How much do you know about gut health? All of us have experienced abdominal discomfort at some point, enough to know that it is unpleasant to say the least! But did you know that our entire digestive tract, from top to tail, is lined with over 100 million sensitive neurochemical receptors like the ones found in your brain? That’s why scientists have named our stomaches the ‘Second Brain’. Not only can poor digestive health cause discomfort like IBS, but it can also effect your mental health, energy level, immune system, and joints!
There are many factors that can influence gut health, but a major culprit with tummy troubles is actually an imbalance in healthy digestive bacterial ecosystem, called microbiota. There are nearly 3 pounds of microbiota in your digestive tract, which is an average of 10 microbiota for every cell in your body.
Fortunately, if you are looking to support healthy gut bacteria, you need look no further than our favorite superfood: hemp! Not only is hemp one of the most useful and environmentally friendly crops on the planet, it’s also extremely beneficial for your belly. Here are some ways that adding hemp can improve your digestive health.
- Easy digestionHemp seeds are more digestible than any other high protein food including meat, whole eggs, cheese, human milk, and cows’ milk. This is because 65% of the protein found in hemp seeds is made of a globulin protein named Edestin. Edestin is known to aid in digestion and is also considered to be the backbone of our cells’ DNA. Hemp protein is also free of the trypsin inhibitors which block protein absorption, and free of oligosaccharides found in soy, which cause stomach upset and gas. This makes hemp seeds an excellent source of protein for mothers, fathers, babies, the elderly, body builders, and the health conscious alike.
- Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs)Short Chain Fatty Acids are fatty acids with fewer than 6 Carbon atoms, and hemp provides them for our bodies in two ways. First, the healthy microbiota in our GI tract produce them by fermenting the fiber in our colons. Second, hemp contains the Essential Fatty Acids Omega 3 and Omega 6, which our body can break down into their short chain forms. These SCFA’s can control intestinal inflammation, strengthen colon cells, kill cancer cells and reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event.
- FibreWhole hemp seeds are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre forms a gel-like substance in the gut, containing valuable nutrients for our microbiota, and may also reduce spikes in blood sugar and regulate cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber adds much needed roughage that helps food and waste pass through the gut. Consuming insoluble fibre has also been linked with a reduced risk of diabetes!
- ProteinHemp seeds are an excellent source of protein including all nine Essential Amino Acids that our bodies are unable to produce for themselves. These amino acids are the building blocks our bodies need for cell production. Dietary protein is also a major source of nitrogen for colonic microbial growth and is essential for converting carbohydrates into energy. Since hemp protein is so easy to digest, it does not come with the intestinal distress that other high protein foods can bring with them.
There are so many reasons to make hemp a part of your daily diet, even if you don’t regularly encounter digestive distress. Caring for your GI tract through diet can have far reaching health benefits that everyone can enjoy! Find out for yourself by trying any of our great hemp seed products, and by checking out our recipes page!