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!

Hemp Foods

Hemp SeedHemp foods are made from hemp seeds and are incredibly nutritious.

They offer a wide variety of important health attributes. They boosts the immune system, provides fiber to care for the digestive tract, are a great source of protein, and contain healthy omega-3 fats. Regular intake of hemp foods can help to improve overall health and may even stave off some diseases.

The majority of all hemp foods are made from Canadian grown and processed hemp seeds.

Many people think of Hemp is Marijuana – not realising that – as Broccoli and Cauliflower are from the same family, but not the same plant – so Hemp and Marijuana are from the same family, but is not the same plant.

Hemp does not have the same chemical make-up as Marijuana (it does contains some of the same cannabinoids – but, it’s THC content is normally lower than 0.03% as opposed to Marijuana that can be as high as 29%).

Types of Hemp Foods

Hemp products are available in different forms and can be easily added to everyone’s daily diet. There are many forms of hemp foods that can be used alone or used in several recipes. There are different ways that hemp foods can be used alone or in recipes. Some of the most popular forms of hemp foods include:

  • Whole Hemp Seeds
  • Shelled Hemp Seed (hemp hearts / hulled hemp seeds)
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Hemp Protein
  • Hemp Milk
  • Hemp Butter

Whole hemp seeds are really versatile. They can be added to almost any recipe to increase fiber, protein and/or healthy oil intake. Shelled hemp seeds, also called hemp hearts or hulled hemp seeds have a taste similar to pine nuts and can be eaten in a similar way.

Hemp Seed Oil is best to use as a finishing oil such as salad dressing or drizzled over your veggies just before eating. Hemp protein is among the most nutritious and can help the body cleanse the intestinal tract. It can be used just like whey or soy protein without the nasty side effects (some people experience the side effects of lactose intolerance with Whey proteins – and soy contains chemicals that actually inhibit the human body from absorbing the protein it contains – so it has to be processed before the proteins are available – this is not the case with Hemp). Hemp Milk is similar to almond or soy milk and can be substituted for dairy milk in recipes. Hemp Butter is similar to Almond and/or Peanut butter – but as Hemp is not a nut, is safe (and a yummy alternative) for people who have nut allergies.

Hemp Foods

 HulledSeedShelled Hemp Seed can be used alone or in almost any recipe. In the form of shelled seeds (“hemp hearts”) it can be sprinkled onto cereal or added to a fruit smoothie to boost protein intake for breakfast. For lunch, hemp hearts are a tasty addition to a salad or can be tossed onto vegetables for added protein and healthy fats. For dinner place a handful of hemp seeds on top of pasta or stir fry. As a snack or dessert, mix in some hemp seeds with yogurt.

hemp-seed-oilGHemp Seed Oil can be used in baking and light cooking. However, hemp seed oil has a low flash point, which means it will start to smoke at fairly low temperatures. You should never cook with hemp seed oil as heat destroys the goodness in the oil. Therefore, it’s best to use hemp seed oil as a “finishing oil” which means that it should be consumed raw. Use as a salad dressing, either as vinegar and oil, or as a prepared dressing such as ranch. You can use hemp seed oil as a substitute for other fats, such as butter on a baked potato or rice. Some prefer to simply use hemp seed oil as a supplement – consume 1-2 Tablespoons per day as needed.

Hemp Seed Oil is high in Essential Fatty Acids – and the Omega 6 and Omega 3 is in the optimal balanced ratio of 3:1 – making it the best vegetable based Omega supplement for long term use.

hemp-protein-powderHemp Protein is generally available in four different varieties with varying levels of protein: 34%, 50%, 60% and 70%. Hemp protein is made from milling the seed cake into flour that is left over from pressing whole hemp seed into oil. Further processing of sifting out the fiber is performed to increase protein and decrease fiber content.

Hemp Protein contains all 20 Amino Acids. Including the 9 Essential Amino Acids.

The 70% hemp protein is a concentrate which is water soluble. This means it will dissolve into water or other liquids. No matter which variety you choose, hemp protein is usually used as a source of protein in fruit smoothies.

There are hundreds of ways to use hemp in almost all of your recipes — you can be creative and find new and innovative ways to include them in your diet. Add them to your family’s diet every day to enjoy the many health benefits of hemp.

