How Hemp Seeds and Oil Can Support Your Healthier Habits

March 17, 2014 at 11:09 am Leave a comment

Your food choices have a direct impact on your well-being, owing to the nutrients they offer and the role these play in the prevention or causation of health problems. However, the food you eat can also indirectly influence your health in terms of the way that it makes us feel. While your diet influences your mental well-being, which in turn affects your lifestyle choices, feeling tired, constantly hungry and bloated also stands in the way of good habits. For instance, you’re more likely to reach for caffeine loaded drinks and sugar-rich snacks when lethargic, and when suffering from digestive discomfort you’re less inclined to exercise. Diet plays an important role in how you feel physically and the good news is that the nutrients in hemp seeds and their oil can help you feel on top form.

Maintaining your energy

If you struggle with low energy levels, look no further than hemp products. Firstly, hemp seeds and oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and not only are these essential fatty acids important for a healthy heart and brain, but they may also help you to keep up your energy levels. This is because these healthy fats act as anti-inflammatories and by combatting inflammation within the body, various processes can occur more efficiently, including blood sugar control. Your blood sugars influence your energy levels, so achieving more stable levels of sugar in your blood helps to keep up your energy. However, that’s not the only way in which they give your energy levels a boost. Like other seeds, they have a low glycaemic index; this is due to their high protein and fat content. This means that hemp seeds release their energy slowly and they also have a positive impact on the release of energy from other foods at the same meal, so if you add these to your cereal, a smoothie, baking or another recipe, you’ll reap the benefits of slow energy release, helping you to maintain your energy levels for longer. When in control of your energy levels, you’ll be better able to stick to your aims and you’re less tempted to use a stimulant to give you more energy. While some of these may seem harmless, caffeine is a natural drug that can affect your physical and mental well-being in higher doses, and dangerous artificial stimulants aren’t worth the risk.

Controlling hunger

When trying to make healthy dietary choices, hunger makes it that much harder. While getting your blood sugars under control will usually help to combat feelings of hunger between meals, that’s not the only way in which hemp seeds can help. They are also rich in fibre, with over 9g of fibre per 100g making them officially a high fibre food. Fibre is known to keep you feeling fuller for longer, but unlike fruit, vegetables and wholegrains, which are also a great source of fibre, they are loaded with protein. The impact that protein-rich foods have on your appetite is now well-understood and according to the Medical Research Council protein triggers the release of a hormone that signals you are full. High in fibre and protein, hemp seeds therefore make the perfect choice to keep hunger at bay and are particularly useful for anyone with weight loss in their sights.

Better digestion

If you struggle with bloating and irregular bowel movements, you may try to up your intake of fibre-rich foods to solve this uncomfortable problem. However, not all fibre is equal, and grains that are high in insoluble fibre may make the problem worse. Hemp seeds on the other hand are a good source of soluble fibre, the type of fibre that the British Dietetic Association advises people with constipation and bloating to increase. This acts more gently on your intestines, to encourage regular bowel movements and relieve digestive discomfort.

Hemp Seed Energy Bars

This simple no-cook recipe has just four ingredients and the bars make an ideal snack or a healthy dessert; they can even be used as an addition to your breakfast on those mornings when you need extra energy.

You will need

6 Medjool dates

75g of hemp seeds

2 tbsp of coconut oil

½ tsp of vanilla extra or ground cinnamon to taste

Pit the dates and blend to a paste in a food processor. Transfer this date paste to a bowl and add the hemp seeds, oil and flavouring. Roll out the dough and cut into bars. Chill in the fridge for a firmer texture.

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