Good Hemp Oil vs Flaxseed Oil
Both hemp seeds and flaxseeds are known for their health benefits, which include hearty doses of protein, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s no wonder that hemp oil and flaxseed oil (also known as linseed oil) are packed with similar natural goodness, and are a popular choice for kitchen cupboards around the world.
That being said, there are some important differences in the contest between hemp oil vs flaxseed oil and a few reasons why we think hemp oil is better. A major one for us is that while hemp seed oil has a medium smoke point (which means you can use it for gentle sautéing) flaxseed oil shouldn’t be heated at all. Here’s a breakdown of our thoughts on hemp oil vs flaxseed oil and a handy table for easy comparison. Discover the winner in this intriguing hemp oil vs flaxseed oil contest.
Hemp oil is often considered as one of the healthiest oils available, due to being rich in omega 6 & omega 3, but how does it compare to flax seed oil?
Hemp Seed Nutrition
Hemp Seed Protein
Hemp seeds are second only to soybean in protein content. Proteins serve a variety of functions in the human body such as acting as enzymes, antibodies, and the structural components of tissues, hormones and blood protein. The main function of dietary protein is to supply amino acids for the growth and maintenance of body tissue. Digestion disassembles proteins into their basic building blocks – the amino acids.
Hemp protein contains all 20 known amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce. Proteins are considered complete when they contain all 9 essential amino acids in a sufficient quantity and ratio to meet the body’s needs. Hemp seeds contain an adequate supply of these high quality proteins (EAAs) for a well balanced diet.
Hemp protein is free of the tryspin inhibitors which block protein absorption and free of oligosaccharides found in soy, which cause stomach upset and gas. Approximately 65% of the protein in hemp seeds is made up of the globulin protein Edestin and is found only in hemp seed. Edestin aids digestion, is relatively phosphorus-free and considered the backbone of the cell’s DNA. The other one third of hemp seed protein is Albumin, another high quality globulin protein similar to that found in egg whites. (see our nutritional composition tables for further info)
Hemp Seed Oil
The oil contained in the hemp seed is 75-80% polyunsaturated fatty acids (the good fats) and only 9-11% of the lesser desired saturated fatty acids. Hemp seed oil is reputed to be the most unsaturated oil derived from the plant kingdom. The essential fatty acids (EFAs) contained in hemp seed oil are required in our diet more than any other vitamin, yet our bodies do not naturally produce them. They must be obtained from external sources in the food we eat. EFAs are involved with producing life’s energy throughout the human body and without them, life is not possible. In general, North Americans have a high dietary deficiency in EFAs due to out high intake of animal fats versus plant fats, caused by our high consumption of processed foods and meats versus natural organic foods.
Hemp seed oil has been dubbed “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil”, due to the fact that it contains the perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 (linoleic/ LA) to Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic/ LNA) essential fatty acids, determined to be the optimum requirement for long-term healthy human nutrition. In addition, it also contains smaller amounts of 3 other polyunsaturated fatty acids in Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), oleic acid and stearidonic acid. This EFA combination is unique among edible oil seeds. (see nutritional composition )
Extensive studies have demonstrated that many common illnesses are related to deficiencies or imbalances of specific fatty acids in the body. Symptoms are often related to a lack of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and their derivatives, the postaglandins. Most people eating a healthful diet, one that includes a balanced ratio of essential fatty acids, also have healthy skin and a strong immune system.
Yet some individuals may experience shortages in specific fatty acids or their metabolites due to dysfunctional enzyme systems or other inhibitions in their metabolic pathways caused by genetic, immune-system-related, or even environmental factors. It has been proven in several clinical studies that dietary supplementation with EFAs or their metabolites (such as GLA) will often prevent or even cure these illnesses. Since hemp seed oil contains both EFAs in a desirable balance while also providing two of the EFA metabolites, it is a good resource for the prevention and treatment of certain illnesses.
Hemp seed oil also provides an adequate supply of antioxidants (Vitamin E), carotene (precursor to Vitamin A), phytosterols, phospholipids and a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, along with modest amounts of iron and zinc. Hemp seed oil also provides a good source of chlorophyll. The daily recommended allowance of hemp seed oil is 14-28 ml (1 to 2 tablespoons). This allowance provides between 8 and 16 grams of Omega 6 (LA) and between 3 and 6 grams of Omega 3 (LNA). And lastly, unlike other Omega-rich alternatives (flax, evening primrose, borage or fish oils) that are sold mainly as a vitamin supplement, hemp seed, hemp oil and hulled hemp seed all have a flavorful “nutty” taste that will create consumer demand and can easily be added into most any recipe to obtain a balanced diet!
Caution: Highly unsaturated vegetable oils such as Hemp Seed Oil are denatured by heating above 150єC (300єF), which can result in the production of unhealthy trans-fatty acids and increased peroxide values. Use Hemp Seed Oil as a flavor-enhancer in many recipes. Do not use as a substitute for frying oils. Keep bottles tightly sealed after opening and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
In addition to the high quality protein and oil found in hemp seeds, 34% of this nutritional package deal is rounded out with carbohydrates made up of dietary fiber and a small amount of sugar. This dietary fiber is made up of 3% soluble fiber and 27% insoluble fiber. (see nutritional composition.
Benefits of consuming Hemp Seed & Oil
– Excellent source of essential fatty acids including Omega 3, 6 and GLA
– Lower blood LDL cholesterol levels
– Lower blood pressure
– Improve cardiovascular circulation & function
– Improve organ function
– Improve immunity levels
– Increased energy levels & metabolic rate
– Reduce symptoms of PMS & menstrual cramps
– Reduce inflammation and the symptoms of arthritis
– Improve recovery of muscles after exercise
– Reduce & treat dry skin and hair conditions
– Reduction of many degenerative diseases through preventative measures
Hemp products are GMO-Free, Gluten-free, Herbicide & Pesticide free, peanut free, Vegetarian approved, Kosher certified, No THC and Tryspin inhibitor free.
Hemp products have a wonderful nutty flavor that can easily be incorporated into your diet while providing a powerful daily supplement.
Hemp Food Nutritional Comparison
Hemp seed oil has been dubbed, “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil” due to the fact that it contains the perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio of both the required essential fatty acids (EFAs) for long term human consumption. Omega 6 -Linoleic Acid (LA) : Omega 3 – Linolenic Acid (LNA). Hemp oil is also an excellent source of the LA derivative super-polyunsaturated Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) at 2.5-3% of volume* * