Hemp seeds – not an alternative but a solution

Why is it that everything better for the planet, your body and the community is called an ‘alternative?’ An alternative to what? To destroying the planet? To toxifying your body with chemical-ridden processed foods?

Why is it that everything better for the planet, your body and the community is called an ‘alternative?’

An alternative to what? To destroying the planet? To toxifying your body with chemical-ridden processed foods?

It’s amazing how most of this ‘new age,’ ‘alternative foods’ stuff actually used to be staples in our diet.

But because we’ve gravitated away from whole foods for so long, they are only now being re-introduced — as we now see what the effects have been of the real alternatives out there.

One of these foods is hemp seeds.

Up until the 1880s, hemps seeds were actually the most domesticated crop on the planet. Because there was such a use for the plants and the seeds, it was mandatory for farmers to grow a specific amount to meet the demand.

But along the line, they got lost in the mix of commercialization of food and products. Only recently, people have rediscovered this amazing food and plant.

Of course, the connection to the marijuana plant pops into everyone’s head. It is in the same family, which is why there has been so much commotion about allowing hemp crops.

But it’s like comparing heroin to poppy seeds. You just can’t get high off of eating hemp seeds.

It’s taken some re-education but hemp crops have been getting enthusiastic approvals all over the world thanks to many advocates.

Hemp is a high-yielding crop that does not need pesticides or herbicides. The seeds can be consumed as food and the plant fibres are used for clothing, building materials (insulation and shingles, to name a few — with a 50-year lifespan), paper, jewelry and even fuel.

An Australian eco-technologist from Southern Cross University, Keith Bolton has been the leading researcher in hemp’s ability to purify the soil. Considered a “mop crop,” it can clear impurities from the soil.

It also is considered to have a high radiation utilization factor (RUE factor), meaning it emits more oxygen and eats up more carbon dioxide from the air.

So it cleans the soil and the air. Perfect! Our planet could use a little house cleaning.

Nutritionally, hemp seeds, or hemp hearts as they are commonly known, are extremely healthy.

The little nutty-tasting seeds are packed with fibre, vitamin E and calcium, and their amino acid profile makes them a complete protein. Hemp seeds are 33 per cent protein.

Also extremely high in essential fatty acids, one tablespoon of hemp oil contains your essential fatty acid intake requirements for the day.

And they are easy to fit into your diet. They are great in smoothies (you can even get hemp protein powders), your morning oatmeal, some yogurt and berries, a bar recipe or even a few tablespoons mixed in with your salsa and chips to add that extra sustenance.

They are great for snacks — they make you feel full and keep your energy levels sustained through the day.

Looking to lose weight, feel more sustained and make a positive impact on the planet? Hemp may just be your solution. Why choose the alternative?

Simple Hemp Bars

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup hemp protein

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, craisins, cherries, etc.)

1/4 cup ground flax seed

Mix everything in a bowl by hand and press into a small square cake pan lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour and cut into nine squares.

Kristin Fraser, BSc, is a registered holistic nutritionist and local freelance writer. Her column appears every second Wednesday. She can be reached at kristin@somethingtochewon.ca.

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