Hanf als Lebensmittel

Industrial hemp has been celebrating its comeback as a renewable raw material and supplier of high-quality fibers and seeds since the mid-1990s. Science has only discovered the high value of hemp seeds in recent years and today prophesies a great future for hemp as a seed and oil plant. What makes hemp seeds and hemp oil so valuable? Hemp oil is particularly rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (approx. 90%), which are vital for the human organism. The essential fatty acids linoleic acid (50 - 70%) and alpha-linolenic acid (15 - 25%) are particularly noteworthy here; The omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid in particular only occurs in such proportions in very few edible oils. Due to its overall balanced composition of fatty acids, hemp oil is one of the most valuable edible oils of all. The fat experts Dr. Ulrich Strunz and Andreas Jopp write in their current book "Fit mit Fett": "... for the right balance of tissue hormones, omega-6 fats and omega-3 fats should be supplied in a ratio of 3:1. But we get 20 times more omega-6 fats... The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in hemp oil is 3:1, making hemp oil one of the top omega-3 suppliers." (Strunz & Jopp 2002)

15 to 20 grams of hemp oil are enough to completely cover a person's daily requirement for the most important essential fatty acids. Integrated into the daily food intake, hemp oil protects against a number of metabolic, arteriosclerotic vascular and thus in particular cardiovascular diseases, which in current studies are attributed to an excessive proportion of saturated and trans fatty acids in the diet.

With these ingredients, hemp seeds and hemp oil not only represent particularly high-quality foods in terms of nutritional physiology - there are also a number of therapeutic applications. As an omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid has effects comparable to fish oil and can therefore be used therapeutically for cardiovascular diseases and chronic inflammation. Another ingredient deserves special attention as a therapeutic agent. Hemp is one of the very few oil plants whose seeds contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) (2-4%). A lack of gamma-linolenic acid, which is formed from linoleic acid in the body in healthy people, can lead to serious metabolic disorders. If gamma-linolenic acid is taken in such cases, various disease states can be positively influenced. These include neurodermatitis, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetic neuropathy - to name just the most important areas of application.

hemp seeds
From a botanical point of view, the fruit of hemp, the hemp seed, is a nut surrounded by a thin, glassy shell. The nutrient-rich seeds are brown to black-grey, sometimes green-grey. Hemp seeds have a diameter of about 3 to 4 mm and a thousand seed weight of 15-20g.

The human body cannot produce eight of the total of 21 amino acids. They have to be supplied from the outside so that the necessary body proteins can be built up in sufficient quantities in the human organism. These eight amino acids are therefore called essential amino acids.

Hemp protein contains all eight essential amino acids and is therefore of very high quality. The main component is the globulin edestin, which is even easier to digest than soy protein. Hemp seeds are therefore a good source of protein for humans; The human organism can produce all vital proteins from hemp protein. Due to the similarity with the globular proteins of the blood plasma, the organism can easily form immunoglobulins from hemp protein, for example, which play an important role in fighting off infections.


Male foal
In order to produce an equally valuable hemp seed oil from the valuable hemp seed, gentle harvesting and pressing of the hemp seed is necessary. The seed is encased in a firm husk that protects the ingredients from environmental influences, especially oxygen and light. To extract the oil, the seed must be pressed until the oil comes out. However, caution is advised here. Heat is generated during pressing, and if the heat is too high, proteins and fats are chemically altered.

Therefore, when extracting oil for food, we only use the cold pressing process, in which the temperatures do not exceed 40 °C. Gentle cold pressing and airtight filling in dark bottles preserve the valuable fatty acids and the natural "nutty" taste of the oil.

Hemp oil is excellent for the kitchen, not only because of its special taste, but also because of its wealth of essential fatty acids.

Due to its fatty acid spectrum, hemp oil belongs to the top group of the best vegetable oils and should, as far as the cooking technique allows, replace the usual oils or be combined with them. Because the smoke point of unrefined hemp cooking oil is already 350°F (165°C), it should not be used for frying or frying, as these cooking techniques produce temperatures in excess of 350°F (165°C), destroying fatty acids and affecting the flavor of the hemp oil.

Hemp oil is suitable for stewing and steaming, as long as the presence of water prevents excessive temperatures from developing. It can also be used to prepare salad dressings, spreads, marinades and dips. The most important essential fatty acid for humans and mammals is linoleic acid, a diunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid. It occurs in numerous vegetable oils and reaches a proportion of over 50% in hemp oil. According to the recommendations for nutrient intake (German Society for Nutrition 1991), the average requirement for linoleic acid in a healthy young adult is 7 g/day, with a recommended amount of 10 g/day. This corresponds to about 50 to 60 g of hemp seeds or 15 to 20 g of hemp oil/day.


The oil contained in the seeds of the hemp plant is considered to be the most valuable edible oil of all: "Due to its exceptionally well-balanced fatty acid profile, one could live with hemp oil/seeds for a lifetime without suffering from a lack of essential fatty acids (EFA). The content of approx. 3% gamma linolenic acid (GLA) makes it unique among edible oils." and "The makeup of the fatty acids in our diet has changed this century. Oils low in essential fatty acids have become standard in our grocery stores. We buy oils that have been altered by heat and chemicals. Their natural nutrients are broken down into harmful substances transformed: trans-fatty acids, polymers and other substances Through the process of hydrogenation - used on a large scale for the production of margarine and shortening since the 1930s - many modified fat substances find their way into our food Refined oil products - "white" fats and "white" oils - are nutritionally comparable to refined white sugar and white flour: they are protein-free, demineralized, devitaminized, fiber-free They cannot be "metabolized" properly, depriving the body of minerals and vitamins, and adding to them over time deficiency symptoms."

Source: "Fats that heal, Fats that kill", Vancouver 1993, by Udo Erasmus, nutritionist.


Texts were created in cooperation with the www.nova-institut.de (authors: D. Kruse / M. Karus)

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