Hemp Protein: Is It Good for You and Your Body?
Hemp protein has become increasingly popular in recent years as a plant-based alternative to animal-based proteins such as soy, casein, and whey. Made from the seeds of the hemp plant (a cousin of the same species that produces marijuana), hemp protein provides 10 grams of protein per tablespoon — which is on par with other high-protein foods. Moreover, hemp protein is also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, minerals like iron and magnesium, and vitamins like Vitamin E. These properties make it an appealing addition to foods ranging from smoothies to baked goods. However, as with any food source, there are pros and cons to adding hemp protein to your diet. Here’s what you need to know about hemp protein before adding it to your diet...
What is Hemp Protein?
Hemp protein is simply a protein powder made from hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts. Unlike hemp seeds, hemp protein has very little nutrition. It is a processed food that is often used as a protein supplement. Hemp protein is different than hempseed oil in that hemp protein is a powder, while hempseed oil is a liquid. Hemp protein is often confused with soy protein, which is another plant-based protein source. Hemp protein is different from soy protein, however, as it is a complete protein source. This means it has all the amino acids needed to build full proteins in the body. Soy protein does not have all the amino acids needed, which means it is an incomplete protein source.
How Much Protein Does Hemp Have?
One tablespoon of hemp protein powder has 10 grams of protein, which is enough to be considered a high-protein food. This is the same amount of protein that is found in dairy and animal products, such as eggs and meat. Hemp protein is also rich in fibers, minerals, and vitamins. Hemp protein is a complete protein, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. Amino acids are essential to our health and are found in proteins. Like many plant-based proteins, however, hemp protein is low in the amino acid methionine. This means that it’s important to pair hemp with other plant-based proteins that contain methionine to get the full benefits of protein in your diet.
Pros of Hemp Protein
Hemp protein is rich in fiber. According to the USDA, one serving of hemp (about 1/4 cup) has 8 grams of fiber. This is more than double the daily recommended intake of fiber for adults. Hemp protein is high in iron. Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrition deficiencies, with as many as 30% of women and 20% of men being iron deficient. One serving of hemp protein has 3.7 mg of iron, which is about half of the recommended daily intake. Iron is important for the production of red blood cells and is especially important for menstruating women. Hemp is a good source of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that is linked to a variety of health benefits.
Cons of Hemp Protein
Hemp protein is a plant-based protein and is therefore incomplete. Plant-based proteins, like hemp protein, are low in the amino acid methionine. This means that when eating hemp protein alone, the body will not be able to use all of the protein available. Hemp protein is low in the amino acid cysteine. Cysteine is needed to break down proteins in the body, so people who consume mainly hemp may not fully digest their proteins. This can lead to issues like bloating or indigestion. Hemp protein is low in lysine. Lysine is an amino acid needed for cell growth and repair. While hemp protein is still high in other amino acids, certain functions in the body depend on lysine. This means that people who consume mostly hemp may not be able to fully benefit from the protein in their diet.
Final Words: Is Hemp Protein Good for You?
Hemp protein is a high-quality plant-based protein that is rich in fiber and vitamins and minerals. Because it is a complete protein source, hemp protein can be a healthy addition to your diet. However, hemp protein is also low in certain amino acids, including cysteine and lysine. This means that hemp protein should not be consumed alone and should be paired with other high-protein foods. For optimal health, people should aim to get 1g per kg bodyweight or more protein per day. This can be easily achieved by eating a diet rich in protein, such as a combination of hemp protein and other plant-based proteins. Visit our section of protein powders to get the best hemp protein on the market! Click Here!