Hemp seeds are a natural anti-inflammatory powerhouse

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hemp seeds(NaturalHealth365) Many foods are touted as “super foods,” but hemp seeds have the credentials to back up that claim. In fact, no other plant-based food has such a perfect ratio of all the essential amino (and fatty) acids in such an easily digestible form for human consumption as the hemp seed.

Their notoriety as a super food comes primarily from the significant amounts of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and gamma linolenic acid (GLA) they contain. These hemp seed benefits help to make hemp seeds a natural combatant for chronic inflammation, marking them as an important defense mechanism against chronic disease and the effects of premature aging.

The toll of chronic inflammation on vitality and immune function

When most people think of inflammation, they typically think of physical injury that causes localized swelling, perhaps to an ankle or knee. This is a type of acute inflammation. Your body has a brief, inflammatory response to an injury or illness that usually ends on its own.

Other examples include minor cuts and abrasions, sunburn, fractures and viral or bacterial infection. But chronic inflammation is a different ballgame and evidence is mounting that it is a major factor in loss of youthful vitality and well-being, as well as the development of a whole host of degenerative diseases, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Chronic inflammation occurs when your body’s ability to halt the inflammatory response is weakened. The body attacks healthy tissue in a misdirected immune response. The result can be damage to the intestinal lining of the gut or arterial damage or rheumatoid arthritis.

What causes chronic cellular inflammation?

The imbalance of omega-6 fatty acids in relationship to the lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in today’s Western-culture diets is thought to be one of the primary driving forces behind low-grade, chronic inflammation. Excessive inflammation can be escalated by other lifestyle factors in addition to diet, including lack of adequate sleep, stress, alcohol intake, a toxic living environment, substance abuse and medication.

What can be done to reduce inflammation – naturally?

Correcting this imbalance by diligently reducing the amount of foods packing high volumes of omega-6 fatty acids – such as vegetable oils – is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation. In fact, research now suggests that increasing your intake of hemp seeds can be an even more effective strategy in reducing chronic inflammation than relying on drug therapies.

Hemp seed benefits come from their significant amounts of omega-6 fatty acid GLA, known for its anti-inflammatory properties. GLA is metabolized into dihomogamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) by the body, which then intervenes with the ability of arachidonic acid to produce pro-inflammatory molecules.

Furthermore, it is known that DGLA is converted to the anti-inflammatory compounds prostaglandin, adding to its ability to control chronic inflammation and its effects. From a scientific standpoint, as reported in the Journal of Clinical Immunology, it is believed that DGLA likely reduces the output of interleukin-1 from certain white blood cells, limiting inflammation.

What is the best way to add hemp seeds to my diet?

Hemp seeds can be easily added to your diet in natural, unshelled form, and the typical suggested serving size is 1.5 to 3 tablespoons. They are easily incorporated into a diet on a regular basis by sprinkling them onto yogurt, hot cereal or salads; mixing them into shakes or smoothies; using them in baked goods such as muffins or granola bars; or just eating them in raw form as a snack.

Just in case you’re wondering, the hemp seed is high in protein and tends to have a delicious (delicate) taste – similar to sunflower seeds. Most people I know LOVE a well-made basil pesto. So, today, I’d like to offer this simple, gluten-free, low calorie, low carb, no sugar, soy free, protein rich recipe. Here’s what you need:

  • 4 cup fresh basil, washed
  • 1/2 cup of organic hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (if possible for extra flavor)
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt and pepper to taste

Simply blend all the ingredients together – until it becomes a smooth texture – and serve with your favorite foods. Enjoy!


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  • pam r

    I put a 1 -2 Tablespoons of seeds in my smoothie.

  • Susan

    If one is trying to reduce their Omega-6 fatty acids to reduce chronic inflammation why would one add hemp seeds if they have significant amounts of Omega-6 fatty acid as your article states? I’m confused. Please clear this up for me. Thanks.

    • sleepingdogs

      Hemp seeds have the proper balance of Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9, which does not promote inflammation.

