Hemp, not just a superfood, but a hero for the planet too

Welcome to 2021, in which hemp is approved in Australia for consumption as a food. Picture: Shutterstock.
Welcome to 2021, in which hemp is approved in Australia for consumption as a food. Picture: Shutterstock.

This week's wellness newsflash: I've had an oil change.

I'm not surprised. You've racked up more than a few kilometres on the clock. It must be about time.

You won't be sniggering at my advanced vintage when you see the healthy glow I'm getting from my good oil.

You do look vibrant. What is it? Flaxseed? Fish?

Those are yesterday's superfoods. I'm all about hemp now. Hemp seed oil, to be precise.

Hemp? I'm getting major Nimbin vibes.

Again, out of date. Welcome to 2021, in which hemp is approved in Australia for consumption as a food.

Which makes perfect sense when you consider its astonishing nutritional content.

Not just for the good times, then?

Let's deal with the pink psychedelic elephant in the room.

While hemp is a type of cannabis sativa plant, it doesn't have the psychoactive capabilities of some of its cousins. I'm not getting high from my hemp seed oil supplements.

So what's the big deal?

Hemp is packed with excellent quality plant protein, plus essential fatty acids, complete amino acids, fibre, phytonutrients and beneficial bioactive compounds.

And here's why I believe hemp seed oil beats fish oil (even if you're not vegan): it's not only the most potent plant source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, but it also contains them in the ideal ratio of 3:1 - the magic number your body needs for maximum absorption.

Put simply: hemp hits the spot.

Put simply: hemp hits the spot.

Hooray for hemp! Any other superpowers?

That's just the tip of the stem. Hemp has abundant terpenes - the compounds that create a plant's unique aroma.

A growing body of evidence supports the therapeutic benefits of various terpenes, with convincing research backing their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, stress regulating and antiviral properties.

Hemp helps the planet, too. It removes more CO2 from the air than trees do, and is strongly pest, weed and drought resistant so it grows prolifically without chemical help.

You had me at "stress regulating". Where do I find my healing hemp?

Several Aussie companies produce hemp seed oil supplement capsules and powders from locally grown organic hemp plants.

Or you can add the seeds to your breakfast cereal, smoothie or salad.

And here's the best news: hemp gin is a thing.

Hell yeah to hemp! I'm heading to my nearest hemp-orium as we speak.

  • Amy Cooper is a journalist who embraces wellness, but has also used kale to garnish a cocktail.

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