Hemp Protein – Is It The New Superfood Protein?

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Hemp Protein – Is It The New Superfood Protein?

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It is a protein source obtained from cold-pressing hemp seeds. Oil is extracted from hemp seeds and the remaining seed meal is processed into a powder.

Hemp protein is a super plant-based protein source that generates a close to zero carbon footprint and is minimally processed in contrast to all other sources of plant-based proteins. Hemp protein is the most sustainable and environmentally friendly sourced protein compared to all plant, dairy, and meat-based proteins.  

There are so many health benefits beyond just being a superior protein source compared to all dairy and plant forms, as well as environmental benefits, it is considered by many to not be a superfood, but “the” superfood and the protein from hemp seeds, the SUPER PROTEIN!

Hemp seeds

▍WHAT IS HEMP EXACTLY?

Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for industrial use. It can be used to make a wide range of products.  Along with bamboo, hemp is one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth. It was also one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 50,000 years ago.

It can be refined into a variety of commercial items, including paper, rope, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed. 

▍THE PROTEIN OF THE FUTURE? HERE ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS

▶ PROTEIN & AMINO ACIDS

A scoop of 30 grams of hemp protein contains around 120 calories and 15 grams of protein. It is a full protein which means it has all 21 amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids that we need to get from food sources.

Hemp seeds provide all essential amino acids. The seeds contain 25–35% protein, some of the hemp products in the market can contain as much as 70% protein per 100grams, which makes it similar to the whey protein isolate, but this depends of the brand of hemp protein.

The protein in hemp comes from two high-quality storage proteins, edestin, and albumin, which are easily digested.

When compared to soy protein isolate, the protein in hemp might actually be superior due to the higher content of some essential amino acids and methionine, cysteine, and arginine.

Overall, the protein makeup of hemp is highly complete, highly absorbable, and hypoallergenic. It’s also a sustainable and earth-friendly source of amino acids.

Hemp seeds

▶ WHY IS HEMP PROTEIN SUPERIOR TO OTHER PROTEINS?

The only plant which contains more protein is soy – but soy also contains trypsin inhibitors, which impair the absorption and utilization of protein by the body. 

What’s fascinating is that while most plant protein sources are fibrous protein, hemp offers a nutritive alternative called globular protein (hemoglobin – a vital component of human blood – is perhaps the most well-known globular protein; insulin is another). 

60-80% of the globular protein in hemp is globulin edestin, with the remaining 20-40% being albumin. Globulin edestin is the backbone of DNA. 

Albumin (along with globulin and fibrinogen) makes up over 80% of our blood plasma – the part of blood that nourishes tissues. Blood plasma serves as a reservoir of amino acids for the body to utilize on-demand when needed.  

Hemp protein is a direct fuel source for our blood plasma, DNA, and insulin levels. 

Globulin edestin (as found in hemp) is virtually identical to the third most abundant type of protein found in the body (globulin) and is responsible for the natural and acquired immunity a person has against microscopic invaders. 

▶ WHY IS GLOBULAR PROTEIN IN HEMP SO INCREDIBLE FOR THE HUMAN IMMUNE SYSTEM?

All enzymes, antibodies, fibrinogen (blood thickening agent), and many hormones are globular proteins. Globular proteins are tasked with all the heavy lifting of everyday bodily functions. 

The fact that hemp protein directly fuels hormone production deserves a lot of attention, as all immune cells have hormone receptor sites. A healthy immune system goes hand-in-hand with optimal hormone levels. 

Globulins are divided into three classes: alpha, beta, and gamma.  

Alpha and beta globulins serve as transport vehicles, combining with other substances to move protein around the body to where it is most needed – building new or replacing worn/damaged body parts. 

Gamma globulins are immunoglobulins (antibodies) – the body’s first line of defense against viruses and pathogens. 

Hemp protein in hemp seeds is made up of the two globulin types of proteins, edestin (60–80%) and albumin, with edestin, also being rich in the essential amino acids. Hemp protein has a PDCASS of 0.61 (the limiting amino acid being lysine with digestibility of 94.9%) and a biological value of 87. The total proportion of the essential amino acids in hemp protein isolate is also significantly higher than that of soy protein isolate. Hence the answer is, excellent choice. 

▶ FULLY DIGESTIBLE

Hemp protein is one of the most digestible proteins around, as it is 91-98% digestible and being obtained from help differentiate it from other sources that include lactose or a big quantity of oligosaccharides which can upset the stomach especially with people with allergies or intolerance.

▶ FIBER CONTENT

A scoop of 30 grams of hemp protein contains 7 to 8 grams of fiber, it is the only available protein in the market in which its carbohydrates are mostly fiber.

Just for consideration, fiber is needed in our diet as our digestive system loves fiber and it helps us to improve our blood sugar, promote healthier gut bacteria, reduce risks of bowel cancer and help us feel full for longer periods of time.

Hemp food products could supply a person with all the fiber they need in one day.

