5 Plant Based Foods That Have More Protein than Meat

Protein gets a lot of attention, especially in a plant-based diet where the issue of complete and incomplete protein comes into play, along with protein per amount of weight, which is something else to consider. For instance, we don’t need to combine foods as we once thought to form a complete protein (such as beans and rice). That protein myth died years ago, thankfully when we found out our bodies are capable of using all sources of amino acids to form complete proteins.

Not Just Grams … What to Consider When Measuring Protein

It’s also important to consider that amounts in grams aren’t the only thing that matters when measuring protein in a food. You should also consider what percentage of total calories protein makes up in a food. For instance, beef and animal foods are high in calories and though they contain a good size amount of protein, per amount of calories, beef and animal proteins (even fish) are higher in cholesterol-forming saturated animal fats, where most of their calories come from. Plant-based foods on the other hand, have fewer calories, a variety of sources of amino acids that form complete proteins in the body and per weight, their percentage of protein in the amount of total calories is relatively high.

Some plant-based foods are higher in protein percentage than others, however, so making sure to include a variety of plant-based foods in your diet is important for achieving the amount of protein your body needs. Beef contains 7 grams of protein per ounce for about 75 calories, so let’s compare some better plant-based options that don’t come with the health risks beef and animal proteins do.

Here are five foods with more protein per gram than beef that also come with a higher percentage of protein per amount of calories:

spirulinaPer gram, Spirulina is 65% protein, the highest amount of protein percentage of all foods. In just 1 teaspoon, you’ll get 4 grams of protein, which is unheard of for all other foods. Spirulina is also a great source of iron, providing 80 % of your daily needs in just 1 teaspoon and at only 30 calories. You can add this blue green algae to your smoothies to mask the taste and know you’re getting in a nice dose of B vitamins, protein, iron and vital trace minerals. Since it’s also alkalizing, spirulina also reduces inflammation, unlike animal foods that contribute to it.

spinach

Yes, the humble Spinach contains 51 % protein (about 5 grams per cup at only 30 calories). It’s also a good source of iron and Vitamin C. This much-loved green is also a great source of folate, an important vitamin for women that contributes to strength, brain function and reproductive health. Adding a couple cups of spinach to your smoothie, salad, wrap, soup, or any other way, is an easy way to sneak in 10 grams of protein without the need for a supplement powder whatsoever.

hempseedsHemp is one of the best, easy-to-use foods that’s rich in all essential fatty acids and all 20 amino acids. Per ounce (about 2 tablespoons)  has 10 grams of protein, is high in fibre and most of its calories come from beneficial proteins and Omega fatty acids. Unlike animal-based proteins and sources of fat, hemp is very alkalizing to the body and also boosts the mood and energy thanks to high amounts of magnesium. It can also increase metabolism due to it containing 45 % of your daily iron requirements in just one ounce. You can also use hemp protein, another fantastic way to get this whole food into your diet. We enjoy it in smoothies, raw treats, but you can even stir it into oatmeal and bake with it in place of flour if you like. Although, it is better to consume hemp raw (not cooked), as heat destroys the fatty acids.

broccoli

Per calorie, broccoli has more protein than beef, which about 4.5 grams per 30 calories. Broccoli is also packed with amino acids, fibre, Vitamin B6 to improve your mood and is one of the best vegetables linked to fighting cancer.

almondsAlmonds and almond butter both provide 7 grams of protein in one ounce, along with heart-healthy fats and Vitamin E. They’re also a good source of calcium and provide high doses of beneficial magnesium.

Peanut butter is another high source of protein, with 8 grams per two tablespoons of peanut butter. While higher in calories than beef per ounce, these nut butters are rich in amino acids per ounce and also recommended as a good source of plant-based protein.

 

Plant-Based, High Protein Smoothie

Combine all these foods into a smoothie for a crazy, high-protein meal that your body will love and one that will shock you in how great it tastes! You’ll never know it contains good-for-you veggies!

greenproteinsmoothie

Servings : 1 Large or 2 Smaller

Ingredients:

1 Cup baby Spinach

4 Frozen Broccoli Florets (gives it a surprisingly great thick texture and the other ingredients hide the taste)

1/2 Cup Frozen Organic Mixed Berries or Blueberries

1 Tablespoon Cacao Powder (also a great source of protein and more iron than beef)

2-3 Tablespoons Hemptons Shelled Hemp Seeds

1 Tablespoon raw Almond Butter or Peanut Butter

1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk like Almond, Soy, Hemp or Rice Milk

Sweetener of choice – to taste (Stevia, 1/2 A Banana, A Date, A Fig, Raw Honey Or Maple Syrup)

 

Directions:

Add all the ingredients to your blender, blend together, decant and enjoy!

