Hooray for Hemp Seed!

By Melissa Rifkin MS RD CDN
Hooray for Hemp Seed!

Hemp seed may be the most nutritious seed in the world. That’s a bold statement – so lets understand why.


Hemp seeds come from the plant cannabis l. sativa, and contain little to no THC. Hemp seeds can be made into hemp seed oil, butter, hemp milk and flour. The list of food applications is endless from smoothies to dessert with hemp seed topping. Hemp seeds are enjoyed as a dietary staple in many different cultures worldwide. Some cultures even snack on the seeds similar to how Americans snack on popcorn.

Hemp Seeds

The seeds are technically nuts and typically referred to as hemp hearts. They have a nutty yet mid flavor. Hemp seeds can be added to your favorite burgers (Hilarys of course!) smoothies, salads, protein shakes and snacked on like the great Buddha did himself. Hemp seeds can also be eaten by those unable to tolerate nuts, gluten and lactose. To date, there are no known allergies to hemp seeds.


Hemp Seeds contain a perfect combination of easily digested proteins, essential fats (Omega 3 & 6), Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, iron, zinc, carotene, phospholipids, phytosterols, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin D, vitamin E, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and enzymes. Hemp seeds are mostly made up of protein (33%), and considered a complete protein since the seeds contain all 20 known amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies do not make.


Hemp seeds have been shown to help patients with heart disease, due to it’s nutritional composition and ability to produce nitric oxide, helping to dilate blood vessels, leading to lowered blood pressure. Eating Hemp seeds cam improve eczema and reduce skin irritation due to the perfect polyunsaturated and essential fatty acid ratio. Additionally the certain make up of fatty acids, in particular gamma-linolenic acid or (GLA) found in hemp seeds produces prostaglandin E1 that in turn reduces the effects of prolactin. This is the hormone that causes premenstrual cramps and emotional symptoms that many women experience. Hemp seeds may also promote gastrointestinal digestion. They contain 20% soluble fiber and 80% insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber aids with providing nutrients for beneficial digestive bacteria, has been shown to reduce spikes in blood sugar and regulation of cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber aids with bulking stool and helps with eliminating toxins from the body.


If you enjoy hemp seeds as a nutritional addition to your diet. Once hemp seeds are opened, store in freezer or refrigerator for 2-3 months, monitor by smell test as well.


Melissa is a registered dietitian living and working in NYC for over a decade. Melissa focuses mainly on weight management and helps patients prepare for weight loss surgery. In addition she is a coach on RISE which is a weight loss application where she helps clients meet goals via pictures of foods taken and providing tips. She also manages the social media platform handle on Instagram for RISE (@letsrise). Melissa also created a community called 'The Health Professionals of Instgram' a community of health professionals who are looking to improve their approach on social media and networking. In her free time Melissa loves to cook healthy foods (and sometimes not so healthy) and she is a lover of Bikram yoga. Find more here.