“What the heck is hemp, anyway?” I asked. This has always been an earnest curiosity, although I hadn’t explored it until recently. Other than the occasional hemp hearts in my breakfast yogurt (which I actually highly recommend—thanks, Kate Tierny), I had very little experience and was keen to know more.
Evo Hemp is a company based out of Boulder, CO and sees the potential that industrial hemp has to revitalize economy. Their intention was to create a company that would yield jobs as well as produce hemp foods and supplements that are both accessible and affordable. This led them to create a partnership with Alex White Plume of the Lakota tribe, located in the Pine Ridge Reservation. This reservation, also called Pine Ridge Agency, is an Oglala Lakota Native American reservation located in the U.S. state of South Dakota and is the poorest region within the United States. Not only does Evo Hemp do good work, they don’t inflate their prices. Other brands will cost almost twice as much as them.
I checked out some of Evo Hemp’s products, starting with their Hemp Hearts. First off, these little dirt granolas are hemp seeds—they are the tiny seeds of the plant Cannabis sativa. They don’t contain the potent dose of THC found in leaves and, whole and unshelled, will look like large peppercorns. Technically, they are a nut (and not actually called “dirt granola”/more often known as “hemp hearts”) and are incredibly nutritious. They have a mild nutty flavor and can be incorporated into so many things you eat regularly:
• Blended into smoothies – add berries and milk of choice, and save a few to sprinkle on top!
• Sprinkled on top of any kind of toast (i.e. avocado)
• Toasted and roasted – makes for a delightful, gluten-free crunch!
• Processed in a food processor, you can add to anything from homemade pesto to pie crust
• Whisked into a homemade salad dressing
• Combined with your favorite snack bar recipes for added protein!
• (My personal favorite) Sprinkled atop your favorite yogurt for a healthier breakfast
• Mix it into your morning oaties for an exceptionally nutritious breakfast (plus, your oatmeal was boring before hemp seeds)
• Incorporated into your granola mix; just add a few handfuls of seeds and you’re good to go
Why do any of these things? 1. Because it’s delicious and easy. 2. Because it’s nutritious af! Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat and are exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids: linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). They also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which is often harder to find and will prevent inflammation, as well as balance the body’s hormones. This tiny little seed packs a powerful punch and is linked with many health benefits.
Protein, protein, protein. Hemp seeds are a great protein source, as more than 25% of their total calories are from high-quality protein. They provide more protein than chia seeds and flax seeds, which only offer about 16–18%. Hemp seeds are considered a complete protein source.
Hemp seeds are also packed with vitamins (vitamin E, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium to name a few!) as well as fibrous antioxidants, which will boost your energy daily and help overall digestion. The high fiber content can keep your mind and immune system stronger with 65% edistin protein (the riches source in the plant kingdom). Yay for fueling antibodies.Another benefits of adding hemp seeds to your diet is better sleep. Studies have proven that hemp seeds have a high mineral content, including magnesium, which creates a soothing and relaxing sensation throughout the body. When magnesium is administered, serotonin is released and travels to the brain where it converts to melatonin, a powerful sleep aid. A single serving of hemp seed contains nearly 50% of the daily recommended dose of magnesium, allowing you to start getting more restorative sleep on the regular.
Hemp seeds may reduce the risk of heart disease, the number one killer wordwide. These little superfoods contain high amounts of amino acid arginine, which is used to produce nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide makes the blood vessels dilate and relax, leading to cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Evo Hemp creates hemp products that are not only good for you, but great for our country. Their mission is to bring high paying agricultural jobs to impoverished rural areas. The longer I work with companies, the more I look into what their belief systems are, who they support, and how. Evo Hemp does a fantastic job supporting other communities in need while providing quality hemp products at affordable prices.
These tiny superstar superfoods have a multitude of benefits, from better heart health to pain relief. Hemp seeds can be consumed raw, cooked or roasted. Hemp seed oil is also a healthy alternative way to incorporate it into your daily diet. The Chinese have been using it as food and medicine for at least several thousand years, and I’m pretty sure that they boast a life expectancy that surpasses that of the average Caucasian person. Perhaps the secret to living to a ripe old age is the tea drinking, frequent Tai Chi and mediation in parks—or maybe it’s just that they use hemp oils and seeds and know what’s up.
Evo Hemp is on a mission to make hemp foods and supplements more accessible and affordable for everyone. They believe industrial hemp has the potential to revitalize our agricultural economy and bring higher paying jobs to poor rural communities.
This product retails for $10, and you can purchase Evo Hemp Hearts here. Please help support companies who do good, and who support this podcast.
Disclosure: While Evo Hemp is a supporter of this podcast, all opinions are honest and my own.