Why Hemp Seeds Are The Ultimate Food For Optimal Health

Why Hemp Seeds Are The Ultimate Food For Optimal Health

You may have heard the long-awaited announcement that hemp is now available as a health food in New Zealand [1]. Up until recently, legislative restrictions meant that New Zealanders have been missing out on the widely-researched health benefits of this ancient superfood. And thanks to the recent regulation changes, hemp is now one of the 25+ different organic superfoods you can expect in Craft Smoothie's Superfood Smoothie Box and Keto Smoothie Box. You'll also find organic hemp seeds in our brand new Instant Superfood Breakfast Pouches available via exclusively via the Craft Breakfast website. We make it super convenient for you to enjoy the many nutritional benefits of hemp in a superfood smoothie or breakfast bowl without having to hunt down your own recipes and shop around for all the ingredients.

To simplify everything you need to know about hemp and the associated health benefits, we’ve compiled a run-down below.

What are the nutritional benefits of hemp?

Hemp seeds are widely regarded as the world’s most nutritious seeds because they’re a rich source of heart-healthy fatty acids, plant-based protein, essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, calcium, iron and zinc. In short, you'll be hard pressed to find a food that ticks as many nutritional boxes as hemp seeds!

Hemp seeds are the fruit or nut of the hemp plant. The hulled hemp seeds are referred to as "hemp hearts" and resemble a soft white creamy substance with a nutty-like texture and flavour. The hemp hearts are what you can expect in your superfood blends from Craft Smoothie.

Below we're exploring the unique nutritional breakdown of hemp and it's a stand-out smoothie ingredient you need to try.

1. Hemp seeds are one of the world's best sources of quality plant protein

As one of the world's best sources of plant-based protein, one tablespoon of hemp seeds contains almost 10 grams of protein. What puts hemp seeds ahead of other sources of plant-based protein is that these seeds contain 20 amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids that your body is unable to produce on its own and must obtain from dietary sources. Hemp seeds are a complete source of protein, which means that they provide all nine essential amino acids that are required by the body to build proteins. Hemp seeds are especially rich in the amino acid, arginine, which is beneficial for supporting a healthy heart [3]. The digestibility of hemp protein is also better than protein from many other plant-based sources like grains, nuts, and legumes [4].

2. Hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids

Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat and are exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). The amount of omega-3s in hemp seeds plus the optimal omega-3 to omega-6 ratio can together help to reduce inflammation in the body. In fact, hemp seeds have the best ratio of omega-6 to omega-3s of any plant-based food and this is considered the optimal proportion for optimal human nutritional benefits.

3. The high protein and fatty acid content in hemp seeds may help you lose weight

The protein in hemp seeds combined with the fatty acid content could help increase satiety and reduce appetite, therefore reducing food intake. When combined with a wholefood diet and a healthy lifestyle, hemp seeds may help promote weight loss. Craft Smoothie incorporates hemp seeds in your breakfast smoothies as a source of plant-based protein and healthy fats to help support sustained energy and healthy weight management. If you're wanting to use smoothies for weight loss, Craft Smoothie is the perfect way to help ease into a healthy routine while adding diversity to your diet.

4. Hemp seeds are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin E

Hemp seeds contain high levels of vitamin E, which is one of the most important antioxidants and can help slow down the processes that damage cells.

5. Hemp seeds are a good source of fibre and can therefore help improve your gut bacteria profile

While the bulk of fibre from hemp seeds is found in the outer hull, or shell, even without the shells, hemp seeds are a good source of plant-based fibre, with three tablespoons containing approximately 1.2 grams of fibre. Including hemp seeds in a high-fibre superfood smoothie from Craft Smoothie is an easy way to ensure you're meeting the recommended daily intake of fibre: Adults - 25-30 grams  per day; 30-40 grams if you have diabetes or want to improve heart health.

Reaching the optimal daily intake of fibre is critical for:

  • Supporting healthy weight management
  • Stabilising blood sugar levels
  • Feeding the good bacteria in your gut to promote optimal gut health

Curious to learn how hemp is different from marijuana and how you can use hemp in your everyday cooking? Keep reading...

Hemp FAQs

How is hemp different from marijuana?