Advertisements

3 Reasons You Need To Change Your Protein Powder

Protein powders are as synonymous with fitness as tough workouts, competition and the need for recovery.

Even though the protein supplement market has been oversaturated and misunderstood, the reality is that: Human beings are protein machines.

All the way down to our DNA, you’ll find instructions for building our brain, digestive system, muscles, immune cells and so much more out of protein building blocks.

To build new structures, we must provide our bodies with the raw materials it needs to make it happen. You can’t build your muscle out of cheese fries and Doritos (believe me, I tried). And if your body is deficient in the protein building blocks it needs, you will breakdown faster and live a poorer quality life as a result.

The big issue in our world today is that we live in abnormally stressful conditions where our bodies have to work on high gear more often. More stress to fight, more infections to defend against and more need to build new brain and nervous system tissue than ever before. And don’t even get me started on how you need protein to build a sexified lean body… You already know that!

Though many people are adamant about getting in their protein supplement today for some of these reasons, many are unaware that the protein they are choosing may be doing more harm than good.

Here are 3 reasons you need to change your protein powder:

Digestion

The conventional go-to for protein powders for the past couple decades has been whey protein. For some people, this has worked out fine, but for many others this has been a stinky situation.

In the health & fitness field, whey protein is often referred to as “Gas & Blast” due to the unfortunate effects of causing more bloat, digestive distress and gassiness.

halleberry_catwoman

I remember hearing an interview from Halle Berry back in the day when she was getting in shape for the movie Cat Woman (bad movie, but great body). She said to the interviewer that she’d be glad when she could back off on all the exercise and whey protein shakes she had to drink because of all the gas she was kicking out. (Wait, whaaat? Halle Berry farts?)

There are actually many reasons for these digestive woes. Unfortunately, many whey protein producers claim that their products are safe for those who are lactose intolerant because there is little to no lactose found in it (especially if it’s an isolate).

The problem with this is that even a small amount of lactose (milk-sugar) can be enough to set off a chain reaction of health problems. For those who are lactose intolerant (which you probably are if you’re not a baby and if you are a baby and reading this, great job!) just that small amount of lactose found in whey will go undigested in your digestive tract and trigger excessive activity with bacteria in your gut.

As a result, you end up experiencing the bloating, distended stomach and gassiness that are definitely not the sexy part about getting into shape.

Some people will hop to vegan proteins like soy to avoid this, but end up jumping into another problem. Many soy proteins, for example, are hexane extracted. That’s hexane, as in gasoline, as in that’s explosive stuff, as in that’s just crazy!

So whether you are unknowingly choosing the conventional whey, or the typical soy alternative, you are not doing your digestion any favours. And the truth is, it’s not “You are what you eat”, it’s really, “You are what you digest.”

To wrap this digestion point up, internal distress, denatured amino acids and the potential immune response can lead to an increase in mucus production and hormone dysfunction. This can translate to an increase in allergies and asthma symptoms, skin breakouts (especially back acne aka bacne) and more frequent colds and infections. More than enough reasons to leave these lower quality protein sources behind.

The solution

The most digestible protein source that you’ll find for the human body is hemp protein. Hemp protein contains a unique blend of two soft, highly digestible proteins called edestin and albumin.

Globular proteins like edestin are regarded as the most bioavailable, usable sources of protein for the human body. The word edestin is actually from the Greek word “edestos” meaning edible. Hemp is actually the only known source of the powerhouse protein edestin.

Edestin has also been found to contain higher levels of essential amino acids than soy and you’ll also avoid the harsh extraction process used to turn the soy bean into a protein powder.

Toxicity

A Consumer Reports study found that several of the major whey protein powders on the market exceeded the safety limits for heavy metals recommended by the USP.

Heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury were found in surprisingly high amounts in protein powders and drinks you’d find on your local store shelves.

