Getting the right balance of essential fatty acids can be tricky for vegetarians and vegans. Hemp oil contains the optimum ratio of these acids. Extracted from the raw seeds of hemp plant, it is rich in protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-6, omega-3 and insoluble fiber. It also contains a range of antioxidants and minerals. Plus, it tastes great.
If you’re still wondering whether or not to use this oil, read on, and find the answer.
Why Hemp Oil?
- For A Healthy Heart: Hemp seed oil provides a balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, 3:1, which is said to support heart health and cardiovascular functioning. It is especially good for people who are watching their cholesterol, as it help lower cholesterol levels naturally by accelerating metabolic processes. With a faster metabolism, fat burns at a quicker rate and is not deposited on the walls of the arteries.
- For Good Mood & A Healthy Brain: Essential fatty acids (EFAs) in hemp oil play a significant role in the functioning of the brain. If your brain doesn’t have enough access to these fatty acids, you might become more prone to depression. Keep your mind nourished with hemp and promote good mood.
- For Strong Immunity: EFAs also support immune system response, thus building a natural barrier against microbes and increasing the resilience of the body.
- For Glowing Skin: Due to its high content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, hemp oil makes an excellent natural emollient that can moisturize the skin naturally. It increases skin elasticity and water retention capacity in tissues. Moreover, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may slow down the effects of aging on the skin.
- Great Flavor: Hemp oil has a pleasant, nutty flavor that can be explored in several soups and salads. To make the most of its health benefits, you could also include the oil in dips such as aioli, and marinades for your fish and meat.
The recommended daily allowance of hemp seed oil is 1tbsp to 2tbsp (14-28ml), which provides 3g to 6g of omega-3 fatty acids, and between 8g and 16g of omega-6 fatty acids.
Cooking With Hemp Oil
Full of healthy fats, hemp seed oil is a powerful alternative to several other unhealthy oils. However, it has a very low smoke point and changes its composition easily. Best used as a drizzle for salads, hemp oil can be used for low-heat cooking, light stir-frying and in healthy dips.
Healthy Recipe: Savory Kale Chips With Hemp & Flaxseed
Ditch those sodium-loaded, high-cal chips, and make Julieanna Hever’s healthy, delicious kale chips, instead.
- 2 large bunches green or purple kale (or a combination of both), stems removed
- 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos
- 2 tablespoons hemp oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 teaspon garlic powder or garlic granules
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup finely ground flaxseeds or flaxseed meal
- Evenly divide kale between 2 very large bowls. Over each bowlful of kale, drizzle 1 tablespoon tamari, 1 tablespoon hemp oil, and 1 tablespoon water
- In a small bowl, combine nutritional yeast flakes, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and Himalayan pink salt. Evenly divide between the 2 bowls, sprinkling mixture over kale. Using your hands, toss and gently massage kale leaves to evenly coat.
- Over each bowlful of kale, sprinkle 2 tablespoon hemp seeds and 2 tablespoon flaxseeds, and again, toss and gently massage kale leaves to evenly coat.
- To dehydrate, place kale leaves in a single layer on dehydrator racks (depending on the type of dehydrator you have, it will fill 4 or 5 racks). Dehydrate for 4 to 6 hours or until kale leaves are light and crispy. Alternatively, to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners. Working in batches, place kale leaves in a single layer on the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 min.
- Remove from the oven, flip over kale leaves, and bake for 10 to 15 more min. or until kale leaves are light and crispy. Repeat procedures with remaining kale leaves as needed.
Enjoy kale chips as a snack, or lightly crush them up over popcorn, gluten free pasta, or salad, as desired. Store kale chips in an airtight container at room temperature—they’ll be good to eat for upto five days.