Hemp protein, as the name suggests, is the protein derived from the hemp seeds.
Hemp is a variety of the plant Cannabis sativa and it is grown specifically for its industrial use. Hemp seeds have significantly high protein content.
It lacks the psychoactive component THC and consequently does not result in euphoria.
The two most important and abundant types of protein found in hemp seeds are edestin (up to 80%) and albumin.
The content of these proteins is highest in hemp seeds compared to any other plant source. 100 grams of hemp seeds have nearly 32 grams of protein.
Hemp protein is a great vegan/vegetarian source of protein as it contains all the 20 amino acids along with the 8 essential amino acids required by the human body to synthesize all necessary proteins.
It also provides many other healthy nutrients such as healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, etc.
Hemp protein is a slow releasing protein and therefore it is beneficial for bodybuilders looking to prevent muscle loss. It can be consumed during the night as well.
Table of Contents
- How is Hemp Protein Made?
- Hemp vs. Other Plant Proteins
- Health Benefits of Hemp Protein
- 1. Hemp protein exhibits anti-oxidant properties
- 2. Hemp protein can aid in weight loss
- 3. Hemp protein can help meet the daily protein requirement
- 4. Hemp protein can improve heart health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- 5. Hemp protein has an anti-fatigue effect
- 6. Hemp protein could help prevent cancer and maintain colon health
- Side Effects/Precaution
How is Hemp Protein Made?
Hemp protein is made from hemp seed by industrial processing.
The seeds are treated and the hemp seed oil is expelled from it using cold pressing. This removes a lot of fat content from the seeds.
The rest of the hemp seed meal (seed cake) is milled and sifted to produce fine hemp protein powder.
Hemp seeds contain large amounts of fat along with proteins while hemp protein powder is rich in proteins and contains a lesser amount of fats.
Hemp vs. Other Plant Proteins
There are many plant-based proteins available in the market. Common ones include pea protein, rice protein, soy protein, etc.
They are all slightly different from each other in their amino acid profile.
Soy protein is a complete protein, i.e. it can provide the body with all the essential and non-essential amino acids in plenty.
Hemp protein is not a complete protein even though it has all the essential amino acids because it does not contain enough amounts of one or more essential amino acids.
Rice protein and pea protein are also incomplete because of limited lysine and tyrosine content respectively.
Soy and hemp protein are very alike in their profile. Soy protein might face the risk of being genetically modified which is not the case with hemp protein. Hemp protein is more expensive than soy protein.
Hemp protein is easily digestible, gluten-free, dairy-free and usually organic as they grow easily without the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
Most plant-based protein powders are alike in terms of their overall content of nutrients.
The amino acid content varies from one to another. The choice can be made based on individual’s preference to taste, cost, availability, etc.
Health Benefits of Hemp Protein
Hemp protein powder is a rich source of proteins, fiber, minerals, vitamins, healthy omega fatty acids, etc. Therefore it helps with the improvement of heart and colon health, weight loss, stimulating the immune system, etc. It also exhibits anti-oxidant properties.
1. Hemp protein exhibits anti-oxidant properties
Oxidative stress and damage are responsible for causing and aggravating many major disorders including cancer, arthritis, heart diseases, etc.
It also increases inflammation and thus enhances the risk of inflammatory diseases.
It is important to prevent oxidative stress and damage as much as possible. Therefore food items with anti-oxidant properties are a good addition to the lifestyle.
Hemp seed meal is anti-oxidant. A study conducted in hypertensive rat models showed that hemp seed meal protein hydrolysate has potent anti-oxidant property.
Rats were fed hemp meal hydrolysate and then blood was analyzed for the anti-oxidant markers.
It was observed that total peroxide levels decreased in the serum while the concentration of superoxide dismutase and catalase showed an increase.
Similarly total anti-oxidant capacity of the plasma also showed an improvement.
