Back to the Roots, known for their home mushroom and herb kits, just created a new hemp starter kit that gives families a chance to grow their own hemp at home.
A new hemp starter kit gives families a chance to grow their own hemp at home.
We all know hemp is one of the most efficient and easiest plants to grow in the world. Yet, how many of us actually grow it ourselves?
Understandably, perception of hemp is still closely related to a psychoactive drug. While hemp is now legal, the plant isn’t very accessible. And there’s still the risk your neighbors think you’ve started a marijuana operation in your backyard.
That’s why the Back to the Roots Hemp Grow Kit can be an essential tool in spreading awareness. Not only does it supply you with everything you need to grow, but it also teaches you about the plant itself. So, if your nosey neighbors do ask questions, you’ll have the ability to explain to them what hemp truly is.
Back To The Roots Hemp Grow Kit can spark a conversation and educate people about the benefits of hemp. (Photo: Back to the Roots)
We talked with Nikhil Arora, co-founder and co-CEO of Back to the Roots, about his excitement in offering the public such a unique product.
THE ROOTS OF A COMPANY
Like many companies, Back to the Roots sees legalization as an opportunity to enter the hemp market. Their goal is to offer a product that teaches people how to grow hemp and why that matters. They want their hemp starter kit to teach the general public about the importance of this plant.
“My friend and co-founder, Alex and I started an urban mushroom farm out of college,” Arora told us.
“After a few years of growing fresh produce and talking to countless families at demos in stores, farmer’s markets, etc. we realized there was this bigger need and opportunity to not just offer fresh produce, but really reconnect people back to where food comes from — back to the land — Back to the Roots. And, over the next few years, we launched a line of gardening kits as an easy and fun way to inspire people to start growing.”
By developing a variety of kits — from little gardens that stick in your windowsill to hydroponic systems — Arora and his team found a way to get people talking. With many journalists and documentaries, such as “Food Inc.,” waking the public up to the dangers of big agriculture, a huge market was opened to more organic food sources.
Founders Alex and Nikhil pose with Back to the Roots home growing kits. In addition to hemp, Back to the Roots offers mushroom and herb growing kits. (Photo: Jay Mantri)
People also grew more interested in harvesting their own foods.
“Our passion — our focus — is to educate & inspire a whole new generation about organic gardening & real food … to get them hands on and connected with where food comes from,” Arora said. “In that vein, just like we did with mushrooms, and aquaponics, and biochar, we’ve been diving deep into hemp and all its incredible benefits!”
HEMP’S SPROUTING INTEREST
Back to the Roots efforts would be meaningless if there wasn’t an evergrowing interest in hemp. People are finally opening their eyes to the absurdity of keeping hemp illegal.
Of course, this isn’t anything new. Over the last decade, we’ve seen a tremendous change in the public’s interest when it comes to hemp and CBD. So has Arora:
“There’s been so much activity and movement surrounding hemp and CBD. Especially, these days. And still, there’s a misunderstanding — a lack of clarity — around what’s hemp, what’s CBD, how’s this plant different than its famous cousin. The more we learned, the more fascinated we were by it and thought there was an opportunity to educate our community as well about the amazing history and uses of hemp!”
With this motivation, Arora and his team developed the Back to the Roots Hemp Kit. The kit contains garden pots, organic soil, organic legal-standard hemp seeds, and a planting guide. There’s also a discovery booklet that walks people through the 10,000-year history of hemp.
“We currently have this crazy, fun grow lab with a bunch of varieties of plants growing and hemp just captivated our creativity, our passion, and our curiosity,” Arora said. “We fell in love with it — with the history, the plant itself, and just the fun of growing it.”
“And with the recent Farm Bill, we wanted our consumers to experience that too.”
WHY CREATE A HOME HEMP STARTER KIT?
Admittedly hemp’s true effectiveness is primarily on an industrial level. Though there are plenty of at-home remedies for the plant, the majority of current growers are working under mass cultivations.
Back to the Roots hemp starter kit offers everything you need to grow hemp at home. (Photo: Back to the Roots)
The main purpose of Back to the Root’s hemp starter kit is start a conversation. As Arora puts it:
“We talk a lot about the magic of growing. We find gardening can really bring out the kid in you and is a great way of bringing people together — there’s something so communal about it. I think, what better way to drive this [hemp] industry forward and do our small part in it by focusing on the home & educational aspect.”