Hemp (or industrial hemp), is a strain of the cannabis sativa plant that is grown specifically for industrial use. Today, industrial uses of hemp include health food, skin products, textiles, paper, biodegradable plastic, construction materials, and biofuel. Marijuana, on the other hand, also derives from the cannabis sativa plant, but is used for medicinal or recreational purposes. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive properties. Hemp has extremely low or even no measurable levels of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which offsets the psychoactive effects.

Where is hemp grown?

Hemp has been grown for thousands of years, originating in Central Asia. Today, it is cultivated in temperant zones acorss Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, Middle East and Pacific [5].

How is hemp made?

Hemp is an annual plant that grows from seed. Once the hemp seeds have been harvested, they go through a dehulling process to remove the the crunchy shell from the seed.

Are hemp seeds legal in New Zealand?

Hulled hemp seeds can legally be sold and consumed in New Zealand. In order for the seed to meet food safety requirements, it must be from a Cannabis sativa plant where the leaves and flowering heads contain low THC Cannabis sativa. In New Zealand, the Industrial Hemp rules state the THC level in the plant to be generally below 0.35% and not above 0.5%.

Can you smoke hemp?

Hemp and marijuana are totally different products. While they both come from the same species of cannabis plant, hemp has extremely low levels of THC which is the chemical responsible marijuana’s psychological effects - so THC has been researched extensively, and science has shown us that when it’s not smoked, it has substantial health benefits with veritably no side effects. Hemp typically contains about 0.3 percent to 1.5 percent THC, whereas marijuana contains about 5 percent to 10 percent or more THC. So don’t worry — eating hemp certainly will not get you high. Hemp consumption is safe, healthy and legal.

Is hemp Keto?

Hemp is the perfect food for people following a Keto diet because they're a low-carb, high-fat food which can be incorporated into smoothies, toasted with other seeds for a snack, or sprinkled over a Keto-friendly meal for a nutrient-dense serving of plant-based protein and heart-healthy fats. One tablespoons of hemp seeds contains only 0.9 grams of carbohydrates and only 0.5 grams of net carbs. To try Keto smoothie recpes using hemp seeds, order a Keto Smoothie Box from Craft Smoothie using the coupon code KETO to score a special introductory offer.

What hemp seeds are good for?

Hemp seeds are super versatile and are good for making superfood smoothies, hemp seed milk, hemp meal toppers and hemp bliss balls. 

How to make hemp superfood smoothies:

  • Try a Craft Smoothie Box to experiment with hemp seeds in your smoothies using our seasonal combinations of fresh fruit, vegetables and organic superfood blends
  • Use hemp seeds as a high-protein smoothie bowl topper

How to make hemp milk:

  • Soak 1/2 cup of hemp seeds in water overnight.
  • Drain in the morning
  • Blend in a high speed blender with 3 cups of water, a pinch of sea salt, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract or powder (optional) and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or an alternative sweetener (optional)
  • Try hemp milk as the base in our popular turmeric latte recipe

How to make hemp meal toppers:

  • In a frying pan, toast 1/4 cup of hemp seeds and 1/4 cup of other mixed nuts and seeds (ie. almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds)
  • Stir in 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tsp of turmeric, 1/2 tsp on paprika and stir until fragrant
  • Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos or tamari and stir
  • Remove from frying pan and store in an airtight container

How to make hemp bliss balls:

  • In a food processor, pulse 1/2 cup of mixed nuts and 4 tablespoons of hemp seeds
  • Add 1/4 cup of coconut chips and 1/2 cup of cacao to the food processor and pulse until combined
  • Add 1/2 cup of soaked dates, 1 heaped tablespoon of peanut butter or tahini, 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean powder or extract and pulse until combined
  • Roll 1 tablespoon of mixture into balls and store in an airtight container in the freezer

Want to make superfood smoothies with hemp at home without the hassle of sourcing your own recipes, fresh ingredients and superfoods? Get started with Craft Smoothie and we'll send you a smoothie kit delivery with everything you need to eat awesome for breakfast! 



[1] Hemp seed as a food - Ministry of Health

[2] CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference? - Healthline

[3] Health benefits of hemp seeds - Medical News Today

[4] Evaluating the quality of protein from hemp seed (Cannabis sativa L.) products through the use of the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score method - Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry

[5] Hemp: Cultivation & Processing - Britanica

[6] Is hemp the same thing as marijuana? - Physorg.com


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