Posted on Leave a comment

Hemp Protein & Oatmeal

hemp-protein-powderIf you’re looking for a high-quality protein that’s not derived from animal sources, hemp protein powder might be for you. Mix the powder into smoothies or yogurt, but don’t stop there. Hemp protein powder may also boost the protein content of oatmeal, whether you cook it in the morning or make an overnight, soaked version. The powder contains multiple other nutrients to help you start your day right.

Not Complete

Some claim that hemp has all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein on par with whey or soy. This is not the case, as a study in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” reported in 2010. Hemp protein lacks an adequate, digestible amount of the amino acid lysine. To ensure you get enough lysine, augment your meal of hemp protein and oats in the morning with a lunch that includes beans or lentils.

Adding Hemp to Breakfast

Hemp boosts your overall morning nutrition by providing you with essential fatty acids, iron, fiber, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Hemp-laced oatmeal also makes a quality post-workout meal to provide a combination of protein for muscle repair and carbohydrates for glycogen, or energy, restoration. One scoop of hemp protein adds about 10 grams of protein to the oats.

Mixing It In

Stir the protein powder in after you’ve cooked the oats. A tablespoon or two adds a nutty flavour and a greenish hue. Finish the oats with berries, milk and walnuts, or whatever other toppings you like. Alternatively, try the option of no-cook oatmeal by combining oats, almond milk, chia seeds, hemp protein, a little mashed banana and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy the soft, puddinglike oats the next morning.

Quality Hemp

When shopping for hemp protein to add to your oats, go for organic varieties. Hemp readily absorbs pesticides, which may contaminate non-organic varieties. Freshness is also essential when purchasing hemp protein. If you don’t have ready access to hemp protein powder, you could add shelled hemp seeds to your oatmeal to gain the nutritional benefits of this seed.
Although hemp is related to marijuana botanically – just like broccoli and cauliflower are related, but not the same plant – hemp lacks the THC content that makes marijuana a psychoactive drug. You can’t get high from adding hemp protein to your oatmeal.

Posted on Leave a comment

Attention Deficit Disorder & Essential Fatty Acids

Intuitive parents have long suspected that in some children undesirable behaviour and poor school performance are linked to poor nutrition. New scientific studies of children with Attention Deficit Disorder are beginning to confirm these suspicions. One theory about ADD is that it is caused by a neurotransmitter imbalance. Children with ADD use hyperactivity and undesirable behaviour to stimulate production of neurotransmitters, but then they get overstressed and deplete themselves of neurotransmitters and are soon out of control. It seems, that a child with a tendency toward ADD needs a diet rich in nutrients that build neurotransmitters, given the difficulties he may have regulating their production. Research supports this idea, specifically:

  • A 1996 study of 96 boys found that those with lower blood levels of Omega-3 fatty acids were significantly more likely to have learning and behaviour problems than those whose levels were normal.
  • DHA and A.D.D. Another study showed that children with ADHD tended to have low blood levels of DHA and Arachidonic Acid (Essential Fatty Acids), two key brain fats. Perhaps this is why studies have shown that children who have been breast-fed are less likely to have ADHD and the longer the period of breastfeeding , the less the likelihood of having ADHD. The reason seems to be that breast milk is high in important fatty acids, such as GLA, ALA, DHA, Arachidonic Acid and others, but prior to 1997 most formulas contained none or little of these fatty acids. Studies at Purdue University in Indiana suggest that many boys with ADHD have low levels of the Omega Fatty Acids DHA, GLA and AA in their blood and tended to have lower levels of ALA and LA precursors in their blood than boys without ADHD, suggesting that these children were unable to make the fatty acids their brain needs from the fats in their diet.
  • The boys with ADHD who had the lowest levels of DHA, GLA and AA, exhibited the most anxiety, impulsivity, hyperactivity and conduct disorders. The researchers suggested three possible explanations for their findings: the children’s diets were deficient in Essential Fatty Acids, the children had a metabolic problem that prevented the body from converting dietary nutrients to Essential Fatty Acids for the brain, or various lifestyle and dietary factors reduced the level of Essential Fatty Acids available to the brain.
  • While a deficiency of Omega 3 fats can contribute to poor behaviour and learning, the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet is also important. A study of fifteen children with motor coordination problems showed that motor skills improved after the children were given a diet rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids. Brain researchers believe that the ideal ratio in the diet is 3:1, but a study found that children with ADHD had a higher Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio in their diet. When the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio gets too high, the important Omega 3 fats may be less available to the brain.
  • Some children with ADHD have outward symptoms of Essential Fatty Acid deficiency, such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, dry hair and dry skin. These symptoms appear because the vital organs, such as the brain, seem to have claim on the Essential Fatty Acids in the diet and rob these vital nutrients from less important organs, such as the skin.
  • The Hyperactive Children’s Support Group inEngland, after researching the connection between ADD and Essential Fatty Acid deficiency, concluded that since some children may have a problem with the normal metabolism of Essential Fatty Acids, they should supplement their diets with Essential Fatty Acids.
  • The group even suggested that perhaps males require two to three times more Essential Fatty Acids than females, since hyperactive male children seem to outnumber females by three to one.
  • In a study of DHA and behaviour, a group of college students were given a daily supplement of DHA beginning in August and continuing until final exams. Students who took DHA supplements displayed far less external aggression than those not taking supplements.
  • Sugars can also affect the learning and behaviour of children. Glucose tolerance tests on 261 hyperactive children showed that 74 percent had abnormal glucose tolerance tests, indicating that some children with ADHD are more prone to blood sugar swings and the poor behaviour and school performance that may accompany them. In one study, seventeen children with ADD were shown to have a lower rise in plasma epinephrine and nor-epinephrine in response to glucose infusion, another indication that these children may have more difficulty with blood-sugar changes.
  • Some research suggests that vitamin and mineral supplements may help children with A.D.H.D. Studies have shown that A.D.H.D., along with their lower serum levels of free fatty acids, may contribute to their A.D.H.D. Studies have shown that schoolchildren receiving a daily multivitamin containing the recommended dietary allowance of essential vitamins and minerals showed better school performance. However, studies using megavitamin therapy (doses of vitamins well above the RDA) on children with A.D.D. showed no effects; researchers concluded that this type of treatment should be discouraged because of potential toxic effects from excess amounts of some vitamins.
  • Other studies show that children placed on vitamin and mineral supplements tend to exhibit less violent, anti-social behaviour and show higher gains in academic performance than children on placebos. One study found that children who took 100 percent of the RDAs did better on I.Q. tests than those receiving 200 percent or 50 percent of the RDA. The conclusion was that taking more or less than the RDA may not be helpful.
  • Finally, nutritionists who reviewed studies linking diet, behaviour and school performance, concluded that students who generally ate a nutritious diet showed improved conduct and academic performance.

All the why’s and wherefores may not have been discovered yet, but common sense prevails.

Posted on Leave a comment

Hemp Seed Oil


Hemp Seed Oil is recognized by the World Health Organization as a natural anti-oxidant and the only balanced (perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3) source of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and is also a good source of Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA).
Hemp Seed Oil has a high content of the enzyme lipase, which is a superior non-invasive chelation therapy for removing plaque build-up (undigested protein and cholesterol) from arteries and cell membrane.
Cold-pressed, unrefined Hemp Seed Oil is light green and has a nutty/grassy flavour. The oil contains fatty acids. Saturated fats and
monounsaturated fats are not necessary in our diet as our bodies can make them. But there are some polyunsaturated fatty acids that our body cannot make – in particular Linoleic Acid and Alpha-Linolenic Acid. These fatty acids must be included in the diet and are therefore known as ‘Essential Fatty Acids’. Both these essential fatty acids are present in Hemp Seed Oil. Hemp Seed Oil provides a safer source of the essential fatty acids than from fish, where the risk of mercury poisoning exists.
Essential fatty acids are essential for the formation of healthy cell membranes, the proper development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. Our body can convert the linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid into longer chain fatty acids which serve as precursors for Eicosanoids. Eicosanoids are hormone-like substances which regulate numerous body functions such as blood pressure, blood viscosity, vaso-constriction, immune and inflammatory responses.
Eicosanoids can be produced from both Omega  3 fatty acids and from Omega  6 fatty acids, with opposing effects i.e. when made from Omega  6 they have the potential to increase blood pressure, inflammation, platelet aggregation, thrombosis, allergic reaction and cell proliferation, whereas when formed from Omega  3 they will have the opposite effect. Omega  3 and Omega  6 fatty acids compete for enzymes in their desaturation, so excessive consumption of foods rich in Omega  6 fatty acids may compromise the conversion of Omega  3 fatty acids, with resultant health risks.
Hemp Seed Oil is nutritious and contains the essential Omega -3 and Omega -6 fatty acids as well as Gamma-Linolenic acid. Hemp is the best source of EFAs not only because it has the highest total EFAs of any seed oil (80%) but also because the ratio of EFAs is considered the optimum balance for human health. Omega -3 and Omega -6 in the right proportions lower blood pressure, help organ muscles to contract and regulate stomach acid and body temperature.
When we are deficient in EFAs, changes in the cell structure occur that can result in brittle and dull hair, nail problems, dandruff, allergies and dermatitis and many of the diseases associated with aging, from arthritis to liver spots on the skin.
Hemp Seed Oil can be used as a salad dressing. Because hemp requires little or no pesticide or herbicide application the seed can easily be produced organically, making it a desirable food supplement or addition.
Hemp seed oil’s high EFA content means it is vulnerable to spoilage. It requires cool, dark, oxygen-free storage conditions. An unopened container can be stored in the deep freezer indefinitely and in the refrigerator for one year; an opened container will last for ten to twelve weeks in the refrigerator and at room temperature, an unopened container can last four to six weeks. An opened container should be used within one to two weeks.