Similarly to the way big agriculture made a lot of people want to grow their own food, the goal of Back to the Roots, as a company, is to teach people how to develop a successful garden. Though hemp isn’t (yet) a threat to big ag, the lack of understanding about it is the driving force for this hemp starter kit.
Most Ministry of Hemp readers already know about the public’s misconceptions and do their part to educate. Arora hopes the Back to the Roots Hemp Kit, “will be another way to engage and share their passion.”
“I’m really excited to help your community have the opportunity to grow hemp and make them all the more passionate about this incredible plant.”
Pairing the refreshing taste of home-made cold brew coffee with the nutritional punch of hemp seed oil, our hemp oil cold brew recipe makes for a delicious drink for any occasion.
Pairing the refreshing taste of home-made cold brew coffee with the nutritional punch of hemp seed oil, our hemp oil cold brew recipe makes for a delicious drink for any occasion.
With the rise of Starbucks in the ‘70s and the more recent rise of local 3rd wave coffee shops, cold brew coffee has become commonplace in millennial Instagram stories worldwide. Providing an easy-to-drink, smooth and crisp coffee beverage, it’s no surprise to see the cold brew become so popular.
Our hemp oil cold brew recipe is easy, delicious, energizing, and even good for you.
While awesome on its own, a benefit that cold-brew carries from its hotter cousin is the innate ability to serve as a perfect canvas for other flavors, sugars, milks and syrups. This is where we insert the hemp seed oil part of this equation; a nutrient-dense oil that is easily integrated into all kinds of beverages, it can not only provide a nutritional boost but also tastes great.
While lots of people add coconut oil or even butter to coffee, we think hemp seed oil is a better choice. We’ve even seen at least one commercial hemp seed oil coffee on the market. However, our hemp oil cold brew is easy to make, and it’ll help you get through your stressful workday.
THE BENEFITS OF THE COFFEE BEAN
While coffee is good for improving athletic performance & liver health and even reduces the risk of diabetes, cold-brewed coffee brings with it a separate set of benefits. When the coffee grounds are steeped overnight (and sometimes even longer), the chemical composition of the drink changes. More specifically, the phytochemicals contained in coffee beans (which in turn contain antioxidants) stay preserved within the coffee. Normally these phytochemicals are burned away when exposed to high temperatures in the traditional preparation methods of coffee and in the roasting process, but when you use the cold-brew method paired with a light roast coffee bean, these antioxidants stay intact (for the most part).
Another benefit of cold brewed coffee is its lower caffeine content. Now, this may sound counter-intuitive to the ethos of coffee, but trust me, if you drink coffee for pleasure then cold brew is perfect for you. If you get easily wired from coffee, but you still crave the taste of coffee, try cold brew. With its lower caffeine content, you can drink cold brew multiple times throughout the day while mitigating those unwanted caffeine highs and lows.
We think hemp seed oil tastes better, and offers unique benefits over butter or coconut oil.
With drastically different tasting notes than traditional coffee, cold brew is great at bringing out the individual tasting notes of the coffee bean, while also giving you a cool rush of flavor with every drink. Perfect as a canvas for other flavors or simply a refreshing coffee drink on a sweltering summer day.
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE HEMP SEED OIL COFFEE
Hemp seed oil’s benefits are similar to hemp seeds. Pressed hemp seed oil has a myriad of health benefits such as anti-inflammatories, fatty acids, and Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). Hemp seed oil also provides more valuable antioxidants.
The most important of this bunch is arguably the GLA contained in the oil. Not only does it reduce inflammation, but GLA is essential in regulating blood pressure, heart pressure and even obesity. In terms of macro-nutrients, hemp-seed oil gives you a nice nutrient boost while providing a source of good fats.
Plus, we just love the flavor of hemp seed oil coffee. We think you’ll love the way it brings out the earthy, nutty flavor of cold brew coffee.