The most alarming were the amounts of arsenic and cadmium. Exposure to arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver and prostate. It’s a strong immune system depressant and shown to damage blood vessels and other cardiac tissues.

Cadmium is also a known carcinogen. It’s proven to damage DNA and also disrupt DNA repair systems that help prevent cancer in the first place. These heavy metals are bad business. But the question is, how did they get into the protein powder in the first place?

This goes back, again, to the misinterpreted saying, “You are what you eat”.

Not only is it deeper than ‘you are what you eat’, but when it comes to the animal proteins you consume, it’s really, “You are what you eat ate.”

The health of the animals that provide you with the protein you consume is of the utmost importance. Toxicity becomes more concentrated as you move up the food chain, accumulating in the tissues of the animal and transmitting over to the animal’s meat, organs and bodily fluids. In this case, it’s the whey made from milk.

If the animals themselves are eating an abnormal diet, then the milk they produce will be far less safe to consume. Did you know that only a small fraction of a whey proteins on the market are from cows that actually eat grass?

The vast majority of whey protein products are from cow’s who’ve been given a diet of soy and/or corn. Not sure if I’m the only one that noticed, but cows can’t shuck corn… And I’m pretty sure that they can’t cook beans either. It’s just those pesky hooves that they have… They’re just not that graceful in the kitchen.

Bottom line is, when you give cows food that they have not evolved eating, they get sick just like humans do. This is also the reason that most conventional whey products are from cows that have been treated rigorously with antibiotics. This destroys their immune system and leaves them susceptible to every disease under the sun. But hey, that won’t affect you when you drink their milk… Nah, I’m just kidding. Of course it will!

Add to the mix that you are consuming the whey from potentially hundreds of different cows in one jug of protein powder, you can imagine the not-so-pretty number it can do on your immune system.

You are what you eat ate. If the cows are consuming GMO corn and soy grown in soil that is saturated with unnatural fertilizers (which contain dense amounts of heavy metals) it’s no wonder that studies are finding the heavy metals in the whey. It’s just how the system works.

The Solution

To get out of that system and get a protein supplement that’s exceptionally more safe, it’s a good idea to shift over to a plant-based protein. There’s going to be less toxicity because it’s lower on the food chain, but you want to get one that still packs the protein punch that you would find in an animal source.

Hemptons utilizes a rich and complete protein derived from organic hemp seeds. You’re no longer going to have to be concerned about nefarious pesticides and heavy metal laced fertilizers making their way into your body. Hemptons’ Hemp Protein contains all of the essential amino acids and all three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), making it one of the most potent sources of plant protein in the world. You’ll get the protein that you need and none of the stuff you don’t.

Dense Nutrition

The protein you choose should never be deficient in the co-factors that actually make it work. Protein doesn’t function by itself in the human body.

Nothing functions independently in nature. Everything depends on something else to give it life and make it work.

Most protein powders on the market are so heavily processed that they give no regard to this fact. Vitamins and minerals found in the food, blah, who needs ’em! Antioxidants and neurotransmitters, please, who said any of that stuff is important?

The vitamins, minerals and immune factors that would be found in a cow’s milk (intended to give to its baby) are all but destroyed in the processing practices of most whey protein companies.

You are not left with anything close to a complete food… You are left with, well, protein and none of its friends (and protein is definitely not a shy little introvert … it likes friends)

Soy, on the other hand, has been found to absorb plenty of nutrients from its environment, but an abnormal amount of the wrong stuff. One study on protein-rich soy infant formula found that it contained up to 200 times more manganese than natural breast milk. You probably know that manganese is an essential nutrient for the human body, but consuming it in excess has been linked to reduced brain function and even Parkinson’s Disease.

Soy is a plant that has this unique affinity to absorb excessive manganese. This could be a good indicator that it’s not an appropriate human food. Add to the mix that it’s extremely high in estrogen compounds and trypsin inhibitors that actually block the uptake of proteins and the case is pretty clear that soy is not the standard that we want to subscribe to.

The Solution

Hemp protein provides a safe variety of minerals and trace minerals that make the protein more useable by the human body.

Hemp contains healthy amounts of magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium as some of the highlights. All with critical roles in brain function, blood building, the immune system and muscle function as well.

