As a vegetarian for many years, and currently transitioning to entirely vegan, I often get asked, where do you get your protein? The question. Though not as important as one might think, but still important, on some scale, if one is active, or practicing up to two hours of yoga a day. On a whole, Americans get far too much protein in their diet. And, in my opinion, not really the best sources, or the most bioavailable. Assimilation is key. Especially for those eating to live, versus living to eat.
Over the course of several weeks I'll be posting on various nutritional sources I've found to be beneficial to my overall diet, health and well-being. Now more than ever, I look to my food as an important element to maintaining balance. Yes, it's important to enjoy the process of eating. However, I'm completely over eating to enjoy, to then, feel I have to pay for it later with a food hangover. It's all about energy exchange. Check in with yourself. Does this food take away or add to my overall health and well-being? Important questions to ask.
I won't start preaching why vegetarianism and veganism is essential to health. Simply put, I've approached these practices as I've become more sensitive, while in tune with my own body. Thanks to yoga. Each choice we make not only affects ourselves, but the world around us. With the information my body has provided, along with external information in regards to environmental, and social issues, making the choice was an easy one. What I implore to those, is to tune inward, and go from there. It's something one must feel from the inside out. Not necessarily from external pressures.
By opening a dialogue in regards to health and nutrition I'm talking about living to the maximum, not just getting by. For this type of living one needs maximum sources of fuel. No more numbing. It's time to feel fully alive!
Hemp seeds are one of the most nutritionally complete food sources in the world. No kidding.
Both rich in protein and essential fatty acids this power packed seed goes back thousands of years. Both hemp seed and hemp seed oil are filled with benefits. Here's the 1, 2, 3.
1. EFAs. Essential fatty acids. There are the essential fatty acids in the oil — omega-6, omega-3, omega-9 — and also minor fatty acids like gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and stearidonic acid, which is biosynthesized from the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
GLA and ALA cannot be made by the human body and must be obtained through the diet, so they are called essential fatty acids (EFA). GLA and ALA are the most important fatty acids in human nutrition and health. They are involved in producing life energy from food and the movement of that energy throughout the body. EFAs govern growth, vitality and state of mind. Still, much is unknown about their functioning in the body. This oil comprises 35% of the total seed weight and has the lowest amount of saturated fatty acids at 8%, and the highest amount of the polyunsaturated essential fatty acids at 80%. Flax seed oil comes in second at 72% combined total essential fatty acids.2. 35% consists mostly of fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber possesses passive water-attracting properties that help to increase bulk, soften stool and shorten transit time through the intestinal tract. Soluble fiber undergoes metabolic processing via fermentation, yielding end-products with broad, significant health effects.
3. 25% consists of a complete and highly-digestible protein, 65% high-quality edestin protein, the most potent protein of any plant source, 35% albumin protein and glutamic acid. The globulin edestin in hemp seed closely resembles the globulin in blood plasma, and is compatible with the human digestive system. It is vital to the maintenance of a healthy immune system and is also used to manufacture antibodies. Albumin is a protein manufactured by the liver that is supportive of liver and kidney health. Its high quality amino acid composition is closer to “complete” sources of proteins (meat, milk, eggs) than all other oil seeds except quinoa and soy.
Hemp seeds are also high in essential nutrients including chlorophyll, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, phytosterols, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, calcium, fiber, histidine, iron, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin and thiamin.The good thing is, hemp seeds are easy to add to one's diet and taste great. Yummy. I love to sprinkle them on my favorite sprout and avocado salad. They go well sprinkled in oatmeal, smoothies, or even raw all by themselves. Remember to keep them refrigerated and sealed. This is important. As for hemp seed oil, use just like you would flax seed oil. I've been told it's good to rotate between flax seed and hemp seed oil. Both oils are not used for cooking and must be kept refrigerated. Adding the oil to salads, smoothies, soups, oatmeal or whatever else, is key after the food as been cooked.