Shelled Hemp Seeds

Today I’m starting a new feature on my blog, a food and nutrition series. Every week I will post about an interesting nutrition topic that hopefully some of you may find useful!

Today’s post is about a food that is fairly new to the market.  You may have seen them popping up in grocery stores recently-raw shelled hemp seeds (or hemp hearts)! I found them at Trader Joe’s a few months ago and keep a bag in my fridge to add to my salads. They add a unique nutty flavor and also pack a nutritional punch. They can also be added to smoothies, yogurt, cereal or added to recipes.

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Hemp hearts are taken from the hemp seed and look like this:

hemp-seeds

Shelled hemp hearts contain 10 grams of plant-based protein per 30 gram, or 3 tbsp, serving. Hemp is a good protein alternative for vegetarians and vegans, and you can often find hemp protein powder in the grocery store.

It also contains 10 grams of Omegas per serving. One of the crucial Omega-3 fatty acids found in hemp hearts is alpha-linolenic acid (or ALA), which can be found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds. ALA plays an important role in brain function and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Research shows that omega-3s may also reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.

Hemp seeds (with the shell) are also a rich source of minerals such as magnesium, zinc and iron, and are a good source of fiber.

So if you are looking for something new to add flavor and boost nutrition to your salad, smoothie or yogurt, why not try adding a tablespoon of hemp seeds?