Hemp

For years, hemp has been considered a bit of a cheeky plant in New Zealand and has been ignored for its nutritional properties. Have we been missing out?
While hemp seeds are amongst the hottest new superfoods on the block right now, and rightfully so, old world cultures have been incorporating hemp seeds into their diet as a valued source of nutrition for thousands of years. Hemp seeds have a nutrient profile boasting protein (up to 25%), polyunsaturated fatty acids (up to 80%), an exceptional essential fatty acid profile (2:1 – 3:1), AND a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, what have we been waiting for?! Hemp’s botanical relationship to medicinal varieties of cannabis has led to the marginalisation of hemp seed use for nutritional benefits. We now know better. Hemp seeds do not cause a psychotropic effect; however, they do have an impressive CV of nutrients and actions that make this super seed worthy of its name.

Worthy mentions:
• Hemp seeds, dubbed “nature’s perfect omega profile”. A heart-healthy 2:1 – 3:1 omega balance (n-6:n-3) – the ideal ratio for optimal human health, and a ratio much closer to what we experienced in ancestral times. A contrast to the pro-inflammatory 10:1 – 15:1 ratio more commonly experienced in the Western world today.
• PPP – Perfect plant protein. Hemp seeds offer all 20 amino acids, including those our bodies cannot make for themselves. PPP’s: Essential for building and repairing tissue, supporting muscles, bones and energy.

Thanks to new research and recent clinical trials, hempseed is now identified as a “functional food”. A functional food is one rich with health-giving benefits and thought to have a positive effect on our body that extends beyond what basic nutrition can offer us.

Rosemary

Rich in antioxidants, vitamins (A, C, and E) and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, and zinc), rosemary has been consumed since ancient times as a wellness tonic and circulatory stimulant. The ancient Greeks celebrated this herb for its action to strengthen memory function and stimulate the brain. A woodsy taste that is pungent, sweet and slightly bitter, rosemary enhances the flavour profile of any dish it meets. In Ayurvedic medicine, sweetness is associated with the action to nourish and build, while pungent tastes are thought to be warming and stimulating.
Energetically, rosemary restores, uplifts and warms the heart.

Fava Bean

Fava beans play an important role in the Blue Zones diet and are enjoyed as a staple ingredient for good health, especially in Sardinia where fava beans arrive with the beginning of Spring. The “Blue Zones” are known as the places on earth where human beings are living longer than anywhere else
in the world, with low disease and outstanding health. Fava beans offer a good source of protein and fibre, a powerhouse combination for optimal nutrition and lifelong wellness. Fava beans are a food source most highly associated with reaching centenarian status, living to the age of 100 and beyond. Fava Fava!

Bread: Keep it sour

Sourdough is a fermented food source consumed throughout the Blue Zones for its health benefits and contribution to longevity. Sourdough is an ancient bread-making art of fermenting grains to create a special texture and characteristic taste, unlike any other. This process has been shown to
reduce the phytates present in sourdough by 24-50% when compared to other bread types. Phytates bind to precious minerals, thereby impairing the body’s ability to absorb them. Reduced phytate levels in sourdough bread means that the opportunity for your body to soak up all the nutrients may be significantly increased. With higher levels of antioxidants and vitamins like folate, it is sweeter to keep your bread sour. These ancient ingredients have been nourishing humans for centuries. A special blend made with love, and hearts (hemp).

Niki Loe
Holistic Nutritionist – Naturopath/Medical Herbalist – Personal Trainer – Pilates
02102796407

References

Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2015). Herbs & natural supplements. An evidence-based guide (Vol. 2).
Chatswood, Australia: Elsevier Australia
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doi: 10.1007/s10681-004-4811-6
Fisher, C. (2009). Materia medica of western herbs. Nelson, New Zealand: Vitex Medica
Gupta, R. K., Gangoliya, S. S., Singh, N. K. (2015). Reduction of phytic acid and enhancement of
bioavailable micronutrients in food grains. J. Food Sci. Technol., 52(2), 676-684. doi:
10.1007/s13197-013-0978-y
Lopez, H. W., Krespine, V., Guy, C., Messager, A., Demigne, C., & Remesy, C. (2001). Prolonged
fermentation of whole wheat sourdough reduces phytate level and increases soluble
magnesium. J. Agric. Food Chem., 49(5), 2657-2662. Retrieved from:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11368651
Rodriguez-Leyva, D., & Pierce, G. N. (2010). The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary
hempseed. Nutr. Metab (Lond), 7, 32. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-7-32