Is hemp protein powder a complete protein source? Yes it is! This is a rare but desirable quality in the plant-based proteins available in today's market. A complete protein contains all the essential amino acids required by the body for repair, growth and maintenance. But there is so much more to hemp protein than its amazing amino acid profile. Read on to find out!
What is hemp and is it safe to eat?
Hemp is a variety of Cannabis Sativa L, which in recent times in Australia has been living in the shadows due to its association with the street drug marijuana, and concerns about products containing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) being readily available on the shelves. The amount of THC in hemp is so low it is highly unlikely to have an effect on the human body unless consumed in crazy-large amounts! What’s great news is that certified low-THC hemp foods are now legal in Australia and as a result hemp is coming out of the shadows and can now be found in most supermarkets and health food stores in the country, hemp protein being one of these products.
How much protein should I have?
First let’s talk about protein requirements. Protein is a topic widely discussed in the health community and the question on everyone’s lips is always: “How much protein should I have?” Individually this varies person to person, but fundamentally protein is a critical component in the formation of a healthy diet. The current Australian recommendation for protein consumption for men is 0.84g/kg/day and for women it’s 0.75g/kg/day. To put this into perspective for an 80kg male the requirement is 67.2g of protein per day. In 100g of chicken breast there is 31g of protein. In a scoop of hemp protein there is 10g of protein! Next time you’re asking, “how much protein should I have?” just remember these recommendations.
Which kind of protein powder is best?
I think it’s safe to say that discussion around which protein powder is the best for muscle repair, growth or digestibility is debated often. Whey and casein being the two dairy proteins, and pea protein being the most common plant protein compared. But with hemp protein emerging and continuous research on the subject being undertaken, hemp protein is staking its place in this argument over the best protein powder. So what’s all the fuss with hemp as a product, and why is hemp protein a superior source of protein than other supplementary sources of protein?
Hemp protein powder
Hemp as a food product is a great source of dietary fibre, Omega 3’s and 6’s, as well as plant-based protein. Hemp seeds are 35% fibre - this is significantly higher than other foods commonly associated with high fibre such as oats and almonds. Fibre is an essential part of the human diet and aids in regular bowel movements, smooth digestion and the control of blood sugar levels. Hempseed oil contains 80% polyunsaturated fatty acids (the good fat!), and two of these fatty acids are essential, meaning our bodies can’t make them, we can only obtain them from food sources.
In addition, the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 in hempseed oil aligns with those of current recommendations. Hemp protein is made through the extraction of hempseed oil, and the fine milling of the hemp seeds into a powder. Hemp protein contains around 15g of protein per 30g scoop of protein powder - this makes it a good, rich source of protein. When looking at the digestibility of these hemp protein is recognised as more readily and easily digestible in addition to having a more superior source of nutrition regarding essential amino acids.
Hemp is easy to incorporate into the diet; as a powder as part of a smoothie, in seed form on the top of a salad, in granola, baked into muffins, breads and loaves, or on top of your peanut butter toast in the morning! Hemp is making its way into the mainstream diet, with all the known health benefits and more research emerging to convey these, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be. Hemp is a superior source of plant-based protein and it imparts a rich, nutty flavour to the foods it’s added to. Below are my two favourite hemp protein powder recipes.
Author BioSam Paton is an up-and-coming nutritionist, located in Sydney, Australia, who is passionate about leading people to finding their own dietary balance with simple cooking and nutrition education. Sam specialises in recipe development, blog writing and social media, examples of her work can be found @simply_samsfood on Instagram and at her website www.simplysamnutrition.com.au
Hemp protein biscuits
- ½ cup wholemeal spelt flour
- ¼ quick oats - 2 tbsp Vasse Valley hemp protein
- ½ tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt - 2 tbsp sugar-free maple syrup
- 1.5 tbsp coconut oil
- 1.5 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 tbsp milk
- 1 egg
- ¼ dark choc chips
- 2 tbsp
- Vasse Valley hemp seeds
- Preheat the oven to 190C on fan-bake setting.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Beat the coconut oil, maple syrup, almond butter and vanilla together with an electric beater.
- Beat in the egg and the milk while the beater is mixing.
- With a wooden spoon, mix the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Then incorporate the chocolate chips.
- With two teaspoons drop balls of the biscuit mix into the help seeds, place these on a lined baking tray with the hemp seeds facing upwards.
- Bake these for 15 minutes and enjoy with tea or coffee – or whenever else!
Hemp protein powder smoothie recipe
- 1 banana -
- 1 cup spinach -
- 1 tbsp sugar-free maple syrup -
- Juice from half a lime -
- 1 tbsp Vasse Valley hemp protein powder -
- ½ cup almond milk -
- 1/d cup ice cubes
Blended together until smooth.
https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/generalissues/hemp/Pages/default.aspx https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10681-004-4811-6 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814607006358