Hemp seeds have an impressive amount of nutrition, even more than flax and chia. They are a complete source of plant-based protein and actually have more protein per gram than chicken breast. Hemp’s quality protein is easy absorbed by the body and is not only needed to maintain strength and energy on the trail but is also important in repairing muscle and other tissues after physical activity.
Hemp seeds are also rich in dietary fiber that slows your digestion, meaning you stay full and energized for longer. Other foods low in fat and fiber create a quick energy boost but are often followed by a crash. Dietary fiber also helps maintain a healthy gut, which decreases the likelihood of digestive issues, including some that can quickly ruin a day on the trail. Maintaining a healthy and regular digestion (with the help of hemp seeds) not only makes your hikes more comfortable, it also gives you more energy and motivation to get outside.
Unsaturated fats like Omega fatty acids aid in virtually every major bodily function and are critical for maintaining good heart and brain health. However, while other plant oils have way too much Omega-6, which can actually cause inflammation, hemp seeds contain Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats in the perfect 3:1 ratio for human health and will even help to balance out other oils. The healthy fats in hemp seeds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects that protect body tissues and promote post-hike recovery.
Hemp seeds have 10x more iron than spinach, 23x more Vitamin B1 than pork, 50x more magnesium than broccoli, 3x more potassium than chia seeds, and 50% fewer carbs than almonds. They are very rich in potassium, which aids in muscle recovery and also works with sodium in your body to maintain water levels and thus reduce cramping. With more potassium than flax or chia, and with a host of other vitamins and minerals, including B-vitamins, Vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, and zinc, it’s easy to see why this superfood belongs in every hiker’s nutritional arsenal.
Here are a few ways to enjoy hemp seeds on the trail:
- Take a couple of hemp nutrition bars with you
- Add hemp hearts into your hiking meals or take a bag with you to snack on
- Add hemp protein powder or hemp milk into your pre-hike smoothie
- Take a serving of hemp seed oil before and after your hike for an anti-inflammatory boost
- Try some hemp seed coffee to get healthy Omega fats in your morning cup