Although hemp is one of the most versatile plants on planet earth and can be used to make virtually anything that is currently made of cotton, timber, or petroleum, the hemp plant also produces a superfood seed that we can eat. They are available in several forms, the hulled seed being my favorite. You may be able to find un-hulled hemp seeds, which are best to soak before consumption. Once hulled, hemp is susceptible to rancidity and mold. Store in a cool, dark place in an airtight glass container. Makes wonderful milk.
- Hemp seeds, or ‘hemp hearts’, contain all the essential amino acids and essential fats necessary to maintain a healthy body.
The term superfood is a relatively new one. Although there is no ‘set’ definition, the term refers to a class of exceptionally potent, nutrient-dense foods that act as both sustenance and medicine. Superfoods are rich in phytochemicals, which are special plant-based chemical compounds that have been noted to have disease-fighting properties, reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and alkaline the body’s blood and tissues. When foods are high in these phytochemicals, they may be eaten not only because they taste good, but because they are good for you too.
Although beans, leafy greens, and quinoa have been called “superfoods”, my list below concentrates on raw products and those that are particularly powerful, with concentrations of phytochemicals that exceed those of ordinary produce. Yes, they are typically more expensive, but that is because they are needed only in small quantities and have special properties for occasions when nothing else will do.
Look for all of these superfoods at your local health food shops and increasingly at quality grocery stores. Buy organic whenever possible.
Store in the fridge or freezer (see individual foods).