I mentioned in an couple of earlier blog posts about the benefits of hemp, more specifically in a protein powder form. It’s a great source of not only protein but also essential fatty acids and antioxidants as well. For months I used a few different types of hemp protein powders from Manitoba Harvest, like the one with added fibre, one which was vanilla flavored and one which was chocolate flavored as well.
One of my favorite nutritional/supplement companies is Onnit, and they released their own version of a hemp protein powder last year called Hemp Force. I must say, I was very surprised with the taste of it, sweetened with stevia (a natural zero-calorie sweetener) and cocoa so not only is it healthy, but it’s delicious as well. Also added is maca root, which has been used for centuries to boost energy and act as a natural aphrodisiac.
I’d say I have an overactive libido anyways, so I can’t comment on the power of maca in that respect, but I can tell you that the taste of Hemp Force protein powder was absolutely delicious. I’ve tried it mixed with milk, a little natural unsweetened greek yogurt and a bit of peanut butter and when mixed in my blender, created something that tasted so tremendous it was hard to believe that it was actually good for me.
On the topic of blending protein powder, I found that Manitoba Harvest–even after being blasted through the blades of my Blendtec blender–was grainy and I knew it was in there. I’m not sure what process is used with Onnit’s Hemp Force, but I had no grainy texture in any of my shakes. Just a subtle chocolatey flavor that elevated my daily shake routine from something I did each morning to something I look forward to drinking each day.
The unfamiliar may equate hemp with marijuana, and then conclude that there’s no way you could lose weight with hemp, as you’ll just want to sit around all day on the couch eating Cheetos. The fact is that hemp is not marijuana, it won’t get you high, and it can actually be used to help you lose weight. Of course a balanced diet and exercise is crucial, but adding hemp to your daily food routine could give you that edge to shed a few extra pounds.
The cocktail of calories, complex carbohydrates, and protein found in hemp hearts can give you the added boost of energy to muscle through a kettle bell or Battle Rope workout, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or just help you get through your day without feeling drained. Hemp provides you this energy without any caffeine or sugar that you’d find in an energy drink or coffee. In powder form, it’s easy to add it to your meals (in a smoothie, or mixed in with oatmeal) without changing your existing diet.
We know hemp is packed with protein, which is good because protein is crucial for making us feel full. This is especially useful during the stretches in between meals where we may be tempted to make a run for the office vending machine, making an impulse decision to inhale a bag of chips or a chocolate ball to satiate our hunger. If we can stay full longer, we can reduce impulsive eating and ultimately make healthier choices during mealtime.
If you’ve eaten poorly in the past, maybe during the holidays or at a point in your life when you made less intelligent decisions, you’ve likely had to deal with constipation. It’s definitely not pleasant to contend with, and if you’re trying to lose weight, can be a little defeating when you step on the scale and see you aren’t losing much weight. Hemp hearts are packed with fibre and they’re easily digestible, helping to keep you regular, remove waste, and see the number on the scale roll down.
The strange thing about hemp in the United States is that it’s legal to have a T-shirt made of hemp, legal to add hemp protein powder to your oatmeal or smoothie, and legal to have hemp oil for medicinal purposes. But don’t you think about growing hemp for its fiber, for food, or for medicinal use, because you’ll be tossed in prison! This doesn’t make any sense to me, especially since hemp is missing virtually all of the THC that makes marijuana so much fun.
On the bright side for you Americans, you can still import hemp from us Canadians and enjoy the many benefits of this Super Plant. While having clothes made from hemp may not interest most people, those who are looking to lose weight may want to consider adding hemp to their diets whenever possible. There are a wide range of hemp protein powders available from companies like Manitoba Harvest (made in Canada!) and the new Hemp Force protein powder from Onnit as well.
As I mentioned, hemp is an amazing source of protein and it won’t bloat you and leave you with gas the way that whey protein so often does. But hemp oil is also beneficial as its ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids is 3 or 4:1. The ratio of hemp oil is approximately this, and it’s one of the only seeds with a ratio that high. For adding to smoothies or shakes, hemp oil is a better choice than something like a flaxseed oil for instance.
Adding hemp to your diet long-term could also lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and help control your blood sugar as well since you’re obtaining fatty acids and protein from a source that isn’t full of refined carbohydrates, sugars, or starches. Diabetics also find that it helps improve circulation, as hemp can reduce inflammation.
And this is just scratching the surface in terms of health benefits of hemp. A little mind-blowing that this plant is still illegal, isn’t it?