In nature, hemp contains nearly the exact ratio of omega 6’s to omega 3’s that are ideal for the human body. Research indicates that we need a 3:1 to 4:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 respectively.

In our world today we are bombarded with foods that contain extremely high levels of omega 6’s (the pro-inflammatory fatty acids) and not enough omega 3’s (the anti-inflammatory fatty acids). Hemp contains a ratio of approximately 3.38:1 of Omega 6 to Omega 3 and no other food is this identical. This is yet another reason why hemp looks to be an amazing food for human beings.

At 35 percent protein by weight, hemp is a naturally high protein food that provides the most useable source of protein for the human body. It’s a food that we all need to incorporate as we move forward in our health and becoming the best version of ourselves.

So to answer the question: What is the best protein powder? Clearly, hemp protein stands head and shoulders above all other conventional protein powders in digestibility, assimilation, safety and nutrient density.

Here’s to a better protein, better performance and better health for years to come!

Harvest the Fruits of Your Labour – The right Nutrition during Recovery from Training plays a vital role in reaping the Rewards

FOLLOWING A TRAINING SESSION, RECOVERY IS THE MAIN PRIORITY FOR AN ATHLETE. CORRECTLY PLACED TRAINING STRESSES TRIGGER THE BODY TO REACT, ADAPT AND IMPROVE. CHOOSING THE CORRECT AND APPROPRIATE NUTRIENTS FOLLOWING A TRAINING LOAD IS VERY IMPORTANT, AS NUTRIENTS INFLUENCE AMONG OTHERS THE METABOLIC AND HORMONAL ENVIRONMENT, WHICH IN TURN INFLUENCES TRAINING ADAPTATIONS AND PERFORMANCE INCREASES. THE RIGHT SPORTS NUTRITION STRATEGY NOT ONLY IMPROVES TRAINING SPECIFIC ADAPTATIONS IN THE BODY, BUT ALSO SUPPORTS YOU, AND ALLOWS YOU TO BE READY TO PERFORM AT YOUR OPTIMAL LEVEL AGAIN SOONER – WHICH ULTIMATELY LEADS TO AN INCREASE IN EXERCISE PERFORMANCE.

recovery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recovery phases should not be seen as a fixed ‘window of time’, which opens after training and then shuts precisely 29 min and 59 secs later, but should be viewed more as a continuum. However, immediately after training, i.e. in the early phase of recovery, several metabolic processes in the body, which enhance the storage of glycogen in the muscle and promote the building of new muscle protein, are maximally active. If the body is simultaneously provided with the right nutrients during this time, these recovery phases can be maximally utilized.

 

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are required to replenish depleted energy stores in the body, i.e. the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. Directly following a training session the total amount of carbohydrate required depends on numerous factors, such as: the training plan, training stress, volume of work and exercise goal, as well as the timing of meals planned later that day. It is fact, that an enhanced storage of carbohydrates in the energy stores of the body can be achieved immediately after a training session. The immediate, maximal replenishment of depleted glycogen stores is especially important for athletes who want to be able to perform at maximal intensity again only a short while after the last hard training session has ended. In this case the ‘reloading’ of stores should begin immediately after the training session, with approx. 0.8-1.2 g of carbohydrates per kg bodyweight. An hour later further carbohydrate-rich snacks or meals should be incorporated.

Keep in mind that the most important factor in the rate of replenishment of the body’s own glycogen stores is the total amount of carbohydrates consumed. If the training session wasn’t overly hard and of short duration, a fast supply of carbohydrates is generally not necessary. In situations like these it is certainly possible to wait until the next full meal to replenish the glycogen stores.

 

Protein

During exercise the body shifts from a well-balanced protein metabolism to catabolism and muscle tissue structures get damaged. Following a training session our metabolism is working flat out, and the previous training load has stimulated the body to build new muscle protein. Especially after an intense endurance exercise or weight training session it makes sense to supply the body with the optimal amount of high-quality protein (approx. 20-25g dependant on several factors; for young adults 0.3g/kg bodyweight is recommended), such as hemp protein, to promote muscle repair and building processes. However, the body doesn’t only react more sensitively to protein directly after a session, but actually for up to approx. 24 hours following a workout. The current scientific recommendation is therefore to plan the right amount of protein immediately after intense/hard sessions (key training sessions), as well as in regular intervals spread across the day, and also shortly before going to bed if required.

