Vegan And Gluten-Sensitive? Hemp Can Help Fulfill Your Dietary Protein Needs!


With so many people turning to the Vegan health-style, and many others who are gluten-sensitive, it can sometimes be a challenge to get the right proteins or enough protein in the body.

Industrial hemp is an excellent protein source. It is the only plant source on earth that has Edestin protein, the protein closest to human globulin. (That means it is very easily digested.)

Hemp is also gluten-free.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other related grains. It is what makes bread ‘doughy’ and aids in the rising process.

People with gluten sensitivities, allergies, or celiac disease should avoid gluten all together. Symptoms of gluten sensitivity include gas, bloating, diarrhea, lethargy, migraines, abdominal discomfort, bone and joint pain, and ADHD.

Celiac disease is a reaction to eating gluten that damages the small intestine, and prevents the intestine from absorbing important nutrients.

In all the above cases, getting enough protein is essential. Hempseed is an excellent addition to the diet, in that not ONLY is it a complete protein, it is also gluten-free and there are no known allergies to hemp.

One item to make note of: Texturized Vegetable Protein is also a good protein substitute, HOWEVER, many types of TVP contain gluten, so be very careful when thinking about using it.

FAQ About Industrial Hemp


Since I’ve started writing about industrial hemp, I’ve had numerous questions about it. I’ll address the most frequent questions about hemp in today’s post.

Q ~ Can industrial hemp make you high? A ~ No. Industrial hemp has a very low THC level, and industrial hemp that is imported into the US is washed. It must meet very high standards regarding the level of THC that it can have.

Q ~ Where can I buy hemp products? A ~ Hempseeds (hemp hearts), and hemp-based food products can be found online, at food co-ops,  health food stores, and through Versativa (see links in right side-bar). The Nutiva brand of hemp hearts is an excellent and popular choice.

Q ~ Isn’t industrial hemp illegal to grow in the US? A ~ No. Many states have passed legislation to allow growing of industrial hemp. However, it is illegal to grow it without the proper permits from the DEA, and those are almost impossible to get, at least for now.

Q ~ Will I fail my routine drug test if I eat hemp? A ~ No. The hemp that is imported into the US is tested and cleaned. These products are pledged to be extremely low in THC. Even if someone ingests a LOT of hemp, they will not have measurable amounts of THC in their system.

Q ~ Aren’t hemp and marijuana the same thing? A ~ No. Both hemp and marijuana are in the same family of plants, but they are different varieties.

Q ~ How much hempseed or hempseed oil should I eat every day? A ~ 2-5 Tablespoons per day is the daily recommendation for hempseed. Recommended serving size for hempseed oil is 1 Tablespoon.

Q ~ Can I cook hempseed or fry foods in hempseed oil? A ~ If you are going to cook with hempseed or hempseed oil you must use low temperatures. High temperatures will change the composition of the EFAs. If cooking with hempseed oil, it is best to keep the temperature 300 degrees or lower.

Q ~ I have gluten sensitivity. Can I eat hempseed? A ~ Yes! Hempseed has protein, but it is not the same protein as found in wheat gluten. To date, there are no known sensitivities or allergies to industrial hemp.

Q ~ Can hemp be smoked? A ~ Smoking hemp would be pointless. No one can get high smoking hemp, and at the most all they will get is a nasty headache.

Q ~ Is it safe to eat hemp if I am pregnant or nursing? A ~ It is VERY safe to eat hemp while pregnant or nursing, and in fact would be an excellent idea. The nutrients in the hemp (especially EFAs) are excellent for brain and eye health for the growing baby, and seem to cause a higher level of cognitive learning in those babies whose mothers ate hemp.


Why Hemp Is Considered A Superfood


More and more people are becoming conscious of their health and the types of food they put into their bodies. There is a movement to go back to organic.

Our nation became one of convenience. Life became busier and more hectic, and we turned to processed, canned, and quick-to-fix chemical laden foods. Most of these foods are full of chemicals, salt, starches, and preservatives. Many of them also have the nutrients cooked out of them, so they are considered empty calories.