Consuming Hemp Protein Immediately before and after Workout Helps Build Muscle

According to 2 new studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming 25 grams of protein immediately before and after a workout greatly improves the body’s ability to build muscle.

The studies noted that muscle-building is mainly due to the Amino acid Leucine, which is especially high in Hemp Seed Protein.

Hemp Seed Protein

Hemp seeds have the most complete edible and usable protein in the vegetable kingdom. Although soybeans are said to contain more, much of it is unusable by the human body. Proteins serve such functions as acting as enzymes, antibodies, and the structural components of tissues, hormones, and blood protein. The main function of dietary protein is to supply the building blocks called amino acids so that they can be used to reconstruct other proteins needed for the growth and maintenance of body tissue.

Proteins are often classified as structural (fibrous) or biologically active (globular). Structural proteins include collagen, keratin, and fibrinogen, which are the main constitutents of bones, skin, hair, ligaments, feathers, and hooves! Biologically active proteins are mainly globulins and include such things as hormones, hemoglobin, antibodies (immunoglobulins), and enzymes. Although the body can make globular proteins out of any protein that enters the body, it is much more efficient for the body to make globulins out of globular starting material.

What makes globular proteins so special is that they are precursors to some of the most vital chemicals in the body:

  • hormones (which regulate all the body processes);
  • haemoglobin (which transports oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitric oxide);
  • enzymes (which catalyze and control biochemical reactions);
  • antibodies (immuno-globulins which fend off invading bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, as well as toxins or antigens as they enter the body).

The total protein content of hemp seed is about 65% of the globular protein edestin, which closely resembles the globulin found in human blood plasma. It is easily digested, absorbed, and utilized by humans and vital to maintaining a healthy immune system. Edestin has the unique ability to stimulate the manufacture of antibodies against invasive agents and is nearly phosphorus-free, which is important for kidney ailments. The other important protein in hemp seed is albumin, which is also a highly digestible protein because of its globular shape. Albumin is a major free radical scavenger and is the industry standard for protein quality evaluation.

Hemp protein contains all 21 known amino acids, including the 8 essential ones adult bodies cannot produce. Proteins are considered complete when they contain all the essential amino acids in sufficient quantities and ratios to meet the body’s needs. The following are the 21 most common amino acids, with the 8 essential ones in bold:

  • alanine
  • arginine
  • aspargine
  • aspartic acid
  • cysteine
  • glutamic acid
  • glutamine
  • glycine
  • histidine
  • isoleucine
  • leucine
  • lysine
  • methionine
  • phenylalanine
  • proline
  • serine
  • taurine
  • threonine
  • tryptophan
  • tyrosine
  • valine
  • taurine (considered essential for premature babies)
  • histidine (considered essential for children, but not for adults)

Proteins are potential allergens, which also include soy, dairy or peanut proteins. However, no hemp seed allergies have ever been reported. Several oilseeds also contain anti-nutritional factors; for example, the trypsin inhibitors in soybeans; but none of these factors are known to occur in hemp seeds. Hemp seeds also contain fewer oligosaccharides, present in peas and beans and which cause intestinal gas. A significant number of people are becoming allergic to soy products, possibly because most are from genetically engineered crops or grown with the use of chemicals. On the other hand, because hemp seed does not require chemicals or genetic alteration, it rarely, if ever, causes sensitivity.

Hemp seed protein can supply any diet with a vegetarian source of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre, chlorophyll, and a complete, balanced gluten-free source of the essential amino acids.

Edestin

History reveals the importance of hemp seed protein.

  • In 1881, a German scientist discovered that hemp seed contained edestin, its main protein.
  • In the early 20th century, edestin was one of the most studied proteins in both science and industry.
  • In 1909, the nature of enzymes became known when a British scientist discovered the protein enzyme, protease in hemp seed. He called it vegetable trypsin. Today, enzymes are indispensible to the food ingredient industry and are used to make many foods.
  • In 1915, the Journal of Biological Chemistry discussed edestin at length, presenting ideas that would later form the basis for protein complementarily and combining, a popular concept among vegetarians. A later issue published a vegetable protein study. In it, edestin was considered suitable as a sole protein source for animals: “Protein feeding in the future will be based rather on the amino acid makeup than on the results of past feeding experiments.” The study also stated that “the relatively large amounts of lysine present in the…hempseed…is especially noteworthy.”
  • In 1932, a patent was issued for a gluing process using hemp seed protein. Today, milk protein is used in adhesives.
  • In 1937, the same scientists who first spun vegetable protein for food issued a patent using hemp seed protein to make spun filaments, films, and threads that are similar to silk and wool.


