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  • Writer's pictureAlison Cowell

What's all the hype about hemp?

Despite its rather matter of fact name this amazing plant is anything but ordinary. It's been around for up to 50,000 years that we know of and may be one of the earliest plants to be cultivated. The Chinese have been known to use it to make clothes, shoes, ropes and even an early form of paper!

Nutritionally it offers a wealth of health benefits being high in many nutrients including fundamentals like calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. The B vitamin content helps boost energy whilst its vitamin A and leucine levels help improve eye health.

Hemp oil is a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6. Both of these fats are proven to improve heart health and reduce cholesterol. Hemp oil is every bit as versatile as olive oil and can be used on its own as a dressing, as a dip (perhaps with some balsamic vinegar) and also for cooking.

Meanwhile hemp seeds can be eaten with or without the hull. For vegans looking for dairy alternatives, the seeds can also be used to make a milk with a pleasant light and slightly nutty flavour.

Hemp is also a great source of soluble and insoluble fibre which keeps the digestive system functioning efficiently. Soluble fibre acts as a prebiotic and promotes the growth of happy, healthy gut bacteria. Those amongst you who have read previous blogs/posts/books I’ve published, or attended any of my workshops or talks, will know how much I emphasise the importance of healthy gut bacteria (your microbiome) so hemp is a firm favourite of mine 😊

Aha, I hear you cry, but is it safe and legal? Well, as another Cowell would say, that’s a big fat YES! Its alternative name, cannabis sativa, understandably seems to cause confusion for many. However, hemp has negligible tetrahydrocannabinol (THC to you and me !) - the psychoactive component found in the cannabis plant. Rest assured, hemp is not only safe and legal, it will be a fantastic addition to your diet!

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