If you have heard of hemp milk, you are probably aware of the negative associations that follow this plant-based milk. Dubbed the cannabis milk, the hemp milk is made from crushing the hulled seeds of the hemp plant. At its core, hemp seed is a species of cannabis that is touted for its sleep-aiding and stress-reducing benefits, but unlike Marijuana, hemp has lower levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for its psychoactive compounds that are typically found in high quantities in Marijuana. Hemp milk is noted for being a versatile drink; it can either be consumed straight from a cup or it can be added to a cereal, utilised in baked goods and even used in smoothies. It’s consistency and protein content makes hemp milk a great ingredient to be used in cereal, smoothies and coffee.
While technically not milk, hemp milk is a drink made with unsoaked and soaked hemp seeds mixed with water. One of the greatest benefits of consuming hemp milk is its high protein content, which is surprisingly much higher compared to any other non-dairy alternatives. It is also the perfect substitute for vegans and anyone with a gluten or soy intolerance. Hemp milk also doesn’t contain lactose, gluten and soy, which is perfect for people who might have an allergic reaction to these ingredients.
Benefits of Hemp Milk
In addition to its high-protein content, hemp milk is also a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. In fact, one cup of hemp milk contains an estimated 83 calories, 4.7 grams of proteins and 2% of the Daily Value (DV) of calcium. Besides its nutritional benefits, hemp milk is a rich source of calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. In addition to its abundant nutrient content, commercially manufactured hemp milk is fortified with vitamins A, D and B12.
Improve Cardiovascular Health
Hemp seed is said to contain linoleic acid, which is the main polyunsaturated fat present in vegetable oil, seeds, and nuts. Though the effects of linoleic acid in the body is not clear, it has been proven to lower the production of chemicals that cause inflammation in the body. This essentially means an increased intake of linoleic acid reduces inflammation in the blood vessels and cardiac muscles. Hemp milk has said to lower the risk of hypertension, coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis as well as related cardiac disorders. Apart from being a good source of linoleic acid, hemp milk is filled with amino acid arginine, which is essential to create nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps to relax the blood vessels in the body and aids in keeping a healthy blood pressure.
Supports and Builds Strong Bones
There’s a good reason why hemp milk is seen as a great substitute for milk derived from cow or goat. As a great source of phosphorus, the calcium fortified hemp milk is consists of high levels of pro-vitamin D, which plays a vital role in bone formation and bone mineralisation. People who are lactose intolerance or vegan can greatly benefit from the plant-based, non-dairy hemp milk. Drinking hemp milk will also prevent bone-related diseases such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Aids in Weight Loss
Although hemp milk is high in protein and fatty acids, the plant-based protein might aid in weight loss and help maintain a lean physique. In addition to increasing the amount of good fats in the body, hemp milk also does wonders to impede the build-up of cholesterol in the body. It works to restore the balance of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) while also regulating and preventing cholesterol accumulation in the body. Hemp milk also keeps you feeling full and curbs cravings, which will also keep you from binging.
Maintains Skin Health
The sebaceous glands in the skin are responsible for producing sebum, which is aids in preserving the texture and the health of the skin. The fatty acids found in hemp milk keep your skin hydrated and support the production of sebum on the skin. Hemp milk can be both applied topically and be even taken orally to ease sensitivity and inflammation. Hemp milk can also be used to reverse the effects of photoaging in the skin.
The Bottom Line
Before you stock up on hemp milk, make sure that you get a second opinion from a professional dietician. This is especially important if you have a predisposed health condition. Do note that although hemp milk contains more protein compared to any other non-dairy alternatives, the protein content in hemp milk does not meet the body’s protein requirements. The best way to ensure that you meet your daily protein intake would be to compensate for the lack of protein in hemp milk with other protein-rich foods.
One upside to hemp milk is it is easily digestible, that means that the body easily absorbs hemp milk. As one of the few non-dairy and plant-based complete proteins, hemp milk is filled with all essential amino acids that are needed by the human body.