If you’re a diet fad aficionado, no doubt you’ve heard about Marco Borges’ Revolution Diet. It’s a plant-based and vegan diet plan that should be followed for 22 habit-forming days.
It’s very similar to other plant-based diets and encourages a wide range of whole, unprocessed foods rich in micro and macro nutrients. Followers (including Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z) praise the diet’s weight loss benefits and its simple recipes.
While no one can dispute the health benefits of eating whole, unprocessed fruits, vegetables and legumes, we were surprised to find that more recipes don’t use hemp seeds or protein powder! It is a superfood, after all.
If you’re considering a plant-based diet like the Revolution Diet, be sure to add hemp foods to your grocery list.
Hemp seeds, and their derivative hemp protein powder, are growing in interest among nutritionally-minded folks due to their rich protein and amino acid content.
In this article, we’ll delve into the nutritional benefits of hemp protein powder and how to incorporate them into your plant-based or “Revolution” Diet.
What is Hemp?
Hemp gets a bad rap for its relation to marijuana, but the stigma is so far from the truth.
Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant. Its botanical cousin, marijuana, is also a member of the Cannabis sativa and known for its “high” inducing chemical compound, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Hemp, on the other hand, is cultivated as a food product and serves medicinal, environmental, and nutritional purposes. It’s also bred to remove virtually all traces of THC so it is non-intoxicating.
Hemp is currently the subject of much scientific research because of its cannabidiol (CBD) compound and its promising medicinal properties. For that reason, other parts of the hemp plant often get overlooked in the scientific community. Unlike its leaves and flowers, hemp seeds and hemp hearts (the inner part of unshelled hemp seeds), contain virtually zero traces of CBD and are cultivated for food purposes.
What’s so great about hemp protein powder?
Hemp protein is considered a superfood because it offers a complete nutritional profile. It’s high in protein, high in fiber, healthy fats, and provides a heaping portion of vitamins and nutrients.
Hemp is one of the highest sources of plant-based protein, with nearly 30% of its calories coming from protein. It’s also considered a complete protein because it contains all 9 essential amino acids.
Hemp also offers a perfectly balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids that are, well, essential for human health but can only be found in food sources.
In terms of digestive support, hemp protein provides both the soluble and insoluble fiber needed to aid digestion. Not many foods offer a good balance of both soluble and insoluble fiber, so hemp is unique in this regard.
How to shop for hemp protein powder
Although hemp has been used as a food source since ancient civilizations, humans still haven’t come to a consensus on its terminology.
At the grocery store you’ll find hemp seeds, hemp hearts, hemp nubs, hemp protein powder, hemp flour, and hemp cake. You’ll also see it milled, hulled, shelled, powdered, raw, cold-pressed, and more. With so many different variations, how do you know which is best for you?
It largely comes down to which method is more readily available where you live and which you are most likely to be successful with. For instance, hemp powder contains less fat than hemp seeds because the oil content is squeezed out of the seeds to make the powder. If you are following an all-vegan diet, you may benefit from the extra boost of protein found in the powder. If you don’t need the extra protein, or are an athlete, you might benefit from the higher fat content of the seeds.
In a similar light, if you enjoy your food you are more likely to stick with your diet and meet your goals. If you can’t stand the taste of shelled hemp seeds, you might have better luck masking the flavor of hemp protein powder with other ingredients.
How to incorporate hemp protein into your diet
Here are some healthy ways to incorporate hemp protein powder into your plant-based meal program:
Have a protein-packed smoothie breakfast or filling late-night snack to keep the cravings at bay. Mix hemp protein powder with your favorite plant-based milk then add fruit, greens, and toppings like flax seeds, shredded coconut or peanut butter powder.
There are so many ways to dress your morning bowl of oatmeal to give it a nutritious punch. Add berries, cacao nibs, and a swirl of honey for sweetness, plus a tablespoon of hemp protein powder to keep you full until lunch.
- Baked Goods
Who says dessert needs to be nutritionally void? Make your baked goods guilt-free with a tablespoon or two of hemp protein powder. It goes great in dessert bars and cookies, as well as pancakes, pastries and breads.
Hemp protein powder is highly soluble and can be mixed with your favorite healthy snacks. For instance, swap out your usual granola topping and add hemp powder to yogurt. Or mix up almond butter, honey, cinnamon, and hemp powder for a delectable fruit dip. Add finely chopped almonds and dates to the same mix to make a no-bake protein bar.
There are so many great ways to add sustainable hemp protein powder to your diet routine. It complements any plant-based diet and is packed with nutrients to keep you full longer.
How to make hemp protein powder
Manufacturers start by cold-pressing industrial hemp seeds to remove the natural oils. The resulting hemp “cake” is then milled into a fine powder. Hemp powder can be added to smoothies and other recipes to benefit from the concentration of protein without the fat from the oil.
If you’re not used to eating a diet rich in vegetables and legumes, you could experience extra gas and bloating from consuming hemp foods. Like almost anything, your body needs to get used to the new superfood and the heaping portion of vitamins and nutrients it will provide your body with.
No other side effects have been reported with hemp foods. And no, hemp seeds won’t get you “high” or affect a drug test in any way. Hemp and marijuana are two different plants.
Diet trends come and go but research overwhelmingly supports that a plant-based diet has superior health benefits. While we can’t endorse that the Revolution Diet is better than any other vegan program, we can impress the importance of incorporating a complete protein source like hemp into your meals.
Whether you stick to a vegan diet long-term or simply want to add healthy, meatless swaps into your weekly meals, hemp protein powder is the ultimate plant-based protein. It’s nutritionally complete, sustainable to produce, and a tasty addition to any diet.