MINISTRY OF HEMP’S HEMP OIL COLD BREW RECIPE
Prep time: 8-20 hours
8 ounces whole light roast coffee beans (pro tip: look for a roasting date on the package for freshness and overall quality, coffee makers who put roasting dates on their packaging are usually higher quality)
8 cups water
2-3 tea spoons hemp-seed oil
½ cup of hemp seeds
Sweetener is optional. We love this coffee black.
Use a coffee-grinder to grind the coffee (you’ll want to use a larger grind, meaning keep the coffee similar to the texture of raw sugar).
Combine the coffee-hemp seed mix with water into a large jar or pitcher. Mix in the hemp-seed oil at this point (this will allow the oil and coffee to mix while it steeps overnight).
Gently stir to incorporate it into the water. Five ‘stirs’ should be good.
Cover and place in the fridge overnight. Steeping the mixture for longer means a more potent concentrate.
Strain the coffee via cheesecloth or paper towel. DO NOT squeeze the coffee grounds as that will release bitter tasting notes (Paper filters not recommended as they tend to rip and make a huge mess).
Put into resealable container.
Drink and enjoy! This recipe creates a strong coffee concentrate that you can mix with water to taste, but 1:1 is a good starting point. You can add more hemp oil per serving of coffee if you want.
Once again, we’re bringing hemp and oats together in our ultimate hemp granola recipe. This recipe is delicious, nutritious, gluten free, and easy to customize with added ingredients.
Hemp granola fuses the superfood capacities of hemp seeds with the hyper-efficiency of oats for a delicious, on-the-go snack.
Much like our previous Ultimate Hemp Oatmeal recipe, hemp granola brings the same nutritional one-two punch of hemp hearts and oats together. Not only are they good for you, making them proves that you don’t need to spend hours of your valuable time to make an uber-healthy snack.
Delicious, nutritious, and easy to customize, our hemp granola recipe will be your new easy breakfast snack.
Extremely balanced and highly nutritious, oats are high in fiber and carbs, and are loaded with many important vitamins and minerals. A meager half-cup of oats contains 51 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 8 grams of fiber, with only about 300 calories. This makes oats a super nutrient-dense food, providing you with a good ratio of nutrition to calories.
In addition, oats are rich in antioxidants, can lower cholesterol levels, and lowers blood sugar. To add on to all of that, oats are very satiating.
Hemp, of course, is high in plant-based protein, contain good fats, and are also nutrient-dense. One ounce of hemp seeds contains nine grams of protein, twelve grams of fat, and two grams of fiber. It also contains all twenty amino acids and all nine of the essential amino acids which our bodies do not produce naturally. Hemp is also extremely easy to incorporate into your diet through the use of hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds) and hemp oil.
Once made, this recipe helps you save time as hemp granola can be refrigerated and stored. A large batch can last you up to 14 days. Not only does it save you time, but they provide a much healthier alternative to other snacks such as potato chips, ice-cream or the occasional fast-food run.
Keep in mind that this hemp granola recipe is highly customizable, and you can mix in different ingredients such as berries, other seeds, peanut butter etc. to meet your nutritional needs! Not only that, you can eat hemp granola by the handful, or with milk or yogurt.
MINISTRY OF HEMP’S ULTIMATE HEMP GRANOLA RECIPE
Prep time: 5 minutes
Tip: Our hemp granola recipe is gluten free, if you make sure to buy gluten free oats.
You can eat our hemp granola by the handful, or mix it with milk or yogurt. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Ellijah Pickering)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup + 1 honey or agave syrup
2 Tbsp butter
2-3 Tbsp hemp seeds
2 tsp ground flax seed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
3/4 – 1 cup rolled oats
1 Tbsp coconut flakes, unsweetened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small sauce pot, over medium heat, add the butter and peanut butter. Stir until softened. Turn heat to low. Then add in the honey (or agave). Stir for a minute, until well combined.
Add in the rolled oats, stir well to combine.
Add in the hemp seeds, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, flax seed, coconut flakes.
Turn off the heat. Stir well to combine. The mixture will feel very thick now.
Lay a sheet of aluminum down on a one-inch thick baking sheet. Pour the mixture onto one side of the sheet and flatten and spread with a spoon.
Load granola into the 350-degree oven and bake for 15 minutes. Edges will begin to brown when they are done.
Cool hemp granola at least ten minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge.