Protein Content Compared

Soybeans 35.0%
Hemp Protein 34.0%
Hemp seed shelled 31.0%
Hamburger beef 27.1%
Blue fish 26.0%
Cheddar cheese 23.5%
Chicken 23.5%
Hempseed — whole 23.0%
Almonds 18.3%
Wheat flour 13.3%
Egg 12.0%
Tofu 08.0%
Rice 07.5%
Skimmed milk 03.7%

Essential Amino Acids Compared

Essential
Amino Acid
Hemp
Seed
Egg
Whites
Tofu Human
Milk
Cow’s
Milk
Leucine

18.80

9.50

5.9

2.78

3.44

Lysine

9.10

6.48

5.7

3.12

2.72

Threonine

10.30

4.77

3.7

0.62

1.61

Phen + Tyro

21.90

6.89

4.8

1.21

1.70

Valine

14.20

8.42

4.3

1.39

2.40

Meth + Cyst

9.60

4.20

1.0

0.65

0.86

Isoleucine

11.40

6.98

4.1

0.75

2.23

Tryptophan

3.90

1.64

1.2

0.23

0.49

 

Alanine – a non-essential amino acid whose main function is the metabolism of tryptophan and pyridoxine

Arginine – an essential amino acid for children and possibly for adults

Asparagine – a non-essential amino acid

Aspartic Acid – a non-essential amino acid which aids in the formation of RNA and DNA

Carnitine – not a true amino acid but sometimes referred to as Vitamin BT

Citrulline – a non-essential amino acid involved in the urea cycle

Cysteine – a non-essential, sulphur-containing amino acid

Cystine – a non-essential amino acid created when two cysteine molecules bond together

Gaba – a non-essential amino acid formed from glutamic acid with the help of Vitamin B6

Glutamic Acid – a non-essential amino acid that can be synthesized from a number of amino acids

Glutamine – a semi-essential amino acid

Glutathione – not considered a true amino acid but a tripeptide of glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine

Glycine – a non-essential glucogenic amino acid that readily converts to serine

Histidine – considered an essential amino acid for children, but usually not for adults

Isoleucine – an essential or semi-essential amino acid because it sometimes cannot be made in the body

Leucine – an essential branched chain amino acid classified as semi-essential by some

Lysine – an essential amino acid because it cannot be synthesized in the body and its breakdown is irreversible

Methionine – an essential amino acid that cannot be synthesized in the body

Ornithine – a non-essential amino acid found free in the body tissues, but not used as a protein building block

Phenylalanine – an essential amino acid that is converted to tyrosine in the body

Proline – an aromatic non-essential amino acid that requires Vitamin C for its synthesis

Serine – a non-essential amino acid derived from glycine, contributing to the formation of cystine from homocysteine

Taurine – a “conditionally essential” amino acid for adults and essential for normal infant development

Threonine – an essential amino acid, serving as a carrier for phosphate in phosphoproteins

Tryptophan – an essential amino acid, the only one with an indole nucleus responsible for the peculiar odor of feces

Tyrosine – an aromatic non-essential amino acid produced from phenylalanine

Valine – a branched chain essential or semi-essential amino acid

Hemp Protein Powders

When purchasing a hemp protein powder, look for a brand that supplies at least 50 to 60% protein by weight and supplying at least 15 grams of protein per 30 gram serving. While hemp protein may contain more total fat than many other protein powders, it should be stressed that almost all of this fat comes from the essential polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega-6 and Omega-3. Hemp is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having what is considered to be an optimal 3:1 balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 =essential fatty acids.

Unlike hemp protein powder, many soy isolate powders that are not labeled organic are often processed with hexane, a petroleum solvent that has adverse impacts on the environment as well as on human health. The resulting hexane-processed soy is utilized in many soy protein powders, cereals, and bars. Hemp protein powder is produced using only cold-pressed techniques and does not involve the use of hexane in the production process. It is the same technique that ensures valuable vitamins and minerals are not destroyed during processing.

Perhaps the most important difference between soy and hemp seed protein powders is that the non-organic soybeans used in many soy products are often derived from genetically modified soybeans. Hemp is never genetically modified. Hemp foods also have low environmental impacts because growing hemp seeds does not require the addition of herbicides or pesticides.