 

Fluids and electrolytes

Sophisticated and well planned fluid and electrolyte strategies after exercise are only necessary if there are very short recovery periods between workouts, and there is an acute and large loss of fluids and salts (i.e. sodium). Otherwise it is possible to address the fluid and electrolyte loss through normal drinking and eating habits.

 

Suggestions for recovery meals (add fluids depending on requirements) :

Low carb option – including approx. 25g of protein (e.g. following a low-intensity or moderately hard training session)

1 Protein shake (25g Hemptons Pure Hemp Protein)

250ml Coconut Water

1 Teaspoon Honey

1 portion of low fat, plain Greek yoghurt (200g) with low-sugar fruits (e.g. raspberries)

 

Carbohydrate-rich option – including approx. 50-60g carbohydrates and approx. 20-25g protein (e.g. following an intense and prolonged training session)

1 Protein shake (50g Hemptons Pure Hemp Protein)

2 Handfuls (approx. 70g) raisins

1 tub cottage cheese (200g)

2 tablespoons honey

1 sliced banana

With over 25 years experience in professional sports, the Sports Scientist and expert book author on Swimming Holger Lüning is aware that the correct nutritional measures in the early phases of recovery are all too often neglected. “Especially for athletes that do not have an appetite immediately after hard training sessions I recommend liquid nutrition, such as recovery shakes. As a result, the first intake of nutrients even immediately after hard sessions is ensured, as many find it easier to drink something rather than eat in such situations”.

 

Conclusion

Immediately after an intense training session the correct choice of nutrients influences recovery – an important part for training success. But also later meals and snacks should be carefully planned and selected. It’s important not to forget that sleep plays a major role during recovery and that nutrition also influences this period. A sub-optimally created evening meal can influence sleep quality and reduce night-time recovery. It’s essential to always remember: every athlete is an individual. A one-size-fits-all recovery nutrition strategy does not exist!

Should you eat Soy Protein Powder?

Soy has long been eaten in its fermented form of miso, tempeh, tamari or natto in Asia. In the US, it is believed that soy was first planted in 1765, and was not preliminarily scientifically studied in Agricultural College in New Jersey until 1879. Soy was mainly cultivated as a forage crop in its early existence in the US. During the Second World War though, its agronomic role significantly changed. With the disruption of the trade routes due to the war, the US started large-scale planting of soy for its oil.

To this day, soy is utilized as a main or supplementary ingredient in a whole host of processed food products, from textured vegetable proteins, to soy nuts, to cereals. While this is the case, there’s a great deal of research that products like soy protein powder as well as other processed soy made from uncooked, unfermented or unroasted beans pose risks to human health.

Continue reading to learn more about the negative effects of soy protein powder, and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends you avoid them as a source of protein.

soy-protein-powder

 

Soy Protein Powder Risks:

Soy protein powder comes from soy protein isolate or SPI. SPI is extracted by washing the dried defatted and flaked soybeans with either water or alcohol. Afterwards, the flakes are dehydrated so as to achieve powder form.  This manufacturing process fails to remove the phytic acid, a known anti-nutrient, from the soy. As it turns out, phytic acid can be neutralized only through long and slow cooking in high heat. This process is absent in the making of soy protein powder.  Phytic acid binds with zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron, and copper resulting in deficiency in these essential minerals.

Soy protein powder contains plant oestrogens as well which affect the normal production of hormone in the endocrine glands. In men, the effect is decreased production of testosterone resulting in reduced sex drive as well as the enlargement of breast tissue in men, a condition called gynecomastia. Individuals suffering from hormone-sensitive cancers like uterine, ovarian, and breast cancers are advised against taking soy as well since the soy’s oestrogen-like effect may potentially stimulate the growth of tumours.

SPI, and therefore soy protein powder, also contain toxic substances that prevent trypsin, a type of enzyme, from doing its function which is to aid in the digestion of protein. Because the trypsin inhibitors block the breakdown of protein, this then results in oftentimes serious gastric distress, and even worse, prevents the absorption of essential amino acids. Some of these trypsin inhibitors, much like phytic acid, can be neutralized through high-temperature processing. However, high-temperature cooking is essentially a double-edged sword. While it can indeed remove some of the trypsin inhibitors and the phytic acid, it can also denature some of the proteins in the SPI rendering them unsafe for human consumption.

