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Diet Q&A: Should I Be Eating Hemp Seed?

Why the all-natural, plant-based protein deserves a closer look.

Eating a mostly plant-based diet is one of the healthiest commitments you can make to your body. Doing so will not only help you maintain a lean physique, but it will also keep your mind and body running at optimal levels for a longer period of time. One of the latest stars of the plant-based movement is hemp. It may sound like some weird hippie supplement, but hemp is actually an all-natural plant-based protein. But is it a worthy addition to your diet, or just a stilly fad? New York-based Maria A. Bella, R.D., C.D.N., clued us in on what you need to know about the trending seed.

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What is hemp?

Hemp is a plant-based protein, which is a good choice for vegans. It is high in fiber and offers essential fatty acids. It is easily digestible and has been shown to reduce inflammation. Protein in general, is essential for suppressing hunger and hemp protein may be even more beneficial due to its high fiber content.

Should men be including it in their diets?

Unless you are a vegan, it may be beneficial to diversify your protein intake. For instance, dairy-based proteins such as whey have bioavailable zinc and iron. Be aware that plant-based powders by themselves do not provide a complete protein source. Purchase products such as Vega One that represent a complete amino acid profile and provide complete proteins. Some also add omega-3s and probiotics for additional benefits.

What’s the recommended daily intake?

The recommended intake is 20-30 grams at one time (generally one scoop or one serving).

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When it comes down to it, variety is key to a well-balanced diet. Try sprinkling some hemp hearts over yogurt or add them to cereal, or blend some hemp protein powder into your morning smoothie for a health boost.

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