With 140 calories, 5 grams of fat and 3 grams of protein per cup, hemp milk is a nutritious alternative to cow's milk, especially if you can't eat dairy foods for allergy or medical reasons. Original hemp milk, which is made from soaking and grinding hemp seed in water, is low in saturated fat and supplies a wealth of vitamins and minerals, including calcium. There are a couple of drawbacks to consider, however, before deciding if hemp milk has a place in your diet.
Calcium and Phosphorus
Like cow's milk, hemp milk contains calcium, a nutrient essential for healthy bones and teeth. A cup of original or vanilla hemp milk contains half of the 1,000 milligrams of calcium healthy adults need each day. The same amount of chocolate, original unsweetened or unsweetened vanilla hemp milk each have one-third of the calcium you need for the day. Hemp milk is also a good source of phosphorus, a nutrient essential for healthy bones, and a cup contains between 20 percent and 35 percent of the 700 milligrams of phosphorus healthy adults need each day.
B Vitamins and Vitamin D
Any flavor of hemp milk supplies a good dose of B vitamins, such as riboflavin and thiamin, which help you convert the food you eat into energy. A cup of any flavor of hemp milk also supplies one-quarter of the 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 you need each day. Vitamin B-12 helps your body make red blood cells. A cup of hemp milk, with the exception of the chocolate, also supplies 30 percent of the 600 international units of vitamin D you need each day. A serving of chocolate hemp milk supplies 25 percent of your vitamin D needs. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium.
Magnesium for Muscles and Bones
Hemp milk is a healthy source of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that supports the normal function of your muscles and nerves. The mineral also plays a role in keeping your blood glucose and blood pressure normal. You also need magnesium for healthy bones, normal calcium transport and a healthy heart.
Sugar and Fat
While unsweetened hemp milk doesn't contain any added sugar, the original, chocolate and vanilla versions contain brown rice syrup, which is a type of added sugar. The chocolate version, for example, contains 23 grams of sugar. Added sugar increases the calorie count of foods, and eating too much added sugar can lead to weight gain. Being overweight can raise your risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. Hemp milk is low in saturated fat, with between 0.5 and 1 gram per serving, and watching your intake of saturated fat is one way to reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Pacific Foods: Non-Dairy Beverages
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Calcium
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Phosphorus
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin D
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B-12
- National Institutes of Health: Magnesium
- National Heart Association: Sugar 101