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What Are Hemp Hearts and What Do They Do?

Whether you enjoy a splash of dairy-free milk in your morning coffee, are partial to a plant-based protein smoothie, or like a sprinkling of seeds on top of your porridge or salad, there’s a whole host of ways you can incorporate hemp into your diet. But the most versatile of the bunch has to be hemp hearts. 

If you’re a newbie to plant-based diets, or even if you’re not, you may have heard a lot of talk about hemp hearts, yet don’t actually know too much about them. Well, it’s time to get clued up as we delve into the facts surrounding these magical sources of nutritional goodness and teach you just how beneficial they are for your health and wellbeing.

What Are Hemp Hearts? 

Similar to chia or flax seeds, hemp hearts are jam-packed with nutrients, so it’s no surprise they’ve become a popular pantry staple. But what exactly are hemp hearts and where do they come from?

Derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant, hemp hearts are simply the soft inner part of hemp seeds once they have been unshelled – their squishy centre, if you will. Despite sharing the same plant mother, hemp hearts don’t contain CBD or THC, therefore will not make you feel high, just in case you were worried.

So how can you incorporate hemp hearts into your diet? 

While we could easily recommend shovelling down a handful of hemp hearts as a snack — you’ll love their nutty flavour and chewy texture — there are hundreds of other creative ways in which you can use them to boost your daily protein intake. From sprinkling on your breakfast cereal or yoghurt, to incorporating them into baked goods such as cookies, muffins, breads and other healthy snacks, dosing up on these little guys is one of many plant-based ways we can increase our protein intake.

Are Hemp Hearts and Hemp Seeds the same thing?

Hemp seeds are extracted from the Sativa plant and have a hard, nut-like exterior and a soft inside. Hemp hearts are the name commonly given to that seed’s soft inside. 

While the terms are often used interchangeably, hemp seeds are rarely eaten due to their crunchy and hard shell which loves to get stuck in your teeth. Therefore to make products such as hemp protein, hemp milk and hemp oil, we deshell our hemp seeds and just use the hearts. However, the crunchy shell is a great source of fibre, and when ground down to a fine powder, works a treat in baking or used as a supplement in smoothies – meet our Hemp Seed Flour.

Benefits of Hemp Hearts

These hemp hearts may be small, but they really do pack a punch when it comes to their nutritional benefits. Just a few daily tablespoons of these superfood seeds can take care of everything from your heart health to upping your intake of muscle-building macronutrients. Basically, it’s a powerhouse in the seed world.

1. Natural Nutritional Supplements

We like to refer to hemp hearts as magic seeds, because they’ve seriously got our backs when it comes to health and wellness – plus we don’t have to wait in line at the prescription counter for them. 

These little guys are loaded with protein (with three tablespoons racking up a mighty 9.5 grams – more than a single egg!), plus a healthy dose of fibre, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin B1 and beyond. So it’s sure to tick all your vitamin and mineral boxes.

2. Beneficial for Heart Disease

These aptly-named hemp hearts are actually extremely good for – you guessed it – your heart, thanks to their super high fatty acid content. Seafood usually comes up trumps as one of the best sources for omega-3 fatty acids, but our little hearts deserve a shoutout, too.

And why are omega-3 fatty acids so important for your heart health? Well, not only do they help reduce levels of triglycerides (a type of fat linked with increased risk of heart disease), they also reduce build-up in your arteries, lowering the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Not only that, but they help to lower blood pressure – so we’d say they’re pretty important!

In fact, did you know that just three tablespoons of hemp hearts provide more than double your daily recommended amount of alpha-linolenic acid? This is the type of omega-3 that the body can’t produce on its own, and therefore has to source from your diet.

*frantically adds hemp hearts to basket*

3. Digestion Aids

In addition to a perfectly pumping heart, indulging in a handful of these superseeds every day can also help us maintain a healthy gut. You see, hemp hearts are also a good source of soluble and insoluble fibre, both of which provide the human body with valuable nutrients for your digestive bacteria. These help to reduce blood sugar spikes, regulate cholesterol levels and reduce any unwanted toxins in your gut. Have a high-fibre diet and everybody’s happy!

But that’s not all! Here are a few more benefits of bringing hemp heart into your diet that we haven’t even mentioned yet:

  • Improves immunity levels
  • Improves brain health 
  • Combats menopause and PMS symptoms
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Balances hormones 
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Supports stronger bones
  • Reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Improves skin conditions 
  • Provides relief for rheumatoid arthritis 

Now you know just how powerful these miniature plant-based gems are for your health, you’ll want to snap up a package or two of your own to try, right? Well you’re in luck! Whether you pop it in your handbag for an on-the-move protein hit or store it pride of place on your kitchen shelf, Good Hemp’s hemp seed heart pouches are perfect for all your sprinkling, stirring and baking needs.