The hemp plant is a member of the Cannabis sativa L plant family. Although it only contains a small amount of THC -- the same substance found in marijuana -- the hemp plant is classified as marijuana, and its production is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Despite the tight regulations for growing hemp, its seeds are used to make hemp milk, an alternative for cow and soy milk. Hemp milk is rich in a number of nutrients that help you stay healthy.
The basic nutrition facts for hemp milk vary depending on the brand you use and whether it is flavored or not. Unsweetened hemp milk is lower in calories and protein, but higher in fat than skim milk. A 1-cup serving of unsweetened hemp milk, vanilla or original, contains 70 calories, 5 grams of total fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 2 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of protein. By comparison, a 1-cup serving of skim milk contains 83 calories, 0 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 12 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of protein.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
While hemp milk is higher in fat than cow's milk, it is a good source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, hemp seed oil contains the ideal ratio of omega-3 fats to omega-6 fats, which is 3 to 1. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain function, and normal growth and development. In addition, including more omega-3 rich foods in your diet can help lower your risk of heart disease by helping to lower both blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.
Hemp milk is a good source of vitamins. A 1-cup serving meets 10 percent of your daily value for vitamin A, 25 percent of your daily value for vitamin D, 4 to 6 percent of your daily value for vitamin E and 25 percent of your daily value for vitamin B-12. The daily value percentage is based on a 2,000-calorie diet for healthy adults, and can help you find foods rich in the nutrients you need for good health. Like with cow's milk, some of these vitamins are added to the hemp milk, including vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin B-12.
Hemp milk is also a good source of a number of essential minerals. A 1-cup serving meets 30 percent of your daily value for calcium, 4 to 6 percent of your daily value for iron and 10 percent of your daily value for magnesium. Hemp milk is not a natural source of calcium, but it is added during processing. The calcium-fortified hemp milk provides the same amount of calcium found in 1 cup of skim milk.
- Post-Gazette.com; Hemp Milk? It's Healthy and Legal as Hemp Cereal; Bob Batz Jr.; May 2007
- Shopwell: Pacific Nutural Foods Hemp Milk
- Living Harvest: Hemp Milk Nutrition Facts
- USDA; Nutrient Database; Milk, Nonfat, Fluid, with Added Vitamin A and Vitamin D (Fat Free or Skim)
- RD411; Hemp Oil; July 2010
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Omega-3 Fatty Acids; Steven Ehrlich