Hemp – is it just a load of old rope?

December 17, 2012 11:27 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Some people think of hemp as a pretty new ‘health’ product. In fact, it’s one of the first plants that humans ever domesticated. It’s used today for a dizzying variety of industrial purposes (plastics, construction, bio-fuel, for example), but at Naturally Good Food, we’re mostly interested in the varieties you can eat.

We really like hemp: it’s a particularly environmentally friendly crop, and it’s got lots of good health benefits. Hemp seed, for example, contains all of the known amino acids, including the nine essential ones that adult humans cannot produce. That makes it as close to a complete protein as it’s possible to get – certainly more complete than milk, meat or eggs. Research indicates that eating hemp regularly will help to boost your immunity levels and energy, lower ‘bad cholesterol’ and blood pressure, improve overall cardiovascular function, alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, and treat skin and hair conditions.

Does all that make you want to eat some?! Well, Naturally Good Food stock a great range of hemp products. We have seeds in packs starting from 125g, up to 25kg, at £1.76 for our own packed 250g bags. You can eat these raw, sprinkle them over cereal or sprout them (see this guide for information if you’re new to sprouting). You can add them, whole or ground, to a pancake, muffin or flapjack mix – try this Hemp ‘9’ bar, a mixture of carob, seeds and hemp, to give you some ideas of what you could do at home. We also stock Infinity’s hemp flour if you don’t want the bother of grinding the seeds yourself.

We are pleased to stock hemp milk, which is creamy and nutty, and thought by some to be easier to digest than soya milk. There’s also hemp butter: try the hemp and linseed raw butter from Carley’s, or simply the plain raw hemp butter, as a substitute for peanut butter. (And if you’re still not convinced, try the hemp seed and chocolate spread!)

Hemp oil, meanwhile, is fantastically rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are vital for good health. Many people today are deficient in these acids, due to a high consumption of processed foods and meat. Note that you don’t use hemp oil to cook with – rather add it as a flavour enhancer, to salad dressing, mayonnaise, or dips – it’s got a nice, nutty flavour.

Finally, we also sell hemp in various body products, including Hemp and Lemongrass soap from Faith in Nature and Hemp and Meadowfoam shampoo and conditioner. In this form, hemp is thought to have great benefits for skin and hair, evening out skin problems and helping to give hair a good, thick gloss. Why not give it a try and see if it works for you?

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This post was written by Sue

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