    • Bonnie

      Hemp oils from what I’ve read (see my reply to shovel ready above) have a mixture of kinds. Just like coconut oil is saturated, scientists have discovered it is extremely healthy for humans and pets. I’ve added a bit of cod liver oil and flax oil to our dogs hemp hearts for over 2 years now, and she is very healthy. (just have to make sure to keep those oils and the hemp hearts refrigerated). Merry Christmas!

  • Taylor Fisher

    Hemp is one path to health. It is a wonderful addition to many of the other healthy seeds on the market. It contains a synergy of anti-inflammatory ingredients. The one thing I like it is so easy to use and lends itself to a full category of health foods such as drinks and snack foods.

  • Shovel Ready

    Does anyone know if hemp seeds, ground up and added to food, is safe for cats? My cat, Colby, has a very aggressive cancer that is considered untreatable. So far she seems comfortable, is still eating and snooping around the house normally etc., and has outlived the life expectancy the vet predicted by over 6 weeks. If hemp would help in any way, I’d sure like to try giving it to her. She is receiving no meds, just LOTS of shrimp (her fave) and regular cat food, plenty of water, some colostrum every other day or so, a tiny bit of colloidal silver in her water, and a small amount of whole food vit C. I think the shrimp has lots of omega oils, but I don’t know about the balance between omega 3, 6, and 9. My heartfelt thanks for your prayers and any suggestions that might help my sweet girl.

    • Bonnie

      I’m not a doctor, or a vet or an expert on nutrition for cats, but I’ve done extensive research on cancer since it’s in our family. We by raw hemp hearts. More expensive but well worth the money (keep refrigerated!) I buy from Amazondotcom. We also use the following mixture for preventive for us and our dog. I’ve done hundreds of hours of research on cancer. I give our spaniel dog 2 tsp of raw hemp seeds and mix 1/4 tsp flax oil plus 1/4 tsp cod liver oil (oils must be refrigerated or it will go rancid and be more harm than good). After mixing well, I put that mix into her dry food every night. Dr Joannah Budwig has done the research and she’s been curing cancer for years with this protocol and a few other supplements. She used cottage cheese (the old style kind) along with the oils & mixed them thoroughly. But other alternative folks are replacing the cottage cheese with raw hemp hearts and getting great results. — She held a doctorate in physics and microbiology. It’s complicated, so I’ll try to explain her protocol like this: The mixture of unheated protein mixed very well with those oils changes the cells’ membranes to a positive charge and a negative charge inside the cell (like a battery) – that way the negative charge pulls the oxygen (like a magnet) off the red blood cells and into the cancer cells. Cancer only thrives in an anaerobic substrate (no oxygen) it’s called fermentation – and sugar feeds the fermentation process). So this mixture is really helping remake our cells to insure that oxygen gets inside the cells. (Most people who eat lots of fruit juice/or soda/and refined sugar foods have cells with positive-charged membranes and a negative-charge inside the cell). She says that is a recipe for cancer and inflammation throughout your body. After reading her research, this recipe may very well not only help get rid of cancer, but heart disease and other degenerative diseases, too. Visit her website. She died a few yrs ago, but her long-time associates who believe in her theories have carried it on. One more thing, even though pets make their own vit c (whereas humans don’t have that capability) if our dog were diagnosed with cancer, I would add 1/4 a packet of liposomal vit C. It’s expensive, but it’s the only vit C that really gets to all your cells. I packet would last our dog 4 or 5 doses (keep refrigerated). When pets get cancer, something interferes with their vit C making-capacity. I know this was long, but you seemed so needy that I thought I’d take some time to try to help out. Good luck, and you may want to think about taking the hemp & oils for your own health. Ms. Budwig only used flax oil, so if you can’t stand to taste cod liver oil, at least use the flax oil. But since your cat has active cancer, I’d use both oils. Please let me know if this protocol worked to keep your fur-baby well. You can e-mail me at bonniebgee@aol.com. Merry Christmas!

  • Alison Heath

    Much to my surprise I learned recently that many hemp seeds test positive for gluten. They are often grown on old wheat fields, and many batches, even organic contain gluten.