Posted on October 20, 2016 by Alanna Hinds
The essential fatty acids (EFAs) contained in hemp seed oil are required in our diet more than any other vitamin, and as our bodies do not naturally produce them they must be obtained from external sources in the food we eat.
Essential fatty acids are involved with producing life’s energy throughout the human body and without them, life is not possible. In general, North Americans have a high dietary deficiency in EFAs due to our high intake of animal fats versus plant fats, caused by our high consumption of processed foods and meats versus natural organic foods.
Understandably so, organic foods are now on the rise. We know that it’s time to break the cycle of unhealthy living, and as a North American, utilizing organic hemp oil in your diet may be a great first step to take.
So let’s take a detailed look inside “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil”
The oil contained in the hemp seed is 75-80% polyunsaturated fatty acids (the good fats) and only 9-11% of the lesser desired saturated fatty acids. Hemp seed oil is reputed to be the most unsaturated oil derived from the plant kingdom.
Hemp seed oil has been dubbed “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil”, due to the fact that it contains the perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 (linoleic/ LA) to Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic/ LNA) essential fatty acids, determined to be the optimum requirement for long-term healthy human nutrition. In addition, it also contains smaller amounts of 3 other polyunsaturated fatty acids in Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), oleic acid and stearidonic acid. This EFA combination is unique among edible oil seeds.
Extensive studies have demonstrated that many common illnesses are related to deficiencies or imbalances of specific fatty acids in the body. Symptoms are often related to a lack of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and their derivatives. Most people eating a healthful diet, one that includes a balanced ratio of essential fatty acids, also have healthy skin and a strong immune system.
It has been proven in several clinical studies that dietary supplementation with EFAs or their metabolites (such as GLA) will often prevent or even cure illnesses associated with dysfunctional enzyme systems or inhibited metabolic pathways caused by genetics, one’s immune system, or environmental factors. Since hemp seed oil contains both EFAs in a desirable balance while also providing two of the EFA metabolites, it is a good resource for the prevention and treatment of certain illnesses.
Organic hemp seed oil also provides an adequate supply of antioxidants (Vitamin E), carotene (precursor to Vitamin A), phytosterols, phospholipids and a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, along with modest amounts of iron and zinc. Organic hemp oil is also a good source of chlorophyll.
Well, unlike other Omega-rich alternatives that are sold primarily as a vitamin supplement, organic hemp oil has a flavorful “nutty” taste that can easily be added into practically any recipe to obtain a balanced diet.
The daily recommended allowance of hemp seed oil is 14-28 ml (1 to 2 tablespoons). This allowance provides between 8 and 16 grams of Omega 6 (LA) and between 3 and 6 grams of Omega 3 (LNA).
Use organic hemp oil as a flavor-enhancer in many recipes; along with giving a slightly nutty and crispy taste to food, it can be the perfect salad oil just in case you’re out of olive oil.
Organic hemp oil is used in cooking as well, though it is not suitable for high heat cooking because it has a very low smoking point. Highly unsaturated vegetable oils such as hemp seed oil are denatured by heating above 150ºC (300ºF), which can result in the production of unhealthy trans-fatty acids and increased peroxide values. Do not use as a substitute for frying oils.
Organic, cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil does not have a very long shelf life. As is expected with organic plant material, the oil goes rancid quickly unless it is stored in dark containers in a refrigerated environment. People who use unrefined hemp oil generally purchase it in small amounts so that it will not become rancid. Keep bottles tightly sealed after opening and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
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