Hemp is probably the most popular superfood I’m going to talk about. I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t at least heard of hemp. You can buy hemp in many forms but the most popular are shelled hemp seeds (hemp hearts), hemp powder (protein powder) and hemp oil. Those are the three sources of hemp I buy and use, especially hemp powder. As an athlete, I believe hemp needs to be a staple in everyone’s life.
Why is hemp a superfood? There are many reasons, but I’ll narrow it down to 4 for you:
- A complete plant protein: Hemp is one of the few plant sources that contain all 9 of the essential amino acids that our bodies can’t make on its own. Hemp is a great source of protein and is easily digested. I know of a few people who can only consume hemp protein powder as other sources can lead to stomach issues. I’ve recently switched from a whey to a hemp protein powder for all my recovery drinks.
- A great anti inflammatory food: Most of the us consume way (WAY) too many Omega-6 fatty acids and not enough Omega 3’s. This leads to our bodies becoming very inflamed and leads to a whole bag of issues like heart disease. Hemp is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids which will help to get our Omega 3/Omega 6 ratio to be closer to what it should be and hopefully reduce our inflammation.
- You can use hemp in everything: Hemp is such a versataile food considering it can be used in so many different ways. You can bake with the seeds in baking, sprinkle on food, put it in smoothies, oatmeal, even make a milk out of it. The hemp oil is a little more fragile in that you don’t want to cook with it, we usually only use it as in our salads or put some in our smoothies. The powder has many uses too but I think putting it a smoothie is one of the best ways to consume it.
- Vitamins and Minerals: In a world where we are overfed but malnourished it’s important we consume foods that are full of micronutrients and health promoting. Hemp contains magnesium, potassium, calcium, and Vitamin E. From the hemp protein powder I use, one serving provides me with 30% of the daily value of Iron and 36% of my fiber. Not bad for one serving.
You can find hemp anywhere these days. Manitoba Harvest is a great brand and is stocked by most grocery stores and is the brand I buy.
*Training Tip- For my recovery drinks I will usually blend some almond milk, one serving hemp protein and a banana and drink that. It gives me the protein and carbs I need to properly recover from whatever training session I just completed, plus it tastes good!