Are you seeking a new way to add flavor – and amplify the nutritional quotient – of your salads and veggie dishes? If you can legally obtain it where you live, hemp seed oil may be just what you are looking for.
Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant – and no, this oil does not contain THC, the compound which produces the “high” of marijuana. This oil has many markings of a true superfood, thanks to protein, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant vitamin E.
The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hemp seed oil manifest in an ideal ratio. It has been found that many Americans consume far more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s, which can have health consequences including system-wide, disease-promoting inflammation. Increasing the amount of omega-3s you consume, on the other hand, is a healthy decision, as they help reduce inflammation, and are linked to protecting the cardiovascular and nervous systems.
This is not to say that omega-6 fatty acids are all bad – your body needs them too, just in the right ratio with omega-3s. Many experts agree that a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is best. One omega-6 fatty acid found in hemp seed oil is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is linked to reduced inflammation as well as anti-cancer action.
Hemp seed oil is considered a complete protein, as it contains all of the essential amino acids necessary for human sustenance. The protein found in this oil is very easy for the body to digest. The vitamin E that hemp seed oil contains has potent antioxidant properties, and is also vital to the health of hair, skin and nails.
When choosing a quality hemp seed oil, look for one that is organic, cold pressed and filtered. It is often sold in a dark bottle, as it can degrade with exposure to light. Store it in a dark place – it can also be kept in the freezer.
It is important to note that hemp seed oil is not for cooking. It has a low smoke point, and loses much of its benefits when heated. If it is heated too much, it can even form harmful compounds. For this reason, hemp seed oil, which has a pleasant flavor sometimes described as “nutty,” is a perfect drizzling oil, either to top salads, or steamed veggies – once they’ve cooled off a bit.
You could also use hemp seed oil to whip up a homemade salad dressing, or add a tablespoon or two to a smoothie. If it is available in your area, do not miss the dense nutrition that this amazing oil provides.
-The Alternative Daily