It was concluded that the hemp meal hydrolysate has anti-oxidant properties, which led to an increase in the levels of anti-oxidant enzymes (dismutase and catalase) in the serum along with a decrease in the rate of lipid peroxidation.
The peptide could also neutralize reactive oxygen species.
Hemp meal hydrolysate has been shown to have anti-oxidant properties. This can help reduce the risk of many diseases caused by oxidative stress and damage to the body.
2. Hemp protein can aid in weight loss
Obesity is a major cause of concern among people all over the globe.
Due to a sedentary lifestyle and increased consumption of unhealthy food, the number of people suffering from obesity has been on a rise.
It is important to keep obesity under check as it makes the body prone to many other cardiovascular and skeletal diseases.
Hemp protein is a great source of fiber (5 grams fiber/30 grams hemp protein). Fiber is known to help with weight loss in many ways.
Fiber helps reduce appetite by giving a feeling of fullness. Studies have shown that dietary fiber reduces the risk of weight gain and fat in women.
Addition of fiber to diet has been suggested as a way to curb obesity and improve the success of weight-loss diets.
Fibers not only suppress appetite but they also alter the secretion of gut hormones, reduce the absorption of macronutrients, promote the feeling of fullness, etc.
Lack of fiber in the diet has also been linked to increased risk of atherosclerosis, ischemic heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, etc. Fibers also lower serum cholesterol and improve the quality of gut microflora.
Fiber is known to help with weight loss through various mechanisms. Hemp protein is a great source of dietary fiber. Therefore it can help with weight loss and reduce the risk of weight gain.
3. Hemp protein can help meet the daily protein requirement
Many people are not capable of reaching their daily allowance of protein through the regular diet.
This is more evident in people with an active lifestyle, athletes, bodybuilders, etc. Protein is an important macronutrient required by the human body as it makes up enzymes, antibodies, hormones, etc.
Proteins also make up a major portion of tissues and extracellular components. It also constitutes hair, nails, etc.
Protein intake is necessary for maintaining muscle mass in athletes. Proteins are also known to help you feel fuller after meals and aid in weight loss.
Hemp protein powder is rich in protein. 30 grams of the powder has nearly 15 grams protein. Hemp protein is also easily bioavailable to the body.
It is a great way to meet the dietary allowance of protein for vegetarians/vegans. Hemp protein can help reduce the risk of protein deficiency and ensure proper functioning of vital body organs.
Proteins are an important macronutrient and required for the proper functioning of the body. Hemp protein powder is a rich source of protein and it can help meet the daily protein requirement with ease.
4. Hemp protein can improve heart health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
Hemp protein powder is a great source of healthy omega fatty acids. It contains omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids in the ideal ratio of 3:1.
This ratio is known to promote heart health. Healthy omega fats can reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases.
Omega 3 fatty acids can help with cardiovascular prevention, treatment post-myocardial infarction, and prevention of cardiac death (sudden). It is associated with reduces the risk of strokes. It also helps to lower cholesterol levels.
Omega-3 fatty acids also have an anti-inflammatory effect which helps prevent inflammatory damage to cardiac and vascular tissue. This reduces vascular atherogenic inflammation.
Hemp protein is also rich in arginine, which is known to maintain better vascular health and reduce the risk of hypertension.
The anti-oxidant property of hemp protein is also important for maintaining heart health.
High fiber content also reduces serum cholesterol and obesity. This, in turn, reduces the risk of heart diseases.
Omega fatty acids have been shown to be instrumental in reducing the risk of osteoporosis in women.
Lack of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the body can result in bone loss in women. Intake of these can help improve bone mass and maintain overall bone health.
Omega 3 fatty acids also reduce post-menopausal bone loss in women. They play an important role in improving skeletal health.
Hemp protein powder is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which have many beneficial properties and promote overall cardiac health. It also helps maintain bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
5. Hemp protein has an anti-fatigue effect
Fatigue is a common cause of loss of productivity and motivation in people.
