Hemp seeds are a plant-based source of complete protein that provides a range of nutrients. It is an excellent option for individuals who want to add more protein to their diet while avoiding animal products.
This article looks at hemp protein, its nutrition, and its health benefits. It also compares hemp protein to other protein powders and looks at alternative plant protein sources.
Hemp protein is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that the human body needs but cannot produce. Therefore, an individual must include these amino acids in their diet.
Some experts claim that hemp seed is one of the most
Studies have found that the nutritional value of hemp seed varies considerably according to the environment it grew in and what specific plant type it is. However, typically, its nutritional profile contains:
The most abundant protein in hemp seed is edestin, making up around 82% of total hemp protein content. Albumin makes up around 13% of the total protein, while β-conglycinin constitutes up to 5% of the total.
Together, these proteins contain the nine essential amino acids. The most abundant is glutamic acid, followed by arginine. Hemp protein has more sulfur-containing amino acids, such as methionine, cysteine, and homocysteine, than soy protein and milk protein casein.
Hemp protein also contains higher levels of amino acids than soy protein, except for aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and lysine. Lysine is the primary shortfall in hemp proteins.
According to the
Hemp protein has various health benefits, including:
Although humans typically digest animal protein more easily than plant protein, research indicates that individuals can
This may be because hemp protein is high in edistin and albumin, which the body can digest easily. The body breaks down these foods and uses a large proportion of the amino acids in various processes, such as tissue repair and cell maintenance.
When hemp protein undergoes heat treatment, it becomes even more digestible.
Learn about the differences between plant and animal protein here.
A great source of fiber
Eating enough dietary fiber supports digestive health and reduces the risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
Individuals might consider adding hemp protein to their diets to improve their fiber intake, as a 31 g serving contains around
Contains healthy fats
The polyunsaturated fatty acids in hemp protein
Omega fatty acids are essential for health as they help maintain cell membranes, contribute to heart health, and regulate inflammation and metabolic processes.
The protein and calorie content in 100 g of these proteins are:
hemp proteincontains around 39% protein and 387 calories whey proteincontains around 67% protein and 385 calories soy proteincontains around 88% protein and 335 calories
Although whey protein is high in protein, it is also an allergen. Therefore, people who are sensitive or allergic to dairy products may need to avoid this source of protein. Likewise, soy allergies are relatively common. However, typically, experts do not consider hemp an allergen, and some suggest it is suitable as an ingredient for hypoallergenic food.
Additionally, whey protein is not vegan and cannot supplement vegan diets. However, hemp and soy products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Hemp and soy proteins derive from plants and are complete protein sources. However, people may prefer to opt for hemp as it is less processed, unlikely to trigger allergies, and is
If individuals do not enjoy the taste of hemp protein, there are other ways to consume hemp seeds and benefit from its health-supporting properties, including:
- Meals: People can sprinkle whole or ground seeds over salads, cereal, or yogurt. If they prefer a softer texture, they can add hemp seeds to soups or stews.
- Baked goods: Ground or whole hemp seeds add interesting texture to bread, muffins, and other baked goods.
- Hemp milk: A person can make hemp milk at home by soaking the seeds, blending, and straining. The resulting product is a high protein, plant-based milk that people can add to tea or coffee or make into smoothies or milkshakes.
If a person wants to increase their protein intake while reducing their use of animal products, they can find a range of alternative plant protein sources. Options
Although an individual can add protein powders to their daily routine to boost their intake, they should not use them in place of a nutritionally balanced diet.
People should also consider that over-consuming dietary protein can have adversely affect metabolism and gut health.
It is also worth noting that protein powders may contain various added ingredients, such as sugar or sodium, to improve their taste. People should carefully read nutritional labels if they want to avoid these additives.
Hemp protein comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. It is a rich source of fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acids that the human body finds easy to digest.
A 31 g serving of hemp protein
If people prefer not to consume hemp protein, they can add hemp seeds to baked goods, soups, salads, or make hemp milk and add to drinks.
Hemp protein contains less protein than whey and soy protein. However, it is suitable for vegans, people with soy or milk allergies, and those who prefer to avoid highly processed foods.