My city is certainly hopping today. I’m not sure if it is the resurgence in hemp’s popularity, the amazing spring weather or an over consumption of Easter treats that is filling the streets with smiling people. Regardless of the cause, I’m excited that my fellow urban dwellers are emerging from hibernation and hitting the trails, boardwalks and patios.
I’ve noticed a surge in my own energy as a result of increasing my vitamin D stores (by strolling around the city) and ensuring my essential fatty acid consumption is in balance. You’ve probably heard a lot about Omega-3 fatty acids over the last few years. It has become a media darling and added to pretty much every processed food, just so it could be mentioned on the label.
In case you’re confused by the terminology, essential fatty acids (EFAs) are those required for our survival that cannot be created in our bodies. The foods we eat must provide these EFAs for our bodies to use in building our brains, nervous system and cell membranes. Omega-3 is one of these fatty acids as is the much maligned Omega-6. We need both, but they need to be consumed in a 1:2 to 1:4 ratio (so, slightly more 6s than 3s but not too much mores 6s or we get into trouble). Sources of Omega 6 fatty acids dominate the standard American diet and have put many of us out of balance.
Raw food diets are typically much closer to the ideal ratio. Adding a few rich sources of Omega 3s can help to promote our wellbeing and ensure the EFA balance we need. A daily dose of hemps seeds (2 tbsp) contains both Omega 3s and 6s in the perfect ratio. As a bonus, hemp seeds are also a fantastic source of high-quality, easily digested protein.
The hemp plant is also a renewable resource that has an incredible variety of uses. Hemp has a short growing period, requires no pesticides or fertilizers and can be used in amazing ways beyond the food supply (including textiles, carpets, paper, etc.).
While wearing your hemp t-shirt and that necklace you made in highschool you can enjoy hemp in many different ways. Hemp butters, oils and protein powders are now widely available. Hemp seeds can be sprinkled into smoothies, on top of salads or used to add a nutty flavour on spiralized noodles and sauce. I love hempseed pestos and my favourite hempanola. Hemp does have a strong flavour that may require some getting used to but the benefits of hemp are worth the effort. Brendan Brazier (vegan ultramarathoner) is a huge fan of hemp’s anti-inflammatory properties, which assist athletes in a speedy recovery.
The authors of Becoming Raw provide a recipe for Sunflower-Hemp Milk as another way to work hemp into your diet.
It is a creamy, rich cup of goodness that can be poured on top of a raw cereal, or added to a smoothie or soup to make sure your consumption of hemp is routine and delicious.