Today we’re going to show you how to make DIY hemp milk at home. Not only is it super fast and easy, but you can add ingredients to suit your…
Today we’re going to show you how to make DIY hemp milk at home.
Not only is it super fast and easy, but you can add ingredients to suit your personal taste preferences. Homemade hemp milk is a more economical option to store bought hemp milk, and you know exactly what is in it. Let’s make some hemp milk!
If you’re doing the ketogenic diet, and you haven’t tried hemp for keto, you’re missing out. Hemp seeds are perfect for keto, because they’re high in amino acids, fiber and essential fatty acids.
If you’re doing the ketogenic diet, and you haven’t tried hemp for keto, you’re missing out.
The ketogenic diet became a hit by flipping the popular notion of fat being detrimental to health on its head. So, how does hemp protein play into all of this?
Understanding the food that you eat and learning how it affects your body is important. Food directly affects your mood, energy levels, and most importantly, your health. Many modern health issues can be traced back to an incorrect food source and unhealthy eating habits. And with the emergence of processed foods, eating healthy has never been harder.
That’s why something like the keto diet has become so popular. Keto is an eating pattern that focuses on the omission of carbohydrates and the increased consumption of fats through oils and nuts. It’s a diet that questions our typical food source, and challenges us to try a different energy source for our bodies. Hemp is a perfect way to support this low-carb diet. Below are foods & recipes to incorporate more hemp into your diet, and get you those all-important fats while minimizing the caloric and carbohydrate cost.
Read more below on how hemp for keto is a match made in heaven.
Hemp for keto is a perfect choice due to hemp protein’s incredible nutritional profile.
HEMP FOR KETO: HEMP IS YOUR NEW FAVORITE SUPERFOOD
Hemp seeds are a great option to take advantage of hemp’s unique nutritional profile for your keto diet. The seeds have the same advantages as hemp oil, as the oil is derived from the pressing of the seeds.
Hemp seeds/oil are rich in Gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA) that help create prostaglandins, which are chemicals that help smooth muscles, control inflammation and body temperature. Foods that contain GLA help people with blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and more.
The Ketogenic diet requires a low-carbs, so all foods derived from grain are out of the question. Which means no bread or pasta. This is a problem because most meals use grains as filler. Hemp seeds are an easy fix to this problem. Aside from adding cauliflower and broccoli to your diet, you can use hemp for keto because hemp seeds are especially satiating due to their high fiber content.
Hemp is great in achieving heart health. A healthy heart requires less sugar, plant-based proteins, and good natural fats. Hemp seeds contain all these things. The regular consumption of hemp seeds, along with whole foods that are nutrient-dense and have good fats will make your heart very happy!
The best part about hemp is its nutritional profile. One ounce of hemp seeds contains nine grams of protein, twelve grams of fat, and two grams of fiber. It also contains all twenty amino acids and all nine of the essential amino acids that our bodies can’t produce.
Hemp is a superfood. Not only is it high in protein and natural fats, but it’s low in calories and carbohydrates. It can help you feel fuller and taste delicious, all while coming from a completely natural source.
The keto diet focuses on low carbohydrate and high fat consumption, making hemp for keto a great option to ensure you get plenty of vital amino acids. (Photo credit: Ellijah Pickering)
HEMP RECIPES FOR THE KETO DIET
Hemp is not just a nutrient dense super-food, it can also be a tasty addition to your favorite recipes. A chewy and nutty tasting seed, it provides a great texture and taste to your dishes. Aside from the seed and oil additives, hemp is also made into milk and cheese substitutes. Listed below are some examples of delicious hemp for keto recipes!
There’s nothing better than starting your day off with a delicious breakfast. This recipe is not only tasty, but extremely easy to make! Perfect for when you’re still half-asleep and just need a little something to get you kickstarted for the day. An awesome mix of chia, flax, and hemp seed (a trio you need to be using), paired with creamy yogurt, crunchy granola and fresh blueberries then topped off with all-natural agave syrup.
If you’re on the keto diet be sure to substitute the granola with avocado or more hemp seeds and use plain yogurt (not that fat-free stuff).
