The rediscovery of hemp, functional food with many properties
The hemp Cannabis sativa has been used for millennia by human being, both for food use and for the textile fiber obtained from the stems of this herbaceous plant.
In recent years we are attending a rediscovery of this plant, which makes her fall into the category of “functional foods”, thanks to some important nutritional characteristics for those seeking to reduce or eliminate animal foods from the diet.
The variety of which is permitted cultivation in Europe is essentially free of cannabinoids (THC tetrahydrocannabinol) in psychoactive form and the nutritional use get involved food seeds, flour and oil.
The hemp: in which foods?
The seeds contain more than 30% of fat, more than 25% of medium-high protein biological value, a good content of fiber and mineral salts (1). The lipid fraction is particularly interesting: very rich in polyunsaturated fat (> 80% PUFA) and with an optimum Omega-6 and Omega-3 ratio (between 2: 1 and 3: 1). It contains also gamma linoleic acid (GLA), important in the cellular regulation of the inflammation.
The hemp flour is obtained by pressing the seeds for oil extraction and therefore contains a small amount of fat (5-10%), but almost maintains the protein content (about 30%) and that of micronutrients.
In the market there are different types of food pasta that contain a mixture of durum wheat with variable percentages of hemp flour, the addition of which improves the nutritional value of the final product.
This particular pasta constitutes one of the major source of protein and carbohydrate meal, spiced with a vegetable sauce – or a tomato sauce – and a raw or cooked vegetables as a side dish.
Hemp pasta with green cream
Ingredients (per person)
- 200 g green broccoli
- chili (a bit)
- one clove of garlic (optional)
- 1 tablespoon and ½ of extra virgin olive oil
- 80 g hemp pasta BIO
Cut the broccoli and boil (about 10 minutes) in a little lightly salted water. Blend the broccoli with few tablespoons of cooking water and ½ tablespoon of oil to get a puree.
In a pan, heat the crushed garlic with a fork, pepper and a tablespoon of oil.
Cook the pasta following the instructions (on the package) and, once drained, pour into the broccoli cream, previously obtained.
Mix well and serve.
(1) J.C. Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview. 2004, Euphytica 140: 65-72
Nutritionist Dr. Francesco Bonucci
The diet tips, written in the article, are not intended to be a substitute for a personal nutrition plan and are to be adapted to specific cases.
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