Why are non-dairy milk options such a big deal? Not only are they delicious, but they are an eco-friendly, vegan-friendly, and healthy alternative to an industry plagued with issues. While you might not be a vegan yourself, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a milk-alternative every once in a while. The cows can use the break, and you can use the health benefits from the nut, seed, or grain alternatives. Out of all the dairy-free milk options out there, hemp milk might be one of the best.
Hemp milk is made from hemp seeds. These are the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant, but not the one you are thinking about. Hemp milk isn’t made from marijuana plants, instead its the processed seeds of marijuana’s sister: hemp. Usually, farmers grow hemp for more industrial purposes, like fiber, stalks and industrial lubricants. Today, hemp is taking the health food world by storm.
While all non-dairy nut and seed milks are technically watered down versions of their whole-grain ingredients, they still hold some valuable nutrients. Hemp milk, in particular, maintains much of the vitamins, minerals and healthy fats of the hemp seeds.
Here are the top 10 benefits of organic hemp milk, all backed by science.
1. Great Alternative to Support Digestive Health
Diary is notoriously bad on our digestive system. No matter how delicious ice cream and cheese are, they clog up the works. Too much dairy in your diet can lead to cramping, diarrhea, and constipation. The more you can include nut, seed, and grain milk alternatives into your diet, the happier your digestion.
Plus, hemp seeds (the source of hemp milk) are high in fiber. Fiber is a crucial part of a healthy digestive system because it lubricates the walls of your intestines. It helps make the system function as it should. Once the seeds get transformed into milk, much of the fiber is gone, but still, a small amount remains. Dairy milk, on the other hand, has zero percent dietary fiber. Take fiber where you can get it!
2. Packed Full of Essential Minerals
Hemp products have measurable levels of many essential vitamins and minerals. This includes magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, and phosphorus. Many of the nutrients found in hemp products are trace elements, iron and manganese are two examples. These elements are necessary for human health, but hard to find in a modern day diet. Hemp helps fill the void, including 100 percent of the required daily intake of manganese from a single serving.
3. An Excellent Protein Alternative to Cow’s Milk
It’s hard to be a vegan sometimes, and especially when it comes to finding high-quality protein. Trying to get enough of the essential amino acids, all from plants, can take a lot of effort. Most plant-based proteins, like beans and chickpeas, need to be combined with other proteins to paint a full protein picture.
Hemp protein is different. It is technically a complete protein, meaning it contains some level of all nine amino acids. You might need to supplement here and there to get enough of the lower amino acids, but hemp milk has a little bit of everything! Other non-dairy alternatives are going to be missing more than a few types of amino acids.
4. A Creamy and Delicious Antioxidant
Antioxidants fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Free radicals are naturally occurring, and responsible for aging and the increased risk of disease. They are single electrons, which travel through the body pulling other elections out of their strong partnerships. This leads to cell damage, disease, and aging.
Hemp oil contains many different antioxidants, including carotene and Vitamin E. So on your next bowl of cereal, why not pour over a nice cup of hemp milk to get some of the antioxidants you need? You won’t be able to tell the difference.
5. A Boost to Heart Health
Did you know hemp products, including hemp milk, are a recipe for heart health? Hemp seeds contain very high levels of an amino acid called arginine. This acid, once digested, turns into a compound called nitric oxide, which helps keep the arteries and blood vessels open and pumping. Nitric oxide, with is heart dilating properties, helps relax your hard-working heart and controls high blood pressure.
In a recent study looking at the connection between heart health and dairy fats, researchers made a few exciting discoveries. First, they found dairy products didn’t lead to heart attack and heart disease like many had thought. Secondly, and more importantly, they discovered it did nothing to diminish the risk. Hemp milk, on the other hand, thanks to the amino acid called arginine, may help reduce the risk. If you want to help your heart out, make the switch.