A pound of hemp seed would provide all the protein, essential fatty acids, and dietary fiber necessary for human survival for two weeks. For this reason it is used in many parts of the world for treating malnourishment.

How far does a pound of meat go?

Hemp Seed Nutrition – Protein

hemp-protein-powderThe seed of Cannabis Sativa has been an important source of nutrition for thousands of years in Old World cultures. Non-drug varieties of the Cannabis family i.e. Sativa, commonly referred to as Hemp, have not been studied extensively for their nutritional potential in recent years, nor has Hemp Seed been utilized to any great extent by the industrial processes and food markets that have developed during the 20th century. Technically a nut, Hemp Seed nutritional make-up is basically 34.6% protein, 46.5% fat, and 11.6% carbohydrate. For diabetics, the glycemic index of shelled Hemp Seed is considered low because of its low carbohydrate content. They are also full of nutrients that moderate blood sugar. The carbohydrate content of hemp protein powder ranges between 5 and 7 g. Of that, 1 g or less comes from natural sugars. The remaining carbohydrates consist primarily of dietary fiber, making hemp protein powder helpful for controlling blood sugar and maintaining digestive health.

Hemp protein is free of the tryspin inhibitors that block protein absorption and it is also free of the oligosaccharides found in soy, which cause stomach upset and gas. It is a lactose-free alternative to whey and is also free of gluten. There is no genetically modified hemp so all products are GMO free.

Although both hulled and powdered protein sources are approximately equal in protein content, they differ in carbohydrate and essential fat content. The hulled/shelled Hemp Seeds are a balance of protein and Essential Fats and relatively low in carbohydrates. The powdered Hemp alternatively contains roughly an equal portion of easily digested protein and dietary fibre. The interesting feature of this protein form is that the dietary fibre completely eclipses the carbohydrate content. This means none of this carbohydrate is absorbed in the system, as dietary fibre is considered roughage, which is essential to clearing the intestinal tract. In particular, fibre helps with diets designed for weight loss because it takes up room in the digestive tract without adding sugars. Fiber, in fact, is a powerful broom: it cleans the house fast and controls the sugar’s behavior, preventing it from falling into our blood current all at once. This means that it has a low glycemic index.

Hemp Seed Oil contains over 80% Poly-unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) and is an exceptionally rich source of the two Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) Linoleic Acid (18:2 Omega-6) and Alpha-Linolenic Acid (18:3 Omega-3). The Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio in Hemp Seed oil is normally between 2:1 and 4:1, which is considered to be optimal for human health. In addition, the biological metabolites of the two EFAs, Gamma-Linolenic Acid (18:3 Omega-6; ‘GLA’) and Stearidonic Acid (18:4 Omega-3; ‘SDA’), are also present in Hemp Seed Oil.

The two main Proteins in Hemp Seed are Edestin and Albumin. Both of these high-quality proteins are easily digested and contain nutritionally significant amounts of all Essential Amino Acids. In addition, Hemp Seed has exceptionally high levels of the Amino Acid, Arginine. Hemp Seed has been used to treat various disorders for thousands of years in traditional oriental medicine. Recent clinical trials have identified Hemp Seed Oil as a functional food and studies demonstrate the long-standing utility of Hemp Seed as an important food resource.

Both the ripened seed of Hemp and the Seed Meal are excellent sources of dietary Oil, Fiber And Protein.

Hemp Seed as food

For various reasons, Hemp has been reconsidered as a valuable industrial crop for both food and fiber in Canada, the USA and European countries during the last decade. As a result, Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed food products have become available to the general public in these countries. While the human food potential for Hemp Seed has not yet entered mass markets in the west, its nutritional properties have long been recognized and valued as food for both humans and domesticated animals throughout Asia, India, Russia and Eastern Europe. In China, roasted Hemp Seed is still sold as snacks by street venders. In Russia, ‘black’ oil has been pressed from Hemp Seed and used as a substitute for more expensive (and less healthy) sources of dietary fat, such as butter and hydrogenated margarines.

The natural dark color of Hemp Seed Oil is from chlorophyll within the mature seed, which can hasten auto-oxidation of oil that is exposed to light.