Additionally, the preliminary process of washing the soy flakes is done in tanks made from aluminium. Aluminium has been found toxic to nerve tissues and may even be the culprit causing Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia-related illnesses. Also, processing soy into SPI results in the production of the toxin lysinoalanine. The presence of lysinoalanine was the reason the Food and Drug Administration didn’t label SPIs as “Generally Recognized as Safe”.

Hemp Protein & Oatmeal

hemp-protein-powderIf you’re looking for a high-quality protein that’s not derived from animal sources, hemp protein powder might be for you. Mix the powder into smoothies or yogurt, but don’t stop there. Hemp protein powder may also boost the protein content of oatmeal, whether you cook it in the morning or make an overnight, soaked version. The powder contains multiple other nutrients to help you start your day right.

Not Complete

Some claim that hemp has all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein on par with whey or soy. This is not the case, as a study in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” reported in 2010. Hemp protein lacks an adequate, digestible amount of the amino acid lysine. To ensure you get enough lysine, augment your meal of hemp protein and oats in the morning with a lunch that includes beans or lentils.

Adding Hemp to Breakfast

Hemp boosts your overall morning nutrition by providing you with essential fatty acids, iron, fiber, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Hemp-laced oatmeal also makes a quality post-workout meal to provide a combination of protein for muscle repair and carbohydrates for glycogen, or energy, restoration. One scoop of hemp protein adds about 10 grams of protein to the oats.

Mixing It In

Stir the protein powder in after you’ve cooked the oats. A tablespoon or two adds a nutty flavour and a greenish hue. Finish the oats with berries, milk and walnuts, or whatever other toppings you like. Alternatively, try the option of no-cook oatmeal by combining oats, almond milk, chia seeds, hemp protein, a little mashed banana and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy the soft, puddinglike oats the next morning.

Quality Hemp

When shopping for hemp protein to add to your oats, go for organic varieties. Hemp readily absorbs pesticides, which may contaminate non-organic varieties. Freshness is also essential when purchasing hemp protein. If you don’t have ready access to hemp protein powder, you could add shelled hemp seeds to your oatmeal to gain the nutritional benefits of this seed.

Although hemp is related to marijuana botanically – just like broccoli and cauliflower are related, but not the same plant – hemp lacks the THC content that makes marijuana a psychoactive drug. You can’t get high from adding hemp protein to your oatmeal.

So, what is Hemp? And why should I include it in my diet?

Many people may react cautiously to the notion of hemp as food, based on its connection to the harmful illegal drug, marijuana. Upon further exploration, however, one will discover that although hemp is family of marijuana, it is in fact a different plant – like broccoli and cauliflower are of the same family, but different plants. So, not only is the hemp seed completely THC free, it is also nutritionally superior to most other sources of protein and essential fatty acids.

 

So What Make The Hemp Seed A Super Food?

Hemp seeds contain complete protein. They are a highly digestible balance of all 20 known amino acids (both essential and non-essential) and in higher quantities than most other plant sources of protein. Hemp seeds are 33-35% protein. A mere 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds contain approximately 11g of protein!

Hemp seeds contain the globular plant proteins Edestin (65-67%) and Albumin (33-35%). Globular proteins are responsible for enzymatic functions in the blood plasma and for antibody formation, making them critical for strong immune function. Edestin is considered the most easily digestible protein and is very similar to protein in the human body. Albumin is another highly digestible and quality source of plant protein. Hemp contains the highest known levels of Edestin in the plant kingdom, making it a superior source of protein. Hemp seed is also free of trypsin inhibitors and oligosaccharides, two factors that affect the absorption and digestibility of other plant sources of protein i.e. soy.

Hemp seeds have a near perfect ratio of Omega-3 (Alpha-Linolenic) to Omega-6 (Linoleic) essential fatty acids (EFAs). The ideal ratio is considered to be 4:1 (Omega-6: Omega-3) ; hemp  seeds have a ratio of 3.38:1.

