Hemp Greens May Be a New Superfood Based on Amino Acids and Vitamins Says New Study
There has been a lot of interest surrounding cannabidiol (CBD) over the last few years.
This nearly magical compound from hemp, the cousin of the marijuana plant, has been praised for its ability to treat a myriad of conditions. From anxiety to insomnia, epilepsy to post-traumatic stress disorder and more, the discovery of CBD has been vital in keeping people healthy.
But did you know that the very hemp plant where it comes from also has many important health benefits? In fact, it could be compared to other superfoods these days which are potent sources of vitamins, amino acids, and other good-for-you stuff.
Hemp microgreens, also known as hemp sprouts, are the result of soaking germinated whole hemp seeds. Generally, like other microgreens, hemp microgreens are the sprouted hemp seeds that grow to around 4 inches in height.
Consuming hemp microgreens is still relatively new, but given how nutritious they are, they can soon be as common in food as salad and other vegetables. They are healthier to eat than the full-grown hemp plant leaves because the very process of sprouting results in much more nutrients the same way that sprouted legumes and beans are healthier than its full-grown counterparts.
The findings of a recent study on 6 hemp cultivars were also just released. Researchers analyzed the bioactive composition as well as its composition of amino acids, essential amino acids, cannabidiol, cannabigerol, cannaflavin, and others. They confirmed that hemp microgreens are an excellent protein source and contain high amounts of all the essential amino acids we need to keep healthy.
The researchers also confirmed the safety of consuming hemp microgreens. Additionally, it has a much lower oxalate content compared to other microgreens. Oxalates are naturally-occurring compounds found in numerous plants. Its evolutionary purpose was to help plants fight off predators, and while oxalates do have important biological and health benefits in the human body, it has also been found to increase the risk of kidney stones for some individuals.
Vegetables that are high in oxalates include spinach, soy, almonds, potatoes, beets, dates. When you consume hemp microgreens, they are comparable to these and many other vegetables for the healthy compounds found within the plant.
Another study of hemp microgreens reveals that the top nutrients found in the plants include potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sulfur as well as iron, manganese, zinc, copper, and boron.
Health Benefits of Hemp Microgreens
Hemp is widely consumed through a variety of sources. The most popular ways to consume hemp include hemp seeds and oils, but other novel ways include hemp-based protein powder, hemp milk, hemp cheese, and much more.
When it comes to taste, hemp microgreens are actually delicious too. They can be eaten on their own, unlike sprouted mung beans or Brussel sprouts. High-quality hemp microgreens have a nutty taste, though they can easily be added into salads and other dishes where you would normally consume other microgreens.
Below are the other health benefits of hemp microgreens:
Abundant source of healthy fat: Hemp products including microgreens are an excellent source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. They are a type of fat that the body is unable to produce on its own, which means that we need to obtain it from food sources.
These poly-unsaturated fatty acids are plant-based fats that have tremendous neuroprotective benefits especially for delaying and minimizing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Getting enough omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids is also important for preventing numerous other chronic diseases. In addition, it helps to reduce the risk of depression, psychosis, and inflammation.
Rich source of cannflavins: Cannflavins are a type of flavonoids that are exclusively found in cannabis plant. They have excellent therapeutic benefits because of its anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and antioxidative properties. Some of these flavonoids include Cannaflavin A, B, and C; quercetin, luteolin, orientin, isovitexin, and catechins among others.
A review of 26 studies verify the therapeutic properties of these flavonoids, which show that they are promising for use clinically and medically especially for the potential prevention of infectious diseases, cancer, and neurodegenerative disease. Some experts say that their anti-inflammatory properties are even more powerful than aspirin.
These flavonoids are present in every life cycle of the hemp plant, but they are much more potent during the sprouting phase.
Enzymes: Consuming most living plants and vegetables will provide you with a rich source of enzymes which are essential for all metabolic functions. These enzymes are vital for helping to break down proteins we consume into a more bioavailable amino acid form. Additionally, hemp sprouts contain cellulase, a type of enzyme, that is renowned for its efficient fiber-metabolizing properties.
Consuming hemp microgreens is a great (and delicious!) way of helping your body metabolize and digest other proteins and nutrients.
Growing Your Own Hemp Microgreens
Now that you’ve read about the health benefits of hemp microgreens, you might want to give growing them a try.
The good news is that it’s extremely easy to grow hemp sprouts. You only need some live hemp seeds that are still in their hulls. First, soak your seeds in a jar filled with cool water for 4 up to 12 hours. Sprouting almost every vegetable begins with a soaking process, hemp included.
Afterwards, rinse or drain the seeds thoroughly. Drain as much water as you can as this step is critical for growing healthy sprouts. Continue rinsing and draining with cool water every 12 hours for three days, and on the third day, move the jar with the seeds into a dark area that will be untouched by any light.
Some sprouts will begin to show up after around three days. Once there are sprouts, move the seeds to an area exposed to natural light, so that the sprouts can begin turning green. Continue rinsing the sprouts for around a week, and after this time they will be ready to eat.