Hemp Seed Oil should be taken daily because EFAs support the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune and nervous systems. A primary function of EFAs is the production of prostaglandins, which regulate body functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, blood clotting, fertility, conception and play a role in immune function by regulating inflammation and encouraging the body to fight infection. Essential Fatty Acids are also needed for proper growth in children, particularly for neural development and maturation of sensory systems, with male children having higher needs than females. Foetuses and breast-fed infants also require an adequate supply of EFAs through the mother’s dietary intake.

Hemptons’ organic Hemp Seed oil is cold-pressed at temperatures below 20˚ Celsius in an oxygen-free environment and nitrogen capped to maintain freshness.

Hemp Seed Oil requires cool and dark storage conditions – it is the very thing that makes Hemp Seed Oil such a valuable product that makes it vulnerable to spoilage – its high Essential Fatty Content content.

Suggested Daily Oil Dosage :

  • Adults:  1 to 2 tablespoons a day (approximately 1 tablespoon per 45Kgs of body weight)*
  • Children over 14 months:  2 to 4 teaspoons* 
  • Babies under 14 months:  1 to 2 teaspoons a day*

Capsules :

  • Adults:  2 Capsules 3 times a day*
  • Babies under 14 months:  Not recommended as they may choke (we recommend giving babies under 14  months   raw Hemp Seed Oil – 1 to 2 teaspoons per day)*
  • Children over 14 months:  2 to 4 capsules (please administer under supervision to ensure the child does not choke)

             *  always taken with food
This amount should provide between 8 to 16 grams of Omega 6 EFA and between 3 to 6 grams of Omega 3 EFA in a normal adult body.

Each 15ml (1 Tablespoon) contains the following Essential Fatty Acids:

Linoleic Acid (Omega 6)   54.8%
Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3)   18.1%
Oleic Acid (Omega 9)   11.2%
Palmitic Acid   6.8%
Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)   4.8%
Stearic Acid   2.4%
Octadecatetraenoic Acid   1.4%
Eicosenoic Acid   0.3%
Behenic Acid   0.3%
Posted on Leave a comment

“Pregnancy Brain” may be First Sign of EFA Deficiency

“Pregnancy brain” is a condition whereby expectant mothers experience short term memory loss and forgetfulness that often persists into the postpartum and breastfeeding period. Given widespread fatty acid deficiency in the standard Western diet, along with the fact that the brain is built on fat, it is incumbent upon us to consider adequate and optimal fats in the prevention and treatment of “pregnancy brain”. It also stands to reason that pregnancy brain, if left unchecked, may be the first and most benign symptom of a deficiency, which could later prove to have much greater consequence.According to Michael A. Schimdt, PhD (a NASA researcher), “To achieve adequate levels for brain development, the baby essentially robs the mother of these fatty acids by taking them from the placental blood.”  

Growing evidence supports the importance of supplementing with EFAs during pregnancy especially Omega 3. There are some Fatty Acids that we need to ingest (take in via food or supplementation) as the human body is unable to create it. These Fatty Acids are however essential to the development of body – hence the term ‘essential fatty acid’ – as they are essential to the body. The human body can however, synthesize ingested long chain fatty acids into other, short chain fatty acids like EPA, DHA, ALA etc.  EPA and DHA ( Docosahexaenoic Acid ) and the Arachidonic Acid (ARA) for essential for brain and eye development from Omega 3, Omega 6, etc. The January 2003 Pediatrics published data linking better intelligence and higher IQ scores to DHA supplementation. The World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, British Nutrition Foundation and Children’s Health Foundation have also recommended DHA inclusion in infant formula.