▶ HEALTHY FATS

A scoop of 30 grams of hemp contains around 3 grams of unsaturated fats which is excellent for our heart health, it also has an ideal 3:1 omega 6 to omega 3 ratio while a western diet provides a 15:1 ratio.

What does that ratio mean? Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory while omega 6 is inflammatory therefore we need more omega 3 in our diets to regulate inflammation. A western diet that is higher in omega 6 is a precursor for coronary arteries diseases.

Due to the unique fatty acid profile of hemp, it has the power to treat atopic dermatitis in humans.

▶ ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ANTI-ALLERGEN

The only protein source to be both anti-inflammatory and anti-allergen compared to all plant and dairy proteins. 

Hemp seeds contain a ton of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Indeed, the best hemp protein products on the market include the ideal 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. It is a ‘golden’ ratio for better heart health because it can help reduce inflammation.

The seeds used in hemp protein contain a significant level of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that has possible anti-inflammatory effects.

Reducing inflammation could help manage the symptoms of specific diseases, including:

Arthritis

Type 2 diabetes

Metabolic syndrome

Fatty liver disease (when unrelated to alcohol consumption)

It is also worth noting that acne and atopic dermatitis also result from chronic inflammation. A review published in Skin Therapy Letter in 2018 looked at how changes in diet affected skin diseases. The researchers concluded that eating more omega-3s could reduce instances of acne.

It contains no allergens such as nuts, soy, or dairy and with encouraging healthy gut is therefore also considered an “anti-allergen”.

▶ HEALTHY GUT

It’s super important to look after your gut health to get the most nutrition out of the meal. Unlike whey protein, Hemp Protein is an all-natural, easy-to-digest high fiber and protein gift from mother nature. Hemp seed is high in edestin, a protein that repairs DNA and is bioavailable so you can digest its nutrients easily. 

▶ ANTIOXIDANTS

Hemp seeds contain lignanamides which are natural and powerful antioxidants, hemp protein is the only protein source available with this characteristic.

▶ MINERALS

Hemp protein is a rich source of various minerals including phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, and copper.

▶ CHLOROPHYLL

The green color of hemp oil, hemp butter, and hemp protein is due to the high content of chlorophyll within the mature seed that is not destroyed during the low-temperature processing of hemp foods.

Benefits of chlorophyll in food include protection against several types of cancers, including colon and breast.

▍COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS

Hemp protein will make me gain weight: Protein works mostly for gaining lean muscle, our digestive systems need more energy to process protein therefore it makes us feel full longer and thus will limit the sugar cravings.

Hemp protein is psychoactive: The content of THC in hemp protein is less than 0.3% which debunks any psychoactive claims on hemp protein. For a hemp product to be considered psychoactive (gets you high) it needs to be in the range of 3-20% THC.

▍THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEMP & MARIJANA

Hemp protein is 100% legal in almost every country to consume, harvest, and grow.  There are reportedly over 700 varieties of cannabis globally, but only a fraction of these contains adequate amounts of THC that is illegal. Within the Hemp variety, there are also over 400 different varieties that are used to make paper, plastics, fiber, healthy oils, and yes protein!   

▍OTHER PRODUCTS MADE OUT OF HEMP

There are many different products that can be created from hemp seeds:

Hemp “milk” – An excellent substitute for rice, soy, or cow’s milk.

Hemp butter – For people with lactose intolerance who can consume dairy products or people allergic to nuts, who can’t consume regular butter alternatives.

Hemp seeds – Delicious snack that also goes great with salads.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST = ONLY TRUE SUSTAINABLE FOOD

Returns 60%-70% of nutrients back to the soil

Being a weed itself means hemp has no need for harsh chemical herbicides

Needs 50% less water than cotton to grow

Requires less landmass to grow

Sources Of This Article Below:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20977230/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18287346/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25426777/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28804797/

https://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/agriculture-and-food-security/food-assistance/resources/whey-protein-concentrate

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4975646/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26585089/

https://www.nutrasciencelabs.com/blog/hemp-powder-heres-why-its-the-future-of-protein

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3799283/#:~:text=Heat%20treatment%20during%20processing%20serves,digestion%20of%20protein%20in%20animals.&text=However%2C%20depending%20on%20their%20mode,that%20found%20in%20raw%20soybeans.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19762867/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17090145/

https://www.onnit.com/academy/hemp-protein/

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-hemp

Tissue omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio and risk for coronary artery disease. Harris WS, Assaad B, Poston WC. Am J Cardiol 2006;98:19i-26iGamma-linolenate reduces weight regain in formerly obese humans. Schirmer MA, Phinney SD. J. Nutr. 2007 Jun;137(6):1430-5.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/marijuana-strains#what-are-marijuana-strains

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp

Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis. Callaway JC et al. J. Dermatol. Treat. 2005, 16, 87-94.

https://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/cebp/15/4/717.full.pdf

https://www.onnit.com/academy/hemp-protein/

https://wayofleaf.com/hemp/benefits-of-hemp-protein 

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