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Hemp is an easily digestible, gluten-free protein. It has an overall protein content of 34.6 g/100 g, with a low carbohydrate content. Of the shelled hemp seed carbohydrate, 6% is in the form of fiber. The fiber content of hemp seed flour is 40%, which is the highest of all commercial flour grains.

In addition to containing the basic human nutrient groups, hemp foods have a high content of antioxidants (92.1 mg/100g). The high content of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids make hemp foods beneficial to cardiovascular health (the chart compares hemp milk to soy, rice, and almond alternatives - click on it to see a clearer image). Additionally, hemp seed contains a wide variety of other vitamins and minerals.

The most basic hemp seed product is the shelled seed. The other major hemp food products are hemp seed butter, which resembles peanut and other nut butters, cold-pressed hemp seed oil, hemp seed flour, and hemp protein powder. In their natural state, hemp foods do not contain any peanuts, milk, wheat, soy, fish & seafood (including crustaceans), eggs, tree nuts, sesame seeds or sulphites (always check the label just to make sure - every manufacturer is different).

Hemp milk resembles rice and almond milk in texture and is usable in most recipes in the same amount. It tastes good (some brands are better than others) and is quite creamy. Hemp hearts are an easy addition to many of recipes (soups, chili, homemade sausage, sprinkled on cereal or yogurt, as an alternative crust for meat/fish) for a nutritional boost. They add a nutty taste. Cold-pressed hemp oil can be used to make salad dressings and as a flavorful drizzle for most dishes that call for olive oil.

If you are gluten free and/or have other dietary restrictions, hemp products may be a welcome addition to your diet.
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