Hemp seeds or hemp hearts are derived from cannabis, the same plant from which marijuana is extracted. And you must be wondering is it safe to eat hemp seeds during pregnancy?
Yes, eating hemp seeds is safe to eat when you are pregnant, but in moderation.
Hemp seeds are devoid of psychoactive components like Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). As these compounds are extracted from flowers, stems, and leaves of the cannabis plants, not from seeds.
Although a minute amount of non-harmful CBD and THC is present in hemp seeds. It is completely safe to eat for even pregnant women. According to the US FDA, hemp seeds, hemp protein powder, and hemp seed oil are safe for consumption.
Hemp seeds are brownish, nut-flavored, nutrient-packed seeds. They provide your body with omega-3s and omega-6s, protein, and vital micronutrients. These nutrients are essential for the growth and development of the unborn baby.
Nutritional Value of Hemp Seeds for Pregnancy
Like other seeds, hemp seeds are nutrition bombs and super-foods for vegans. Hemp seeds are plant-based food for vegan pregnant women. It is full of omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese. These minerals are vital for a healthy pregnancy.
Hemp seeds have a high nutritional profile that is healthy for both mom and fetus.
Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of eating hemp seeds during pregnancy and how hemp is free from THC.
1. Rich In Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for the eye and brain development of the fetus.
There are 3 types of Omega-3 fatty acids found. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Our body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA but in small amounts.
Our body cannot produce ALA on its own; thus, we must consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp seeds are a rich source of ALAs that converts into DHA and EPA.
Furthermore, unlike other food sources of omega-3s, hemp seeds have zero mercury. Mercury, even in small amounts, is harmful to the mother and baby.
2. Excellent Source of Vegan Protein
Pregnant women should have 70g of protein every day. Especially during their third trimester. Hemp seeds are the source of all 9 forms of essential amino acids.
Protein is vital for the proper growth of a baby’s organs, tissues, and brain. It also increases the blood supply to the baby during pregnancy. Hemp seeds contain a good amount of arginine, a vital amino acid for the healthy heart of mom and baby.
Moreover, plant-based proteins are rich in fiber and low in sugar content. It prevents gestational diabetes and excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
3. Good Source of Magnesium and Phosphorus
Only about 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds fulfill 55% of your RDA of magnesium and 66% of your RDA for phosphorus.
Research published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research showed that most pregnant women are deficient in magnesium. This leads to preterm birth, pre-eclampsia, and high blood pressure.
4. Prevents Iron Deficiency
Iron-rich diet and supplements are a must for pregnant women. Hemp seeds can fulfill 1/3rd of your RDA of iron.
Eating only 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds meets about 8% of your iron needs. Its consumption increases the blood circulation in your body.
5. Provides Vital Micronutrients
Hemp seeds are superb sources of some vital micronutrients such as manganese, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B, and B6.
Vitamin B and B6 are crucial for fetal brain development and metabolism. Vitamin E boosts immunity. Manganese ensures healthy bone and cartilage formation, while potassium balances body fluids.
6. High Fiber Content
Hemp seeds have a fiber-packed outer shell. Thus, it’s recommended to get hemp seeds with their shells intact.
The high fiber content in hemp seeds promotes satiety. It creates the feeling of fullness which prevents weight gain during pregnancy. It also regulates blood sugar levels and prevents constipation during pregnancy.
Hemp seeds are devoid of the intoxicating effects of marijuana caused by CBD and THC. Hemp seeds are a nutrient-rich superfood. They are beneficial for you and your baby during pregnancy.
Enjoy the benefits of eating hemp seeds during pregnancy but in moderation and as per the recommendation of your gynecologist.
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