Many people are surprised to find out that hemp seeds are not seeds at all-they're fruit! And what a superfruit: hemp seeds (or hemp nuts as some call them) are among the most nutritious foods you can eat. Not only do they contain a high percentage of biologically available protein, but also an ideal amount of fantastic fats. Our Western/ American diets are chronically and notoriously low in prized omega-3 fatty acids, which are responsible for healthy cell structure, brain function, liver function, and more. Lots of foods contain them, but hemp seeds have a better ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. This is an important ratio that is usually way out of whack in our diets, and that has been known to contribute to all sorts of undesirable conditions.
Yes, omega-6 fats are in drastic overabundance in the typical corn, soy, and other vegetable oil heavy Standard American Diet (SAD, and, yes, it is sad!). Meat, particularly from grain-fed livestock, also contains very high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. Too much omega-6 can raise blood pressure and increase the likelihood of the development of nasty and dangerous blood clots (which can cause heart attacks and strokes). It is also reported to be a factor leading to the development of cancer, asthma, and arthritis. And if that's not bad enough, too much omega-6 also slows metabolism and can cause water retention and depression. (And what is more depressing than a slow metabolism and bloating?)
Aside from an abundance of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, hemp seeds are full of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin A, and potassium. But it's the fact that hemp seeds contain all ten essential amino acids (those protein building blocks that your body has to get from food since your body cannot produce them) that make the hemp seed such a star of the raw-vegan diet. And the good news is, they taste great, too. Their nutty flavor makes them a great topping for salads. We use them at the restaurant in crackers and pizza crusts, too.