With just a few simple changes, many hemp recipes (like this smoothie) become keto diet friendly. (Photo credit: Ellijah Pickering)
Almost everyone loves Mediterranean food, so this hemp seed tabouli recipe will hit the spot. Parsley is chock-full of folic acid, vitamins A & C, and antioxidants. The recipe calls for a heaping dose of hemp-seeds, and the dressing is a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and salt.
Packed with 5 tablespoons of hemp seeds, or about 60 grams of fat, this is already a perfect hemp for keto recipe with no changes.
If you’re lazy like me, nutrient-dense smoothies are your go-to when you don’t feel like cooking. This recipe contains classic smoothie ingredients such as blueberry, bananas, and oatmeal. Then packs a nutrient-heavy punch with it’s hemp oil additive. Add another banana to thicken the smoothie which makes it more filling.
For Keto, I suggest replacing the water in the recipe with coconut milk or hemp milk and omitting granola.
For even more recipes, check out this list of recipes that highlight hemp use!
More and more people are asking themselves, “should I grow hemp?” The secret truth to hemp’s growing popularity is it’s one of the easiest, most versatile and most sustainable crops you can grow.
More and more people are asking themselves, “should I grow hemp?”
Across America, we’re witnessing an ever-growing market for industrial hemp. Only two years ago, there were less than 10,000 acres growing across the country. Today, this new cash crop has reached an astounding 27,000 acres. And that number continues to rise.
This comes as no surprise considering hemp’s wide variety of uses. Even beyond the industry, many small farmers are finding ways in which hemp benefits their lives.
The simple answer, you get more out of it than you put in and the crop can grow in some inhospitable conditions. However, as you’ll find out from reading, the real reasons go deeper than that.
WHY GROW HEMP? HEMP IS SUSTAINABLE AND HAS MANY, MANY USES
The secret truth to hemp’s growing popularity is it’s one of the easiest and most sustainable crops you can grow. Unlike major cash crops such as corn or wheat, hemp grows in dense clusters that require very little pesticide or herbicides and a minimal amount of fertilizer. It requires less water than some cash crops like cotton, though it isn’t considered a low water crop.
A hemp farmer surveys his crop at sunrise. Why grow hemp? Farmers grow hemp because it requires little maintenance and offers many uses.
You can grow hemp almost anywhere in the country, excluding very dry deserts and high mountaintops. Preferably, hemp prospers in well-drained soil that has a high quality of organic matter. This guide from HempTechGlobal offers more detail on the logistics of growing and harvesting hemp. One potential complication is decortication, in which the parts of the hemp plant are separated. Decortication can require access to specialized equipment.
Research has discovered growing hemp holds potential to heal polluted soil. With the possibility to replace fossil fuels and be a new source of paper, hemp is considered one of the most eco-friendly crops around.
In fact, there are over 25,000 known uses for hemp. Whether you’re looking for something as complex as a form of concrete (hempcrete) or something as simple as some pet bedding, hemp has you covered.
People’s health also benefits from access to hemp. Hemp is a superfood that provides a great source of nutrients and fibers. But even better, it’s the key ingredient in CBD oil, an amazingly beneficial nutritional supplement.
When it comes to why people grow hemp, whether it be for personal or industrial use, there are a wide variety of reasons to consider. Many farmers report it’s an incredibly rewarding crop to grow.
IS IT LEGAL TO GROW HEMP?
One of the biggest questions people have when deciding to grow hemp is about legality. In most people’s minds, it’s still very much attached to its still federally illegal cousin, psychoactive cannabis (‘marijuana‘), making many farmers all the more cautious.
Because each state operates differently under the bill, it’ll be necessary you do some research before planting any hemp crops.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GROW HEMP
There are some legal factors you’ll need to keep in mind before starting your hemp garden.
The first and most important is you’ll be required to have a license. One which requires a fee and lots of paperwork. In some cases, you may face a criminal background check.
Furthermore, after harvest, your plants must be tested for their THC levels. If they test higher than .3 percent, your crop will most likely be destroyed.
Industrial hemp grows in long, tightly packed rows on a farm. While there are large-scale uses for hemp, many smaller farms also grow hemp.
Some hemp farmers, such as Kim Phillips from Montana, run into unexpected difficulties. Her water source is federally regulated by the Bureau of Reclamation, so she had to request access to their assets for hemp irrigation. Since they didn’t approve her request in time, her plants withered the first time she tried to grow hemp.
