The potential contribution of the Hemp Seed to human nutrition is gaining world wide recognition. Like no other plant resource, the Hemp seed has both a high content of easily digestible, complete protein and a rich endowment of oil providing the most favourable ratio of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) required for proper human nutrition. In addition, the Hemp seed provides a significant contribution of gamma-linolenic acid which has potential therapeutic efficacy.
Richer in EFAs than flax, Evening Primrose or any other seed oil, Hemp Seed Oil is being called “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil.” It is truly a nutritional wonder. Hemp Seed Oil is said to be the most unsaturated oil in the vegetable kingdom. Hemp Seed Oil is 81% poly-unsaturated. These are the EFAs that are needed by, but not produced by the human body. We must get EFAs from external sources, the majority of which are of plant origin. Hemp seed oil is the ideal source.
Why is Hemp Seed Oil the Ideal source of EFAs?
The proportions of EFAs in Hemp matches the ratios that have been determined by nutritionists to be most beneficial to human nutrition. Hemp seed oil contains omega 6 and Omega 3 EFAs in an ideal long term ratio of three to one (3:1). It also provides the derivative Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). Its content of GLA makes it unique among edible seed oils. No other common seed contains GLA. Hemp seed oil’s unusually well balanced profile means that one could use it for a lifetime without ever suffering an EFA deficiency.
What’s so Great about EFAs?
You need EFAs in your diet more than any other vitamin. Many researchers are linking EFA deficiencies with a variety of degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, skin afflictions, multiple sclerosis, PMS, behavioural problems, poor wound healing, arthritis, glandular atrophy, weakened immune functions and sterility (especially males). Lack of oxygen is a key factor in degenerative diseases and EFAs help bring oxygen into our system. EFAs serve what seems to be an unending list of vital functions in the body.
Here’s a examples of some of them:
- Our body uses EFAs to construct membranes, create electrical potentials and move electric currents.
- Their tendency to disperse gives biological systems the power to carry substances such as toxins to the surface of the skin, intestinal tract, kidneys, or lungs, where these substances can be discarded.
- The chemical reactions on which life depends require a one-way movement of energy through molecules. EFAs play an important role in this function.
- EFAs facilitate the recovery of fatigued muscles after exercise.
- EFAs are precursors of prostaglandin’s, hormone-like substances that regulate many functions of cells in all tissues.
- EFAs are found around the hereditary material in our chromosomes, where they may play a part in maintaining chromosome stability and may have functions in starting and stopping gene expression.
- EFAs help our immune system resist and fight infections and prevent allergies from developing.
- EFAs are necessary for the development of brain and nerve cells and for healthy liver function.
Overall, EFAs are involved with producing life energy throughout our systems. They govern growth, vitality and mental state. They hook up oxygen, electron transport and energy in the process of oxidation. Oxidation, the central and most important moment-to-moment living process in our body, is the “burning” of food to produce the energy required for life processes. EFAs govern the life processes in our bodies. Life without them is impossible. When our foods are EFA-poor, we can expect a diversity of health problems.
Fatty Acid Profile of Hemp Seed Oil
|Omega 3 (Alpha-Linolenic) |
Omega 6 (Linoleic)
Hemp Seed Oil is also rich in Tocopherols (vitamin E) which is a natural anti-oxidant. Not only does antioxidants assist in protecting the oil against rancidity, the nutritional value of this substance has become the subject of much discussion. Anti-oxidants prevent the deformation of cells and assist in metabolism. In addition, they have been linked in research to the prevention of the growth of cancerous cells. A further nutritional benefit of the oil derives from the high levels of sterol found in it. Sterol is a plant hormone which blocks the absorption of cholesterol and it exists in higher than average quantities in Hemp Seed Oil.
Hemp Seed Oil contains :
- Vitamin E
- Omega 3, 6 and 9
- Natural Anti-Inflammatory