Hemp as a Food Source
Hemp is not just another word for marijuana, it’s a fantastic source of paper, clothing, and nutrition. When selecting a vegan-compatible milk alternative, most folks tend to go with soy milk, which is a great source of protein and nutrition, but a common allergen (and the source of a lot of debate regarding estrogen spiking but that’s neither here nor there). A few other alternatives include: Almond, coconut, oat, and rice milk. Nutritionally – coconut, oat, and rice milk are low on the protein side, while almond is high on the protein side – but it’s also high in fats. This is where hemp shines as a fantastic food source – while not incredibly high in protein (albeit it’s a complete protein), it contains 10 essential amino acids, is full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, packed with other vitamins and minerals, and is easier to digest than soy milk (meaning lower flatulence).
Beyond milk, hemp seeds can be eaten raw and are compatible with any number of dishes (soups and salads in particular), and are commonly used to make hemp protein powder, which has grown significantly in popularity over the last ten years as the nutritional benefits have become more and more common knowledge amongst the general population. Hemp oil is another common product that’s growing in popularity, mostly as a topping for salads and condiments (it loses its fatty acid content when cooked), having a 3 to 1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan and you haven’t considered adding hemp foods to your diet, you should reconsider – hemp is a great source of protein, fatty acids, and nutrients that could very well replace some of your current supplements with its diverse range of nutritional value. It’s convenient, healthy, and generally inexpensive to add to your diet, and with its growing popularity – getting easier to find in markets all over the world.