Hemp oil is one of nature's most balanced and nutritious oils. It contains essential fatty acids (EFAs) omega 6 and omega 3 in an ideal ratio (3:1) recommended for optimal health and can, therefore, can be used long term to provide your requirements of EFAs. Hemp oil also contains measurable levels of the omega 6 gamma-linoleic acid, which is almost as useful for reducing inflammation as omega 3.
Approximately 80% of the fat content in hemp oil is in the form of essential fatty acids. Fifteen milliliters of hemp oil will provide the recommended daily requirement of EFAs. Higher levels, however, may be needed to provide optimal benefits in both health and fitness.
Due to the hemp oil's EFA content, the oil will begin to spoil when it is opened and exposed to air. It’s also light sensitive and too much light can result in deterioration in the quality of the oil. An opened bottle of hemp oil can last between 6 to 12 weeks. For this reason hemp oil should be stored in the fridge to slow the natural deterioration process of the oil.
High quality, cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil will have a light green appearance and a delicious nutty, grassy flavor. Refined hemp oil will be clear with little or no flavor. This type of oil will have little, if any, of the health benefits cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil offers and should be avoided.
As with the quality of any food or supplement, where the product is sourced is vital. Hemp oil is difficult to manufacture, so purchase hemp oil from a reputable company that uses the finest seeds and simplest processing techniques (without the use of heat) as the processing techniques can damage sensitive EFAs. This will ensure a high quality oil.
For people involved in competition, hemp oil may contain traces of THC which could possibly result in a failed drug test. Pests tend to leave it alone though, usually allowing hemp to be grown without the use of pesticides, as recommended in today's world for a healthy living lifestyle.
Hemp seeds are a rich source of nutrients that contribute to your health in many ways. Here are some of the health benefits of hemp oil:
- ideal ratio of omega 3 to omega 6
- lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- reduces inflammation and eases arthritis
- reduces the symptoms of PMS
- improves cardiovascular health and the immune system
- contributes to skin and hair health
Cooking can also damage the sensitive EFAs contained in the oil, therefore losing the benefits the oil offers. And since it has a low smoke point, cooking with it doesn’t really work out well anyway. To enjoy all the benefits hemp oil offers, simply add it to salad dressings, pasta, vegetables, smoothies, soups, and homemade sauces. Remember to add the hemp oil after the soup, vegetables, and pasta have been cooked to avoid damaging the sensitive EFAs.
In the end, hemp oil is an excellent source of essential fatty acids as long as it is sourced, processed, and stored correctly. Including it in your diet will not only improve your general health, but also strengthen and improve the look of your skin and hair. Follow these guidelines in keeping your hemp oil viable and enjoy better health.