6. Builds Good Bones
There are a few compounds in hemp that form strong and healthy bones. The first is magnesium. Magnesium benefits so many different biological process, one of which is strengthening and maintaining bone health. It helps the body absorb calcium (also crucial for bone health), and helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
Almost 60 percent of your magnesium is stored in bones, which release it into the bloodstream as needed. Hemp seeds contain 70 percent of your recommended daily intake of magnesium in a 30-gram servicing. While any milk derived from hemp seeds will have much lower magnesium that the seed itself, you’ll still get a little boost to bone health in every glass.
7. Gluten Free, Soy Free, and Non-GMO
Everyone is free of something these days. Whether you steer clear of animal products, have gluten sensitivity or only eat organics, hemp products tick all the boxes. Pure organic hemp milk is safe for gluten intolerances, and even full-blown celiac disease.
It’s also soy free, another common concern because soy is almost entirely genetically modified these days. Organic hemp milk is certified and totally GMO-free. Too often vegans and vegetarians turn towards soy as a meat and dairy alternative, but too much soy isn’t good for you.
8. It is a Good Crop for the Environment
Hemp is a super sustainable superfood. It grows quickly and reaches maturity within only four months. Hemp milk needs only hemp seeds, but the entire hemp plant is useful. From the leaves to the stalk, to the oils. Every part of the crop is valuable, and nothing goes to waste.
As already mentioned, hemp is generally not genetically modified. It also usually need much lower levels of pesticides, compared to similar industrialized crops like cotton and corn. Many industrial hemp products are entirely recyclable. The corn and soy industries have nothing on the hemp industry.
9. Low in Saturated Fats
Saturated fats are the bad ones that lead to heart disease, diabetes, and generally poor health. Hemp seeds are naturally very high in healthy fats, that’s the unsaturated ones. Hemp contains up to to 30 percent healthy oils. Again, these oils are diluted a bit once the hemp seeds turn into milk, but still, their beneficial qualities linger. Hemp milk still contains measurable levels of these healthy fats which are so necessary to support your health.
10. Source of Vitamin B and Vitamin D
One cup of hemp milk contains 25 percent of your daily vitamin B12 requirement. Vitamin B12 keeps your nerve and blood cells working hard. Hemp milk also contains two other types of vitamin B’s, riboflavin and thiamin. Both these compounds help your body transform the food you eat daily into energy.
Finally, hemp milk contains a little dose of vitamin D. This is the vitamin typically sourced from sun-rays, but which can be found in some foods. Dietary sources are hard to find, so getting a bit from a glass of hemp milk is extremely valuable.
How to Make Hemp Milk at Home
What’s in a hemp milk recipe? Is it hard? You don’t need to make the trip to the closest organic grocery store to get the benefits of hemp milk, you can make it at home. Non-dairy nut and grain milks are technically quite simple to make with only a handful of things you already have lying around your kitchen. Plus, if you keep it in the fridge, it will stay fresh for seven to 14 days.
Learning how to make hemp milk for yourself also means you know exactly what goes into it. Even organic options at the supermarket will have a preservative or two, and some have a sweetener. Make your own hemp milk as pure as mother nature intended.
Here’s how to make hemp milk in four easy steps:
- Add one part hemp hearts to eight parts water (ex: ½ cup hemp hearts, four cups water) to a blender.
- Blend on high (or on soup setting) for two full minutes until smooth.
- Using a cheesecloth, strain the solid material out.
- Enjoy immediately, or store in the refrigerator for future use.
Need more boost to your hemp milk? Why not add in a little THC to make the experience on to remember. Using the cannabis milk recipe, simply swap out the cows milk for the hemp milk alternative. Two types of cannabis in the same glass!
Non-dairy milk alternatives are more popular than ever before. But hemp might be one of the best options. With is super healthy essential fatty acids, protein punch, and nutty flavor, it makes for a no-nonsense and tasty alternative to the dairy industry. Even if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, hemp milk is a perfectly suitable alternative for oatmeals, smoothies, cereals, and more.