These fatty acids are required by our body via our food; we cannot synthesize them ourselves, thus the term, “essential.” Most westerners consume far more Omega-6 and not nearly enough Omega-3; this imbalanced ratio seems to go hand in hand with the common degenerative diseases of today. EFAs have a critical role in growth and development, inflammation response, mood regulation, immune strength, cardiovascular and neurological health, cellular respiration and more. Hemp also contains the fatty acids Gamma-Linolenic Acid (Omega-9), Stearidonic Acid and Oleic Acid.

The fat in hemp seed oil is 75-80% polyunsaturated fat (also known as EFAs) and less than 10% saturated fat. Hemp seeds contain approximately 44% fat. This overall fat percentage is lower than most nuts and carries with it the extremely desirable abundance of EFAs.

Hemp seeds are a good source of iron and also contains significant levels of the antioxidant vitamin E.

Hemp seeds and Hemp Seed Oil contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is nearly identical in molecular structure to our blood and is thus extremely beneficial to building the blood, nourishing and detoxifying the body. While the quantity is not nearly as high as the chlorophyll content of other blatantly green foods, like wheatgrass or leafy greens, the more we can increase our intake of chlorophyll the better. Chlorophyll’s presence in the hemp seed is another testament to its amazingly balanced nature.

You are probably now wondering; “Does it taste good?” My conventionally trained culinary taste buds can honestly give you a resounding, “YES!”

Hemp seed is unique in its culinary compatibility and flavour. It has a deliciously nutty and rich, yet delicate nature. Unlike what most of us know as “nuts,” hemp is a tiny, cream-colored flat disk comparable to the size of a sesame seed. Its texture is soft and creamy, not hard and crunchy. In my opinion, the taste is akin to that of a peanut or sunflower seed, yet somewhat richer and more complex. I can taste the hint of chlorophyll that dots some of the seeds; it reminds me ever so slightly of the taste I perceive when chewing a mouthful of chlorella tablets. Hemp, however, melts in your mouth. This property lends itself extremely well to blending the seeds to create smooth and creamy sauces, shakes and soups.

Besides the hemp seed, other forms of hemp food are now more widely available. Powders, often marketed as protein powder, are quite popular, as are hemp seed oil, nut butter and milk forms. Hemp is even ground into flour and used in baked goods. The red flag gets thrown here, however and we need to apply our knowledge of the fragility of essential fatty acids and proteins before we dive head first into the hemp food market.

Essential fatty acids are very susceptible to the effects of light, heat and oxygen (as most plant foods are). This means that any hemp products (or any EFA rich food) should be stored in the refrigerator, in sealed. Light-impermeable containers and not heated in any way. Some products recommend refrigeration only after opening. And that is most likely fine; however shelf life is generally increased when these products are kept cooler. EFAs and proteins change drastically when they are heated. And can transform the fats and proteins from being extremely healthful. To extremely harmful. Any temperature over the enzyme threshold temperature of 115F will initiate these harmful changes. Here is the lowdown on the most popular forms of hemp available and how to use them:

 

Hemp Seed

This is the best form currently available to us and is the hemp seed in its most whole state. Hemp seed are widely available in health food stores, raw food product stores and on the Internet. Sprinkle them on your salads, eat a handful alone, or blend them into a creamy sauce, smoothie, or soup. Keep in mind that blending causes rapid nutrient destruction and oxidation, so you won’t get as much from them by blending them as you would eating them whole.

You can also make your own hemp milk by blending the seeds with three times as much water as nuts and then straining it (optional). Most people prefer to slightly sweeten their hemp milk by adding a few drops of stevia or honey. Without any sweetener, this milk makes a delicious base for a creamy dressing or soup. Because I’m a big believer in consuming the most whole form of a food in order to benefit from the synergistic nutritional effect it has to offer and to minimize nutritional losses and modifications caused by processing, this form is my favourite and comes most highly recommended.

 

Hemp Seed Butter

This is the finely ground form of the hemp seed, similar in consistency to almond or peanut butter. lt has a green tinge to it due to its chlorophyll content. While nut butters are delicious, with a consistency that makes them quite versatile and enjoyable, there is always a question that weighs on my mind: “How hot did the commercial grinder get?” Anyone who has attempted to make nut or seed butter in their own home, whether using a homogenizing juicer, food processor, or other equipment, knows what I mean when I say that homemade nut and seed butters are never as oily and smooth as commercially made ones, unless you process the butter for lengthy periods of time until it gets quite hot.

