Hemp seed is an ancient superfood that has a rich history of culinary enjoyment, as well as use by cultures as a traditional medicine to enhance health and well-being. Over the past few years, this nutritious and eco-friendly seed has been gaining more attention from nutrition and health experts – and deservedly so. Scientists in Canada, a country where hemp agriculture is thriving and experiencing a rebirth, recently performed research to study hemp seed’s role in maintaining heart health. The title of the abstract from their research sums things up well, “Cholesterol Induced Stimulation of Platelet Aggregation is Prevented by a Hempseed-Enriched Diet.”
In somewhat technical terms, the authors of the scientific paper establish that “Hypercholesterolemia indirectly increases the risk for myocardial infarction by enhancing the ability of platelets to aggregate.” Their research, published in the April 2008 edition of the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology*, investigated whether hempseed, a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), inhibits platelet aggregation under normal and hypercholesterolemic conditions. “The results of this study demonstrate that when hempseed is added to a cholesterol-enriched diet, cholesterol-induced platelet aggregation returns to control levels,” noted the authors
The Abstract of the research highlights the elevated concentration of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) in the test subjects, and notes that the heart health benefits may be attributable to the increased levels of GLA. Hemp is a plentiful and rare plant food source of the “super” omega-6 EFA gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). “GLA can be difficult to obtain in the diet,” notes Meghan Atkinson CN, a nutrition consultant based in Los Angeles, California. There are only 4 significant natural sources of GLA: Hemp Seed, Evening Primrose, Borage, and Black Courant. “Of these, hemp seed is the only whole food source that has a wide variety of culinary functions,” notes Atkinson.
In addition to GLA, nutrition experts tout hemp due to its balanced and high concentration of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids, strong digestible protein profile, plentiful fiber, and abundance of vitamins and minerals. Hemp foods offer the richest vegetable source of the Omega 3 & 6 Essential Fatty Acids, and hemp’s overall protein content is comparable to soy beans without containing hormone inhibitors, and is higher than that found in nuts, other seeds, meats, dairy products, fish and poultry.
Hemp Foods Feature Gourmet Flavor and Versatility
Manitoba Harvest hemp food products have a sweet nutty flavor and add a boost of nutrition and taste to a wide variety of delicious recipes, dozens of which are available at www.manitobaharvest.com/recipes. There are many forms of healthy hemp foods to choose from. For example, Hemp Seed Oil is a wonderful base for salad dressings and can be added to juices, smoothies, soups and sauces to create a rich creamy texture. Shelled Hemp Seed is delicious sprinkled over salad, cereal, yogurt and soup or as a healthy snack right from the bag. Hemp Seed Butter is a creamy and satisfying spread for sandwiches, breads, bagels, crackers, fruit and croissants or it can be combined with herbs to create delicious sauces, spreads and dips. There is no better way to start the day than with a fruit smoothie packed with the nutritional benefits of Hemp Protein Powder with Fiber.
Last year, Manitoba Harvest launched Hemp Bliss (the first and only line of organic non-dairy hempmilks), which earned the 2007 Best New Food Product Award at Natural Products Expo East. This tasty and nutritious dairy milk alternative provides 1,200 mg of Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs), 5 grams of highly digestible protein and 250 mg of powerful Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) per serving. A Hemp Bliss recipe is listed below.
Manitoba Harvest - An Award Winning Hemp Foods Pioneer
Founded in 1998, Manitoba Harvest’s mission is to create the healthiest hemp foods, to educate the public about healthy lifestyle choices and to support sustainable agriculture. Manitoba Harvest was honored with the 2006 Socially Responsible Business Award at Natural Products Expo East for their work pioneering sustainable organic hemp agriculture in North America. The company just announced new Organic Dark Chocolate and Organic Vanilla Hemp Protein Powders. In addition, Manitoba Harvest produces an award-winning line of Hemp Bliss organic hempmilk, organic cold-pressed Hemp Seed Oil, Shelled Hemp Seed, Hemp Seed Butter and Hemp Protein Powder and Hemp Protein & Fiber Powder. Their products are distributed to thousands of stores in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan and are also sold as bulk ingredients to food and cosmetic manufacturers. To learn more, please visit www.manitobaharvest.com.
Hemp Protein Power Shake
Makes: 2 Cups; Prep Time: 5 minutes. This is a powerful shake that can be used as a meal replacement. It is loaded with essential fatty acids, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
1 cup Manitoba Harvest Unsweetened Hemp Bliss organic hempmilk
1 scoop Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Protein Powder
2 packs Organic Acai – (Sambazon Original Blend - 100g each)
1 tbsp Green Foods Powder (Amazing Grass SuperFood blend)
1 tbsp Maca powder (Navitas Naturals)
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for 2 minutes or until creamy smooth.