Typical nutritional values (mg/100 g) for vitamins and minerals in Hemp Seed :

Hemp Seed
Vitamin E 90
Thiamine (B1) 0.4
Riboflavin (B2) 0.1
Phosphorous (P) 1160
Potassium (K) 859
Magnesium (Mg) 483
Calcium (Ca) 145
Iron (Fe) 14
Sodium (Na) 12
Manganese (Mn) 7
Zinc (Zn) 7
Copper (Cu) 2

Protein and other nutrients in Hemp Seed

As mentioned, Albumin, a globular protein and Edestin, a Legumin and easily digestible storage protein, the two main proteins in Hemp Seed and both are rich in the Amino Acids that are essential to human health. A direct comparison of Protein Amino Acid profiles from egg White, Hemp Seed and Soy Bean shows that Hemp Seed protein is comparable to these other high quality proteins. Hemp Seed protein has good amounts of the sulfur-containing Amino Acids Methionine and Cystine (Odani & Odani, 1998), in addition to very high levels of Arginine and Glutamic Acid. As an industrial source of vegetable nutrition, both Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed meals are rich sources of protein and polyunsaturated oils, in addition to considerable amounts of vitamins and useful minerals (Table 4). The individual tocopherols in Hemp Seed, presented as vitamin E in are Alpha-Tocopherol (5 mg/100 g) and Gamma-Tocopherol (85 mg/100 g), for a total of 90 mg/100 g of vitamin E which is made up of alpha- beta-, delta-, and gamma-Tocopherols sand Alpha-Tocotrienol.

Not only do hemp seeds contain Essential fatty acids (EFAs) in the proper ratio required by humans, but also all the essential Amino Acids and dietary fiber required for good health. The fiber content of Hemp Seed Flour is 40%, which is the highest of all commercial flour grains.

No other single plant source provides balanced protein nutrition with all the Essential Amino Acids in a favorable ratio for digestibility. The absence of trypsin inhibitory activity is a major advantage over the type of protein found in soybeans. (Trypsin inhibitors are chemicals that reduce the availability of trypsin, an enzyme essential to nutrition and protein assimilation in many animals, including humans. Soybeans contain several inhibitors).

It is also high in such minerals as the following:

  • Potassium supports the nervous system and regular heart rhythm and, with the help of sodium, aids in the body’s balance of water.
  • Calcium is also essential for a regular heartbeat, strong teeth and bones, and nerve impulses.
  • Magnesium is needed to transmit the nerve and muscle messages.
  • Sulfur helps the body resist bacterial invasion and protects it against toxic substances.
  • Iron, in moderate amounts, facilitate the production of red blood cells and energy.
  • Zinc is important for a healthy reproductive system and the male prostate gland. It improves wound healing and strengthens the immune system.

The following are also found in Hemp Seeds:

  • Lecithin is a type of liquid found in the protective sheaths surrounding the brain and nervous system. Lecithin helps in the breakdown of fats and enhances liver activity and enzyme production.
  • Choline is produced from lecithin. It is needed for nerve impulses from the brain throughout the nervous system and for liver and gall bladder function. Its derivative acetylcholine, lacking in Alzheimer patients, is crucial for short-term memory.
  • Inositol promotes hair growth, reduces cholesterol levels, prevents artery hardening, and is calming to the nervous system.
  • Phytosterols, sometimes described as ‘plant hormones’ or phytoestrogens, affect cholesterol absorption, hormone regulation and cell metabolism.

Scientists are studying the use of hemp seed extracts to boost the immuno-depressed who have such illnesses as AIDS and cancer.Edestin, so compatible with the human digestive system that, in 1955, a Czechoslovakian Tuberculosis Nutrition Study found Hemp Seed to be the only food that successfully treated tuberculosis – a disease in which nutritive processes become impaired and the body wastes away.