While I have no doubt that makers of “raw” nut and seed butters do not intentionally heat their product, the heavy and quick work of commercial grinders naturally generates a considerable amount of heat. That heat releases a lot of the oils causing a commercially ground nut or seed butter to seem much more creamy and oily than one made at home. What’s wrong with this deliciously creamy spread? Heat and oxidation can easily equal the damage of fats and proteins. There is no practical definitive way that we, as consumers, can tell how much damage was done in this process.

My suggestion has always been that if you aren’t going to make it yourself, look for the brand with the least amount of oily separation in the jar. This is not to say that all raw nut and seed butter are bad, just use caution and use whole hemp seed as more of a staple, saving the nut butters for more recreational use. They too can be used in smoothies or dressings/sauces and as a spread. Check ingredient labels; salt or other ingredients may be added.

 

Hemp Seed Oil

This is the oil which is obtained by pressing the hemp seed and it can be used in dressings / sauces, drizzled on your meal, in a smoothie, or ingested as a supplement. Again, the importance of cold-processing is extremely critical. This oil is should always be refrigerated. Like flax oil, it is highly perishable and should be purchased in small bottles so that it will not remain opened and unused in storage for a lengthy period of time. Never use hemp seed oil for cooking, as the healthy fats will be transformed into harmful fats. While this oil is certainly high quality, keep in mind that oils bring pure fat to the table and whether good or bad, too much causes distress in the body. Again, my first choice is always the whole hemp seed, because you get the whole balanced food and not just one aspect of it and in a less processed state. Use all oil sparingly and it can be a healthy addition to your daily intake.

 

Hemp Protein Powder

In a purely hemp form, this powder can be useful for boosting a blended mixture. Look for cold-milled brands, such as that from Hemptons, to ensure that processing has had minimal detrimental effect on the nutritional quality of the powder. My opinion is that the shelled hemp seed nuts blend in to a shake just as easily and are tastier, so unless you are looking for other ingredients that might be contained along with the hemp protein powder, it is better to just use the nuts.

 

Hemp Flour

Most of these products do not have a place in a raw food diet. Hemp flour is usually incorporated into baked goods using flour and other processed ingredients. While it is healthier than wheat flour, as it does not contain gluten, cannot be used as a substitute – as the baked goods won’t rise. It is good if you want to increase the protein percentage.

Soy Protein is an Anti-Nutrient

By : Dr. Jockers – 6 April 2015

Soy protein is an anti-nutrient that should be avoided for several reasons.  Soy contains phytic acids that bind and pull major minerals such as calcium, magnesium, & zinc from the body (4, 5, 6).  High processed soy consumption is linked with deficiencies in these major minerals.

Soy also contains enzyme inhibitors that turn off natural enzyme’s needed to perform critical cell functions.  Goitrogenic substances that block thyroid hormone are highly prevalent in soy foods as well.

Animal protein that comes from animals raised in conventional factory farms is extraordinarily toxic.  These animals are pumped full of dangerous hormones and antibiotics while eating genetically modified, pesticide laden grains.  This combination causes massive amounts of toxic bio-accumulation within the animal tissue and animal by-products.

 

The Best Vegetarian Proteins

hemp-protein-powderThe best vegetarian proteins are from brown rice, peas, & hemp.  Pea protein is considered the most hypo-allergenic protein which is especially important for individuals with chronic food allergies and leaky gut syndrome.   When mixed with a high quality pea or hemp protein they form a complete protein source with all essential and branched-chain amino acids.

Hemp protein is one of the very few plant based complete protein sources.  Hemp is a great source of sulphur containing amino acids methionine and cysteine which are necessary for cellular detoxification and the production of vital enzymes.  Additionally, it is rich in branched chain amino acids that are needed for muscle growth and repair.

Your protein powder should also contain medium chain triglycerides from sources such as coconut oil to improve bioavailability and aid in digestive comfort. This should never contain artificial flavourings and preservatives of any kind.  This source should be sweetened with natural sources such as stevia and/or xylitol.   Certain individuals may feel inflamed using a grass-fed, non-denatured whey protein.  They should switch to a high quality vegan protein such as hemp, pea, or brown rice and monitor results.