Because hemp plants are required to have such a low amount of THC, many farmers find the most difficult task is finding the proper seed. Since hemp legality is so recent, the seed industry can’t always keep up with the ever-growing demand for seeds.
There have also been reported difficulties shipping seeds through states where hemp production is still illegal.
DESPITE COMPLICATIONS, SMALL FARMERS STILL GROW HEMP
Even with everything that’s been mentioned, the demand for this eco-friendly crop is enormous. Many farmers are jumping on the hemp bandwagon.
If considering an industrial hemp operation, you might want to take precautions to inform the community. Many hemp farmers post signs explaining that their crop is not marijuana. Tom Hewson, a Colorado hemp farmer, gathered his neighborhood together for a community meeting to inform them about the crop he had planned, and why he chose hemp. In his words, “educational efforts are critical.”
You may still wonder if it’s beneficial for you to grow it for personal reasons. The truth of the matter is, the legal standpoint on hemp may turn some growers off. But, if you can look past those obligations, hemp can be of great use to you.
As already mentioned, there’s such a wide variety of ways in which hemp can be used for your personal benefit. Even more so, though, by deciding to grow hemp, you can be a part of creating a more sustainable way of life.
Sampling Carla Boyd’s cooking was one of the highlights of our recent visit to Denver. Boyd is the founder of Hemp Way Foods, a Colorado company. She shared two of her favorite recipes with us: hemp pesto aioli and hemp tacos.
Sampling Carla Boyd’s cooking, including her hemp pesto aioli, was one of the highlights of our recent visit to Denver.
Boyd is the founder of Hemp Way Foods, a Colorado company. People lined up to sample her hemp burgers, vegan hemp nachos, and hemp tacos at the NoCo Hemp Expo last month. After we tried her food, we knew we wanted to find out more and get a few recipes for our readers.
Hemp hearts are a key ingredient in Carla Boyd’s hemp pesto aioli, along with many other delicious recipes.
We spoke with Boyd by phone to learn how she discovered hemp. She also shared two of her recipes, which you’ll find below: her famous hemp pesto aioli and hemp tacos.
HEMP WAY FOODS CREATED AFTER HEMP HEALED ILLNESS
Boyd began investigating hemp as a food source because of severe digestive problems. Her quality of life suffered, and nothing else seemed to help.
“I was a walking skeleton at the time,” she described. “I wasn’t absorbing any nutrients.”
Boyd was already involved with hemp advocacy, “but I had never really focused on the food side.”
“People started asking for it and wanted to buy it,” she recalled. “I never planned to have a food company; it’s almost like the company chose me.”
Hemp seeds are rich in antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatory substances. Hemp protein is also one of the most easily available and digestible proteins in the plant world. Boyd believes all of this contributed to making hemp easier for her body to process and use.
As Boyd’s health improved, the company grew with her. Four years later, Hemp Way Foods offers both the burger and hemp crumbles, which come in both original and sriracha pepper flavors. Both the hemp burger and hemp crumbles are vegan and free from common allergens like gluten, corn and soy. Hemp Way products are found in about a dozen restaurants and retail locations in Colorado, with plans to go national in the works.
Along the way, Boyd received the enthusiastic support of other hemp industry advocates and entrepreneurs.
“In the hemp world, there’s definitely a camaraderie,” she said.
Fresh basil and hemp hearts mix to create heavenly flavor in Carla Boyd’s hemp pesto aioli.
Directions: Defrost crumbles in a skillet with small amount of oil to crisp (1 tsp.). Stir all ingredients together and toast in the pan. Toast crumbles to desired crispness (about 8-10 minutes). Serve in corn tortillas with hemp pesto aioli on top.
Seeds are especially rich in trace minerals like folate, iron, zinc, and healthy fats. But we don’t always get seeds in our diet, which means we’re missing out on many health benefits.
Healthy seeds like flax, hemp, and sesame are an incredibly rich source of nutrients.
Seeds are especially rich in trace minerals like folate, iron, zinc, and healthy fats. But we don’t always get seeds in our diet. For many of us, nuts are the main type of seed in our food, and we rarely expand our diet to take advantage of the wide variety of healthy seeds available in nature – which means we’re missing out on many health benefits.
