Hemp: Superior Protein Created by Mother Nature
By Martine Carlina


Hemp is recognized in the marketplace as a competitive protein source, as it contains all nine of the essential amino acids.

The importance of good protein cannot be understated. In terms of plant proteins, most people are familiar with soy and rice protein but we now know there is another protein that's worth taking a look at. Hemp protein is quickly gaining recognition in the marketplace as a competitive protein source, as it contains all nine of the essential amino acids. Hemp is second only to soy in protein content but it has several advantages over the soybean.
Currently there are two primary ways to obtain the protein from hemp. The first is via the hulled or shelled hempseed, which can be used raw as a condiment, blended in smoothies and power shakes, or ground down to create hemp nut butter. The second is hemp powder derived from the seedcake (a bi-product of oil crushing), which is milled finely. Due to Health Canada's industrial hemp regulations, the raw seed cannot be sold on the market and must always be in a form that cannot be grown. It may be toasted or sterilized. Both the hulled hemp and the powder are derived through mechanical means, leaving all of the valuable enzymes intact.

The protein content of hemp powder and hulled seeds is approximately 35 percent. Of that 35 percent, 65 percent of the hemp protein is edestin, a globulin protein found only in hempseeds. The hemp protein most closely resembles the protein found in the human blood, making it easier to digest than soy protein. One third of the hempseed is albumin, another high quality globulin protein found in egg whites.

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 or shelled hempseeds 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.

Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, young or old, active or sedentary, hemp protein in any form is a tasty way to obtain all of your body's protein needs and is available in a natural product retailer near you.

This article has appeared in, and is supplied courtesy of  VISTA Magazine

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