and become toxic.
“Hemp Seed oil can be used over the long term to maintain a healthy EFA balance without leading to either EFA deficiencies or imbalances. This is because it contains almost 2% GLA, the w6 derivative that is a key active ingredient in evening primrose and borage oils.” ("Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill" by Udo Erasmus).
It seems hemp oil is great for Omega-3 and Omega-6 EFAs, but what about DHA and EPA from fish?
Hemp oil is a far superior source of Omega 3 and 6 Essential Fats than fish oil, especially now with toxicity issues. DHA and EPA are natural bi-products of the body processing the EFAs... the key issue is having enough enzymes and organ functioning capability in the body to do so. Because most people eat so poorly especially when it comes to fats, that is why they have no enzymes left in their body to break down EFAs into DHA and EPA naturally. Hemp oil naturally has all the original enzymes in tact with the good fats for easy usage... fish oils and most humans do not. That is why always supplementing with digestive enzymes is so important when we are trying to repair the damage we have done to our bodies. There is documented evidence now stating that fish oils can be toxic to the human body.
How does hemp protein compare to soy protein?
a) Hemp protein is easily digested as it does not have enzyme inhibitors like grains, nuts and legumes. Soy protein contains high levels of enzyme inhibitors blocking the uptake of trypsin and other enzymes that the body uses for protein digestion. Eating a diet high in enzyme inhibitors, such as those contained in the foods mentioned, can result in chronic amino acid and protein deficiencies. Soy protein contains oligosaccharides which cause flatulence and stomach distress.
b) Hemp protein does not have phytates. Soy protein contains phytates which can interfere with the proper assimilation of essential minerals.
c) Hemp seed allergies are uncommon. Soy allergies are very common.
d) Hemp protein is organic, raw and cold processed without chemicals or solvents. Most soy protein powders are heavily processed, usually with hexane or other chemical washes. Isolated soy protein is a source of protein but it is highly refined, de-natured and a “non-living” material. There are also valid concerns about GMO contaminated soy crops. There is growing evidence that GMO food consumption is extremely dangerous to DNA expression and our overall health and well being.
How does hemp oil compare with flax oils as an EFA source?
Hemp oil is a better balanced oil for long term use according to leading experts in the field such as Udo Erasmus (author of "Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill"). Hemp oil also contains GLA, phytosterols, and anti-oxidants like vitamin E complex, protein and trace minerals not found in flax. Hemp oil is considered a more stable of an oil than flax and a tastier oil that can be used in a variety of recipes from salad dressings to baked goods.
What are Essential Amino Acids (EAAs)?
Amino Acids are the building blocks of proteins. Dietary protein is needed in order to supply amino acids for our body’s growth and maintenance. Ten out of twenty amino acids are considered essential and the body does not make them. We need to get these Essential Amino Acids from the food chain. Hemp seeds contain all 10 Essential Amino Acids and high levels of branched-chain amino acids, important for the development of lean body mass, as well as muscular repair. Hemp seeds have significant levels of Arginine, Histidine, Methionine and Cysteine, all of which are needed for vital enzyme production. Arginine and Histidine are also necessary for children’s growth.
Tell me about the type and quality of the protein in hemp seeds?
Hemp seed nut contains 33% pure digestible protein, providing readily available amino acids for building and repairing tissue. Hemp seed protein is comprised of 65% high-quality edestin protein, the most potent protein of any plant source, 35% albumin protein and also contains glutamic acid. The globulin edestin in hemp seed closely resembles the globulin in blood plasma, and is compatible with the human digestive system. It is vital to the maintenance of a healthy immune system and is also used to manufacture antibodies. Albumin is a protein manufactured by the liver that is supportive of liver and kidney health. Hemp seed nut is a unique protein that surpasses the quality and quantity of any other food source available.