The omega fatty acid market comprising of functional food, drinks and supplements was worth US$30 billion, yet most populations are deficient!
Are consumers moving away from supplements towards functional food and drink?
Is the market for omega fatty acid-fortified food and drink to that of supplements, should more manufacturers up their production to reach the market, and lessen the deficiency of our populations diets, perhaps highlight the opportunities for manufacturers looking to become global players. Which brings us to the top of the hemp plant’s oilseed omega fatty acid profile that delivers promise to a deficiency problem in North Americans diets. Hemp oil is a tasty oil with a green or golden colour crushed from the seeds of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa L.)
Traditionally used for food and body care, but almost forgotten, it is now making a strong comeback. It increasingly appears in the cold storage of health food markets as well as an ingredient in “natural” cosmetics. Hence a good reason to be looking at this oilseed in becoming a huge potential in the marketplace. TW
Why? There are four main reasons:
•Hemp oil provides our body with a range of necessary nutrients and helps prevent a variety of common diseases. Particularly, its attractive fatty acid composition, for example it is very high content of essential fatty acids, provides nutritional advantages over other vegetable oils.
•Carefully produced and stored hemp oil simply tastes good. Thus, instead of just being a food supplement, it can serve as a staple food in the modern kitchen.
•If used in cosmetics, it protects the skin and slows down its unavoidable ageing process.
•Since hemp is usually grown in an eco-friendly manner, hemp oil is a truly natural product.
If used for cooking, cold pressed unrefined hemp oil lends its nutty flavour and healthy composition to a variety of foods. It is a delicious alternative wherever olive oil, walnut oil, or butter are used. Favourite hemp oil recipes include salad dressings, lightly stir fried or sautéed meats and vegetables, marinated vegetables and sauces. Or just try dipping bread into it.
Hemp oil has its limitations in cooking applications. Like other unrefined oils, hemp oil tends to smoke at relatively low temperatures. This indicates the formation of unhealthy oxidation and polymerization products and suggests that unrefined hemp oil should not be used for frying or deep-frying. This brochure takes a closer look at the nature, health benefits and various uses of hemp oil.
Technically a nut, hemp seed typically contains over 30% oil and about 25% protein, with considerable amounts of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Hemp seed oil is over 80% in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and is an exceptionally rich source of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) linoleic acid (18:2 omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (18:3 omega-3).
Hempseed oil does contain a healthy anti-inflammatory 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fat. In addition, hemp seeds contain an especially beneficial type of omega-6 fat called GLA (gamma linolenic acid). GLA is a direct building block of good anti-inflammatory hormones. Unfortunately, this special omega-6 fat is not typically found in foods (in fact I think hemp seeds are the only edible food source of GLA.) While it’s true your body can convert the typical food version of unprocessed omega-6 called linoleic acid (LA) into the “usable” GLA form your body needs, the conversion process can be thwarted by many internal and external factors. For example as we age, the less efficient the enzymes your body uses to convert LA into GLA become. Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, infections, and even stress can reduce your body’s ability to convert dietary LA into GLA. This is a bad deal because GLA is very important for achieving optimal health. But simply by incorporating hemp seeds, or the hempseed oil into your diet on a regular basis you can be sure of getting a healthy dose of GLA. Here’s a short run down of the health benefits of GLA:
- GLA supports a healthy metabolism and facilitates fat burning (some people who struggle with weight loss despite eating a healthy diet get a weight loss boost simply by adding GLA to their diets.)
- GLA raises your metabolism by making the “Brown fat” in your body burn calories to keep your body warm and… Brown fat (or Brown Adipose tissue or BAT) is not the same as the ugly “white” fat that accumulates on your arms, belly, thighs and other problem areas. Brown fats main job is to burn fat calories for energy to keep our body warm but usually brown fat is not as active in overweight people and that is why we need GLA so we can turn off that brown fat so it can help us burn off that nasty white fat.
- GLA prevents weight gain in people who’ve lost weight plus GLA is also an appetite suppressant since it raises the levels of serotonin (and serotonin is a hormone that makes you feel full and eat less)
- GLA can help reduce hormone-mediated nuisance symptoms (bye-bye PMS!)
- GLA supports healthy hair, nail and skin health.
- GLA decreases the tendency of inflammation in general. This can be helpful to anyone with an inflammatory condition such as asthma, MS, fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc.
- GLA helps lower bad LDL cholesterol and improve cholesterol ratio
You need to eat equal amounts of Omega-3 & Omega-6 fats for health reasons, the hempseed fat profiles includes that in a perfect balanced ratio. Hemp seeds are rich in disease-fighting, plant-based phytonutrients and anti-aging antioxidants such as vitamin E. Hemp provides a rich array of minerals including zinc, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron.
Health, Nutrition and Therapeutic Uses of Hemp Oil
The oils high in EFAs and GLA actually prevent, or even cure, a large number of illnesses has been shown in several clinical studies. The following lists a few of the successes.
Many “modern” health problems, including heart disease, obesity, skin diseases and certain cancers have been blamed on “too much of the wrong fats, not enough of the right ones” in our diet.
Health specialists now recommend that fat consumption be limited to no more than 30 percent of our total calorie intake. However, fats and oil are not only a source of energy, they also provide the necessary EFAs. Thus, if we eat fats, they should contain as much EFAs and other unsaturated fatty acids as possible…in the proper ratio. Their benefits have been proven in numerous clinical studies.
A variety of diseases can be successfully treated with GLA and linoleic acid, both well represented in hemp oil.
Partial contribution of this blog is referenced: http://nimbinwave.com/facts/guide-to-hemp-seed-oil
Paul Benhaim: Modern Introduction to Hemp 2004
Paul Benhaim: Healthy Eating Made Possible. Vision Paperbacks 2000
Udo Erasmus: Fats that heal, fats that kill. Alive Books, 1994.
Jean-Luc Deferne, David W. Pate: Hemp seed oil: A source of valuable essential fatty acids. Journal of the International Hemp Association, Volume 3, Number 1, Pages 1-7, 1996.
Helga Mˆlleken, Roland R. Theimer: Survey of minor fatty acids in Cannabis sativa L. fruits of various origins. Journal of the International Hemp Association, Volume 4, Number 1, Pages 13-17, 1997.
Yung-Sheng Huang, David E. Mills: g-linolenic acid: Metabolism and its role in nutrition and medicine.
AOCS Press, 1996.