New superfoods pop up at the drop of a hat. We have all kinds of powders, vegetables, and meats that are eaten all over the world. However, in an interesting turn of events, a study recently cements hemp as the next superfood.
The Role of Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) as a Functional Food in Vegetarian Nutrition by Gianluca Rizzo explores the possibility of hemp as a means of nutrition. This could be a real breakthrough for food production if it works out.
Superfoods are a category of eatables that have concentrated nutrient content. This makes them highly popular as the consumer is expected to get all the possible goodness from them.
Superfoods have lately become a trend thanks to the health-conscious population and all the endorsements by different celebrities. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, Kale, beans, the list just keeps getting bigger. So how does hemp fit into it?
Hemp belongs to a class of sativa plants that are specially cultivated for medicinal use. With extremely low concentrations of Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC which gives it the psychedelic property.
Moreover, it has a higher concentration of Cannabidiol, or CBD which has piqued the interest of researchers for a long now. Though widely considered for medicinal use, especially for pain relief and cancer treatments, the idea of it as a way to get proteins, minerals, and Vitamins sounds surreal.
According to the study, hemp has over 30% protein, Fibre, and Lipid. This might not seem like a lot but with options scarcely available for vegans, things are looking up. Hemp has always been vilified in the community and associated with drugs but with its prospects so bright, Protein is considered to be extremely important not just from a bodybuilding standpoint but holistically as well.
Moreover, it contains a variety of amino acids that can help break the fats and sugar in our body. The presence of antioxidants can protect our bodies from getting exposed to various allergies and improve the immune system. The Polyunsaturated fats in hemp oil are much greater than any other extracted oil. Data shows that vegetarians are known to consume much less protein than nonvegetarians. So another potent protein source would just be an addition to a balanced diet available for vegetarians.
The study also considers other factors like its cultivation and production. For instance, hemp is considered to be very delicate to the environment. Not only does it keep the soil full of nutrition but may also have the ability to reduce the emission of carbon. Given the global warming conditions, it seems like hemp could go a long way.
A majority of the population still misinterprets hemp and its properties. Moreover, the regulations around its sale and production make it difficult to be accepted. Its use around cancer treatment is still complicated and scientists are still fighting a difficult battle to avail it for the patients. In such a case, there is only little chance that the FDA approves it for regular consumption.
Nevertheless, the findings of the study have been able to conclude that hemp can be a great alternative to flour, and oil, and a source of nutrients that are otherwise not made available to vegetarians due to an unconscious food bias.
Exploring the health benefits of hemp, it has been unveiled that it can reduce stress on the heart, digestive system, immune system, and metabolic activity. Since the quantity and the concentration are yet to be specified, the research needs to go a long way before it can be introduced into the public population. Given the interest in this subject, it is safe to assume that a detailed study would work out it.
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