Graphical representation of Protein Amino Acid profiles for Soy Bean, Hemp Seed and Egg White. Individual Amino Acids are represented by their IUPAC abbreviations :

Typical protein content (%) of each food is given directly below the name :

Amino Acid Potato  Wheat  Rice  Soy bean  Hemp Seed  Rape Seed  Egg White  Whey Powder
Alanine 0.9 0.5 0.56 1.39 1.28 1.05 0.83 0.61
Arginine 0.1 0.61 0.62 2.14 3.1 1.49 0.68 0.39
Aspartic Acid 0.34 0.69 0.86 3.62 2.78 1.82 1.23 1.49
Cystine 0.02 0.28 0.1 0.54 0.41 0.39 0.29 0.17
Glutamic Acid 0.37 4 1.68 5.89 4.57 4.41 1.67 2.4
Glycine 0.1 0.71 0.47 1.29 1.14 1.28 0.5 0.29
Histidine* 0.03 0.27 0.19 0.76 0.71 0.72 0.28 0.29
Isoleucine* 0.08 0.53 0.35 1.62 0.98 1 0.74 0.85
Leucine* 0.11 0.9 0.71 2.58 1.72 1.8 1.08 1.4
Lysine* 0.1 0.37 0.31 1.73 1.03 1.49 0.74 1.15
Methionine* 0.02 0.22 0.17 0.53 0.58 0.46 0.47 0.23
Phenylalanine* 0.08 0.63 0.43 1.78 1.17 1.05 0.76 0.49
Proline 0.09 1.53 0.4 1.65 1.15 1.59 0.5 0.43
Serine 0.08 0.7 0.48 1.54 1.27 1.1 0.92 0.64
Threonine* 0.07 0.42 0.34 1.35 0.88 1.13 0.58 1.02
Tryptophan* 0.02 0.51 0.09 0.41 0.2 0.31 0.2 0.25
Tyrosine 0.06 0.4 0.33 1.14 0.86 0.69 0.46 0.47
Valine* 0.1 0.61 0.51 1.6 1.28 1.26 0.98 0.91

What are Amino Acids?

There are about eighty Amino Acids found in nature, but only twenty to twenty-nine are required for human growth. This figure depends upon the source consulted but most agree the figure is twenty or twenty-one. Once again, depending on the source, eight to ten Amino Acids are considered essential for life. The reason for the classifications of Amino Acids into “essential” and “non-essential” was to distinguish between those the body could manufacture and the ones that had to come from diet.

Essential Amino Acids are those that must come from the diet. These include: Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Valine.

Non-essential Amino Acids are those that the body can manufacture from an available source of nitrogen and a carbon skeleton. These include: Alanine, Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Carnitine, Citrulline, Cysteine, Cystine, GABA, Glutamic Acid, Glutamine, Gluthathione, Glycine, Hydroxyproline, Ornithine, Proline, Serine, Taurine and Tyrosine.

Semi-essential Amino Acids are ones that can sometimes be made internally if conditions are right. Arginine and Histidine can be converted from other Amino Acids if needed. Methionine can be converted to Cystine, but Cystine cannot be converted to Methionine. Phenylalanine can be converted to tyrosine, but not the other way around. Therefore, when Cystine and Tyrosine are present in the diet, the requirements for Methionine and Phenylalaine are reduced. Thus, Cystine and Tyrosine are sometimes classified as “semi-essential.” The liver is able to produce 80% of the Amino Acids it needs for protein construction, while the remaining 20% must be consumed.

Proteins are classified according to:

  1. composition and chemical properties, i.e., simple, conjugated, compound, or derived
  2. nutritional quality, i.e., complete, partially complete, or incomplete
  3. structure, i.e. fibrous or globular
  4. solubility in water, acid or alcohol.

Based on their content of Amino Acids, foods are often classified as complete, partially complete, or incomplete protein sources. In order for a protein to be complete, it must contain all of the essential Amino Acids. This is the reason that many nutritionists rank non-meat foods as being incomplete. The foods do contain all Amino Acids, but some may be in lower proportions than are required and, therefore, should be combined with another food containing higher amounts of these Amino Acids.

Amino Acid construction consists of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen with some containing sulfur.

In order for the protein-building process to occur in the body, there must be enough quality protein in the diet; and that protein must be easily digestible in order for the breakdown (catabolism) and rebuilding (anabolism) of vital nutrients to occur. The body continually breaks down protein molecules and rebuilds the resulting Amino Acids into other usable chains required by particular areas of the body. Amino Acids compete with each other for entry to the brain. Therefore, to avoid this competition, Amino Acid supplements should be taken on an empty stomach.

In addition to their main functions of building needed proteins, Amino Acids also assist vitamins and minerals to do their jobs properly. Even if vitamins and minerals were absorbed and assimilated rapidly, they would not be as effective as they are in the presence of Amino Acids. In order to be properly assimilated, Amino Acids particularly require the help of Vitamins B12, Bw, C and T, chromium and sleep.

