Plant-based diets have exploded in popularity. Whether it is a move to be more environmentally conscious or to reap the many health benefits, or both – the power of plants can’t be ignored.
But not all plants are created equal. As a functional medicine practitioner, I believe in bio-individuality and that everyone’s health case is unique. What works for one person won’t always work for the next. However, there are certain plant superfoods that are more nutrient-dense than others and work tremendously well for a majority of people.
Hemp is one of nature’s most versatile plants with a wide range of benefits for all areas of your health.
1. A complete protein
Hemp is one of my favorite plant-based foods for those looking to limit their consumption of animal products due to the fact that it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. These amino acids are considered essential because our bodies need them to thrive but can’t make them on their own so we need to get them through our diets. Additionally, at 4 grams of protein per serving, it’s a great option for ensuring you are getting in enough protein during the day.
2. Supports gut health
Since your gut is the foundation of your health, I am always looking for ways to support optimal gut health. While supplements and drinking bone broth are great, I want to lay the foundation for a healthy gut through the meals I already eat on a daily basis.
When you eat prebiotic fiber, your good gut bacteria ferments it in your colon to produce short-chain fatty acids SCFAs. One of the main SCFAs in your body is butyrate, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects on your gut. Not only does butyrate boost the health of your digestive and immune system, it has been shown to improve cases of irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis due to its anti-inflammatory abilities.
Many plant foods contain prebiotic fiber, but hemp is one of my favorite sources for ensuring a diverse microbiome and an overall healthy gut – without the need for more supplements.
3. A great source of healthy fats
As the author of the plant-based keto book, Ketotarian, hemp is one of my favorite sources of plant-based healthy fats. Hemp contains an abundance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the perfect ratio. You must have a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, otherwise it can contribute to systemic inflammation which is an underlying trigger to almost every modern-day health problem we see today.
4. Contains essential minerals
Hemp contains 25 percent of your daily magnesium requirements per serving, which is important considering it is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body and responsible for over 300 important biochemical reactions. And considering 50-90 percent of the population is deficient in this mineral, this one serving can make a huge difference in your health – especially when combined with other magnesium rich plant foods like dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale. Why not enjoy a superfood salad topped with crunchy hemp seeds.
5. Helps stabilize blood sugar
Hemp is the perfect food for those with blood sugar problems or are sticking to a ketogenic diet. The fiber content helps slow the absorption of sugar which can improve blood sugar levels. Plus, it only has 1-5 grams net carbs per serving, making it a great low-carb addition to your grocery list.
How to enjoy hemp
Hemp is such a versatile food source that makes a great addition to a variety of meals. You can find hemp in powder form that can easily be added to soups or smoothies.
I personally love to have hemp seeds on hand to snack on between patient or when I am traveling. Hemp seeds are also great on top of salads for an extra boost of clean protein and healthy fats. Eaton Hemp is my go-to brand due to their high-quality ingredients and delicious flavors like Maple Cinnamon, Ancho Chili BBQ, and classic Himalayan Sea Salt. And since they are gluten-free, organic, and non-gmo I can feel confident knowing what I am putting into my body is pushing me further toward healing rather than further away.
It’s not every day that you find a completely plant-based source that is this nutrient-dense and still
tastes great. Even if you aren’t strictly keto, you can still reap all the health benefits hemp has to offer.
As an exclusive offer to my followers, you can get 30% off your purchase with the code ”drwillcole”
If you want to learn more about your own health case please check out our free health evaluation. We offer webcam as well as in-person consultations for people across the country and around the world.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
Our articles may include products that have been independently chosen and recommended by Dr. Will Cole and our editors. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.