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The Dietary Scoop on Hemp Seeds and Flaxseeds

By Rebecca Price

We have already discussed the health benefits of chia seeds on Pulp Nature, but there are several other options when it comes to dietary additives–mainly flaxseeds and hemp seeds, which are both currently very popular in the health community.

Flaxseeds, in particular, contain a large amount of omega-3. According to Dr. Mike Roussell on shape.com, two tablespoons of flaxseed meal contains 4 grams of fiber, 2.4 grams of omega-3, and 300 milligrams of lignans, which is an antioxidant.

Lignans, particularly, may lower cholesterol and are anti-inflammatory. Roussell also added that flaxseeds should only be eaten ground so that all of the nutrients are fully digested.

Flaxseeds come in a variety of forms, such as whole flaxseed, ground, and even as an oil. It’s best to eat it ground, per Roussell’s suggestion; however, the grounds can go bad quickly, according to sparkpeople.com. For that reason, it’s important to keep the mixture refrigerated or frozen.

Additionally, hemp seeds have also become incredibly popular. According to a Livestrong article called, “What Are The Benefits of Hemp Seeds?” these seeds come from “a plant that is similar to the marijuana plant, but has lower levels of psychoactive cannabinoid compounds.”

So, there is virtually no THC in hemp seeds. Vegetarian.about.com also assures readers that it is impossible to use industrial hemp as a drug. Livestrong still advised, however, that you consult your doctor before trying hemp seeds.

Roussell said that hemp seeds are the most well-rounded and balanced nutritional profile out of the three (chia, hemp or flax). “Two tablespoons contains 6 grams of fat (including 882 milligrams of ALA), 2 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein,” he explained. “One unique characteristic of hemp seeds is that they contain all essential amino acids—something uncommon with plant protein sources.”

Hemp seeds come in a variety of forms, according to vegetarian.about.com: hemp milk, ground hemp flour, hemp oil, hemp ice cream, and hemp protein powder. It is most commonly used as a seed, however.

You can eat both flaxseeds and hemp seeds in a variety of ways: I mainly put them into my smoothies or oatmeal, but you can also sprinkle them on top of salads, incorporate them into your baking, or mix them in with your yogurt or cottage cheese.

While chia, hemp, and flaxseeds are all popular right now, fads come and go in the health industry just like they do in the fashion world. So, what can we look forward to next? Will it be another superseed? Whatever the case, it’s always important to stick with foods that we know are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and  polyphenols, known as “superfoods,” according to health.com. Examples of these are kale, almonds, blueberries, spinach, oats, and salmon.

 

Image Source: Alisha Vargas

 

Rebecca Price–Autoimmune Ally

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About Author

Born a North Carolinian, Rebecca Price moved to Papua New Guinea when she was 3 and lived on a Wycliffe Bible Translators center there until she graduated high school in 2010. Now a rising senior at Asbury University, Rebecca is a double major in creative writing and journalism with a minor in Spanish. Rebecca is the Executive Editor of her student newspaper, the Asbury Collegian, and a writing tutor at the Center for Academic Excellence. She has had some wonderful experiences during her time at Asbury, including reporting at the London 2012 Olympics through the NBC-affiliate LEX-18. She enjoys bunnies, coffee and AP Style.

View all Rebecca Price posts.

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