What are the best hemp seeds?
Hemp seeds are small but pack a big punch of nutrition. They are high in protein and fiber and contain all nine essential amino acids. They are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, magnesium, iron and potassium.
Also known as hemp hearts, hemp seeds have a high content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which the National Institutes of Health has documented benefits for cardiovascular health. Popular as a mix-in ingredient for smoothies, salads and baked goods, the nutty flavor of hemp seeds makes nutrition taste good. The best hemp seeds are Navitas Organic Hemp Seeds for their mixability and high nutritional value.
What to know before you buy hemp seeds
What are the types of hemp seeds?
There are four types of hemp seeds:
- Hemp hearts, also called hulled hemp seeds, are the hemp seeds with the crunchy outer shell removed. This leaves the soft, tasty center that you can eat like nuts, sprinkled on snacks or mixed with smoothies or yogurt.
- Toasted hemp seeds are ideal for snackers looking for a healthier alternative to potato chips and other salty finger food.
- Raw organic hemp seeds share the same nutty taste and high nutritional value as hemp hearts. It is important to look for manufacturers certified organic to ensure quality.
- Whole hemp seeds include the hull, which increases the overall nutritional content. It requires more chewing to break through the hull, but some consumers like the extra crunch.
Doesn’t hemp come from the cannabis plant?
Hemp seeds originate from the same species of plant that produces marijuana, but hemp seeds do not have the psychotropic effects of cannabis. Hemp seeds have only trace levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and cannot make a person high.
The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp as a federally controlled substance. The plant is grown to make biofuel, fabrics and paper bag alternatives. The seeds are edible and manufactured for their high nutritional content.
Does it matter where the hemp seeds were grown?
Every country has its own regulations for hemp farmers. Canada has some of the strictest regulations in the world. Pesticides are banned, and only certain strains can be grown. The United States also has tight restrictions on farming and selling hemp products. Wherever the hemp seeds are grown, look for those that are non-GMO and certified organic.
What to look for in hemp seeds
The best hemp seed packages are opaque. Keeping natural light from the seeds protects the omega fatty acids and ensures the seeds won’t be rancid upon opening. You should be careful with any packages with a window displaying the seeds.
Some packages are airtight or resealable bags. Glass or plastic jars are also common for selling hemp seeds. Depending on the package’s closure, you may want to invest in an airtight container you can transfer the seeds to for maximum longevity.
Hemp seeds have a shelf life of 12 months from the time they are manufactured. They should stay fresh for six to eight months if refrigerated or frozen and even longer if stored in an airtight container.
Hemp seeds have a nutty taste that is a cross between sunflower seeds and pine nuts. This flavor has versatile applications in breads, soups, salads, smoothies and even pizza. You may want to experiment with small quantities of hemp seeds in your recipes to find your favorite applications.
Non-GMO hemp seeds certify that the plant food has not been modified in a laboratory using genetic engineering. Look for hemp seeds with this certification to ensure quality and safety.
How much you can expect to spend on hemp seeds
Costing around 45 cents to $1.20 per ounce, hemp seeds vary in price based on the producer and type of packaging. Heat-processed seeds are less expensive than cold-processed raw seeds.
Hemp seeds FAQ
Are there other forms of hemp seeds?
A. Yes, for instance, you can find hemp-seed cold-pressed oil, which is ideal for chilled dishes. You can use hemp milk like other plant milk. Hemp protein powder is a concentrated form you can sprinkle on food or mix with smoothies.
How much protein is in hemp seeds?
A. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds contain nearly 10 grams of protein.
What are the best hemp seeds to buy?
Top hemp seeds
What you need to know: Great for blending, these hemp seeds are an excellent source of fiber, minerals and protein.
What you’ll love: These hemp seeds contain all nine essential amino acids and provide essential fatty acids. Non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan and certified organic, they have a nutty flavor that complements smoothies, oatmeal and salads.
What you should consider: The bag is not resealable and requires alternative storage once opened.
Top hemp seeds for the money
What you need to know: These affordable hemp hearts are a tasty add-on to meals and loaded with protein.
What you’ll love: Each serving has 10 grams of plant protein and 12 grams of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. From a trusted brand with over 20 years of manufacturing hemp products, these hemp hearts are non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan and keto certified.
What you should consider: Smoothies will require a high-speed blender to mix these hemp hearts.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These hemp seed hearts are excellent for beginners who want to try them out without purchasing a large bag.
What you’ll love: Packed with 10 grams of plant protein per serving and low in carbohydrates, these hemp seed hearts add nutrition to your snacks and meals. The nutty flavor is mild and complements yogurt, smoothies and salads.
What you should consider: The package is small, with eight total servings.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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