Healthy seeds like flax add valuable nutrients and delicious flavor to your meals. Other good options include hemp, sesame and chia seeds.
EATING SEEDS FOR A BETTER DIET
Seeds contain minerals, monounsaturated fats, fiber, and vitamin E; and these nutrients help keep your heart healthy and your body disease-free. Our ancestors relied on seeds to stay strong and healthy, and you can do the same by making minor adjustments to your diet. Let’s take a look at some healthy seeds to add to your diet, and reasons why you should be eating them.
They contain antioxidant properties and essential omega-3 fatty acids including alpha-linolenic acid, which enhances cardiovascular health. According to a paper published by Biochimie, a journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, alpha-linolenic acid reduces the risk of stroke significantly.
Flax seeds contain lignans, which are plant compounds that are reported to have antioxidant properties and to reduce the risk of cancer. The concentration of lignans found in flax seeds is 800 times higher than any other plant food. One Canadian study found that women who eat flax seeds are 18% less likely to develop breast cancer.
One way to eat flax seeds is to bake them into cookies or muffins, but you can also sprinkle them into your salads to get all the nutrients.
Hulled hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, are a popular form of hemp seeds.
Hemp seeds contain over 30% healthy fat, and are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain phytosterols, a compound that is known to reduce cholesterol, and gamma-linoleninc, another compound that has great health benefits. The balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids affects immune responses in the body; and hemp seeds provide a good supply of polyunsaturated fats.
One study showed that giving hemp seeds to people with eczema can increase the levels of essential fatty acids in the blood. To get the most out of hemp seeds, grind them or buy them hulled as “hemp hearts” and add a spoonful to your morning yogurt or sprinkle them over fresh fruit.
Chia seeds are a source of nutrients like calcium, fiber, iron and omega-3 fatty acids.
They are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and they contain calcium, fiber and iron. Omega-3 acids help to raise HDL cholesterol in your body (don’t worry this is “good” cholesterol), and they also protect you against strokes and heart problems. Chia seeds can help you reach your fitness goals by curbing your appetite, which is essential in managing body weight.
The best way to eat chia seeds is to add them into smoothies, salads, and granolas. You can also add one or two tablespoons into a beverage drinks – make sure to stir for at least 3 minutes. If you add the seeds to a drink or a “wet” dish, they swell up slightly as you eat, and they’re also a bit crunchy.
Healthy seeds like sesame can add fiber and trace nutrients to your diet.
Sesame seeds are known for having a high nutritional content that include vitamins, minerals, natural oils, and trace minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper. In addition to all that, they also contain fiber, vitamin B6, folate, thiamin, and proteins.
The high fiber content helps with digestion and zinc is useful in production of collagen, which gives your skin elasticity and helps to repair damaged tissues. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2016, sesame seeds enhance antioxidant properties and minimize oxidative stress.
These small healthy seeds contain at least two nutrients that are good for your heart; Vitamin E, and folate. Just one quarter cup serving will give you 60% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin E – and from a nutritional standpoint, this is important in a number of ways. Vitamin E assists the body in neutralizing free radicals and this protects cell membranes against swelling and redness.
The magnesium found in sunflower seeds can promote better moods, while other nutrients keep your heart healthy.
Both Vitamin E and folate have been shown to promote cardiovascular health, and magnesium, another ingredient found in sunflower seeds, enables muscles and the skeletal system to function properly. Magnesium also assists in respiratory function, heart health, and healthy PMS.
Magnesium also promotes a healthy mood. Over a century ago magnesium sulphate was given to people suffering from depression, and its success made it a valuable nutrient. Today magnesium is used in homeopathic therapies for mental health.
MAKE HEALTHY SEEDS AN EVERYDAY PART OF YOUR DIET
In order to see the long-term effects of these nutrients you have to make seeds a part of your daily diet. Find creative ways to include seeds in your snacks, drinks, and whole meals. Keep a bag of mixed seeds in your fridge to sprinkle on soups, salads, casseroles, and any other food you like. Remember, cooking is also a option when eating seeds, so find new ways to cook with seeds for a healthier diet.
We think you’ll quickly find that these healthy seeds become an essential, even craveable part of your meals.