Alleviation of fatigue through consumption of dietary supplements can be useful for people with busy lifestyles. Hemp seed protein is one such dietary supplement.
A study conducted in mice models showed that hemp seed protein has an anti-fatigue effect.
Administration of hemp seed protein to mice improved swimming time and liver hepatin. There was also a reduction in lactic acid levels (characterizes fatigue).
This indicated that hemp seed protein has an anti-fatigue effect and might help with feeling energized and motivated.
Hemp seed protein has been shown to have an anti-fatigue effect, which can help improve performance and productivity in users.
6. Hemp protein could help prevent cancer and maintain colon health
As mentioned before, hemp protein is a great source of dietary fiber. 30 grams of hemp protein powder contains nearly 5 grams of fiber. Fiber has been linked to better colon health.
Adding more fiber and water to meals can help reduce constipation, improves the gut microflora, improved digestion, etc.
Fiber can also reduce the risk of development of hemorrhoids and diverticular diseases of the colon. Fiber can also reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by preventing the abruption of carcinogens by intestinal cells.
Hemp protein is rich in fibers. Fiber is known to contribute to better gut and colon health. It also reduces the risk of colon diseases such as ulcers and cancers.
One serving (about 30 grams) of hemp protein contains nearly 10-15 grams of protein. Usually, people consume one serving (30 grams) 2-3 times a day.
It can be adjusted based on the needs of the individual.
Generally, 40-50 grams of proteins every day (0.8g protein/kg of body weight) is recommended to sedentary women and men.
People who have an active lifestyle are supposed to consume more protein (1.2- 1.5 g protein/kg body weight).
Users should also monitor their overall protein and fiber intake and make necessary adjustments to avoid excess protein or fiber intake.
It can be taken directly with water or added to smoothies, oatmeal, and juices. It has a slightly nutty taste.
Hemp is free of major side effects. It isa hypoallergenic, which means it usually does not cause allergies.
Nonetheless, users should monitor their symptoms when they first start using hemp. If any discomfort is noticed, the use should be stopped for a while. Users should obtain hemp protein powder free of contaminants and any THC.
Hemp protein is rich in dietary fiber and excess fiber can result in alteration of bowel movement. It can lead to flatulence, cramping, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, etc.
Daily intake of fiber and hemp protein dose should be adjusted in order to avoid such side effects. Users can increase their water consumption as well to counteract this.
Hemp protein can interfere with blood clot formation. Users who take anticoagulants should consult their doctor before starting the use of hemp protein.
Large amounts of hemp protein per day could result in the intake of excess protein, which in turn could put an extra burden on the liver and cause protein toxicity.
There could be some issues with people who have herpes infection due to the high content of arginine in hemp protein. People with autoimmune diseases should also be aware as hemp protein can stimulate the immune system.
It is always recommended that the users consult their healthcare provider before incorporating a new component in their diet.
This helps to avoid major side effects resulting from health conditions and drug interactions.
Many people find themselves consuming less protein than required by the body for its optimum functioning.
Protein makes up most of the body and its organs. It is also the major component of hormones, enzymes, antibodies, etc.
Athletes and active people also need more protein in order to maintain muscle mass.
Protein is known to help with the feeling of fullness and consequently weight loss. Hemp protein powder is a great vegan/vegetarian protein source. It contains all the 20 different amino acids as well as the essential amino acids.
It also contains healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, etc. which can promote overall health. Hemp protein has been found to exhibit anti-oxidant and anti-fatigue properties.
It contains omega fatty acids, which have been linked to weight loss, maintaining cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, etc.
Hemp protein is a little expensive but easily available and does not pose the risk of being genetically modified. They usually don’t cause allergies in users. It can be added to numerous food items including smoothies, oatmeal, etc.
Hemp protein is free of major side effects as long as it is consumed in moderation.
Consultation with a healthcare provider regarding drug interaction (especially with anticoagulants) is useful in order to avoid side effects.