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Unlock the Nutritional Power of Hemp Protein : Benefits, Types, and Usage

  1. Introduction

    What is Hemp Protein?

    Hemp proteins are plant-based proteins that are derived from hemp seeds.

    Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein for those wanting to add protein to their diet and want to avoid animal protein.(1) These are derived from the hemp plant, which is the same species as the cannabis plant but does not contain the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana.

    Hemp is a source of cannabidiol but its seeds are a rich source of plant-based proteins. A fine powder is made of these seeds which has an earthy taste.

    How is Hemp Protein Made?

    Manufacturing hemp protein involves removing the oil from hemp seeds and then grinding the remaining seed cake into fine powder. The process involved in making hemp protein is as follows:

    • Harvesting and Cleaning: Firstly, hemp plants are harvested and hemp seeds are collected. The seeds are then cleaned to remove any impurities.
    • Cold Pressing: The hemp seeds undergo cold pressing to remove oil. This is a process in which the seeds are crushed separating the oil from the solid residue.
    • Hemp Seek Cake: After the oil extraction the solid portion is hemp seed cake or meal. This contains a majority of fiber, protein, and other nutrients.
    • Milling and Grinding: The hemp seed cake is then milled and ground into fine powder.
    • Sieving and Packaging: The hemp seed powder is then sieved and packed.

    The manufacturing process of the Hemp protein may vary depending on the manufacturer. Some companies employ additional steps for further refining or isolating the powder.

    Benefits of Hemp Protein

    • Hemp protein has several potential benefits due to its extremely rich nutrient profile. It is easily digestible, rich in fiber and healthy fats.
    • It can be added to various recipes and dishes such as oatmeal, energy bars, smoothies, and shakes. It is the most versatile protein option.
    • Hemp protein can be helpful in muscle growth, digestion, reducing inflammation, and promoting brain function. Choosing hemp protein over animal protein can contribute to reducing the environmental impact of food production.
  2. Types of Hemp Protein

    Hemp protein is available in the market in different types. Some common types of hemp protein include:

    • Hemp Protein Powder: This is the most common and widely available hemp protein. It is made by grinding hemp protein seeds. Hemp protein powder retains fiber and is often labeled as whole seed or full spectrum protein. It has a slightly nutty flavor and is available in smoothies, shakes, and baking recipes.
    • Hemp Protein Concentrate: This is a more refined form of hemp protein and undergoes additional processing to remove some of the fiber and other components increasing the protein content per serving. It contains 50-70% more protein with the remaining portion consisting of fiber, healthy fats, and other nutrients.
    • Hemp Protein Isolate: This is a more refined and concentrated form of hemp protein. It undergoes further processing to remove all the fiber, fat, or other non-protein components. Hemp protein concentrate is 90% or more protein.
    • Flavored Hemp Protein: Some hemp products come in flavored varieties to enhance the taste. The powders are flavored with chocolate, berry, and others. Flavored hemp protein may also contain additional natural or artificial flavoring and sweeteners to improve palatability.

    The type of hemp protein can be chosen according to the person’s preference and nutritional needs. Also, it is important to read the product labels carefully to understand the composition of the product, protein content, and additives.

  3. Nutritional Value of Hemp Protein

    Hemp protein is a complete protein. It contains all the 9 essential amino acids needed by the human body. These are not produced by the body and therefore, are needed to be included in the diet. Hemp seed is claimed to be the most nutritionally complete food source by experts.(1)

    The nutritional value of hemp seed may vary according to the environment it is grown in.

    The nutritional profile of hemp seed contains 25-35% fats, 20-30% carbohydrates, and 20-25% proteins. Edestin is the most abundant protein in hemp seeds and makes up around 82% of the total hemp protein content.(2) Albumin makes up 13% of total protein and beta-conglycinin constitutes up to 5% of the total hemp protein content.

    Together these proteins contain 9 essential amino acids amongst which the most abundant is glutamine acid and next is arginine.

    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database, 31 grams serving of hemp protein powder contain 12 grams of protein and 120 calories.(3)

    Health Benefits of Hemp Protein

  4. Health Benefits of Hemp Protein

    Hemp protein has numerous health benefits due to its unique nutritional composition.

    • Muscle Growth and Repair: Hemp protein provides all 9 essential amino acids that are necessary for muscle development and recovery post-exercise.
    • Weight Management: Hemp protein is rich in dietary fiber, which makes it effective in promoting the feeling of fullness and reducing appetite. Including hemp protein in the diet may help in assisting with weight management and increasing satiety and reducing calorie intake.
    • Digestive Health: The fiber content of hemp protein helps in supporting digestion. It helps in regulating bowel movement and preventing constipation and promoting the growth of essential gut bacteria. To maintain a healthy digestive system, adequate fiber intake is essential.
    • Improves Heart Health: Hemp protein contains beneficial omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are known to support heart health. These fats may also be helpful in reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol levels, and improving overall cardiovascular function.(5)
    • Plant-Based Nutrition: Hemp protein offers a plant-based alternative to animal-based protein sources. It contributes to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly diet while still meeting the nutritional needs. Also, it is more easily digestible from animal protein.(4)
    • Gluten-Free and Allergen-Friendly: Hemp protein is gluten-free and suitable for those with gluten intolerance.
  5. How to Use Hemp Protein?

    • Hemp protein is a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into a variety of recipes and meals.
    • It can be added to smoothies and shakes for an extra protein boost.
    • It can be added to baked goods such as pancakes, muffins, bread, and cookies
    • A tablespoon or two of hemp protein in the oatmeal or cereal can increase the protein and nutrient content and add a nutty flavor.
    • Hemp protein can be added to the energy bars along with dried fruits and sweeteners.
    • Hemp protein powder can also be sprinkled over yogurt and parfaits. It gives the yogurt a nutty flavor and gritty texture.
    • Hemp protein powder can be sprinkled over salad, soups, and roasted vegetables to boost the protein content and add a crunch.
    • Protein bars and protein shakes can be made with hemp protein being the main ingredient.
    • Hemp protein serving size and use should be done according to the instructions provided in the packaging.
  6. Side Effects of Hemp Protein

    Hemp protein is generally considered safe when consumed in moderation. However, some people may experience side effects when using hemp protein.

    Some potential side effects of hemp protein include:

    • Digestive Issues: Hemp protein has high fiber content. High fiber intake can cause digestive discomfort in some people. Drinking plenty of water with hemp protein can prevent digestive issues.
    • Allergic Reaction: Some people may be allergic to hemp protein and consuming hemp protein products may get an allergic reaction. The symptoms may be rash, swelling, and difficulty in breathing.
    • Drug Interaction: Hemp protein may interact with certain medications. It may potentially alter the way certain medications are broken down.
    • THC content: Hemp protein is derived from the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant and does not contain a significant amount of THC. But trace amounts may be present. These may not cause psychoactive effects but the individuals who undergo drug testing should be aware of this possibility.
  7. Conclusion

    Hemp protein is a plant-based protein, which is derived from hemp seeds. It is a high-quality protein containing all the essential amino acids. It offers various nutritional benefits. It can support nutrition, improve heart health, and aid weight management. It can be added to smoothies, shakes, baked goods, energy bars, and more.

    Hemp protein is mostly safe for most individuals but some people can experience side effects. It is important to seek medical advice in case of any health concerns or allergies.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 14, 2023

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