Discover the superfood power of hemp
Dr. David Jockers
2011 January 12
Foods that have an incredible array of health benefits that go well beyond just their nutrient value are considered ‘super-foods.’ One of the oldest and yet seemingly most misunderstood superfoods on the planet is hemp. Hemp is an incredible multi-purpose plant that can be used for anything from paper, rope, and cloth. It is also one of the most nutritionally well-balanced foods on the planet.
Although many people associate hemp with its sister plant marijuana (Cannabis sativa l.) the two are not the same. Hemp products come from a special variety that contains virtually no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the chemical that gives marijuana its psychoactive effects. Therefore hemp is a perfectly safe food that will not make one “high” or cause anyone to fail a drug test.
Hemp has been cultivated and used by many ancient cultures since the beginning of recorded history. Researchers have found its use in China, India, Babylonia, Persia, Egypt, and the native cultures in North & South America. Hemp fiber was used to make rope and cloth, while the stalk was used to make paper. These cultures also used the seed for nutritional purposes. It can be eaten as shelled seeds, oil, butter, flour, and protein powder.
Hemp protein is one of the very few plant based complete protein sources. This means that it contains sufficient quantities of all 9 essential amino acids. Hemp is a great source of sulfur containing amino acids methionine and cysteine, which are necessary for cellular detoxification and the production of vital enzymes. Additionally, it is rich in branched chain amino acids that are needed for muscle growth and repair.
Almost 60% of the protein in hemp is made up of a globulin source called edestin. Most of the rest is in the form of albumin. Albumin and Edestin have a very similar molecular makeup as the protein found in the human body. Because of this common link, hemp protein is very easily absorbed into human blood and used for roles as critical as DNA repair.