Superfoods are coming to the forefront. But what exactly is a superfood? Superfoods are foods that are extremely rich in nutrients, even to the point that they help treat/heal/prevent disease, and keep the body healthy and at it’s optimum performance.

Hemp seed is an excellent superfood. It is very high in protein, it has all the essential amino acids needed by the human body, and is full of vitamins, minerals, lecithin, chlorophyll, and good fats.

Here is a nutritional breakdown of the hemp seed: (Nutiva.com)

* All 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce.
* A high protein percentage of the simple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins.
* Eating hemp seeds in any form could aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the fact that hemp seed has been used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.3
* Nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid, with more essential fatty acid than flax or any other nut or seed oil.
* A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid – for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system.
* A superior vegetarian source of protein considered easily digestible.
* A rich source of phytonutrients, the disease-protective element of plants with benefits protecting your immunity, bloodstream, tissues, cells, skin, organs and mitochondria.
* The richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids

Hemp seed is an excellent addition to the diet, especially for those looking to add superfoods to their daily meals.

Hemp ~ The Gluten-Free Solution


Gluten sensitivity is a condition that has symptoms similar to Celiac disease or wheat allergies. About 6% of the population suffers from gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder that centers around the small intestine. With both gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease, reactions from proteins (gliadin) in wheat and other grains damage the lining of the small intestine and prevent absorption of important nutrients that the body requires to stay healthy, including important fats, such as Omega fatty acids.  When the gliadin reaches the tissues in the small intestine, the over-reacting antibodies in the immune system cause an inflammatory reaction. This inflammatory reaction interferes with nutrient absorption. If this is not treated, villous atrophy will occur, making proper digestion of important nutrients very difficult.

According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, there are approximately 300 symptoms from gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease.

A short list of those symptoms are :

  • Loose stools
  • Weight Loss
  • Failure to gain weight
  • Abdominal pain, indigestion, bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Bruising easily
  • Muscle cramps
  • Hair loss
  • Joint pain
  • Depression
  • Dermatitis

The only effective treatment that will allow the villi in the intestine lining to heal is to follow a gluten-free diet. (Villi are tiny ‘hairs’ in the intestinal tract that ‘grab’ the nutrients as they pass through.) This is where hemp comes in. Hemp seed and hemp seed oil do NOT have the protein gliadin. Hemp seed is an excellent source of edestin protein, the protein closest to human globulin. Edestin protein is easily digested by the body. Hemp is also an anti-inflammatory and has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids.

Adding hemp to a gluten-free diet is a perfect choice – you get your protein, the anti-inflammatory properties help heal the condition, and the Omega fatty acids and other nutrients in the hemp are then able to be absorbed.

Hemp ~ The Perfect Workout Protein


Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to get in shape? Perhaps you have decided that the gym is part of your new weekly or daily regimen. Whether you are a bodybuilder or just someone who wants to be toned and stay in shape, chances are you know the importance of adequate quality protein in the diet.

During exercise, especially exercise that includes weight training and resistance training, tiny tears develop in the muscle tissue. When your body is resting it will work to repair the tiny tears and and will rebuild the muscle tissue, making it larger. (Note : protein does not build muscle, resistance and stress does.)

Protein is vital for this repair and rebuilding process due to the resistance and weight; protein also helps regulate the hormones and immune system.

Why hemp protein?

Hemp is a complete protein. It has all 20 major amino acids that the human body requires. During workouts and in recovery the amino acids manufacture blood cells, enzymes, hormones, and immune cells, as well as help with muscle repair and growth.

Hemp also has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids required by the human body.  Omega fatty acids are essential for the growth and repair of cellular structure, muscle tissue, and the ability to repair joints. In addition, fatty acids regulate oxygen, carry essential nutrients to the cells, assist with neuro-muscular activity, keep endocrine glands active (this helps with sweating and keeping the body from overheating), stabilize blood sugar, improve cholesterol, and relieve inflammation.

So, the next time you shop for the perfect protein for your pre- and post-gym workout – reach for the HEMP!