Let’s face it: Eating 100 percent nutritiously at every meal is not reality (for every smoothie and zoodle, we raise you a comforting bowl of mac and cheese). But what if we told you there was a trick to adding a hit of nutrition to basically any dish?
The trick has a name: Hemp hearts, which are packed with essential nutrients and can upgrade any meal (yes, even mac and cheese) with a rich, nutty flavor and a satisfying slight crunch.
Hemp hearts are packed with essential nutrients and can give foods a rich, nutty flavor (plus a slightly crunchy texture).
Why hemp hearts instead of seeds? “The whole hemp seed comes with a tough, outer layer, much like a kernel of popcorn does,” says Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, registered dietitian and owner of BZ Nutrition. “It can be harder for our bodies to digest and break through that kernel to get to the nutrient-dense center.”
Manitoba Hemp Hearts are pre-shelled, which makes it easier for your body to absorb all the nutty deliciousness and nutrients, Zeitlin says. Speaking of those…
Keep reading to learn 3 of the biggest hemp heart benefits that will make you want to add them to every meal.
Plant-based protein, FTW
One of the best hemp heart benefits is that despite being tiny, the shelf-stable seeds pack a big protein punch. “Hemp hearts are a good source of plant-based protein, with one serving offering up 10 grams of protein,” Zeitlin says.
Whether or not you’re plant-based, sprinkling a handful over a salad or using hemp hearts to garnish a summery pasta can give your meal some extra oomph. Oh, and if you were wondering, a 30 gram serving of hemp hearts has double the amount of protein than flax or chia, Zeitlin says.
Hey there, versatility
Hemp hearts aren’t just for savory meals, either. Thanks to their neutral, nutty flavor, they make a great addition to any breakfasts, lunches, dinners, or desserts—yes, you can bake with them—that could benefit from some extra nutrition (so, like, any meal).
And if you or your family follow any specific eating style, in addition to being plant-based, hemp hearts are also paleo, keto, and gluten-free. Just stash a bag in your pantry (because, again, they’re shelf-stable), and grab a handful to sprinkle on any dish you (or your kids) would like.
Bonus: One serving has 12 grams of omegas 3 and 6, and besides being higher in magnesium than chia and flax seeds, hemp hearts are also higher in folate and zinc, according to Zeitlin.
A+ for B vitamins
“These little guys are a great source of B vitamins, which are also known as ‘the energy vitamins,'” Zeitlin says. “B vitamins help to boost our energy and our mood, fighting off sluggishness, fatigue, and those feelings of overall ‘blah-ness.'”
She suggests adding hemp hearts to your afternoon snack—when you likely feel like pouring yourself another cup of coffee or grabbing something sugary—to help fight off low energy. Power on.
Sponsored by Manitoba Harvest
Photo: Manitoba Harvest
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