Vegans must be aware that most of the Amino Acid supplements available have an animal-base. There are supplements – derived from vegetable sources – in a crystalline free form that are more stable and preferable because of their rapid absorption. However, labels must be read carefully.

Also, beware of alkali-treated soy products. This treatment tends to reduce three Amino Acids – lysine, serine and cystine – as well as produce a toxic Amino Acid derivative called lysinoalanine. In addition, more people are showing allergy symptoms toward soy products, which may or may not be as a result of products using genetically engineered soybeans.

Amino Acids are actively transported, but also require a carrie and each carrier is specific to certain Amino Acids. For example:

Carrier 1 is for Serine, Threonine and Alanine.
Carrier 2 is for Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Methionine, Valine, Leucine and Isoleucine.
Carrier 3 is for Proline and Hydroxyproline.
Carrier 4 is for Taurine and B-Alanine.
Carrier 5 is for Lysine, Arginine, Cysteine.
Carrier 6 is for Aspartic Acid and Glutamic Acid.

Chemical Division for Amino Acids :

  1. Aromatic Amino Acids : Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Tryptophan
  2. Sulfur Amino Acids : Cysteine, Gluthathione, Taurine, Methionine, Homocysteine
  3. Urea Cycle Amino Acids : Arginine, Citrulline, Ornithine
  4. Glutamate Amino Acids : Glutamic Acid, GABA and Glutamine; Proline and Hydroxyproline; Aspartic Acid-Asparagine
  5. Threonine Amino Acids : Threonine; Glycine; Serine; Alanine
  6. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA): Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine
  7. Important Metabolite Amino Acids : Lysine; Carnitine; Histidine

Individual Amino Acids :

Alanine – a non-essential Amino Acid whose main function is the metabolism of tryptophan and pyridoxine

Arginine – an essential Amino Acid for children and possibly for adults

Asparagine – a non-essential Amino Acid

Aspartic Acid – a non-essential Amino Acid which aids in the formation of RNA and DNA

Carnitine – not a true Amino Acid but sometimes referred to as Vitamin BT

Citrulline – a non-essential Amino Acid involved in the urea cycle

Cysteine – a non-essential, sulphur-containing Amino Acid

Cystine – a non-essential Amino Acid created when two cysteine molecules bond together

Gaba – a non-essential Amino Acid formed from glutamic acid with the help of Vitamin B6

Glutamic Acid – a non-essential Amino Acid that can be synthesized from a number of Amino Acids

Glutamine – a semi-essential Amino Acid

Glutathione – not considered a true Amino Acid but a tripeptide of glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine

Glycine – a non-essential glucogenic Amino Acid that readily converts to serine

Histidine – considered an essential Amino Acid for children, but usually not for adults

Isoleucine – an essential or semi-essential Amino Acid because it sometimes cannot be made in the body

Leucine – an essential branched chain Amino Acid classified as semi-essential by some

Lysine – an essential Amino Acid because it cannot be synthesized in the body and its breakdown is irreversible

Methionine – an essential Amino Acid that cannot be synthesized in the body

Ornithine – a non-essential Amino Acid found free in the body tissues, but not used as a protein building block

Phenylalanine – an essential Amino Acid that is converted to tyrosine in the body

Proline – an aromatic non-essential Amino Acid that requires Vitamin C for its synthesis

Serine – a non-essential Amino Acid derived from glycine, contributing to the formation of cystine from homocysteine

Taurine – a “conditionally essential” Amino Acid for adults and essential for normal infant development

Threonine – an essential Amino Acid, serving as a carrier for phosphate in phosphoproteins

Tryptophan – an essential Amino Acid, the only one with an indole nucleus responsible for the peculiar odor of feces

Tyrosine – an aromatic non-essential Amino Acid produced from phenylalanine

Valine – a branched chain essential or semi-essential Amino Acid

Individual Amino Acid values for each food is given in grams per 100 g. Essential Amino Acids are indicated by an asterisk (*).

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Abbreviations: AL: alpha-Linolenic acid (18:3 Omega-3); GLA: gamma-Linolenic acid (18:3 Omega-6); EFA: Essential Fatty Acid; LDL: Lowdensity Lipoprotein; n6/n3: Ratio of Omega-6/Omega-3 fatty acids; PUFAs: Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids; SDA: Stearidonic Acid (18:4 Omega-3); THC: delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol