What Are Hemp Hearts?
Hemp hearts are a nutritionally dense superfood that is popping up in supermarkets on the shelves in a bevy of healthy products and the bins in the bulk sections. Sure, they pack a lot of beneficial nutrients, but what exactly are hemp hearts?
Hemp hearts are another name for the seed of the hemp plant. Hemp hearts bought from the store are simply the hemp plant’s raw seed with the tough outer shell removed. They are delicate, chewy, and can be eaten raw or used in any manner of cooking.
Though hemp and cannabis are very similar plants, all constituent parts of the hemp plant are non-psychoactive. What does this mean? You can eat all the hearts you want without worrying about getting stoned or failing a drug test. In this article, we will look at hemp hearts and why you should add this fantastic superfood to your diet.
Hemp Hearts: A Nutritional Powerhouse
The seeds of the hemp plant are edible on their own, raw and unhulled, though their shell is pretty tough and fibrous. In this way, they are similar to sunflower seeds. They are edible and quite enjoyable on their own, but their shell makes them challenging to add to recipes. This is why we typically see the product sold as hemp hearts.
The seed’s hearts are tender with a light, nutty flavor full of healthy fats and chock full of quality protein. They aren’t just good for you; they are better than many similar options you might choose from the grocery. Here are some of the nutritional benefits that put hemp hearts at the top.
Hemp Hearts Are Packed With Protein
Over a quarter of their total calories come from protein. That is astronomic. Flax seeds and Chia seeds, two other superfood-seeds, contain 18% and 16% protein, respectively. Hemp hearts come in at a whopping 25%.
They’re Good For Your Heart
Eating these seeds could reduce your chances of developing heart disease. They contain arginine, which is an amino acid that makes nitric oxide. This acid is proven to dilate blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and risk of heart disease. For more on cardiac benefits, check out this study.
They Can Reduce Inflammation
Hemp hearts can help with blood pressure, clots, and disease prevention. They can also help to reduce inflammation. A diet rich in hemp hearts could help manage and prevent many chronic and painful diseases associated with inflammation. Diseases like arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.
Hemp Hearts Help Your Skin
These delicious seeds contain high levels of beneficial fatty acids called Omega-3s. It just so happens that acne, and many other skin conditions, are caused by Omega-3 deficiency. And you don’t always have to eat it. You can also get the skin improving benefits by using oils and lotions derived from the hemp plant.
They Taste Good
While not precisely a nutritional benefit, it is a lot easier to eat something healthy if it tastes good. Chia seeds can be off putting with their sliminess and flaxseed isn’t the best on its own. Hemp hearts are like a hybrid flavor of pine nuts and sunflower seeds. This makes them a versatile health boost to salads, cereal, baked goods, or even by the handful.
Will Eating Hemp Hearts Get You High?
Hemp hearts will not cause you to get high because they lack sufficient amounts of THC. Hemp comes from the same plant species as the marijuana or cannabis plant, but they have one significant difference, THC. THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the powerful psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives one that heady intoxication.
In other words, THC results in long stays on the couch, cheese puffs, and bad movie binges. Don’t worry, your cheese puffs and Netflix account are safe with hemp hearts.
The THC content in the cannabis plant can be around 10 - 20% and higher in some strains. Hemp doesn’t have this issue. While the hemp plant will have some THC, it is much lower than its psychoactive cousin.
All hemp grown in the US must have a THC content of 0.3 percent or less. This means you will never feel any intoxicating effects, and it should not show up on a drug test.
It is important to note that in some studies where hemp did cause positive reactions in urine tests. Concentrated hemp oil was used for the studies and not the inclusion of whole hemp hearts into the diet.
It is possible that a product could reach store shelves with over 0.3 % THC content. However, it is still improbable to test positive on a drug test or cause any unwanted psychoactive effects.
How To Use Hemp Hearts
There are several ways to use these tiny yet nutritionally powerful seed hearts. Their texture is so light and subtly chewy that it goes well in almost anything. Here are some popular ways that we like to use hemp hearts in our diet.
They Can Be Used As A Breadcrumb Substitute
For those who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, hemp seeds can be used to coat chicken, fish, or tofu for frying and baking. It tastes great, adds a crispy crust, and is better for you.
You Can Drink Them
Just like almonds or soybeans, you can milk your hemp. You can make a delicious and nutritious dairy alternative at home! Simply start by pressing and soaking the seeds and adding them to water.
Add Them To Your Smoothies
Smoothies are a good way to start the day or end a workout. Hemp hearts can be a fabulous addition to your smoothie routine. An ounce or two of hearts easily blend with most mixers. Doing so adds a layer of flavor and healthy protein and fats.
They Make A Great Garnish
Hemp hearts raw, baked, candied, or tossed in sea salt make a great garnish. Sprinkle them directly over a salad to add crunch, protein, and healthy fats, or sprinkle over seared salmon and potatoes.
Use Your Hands
You can certainly eat them all by themselves. They make a great snack that packs a lot into a small amount of food. You can also find some exciting and fun flavored hearts for immediate snacking. We love these Honey Aleppo and Spicy Hemp Hearts from Humming Hemp for snacking.
Be Sneaky With It
Get creative. Their versatility lends well to “sabotaging” meals to make them healthier for those picky eaters in your life. You can add them to pancakes, waffles, soups, or even to pasta dishes just to add a generous dose of essential fatty acids and healthy protein.
Summary: What are hemp hearts?
Hemp hearts are the seeds of the hemp plant, but without the shell. A chewy texture and nutty flavor make them perfect for eating raw or cooking.
Eating hearts is one of the best choices to add health to your dietary routine. They are tiny, delicious seeds filled with the stuff your body needs. Eat them to stay fit, keep active, and stave off that pesky heart disease.
Remember, they won’t get you high, nor will they make you fail a urine test. Hemp is often confused with marijuana, but it lacks significant THC. Therefore, hemp products are safe to consume.
There are many ways to consume hemp hearts. Hearts are frequently used in smoothies, but make great garnish or breadcrumb substitute. Personally, I like to eat them raw and right out of the bag.
Hemp hearts will only elevate your diet, nutrition, and just maybe your life. Ready to start? Check out Humming Hemp’s Amazon shop as you start incorporating these great little seeds into your life.