Hemp-derived CBD oil products are rapidly gaining popularity as a health supplement. But did you know that there is more to hemp than just CBD? Hemp protein is emerging as a popular vegan alternative to animal-based proteins, such as whey protein.
What is Hemp Protein?
Hemp protein is a plant-based protein powder derived from the seeds of the cannabis plant. To be more specific, the hemp plant.
To make hemp protein powder, hemp seeds are ground up and the oil is extracted. This removes most of the fat content. The resulting “seed cake” is then milled and turned into a powder. The powder gets sifted multiple times to produce a powder that becomes progressively finer, leaving a highly concentrated powder containing protein.
In addition to protein, hemp protein powder also contains fiber, an ideal 3:1 omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, various minerals (magnesium, iron, calcium), and antioxidants. It also contains all nine of the essential amino acids our bodies require: phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine.
Of the remaining fat that is left in the product, most of it is unsaturated. Unsaturated fat is the ideal type of fat for things such as heart health.
While animal proteins are generally considered easier to digest than plant proteins, it is believed that hemp protein is so easily digested because of the presence of edestin and albumin. These are proteins that the body can break down quickly.
Why Choose Hemp Protein Over Whey?
Many believe that whey protein is the superior protein powder choice due to its significant protein content. While whey does contain more protein than hemp, it lacks the fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats in hemp.
Additionally, if you are trying to get away from animal products, have issues with dairy, or want to avoid highly processed products, hemp is a great vegan alternative.
What if I Don’t Want a Ton of Protein, But Want the Other Benefits?
If you don’t want a lot of protein, but still want the benefits of the omegas, vitamins, fiber, and minerals, the unprocessed hemp seeds are a good alternative to the concentrated protein powder. The seeds will have a higher fat content, but a good portion of it is still unsaturated.
Furthermore, there is still some debate on whether the milled protein powder retains the full vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant profile. By consuming hemp seeds, you are guaranteed to get all the benefits the whole seed has to offer. Adding them into smoothies or on salads are just two easy ways to incorporate them into your daily diet.