There is evidence from published clinical trials that women with higher DHA intakes or by way of supplementation during pregnancy, ranging up to 1100 mg DHA (plus 800 mg EPA) daily, gave birth to infants with higher cognitive development scores and young children with higher mental processing scores up to 4 years of age.  There is also published evidence that mothers with higher intakes of DHA during pregnancy along with higher corresponding levels in their body give birth to infants with improved sleep patterns. Furthermore, supplementation during pregnancy may enhance infant immunity (better allergy protection) and reduce risk of allergic disease.
In addition, higher intakes of EFAs during pregnancy (levels as low as 150 mg/day) have been implicated with increased birth weights, moderately prolonged gestation and reduced risk of preterm delivery. Finally, a higher dietary intake of EFA during pregnancy to support brain development of the baby in the womb has been associated with a great availability to the mother herself and a lesser risk of postpartum depression.

If not attended to, EFA status in the mother will continue to decline throughout the breastfeeding period, with repercussions to both her breastfeeding baby and subsequent children. Essential fatty acid deficiency has been shown to play a key role in many growth and developmental difficulties such as: learning, behavioral, nervous and immune related disorders.

Pregnant women who are deficient in essential fats, as well as mothers who have birthed more than one child (without adequate time in between to replenish their EFA status), may be more vulnerable to prolonged depression and disease later in life. It seems plausible that the wide spread prevalence of postpartum depression could be due at least in part to EFA deficiency. It is well established that essential fats play a substantial role in the prevention and treatment of depression. Chronic deficiencies originating during this critical time period may also explain why women tend to experience far more depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and autoimmune disease than men.
While “pregnancy brain” is also associated with the “amnesia” effects of the hormone oxytocin and other nutritional deficiencies, science has now shown that a pregnant woman`s brain actually shrinks in size during pregnancy, and then increases again at six months postpartum. It is likely no coincidence that this occurrence co-relates with the time when many women stop or decrease breastfeeding, thus eliminating or reducing the strain on the mother`s EFA stores. Since we know that 60% of the human brain is composed of fat and that a woman’s reserves are most strained during the childbearing years, we have to at least consider essential fats as a significant contributing piece of the “pregnancy brain” puzzle.

The cause and occurrence of “pregnancy brain” and the potential consequences of declining EFA status in women of childbearing years is an important topic that warrants further investigation. Due to the fact that it is so common, “pregnancy brain” has been mostly overlooked as a normal part of an otherwise healthy pregnancy. On the other hand, it may point to the likelihood that, modern mothers may need to attend to their essential fatty acid status through better diet and/or supplementation both during and after pregnancy – especially while breast feeding.

References:
Birch, E.E., et al. A randomized controlled trial of early dietary supply of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and mental development in term infants. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 42: 174-181, 2000.
Glomset, J.A. Role of docosahexaenoic acid in neuronal plasma membranes. Sci STKE. 321: 6, 2006.
Litman, B. J., et al . The role of docosahexaenoic acid containing phospholipids in modulating G protein-coupled signaling pathways : visual transduction. J. Mol. Neurosci. 16(2-3):237-242, 2001.
O’Brien, J.S., and Sampson, L. Fatty acid and fatty aldehyde composition of the major brain lipids in normal human gray matter, white matter, and myelin. J. Lipid Res. 6: 545-551, 1965.
Salem, N. Jr., et al . Mechanism of action of docosahexaenoic acid in the nervous system. Lipids. 36(9):945-959, 2001.
SanGiovanni, J. P., and Chew, E. Y. The role of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in health and disease of the retina. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 24:87-138, 2005.
Stilwell, W., and Wassall, S. R. Docosahexaenoic acid: membrance properties of a unique fatty acid. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids. 126:1-27, 2003.
Svennerholm, L. Distribution and fatty acid composition of phosphoglycerides in normal human brain. J. Lipid Res. 9: 570-579, 1965.
Youdin, K.A., et al . Essential fatty acids and the brain: possible health implications. Int. J. Neurosci. 18: 383-399, 2000.

