Sunday, June 22, 2008
I was recently re-introduced to the wonderful benefits of hemp seeds and hemp oil. Most people these days have heard of Flax seeds and flax oil. Well, hemp seeds and oil offer very similar benefits as Flax yet according to some, hemp is the better choice. At the core of both hemp and flax is the buzz around "Essential Fatty Acids" or EFAs.
Basically, our bodies don't create these EFAs, but they are "essential" for our health and vitality (we'd have to speak to my sisters the doctor and PA to really understand the "how/why" behind the essentialness of these EFAs). But the basics are that they're good for us.
According to one site I visited, hemp seeds and oil have the best ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs, that being 3:1. According to this same site, "EFAs help to prevent or relieve inflammation problems, arthritis, asthma, osteoporosis, cardio-vascular disease and hormonal disturbances linked to menopause, These substances play a role in preventing autoimmune diseases, overweight and cancer."
In addition to providing EFAs, hemp seeds provide a wonderful amount of protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and Vitamin E. I like to put both the seeds and oil into my morning smoothies. You can also add either the seeds or oil to soups, salads or any other food item that sounds good to you.
In my own experience, hemp seeds and oil have a much better flavor than flax. I've always found flax to taste rather fishy, not suspicious but actually like fish. - and I never really liked most fish when I did eat meat. I still incorporate both into my diet, but if there's ever a possibility that the taste will shine through, I opt for hemp. So, you don't have to choose one over the other; you can use both or alternate one from the other.
I found these other sites to be helpful in understanding the difference between hemp and flax: