As you might have guessed from the name, hemp seed milk, commonly called hemp milk, is made by blending water and the seeds of the hemp (Cannabis sativa) plant. The milk has an earthy, nutty flavor with a creamy consistency and tastes delicious in coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and even oatmeal. What's more, it's lactose-, soy- and gluten-free!
Curiously, Cannabis sativa is the same plant used to produce marijuana. This has led to a misconception that hemp milk causes mind-altering effects. However, the plant’s leaves contain virtually no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that causes the psychotropic effect. Moreover, the seeds don’t contain THC at all. So, no, drinking hemp milk won’t cause or produce the effects that marijuana can.
So what are the benefits of hemp seed milk? Read on to find out.
Health Benefits of Hemp Milk
It is highly nutritious
Hemp milk is nutrient-dense and naturally rich in healthy fats and plant proteins. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a one-cup serving (240 ml) of hemp non-dairy milk contains:
Fat: 4.5 g
Sodium: 110 mg
Carbohydrates: 0 g
Fiber: 0 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 3 g.
Hemp milk has fewer calories, protein, and carbohydrates compared to cow’s milk. Another important fact about this beverage is that most of the fat in it consists of unsaturated essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These acids are vital for developing new tissues and membranes in your body.
Hemp milk is also a great source of:
Note: Commercially made hemp milk may also contain added sugars and thickeners. So always make sure that you check the nutrition labels carefully before purchasing.
Can be good for the skin
The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in hemp milk can support your skin’s reaction to inflammation. A study in people with eczema found that after the participants consumed 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of hemp oil a day, they showed a considerable improvement in skin dryness and itchiness.
Another study in over 4,000 women found that the participants with more omega-6 fatty acids in their diets had less dry and thin skin than those who ate less of those fatty acids. Since hemp milk does contain these fatty acids, it’s expected to provide similar benefits.
Should be good for brain health
Many recent studies have revealed that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can help in the early prevention of inflammatory neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Therefore, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add hemp milk to your daily diet to boost your brain health, particularly if you are over the age of 65, as your risk for Alzheimer's goes up as you get older.
May help support heart health
Limited evidence suggests that hemp seeds might have the potential to protect against heart diseases. These seeds contain essential amino acids, such as arginine, which promote blood vessel relaxation and allow you to maintain healthy blood pressure. Studies have shown that people who consume more arginine have 30% lesser chances of having dangerous levels of the inflammatory C-reactive protein (CRP) than those who consume less of these amino acids. High levels of CRP are linked with a greater risk of heart disease, research has suggested.
Further studies indicate that taking arginine-rich hemp products like hemp seed milk might help maintain ideal levels of CRP and lower your risk of developing heart disease.
Can help prevent a vitamin B12 deficiency
One unique aspect of hemp milk is its vitamin B12 content. Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause various issues: anemia, fatigue, nerve problems, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, problems with balance, and even jaundice. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that a deficit in this vitamin can also cause nerve damage.
There are very few plant sources of vitamin B12. Since hemp milk offers it in good amounts, you can boost its intake and maintain overall health by adding it to your diet.
How to Make Hemp Milk At Home
Different brands of hemp milk are available on the market today. However, most of them tend to contain unwanted ingredients, such as added sugars, thickeners, and other preservatives.
Luckily, you can make this milk easily at home. Just follow the steps below:
1. Combine 1/2 to 1 cup (68–136 grams) of hemp seeds with 3–4 cups (710–946 ml) of filtered water in a blender.
2. Blend for at least 2 minutes to achieve a smooth consistency.
3. Strain the milk with a filter or cheesecloth and enjoy.
4. Add sea salt, vanilla extract, maple syrup, or honey to enhance the taste.
Hemp milk has a nutty flavor and makes a great addition to coffee, oats, baked goods, and many savory dishes. You can also use it as a creamy topping in soups, or simply chug a glass in the morning or evening. The main point is that adding this highly nutritious beverage to your daily diet will certainly be good for your overall health.
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