Posted on Leave a comment

Pregnancy Brain" may be First Sign of EFA Deficiency

“Pregnancy brain” is a condition whereby expectant mothers experience short term memory loss and forgetfulness that often persists into the postpartum and breastfeeding period. Given widespread fatty acid deficiency in the standard Western diet, along with the fact that the brain is built on fat, it is incumbent upon us to consider adequate and optimal fats in the prevention and treatment of “pregnancy brain”. It also stands to reason that pregnancy brain, if left unchecked, may be the first and most benign symptom of a deficiency, which could later prove to have much greater consequence.According to Michael A. Schimdt, PhD (a NASA researcher), “To achieve adequate levels for brain development, the baby essentially robs the mother of these fatty acids by taking them from the placental blood.”  
Growing evidence supports the importance of supplementing with EFAs during pregnancy especially Omega 3. There are some Fatty Acids that we need to ingest (take in via food or supplementation) as the human body is unable to create it. These Fatty Acids are however essential to the development of body – hence the term ‘essential fatty acid’ – as they are essential to the body. The human body can however, synthesize ingested long chain fatty acids into other, short chain fatty acids like EPA, DHA, ALA etc.  EPA and DHA ( Docosahexaenoic Acid ) and the Arachidonic Acid (ARA) for essential for brain and eye development from Omega 3, Omega 6, etc. The January 2003 Pediatrics published data linking better intelligence and higher IQ scores to DHA supplementation. The World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, British Nutrition Foundation and Children’s Health Foundation have also recommended DHA inclusion in infant formula.
There is evidence from published clinical trials that women with higher DHA intakes or by way of supplementation during pregnancy, ranging up to 1100 mg DHA (plus 800 mg EPA) daily, gave birth to infants with higher cognitive development scores and young children with higher mental processing scores up to 4 years of age.  There is also published evidence that mothers with higher intakes of DHA during pregnancy along with higher corresponding levels in their body give birth to infants with improved sleep patterns. Furthermore, supplementation during pregnancy may enhance infant immunity (better allergy protection) and reduce risk of allergic disease.
In addition, higher intakes of EFAs during pregnancy (levels as low as 150 mg/day) have been implicated with increased birth weights, moderately prolonged gestation and reduced risk of preterm delivery. Finally, a higher dietary intake of EFA during pregnancy to support brain development of the baby in the womb has been associated with a great availability to the mother herself and a lesser risk of postpartum depression.
If not attended to, EFA status in the mother will continue to decline throughout the breastfeeding period, with repercussions to both her breastfeeding baby and subsequent children. Essential fatty acid deficiency has been shown to play a key role in many growth and developmental difficulties such as: learning, behavioral, nervous and immune related disorders.
Pregnant women who are deficient in essential fats, as well as mothers who have birthed more than one child (without adequate time in between to replenish their EFA status), may be more vulnerable to prolonged depression and disease later in life. It seems plausible that the wide spread prevalence of postpartum depression could be due at least in part to EFA deficiency. It is well established that essential fats play a substantial role in the prevention and treatment of depression. Chronic deficiencies originating during this critical time period may also explain why women tend to experience far more depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and autoimmune disease than men.
While “pregnancy brain” is also associated with the “amnesia” effects of the hormone oxytocin and other nutritional deficiencies, science has now shown that a pregnant woman`s brain actually shrinks in size during pregnancy, and then increases again at six months postpartum. It is likely no coincidence that this occurrence co-relates with the time when many women stop or decrease breastfeeding, thus eliminating or reducing the strain on the mother`s EFA stores. Since we know that 60% of the human brain is composed of fat and that a woman’s reserves are most strained during the childbearing years, we have to at least consider essential fats as a significant contributing piece of the “pregnancy brain” puzzle.
The cause and occurrence of “pregnancy brain” and the potential consequences of declining EFA status in women of childbearing years is an important topic that warrants further investigation. Due to the fact that it is so common, “pregnancy brain” has been mostly overlooked as a normal part of an otherwise healthy pregnancy. On the other hand, it may point to the likelihood that, modern mothers may need to attend to their essential fatty acid status through better diet and/or supplementation both during and after pregnancy – especially while breast feeding.
References:
Birch, E.E., et al. A randomized controlled trial of early dietary supply of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and mental development in term infants. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 42: 174-181, 2000.
Glomset, J.A. Role of docosahexaenoic acid in neuronal plasma membranes. Sci STKE. 321: 6, 2006.
Litman, B. J., et al . The role of docosahexaenoic acid containing phospholipids in modulating G protein-coupled signaling pathways : visual transduction. J. Mol. Neurosci. 16(2-3):237-242, 2001.
O’Brien, J.S., and Sampson, L. Fatty acid and fatty aldehyde composition of the major brain lipids in normal human gray matter, white matter, and myelin. J. Lipid Res. 6: 545-551, 1965.
Salem, N. Jr., et al . Mechanism of action of docosahexaenoic acid in the nervous system. Lipids. 36(9):945-959, 2001.
SanGiovanni, J. P., and Chew, E. Y. The role of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in health and disease of the retina. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 24:87-138, 2005.
Stilwell, W., and Wassall, S. R. Docosahexaenoic acid: membrance properties of a unique fatty acid. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids. 126:1-27, 2003.
Svennerholm, L. Distribution and fatty acid composition of phosphoglycerides in normal human brain. J. Lipid Res. 9: 570-579, 1965.
Youdin, K.A., et al . Essential fatty acids and the brain: possible health implications. Int. J. Neurosci. 18: 383-399, 2000.