Hemp seed oil is a great source of high-quality nutrients and has a long history of use in Eastern culture as a multi-purpose natural remedy. Despite its widespread popularity, prejudice related to its association with Cannabis kept it from common use in the West until more recently. While the oil contains virtually no THC, the psychoactive element in cannabis, hemp oil is still considered sketchy to some. Thankfully, education is prevailing and the market for hemp seed oil is growing in the United States, with an increasing number of people seeking it out for its reported health benefits.
Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil
1. Good for Heart Health
Hemp seed oil has a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, a balance that has been shown to support heart health and promote proper cardiovascular function.
2. Supports Healthy Skin, Hair, & Nails
Hemp seed oil is often used as a moisturizer for the skin, and for good reason. Studies have indicated that hemp seed oil can dramatically decrease skin dryness, which alleviates itching and irritation. Moreover, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may protect against the aging process while soothing the skin.
3. Excellent Nutrition for Your Brain
Hemp seed oil contains 85 percent essential fatty acids (EFAs), and an optimal 3:1 ratio of omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) to omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linoleic acid, not to be confused with alpha lipoic acid). Linoleic acid plays a critical role in brain health, and has been linked to better mental health. Omega-3 fatty acids like alpha linoleic acid play an important role in eye health. Mothers who supplement with hempseed oil during pregnancy may provide brain — and eye — protective benefits for the developing baby.
4. It's a Mercury-Free Fatty Acid Supplement
Taking a fish oil supplement can increase omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, a nutrient that is essential for brain development, immune system health, and mood regulation.[6, 7, 8] However, fish contains a great deal of mercury which can hinder neurological and developmental mechanisms in the unborn baby. Fortunately, hemp seed oil works as a terrific alternative to traditional omega-3 fatty acid supplements and doesn't carry the same risk of mercury ingestion.
5. Supports the Immune System
The essential fatty acids in hemp seed oil have been shown to promote healthy flora in the intestines and support immune system response and function. This can be very helpful during the cold and flu season when viruses are running rampant at school, work, and in everyday social interactions.
+ References (10)
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- Ergas D, et al. "n-3 fatty acids and the immune system in autoimmunity." The Israel Medical Association Journal. 2002 January;4(1):34-8.
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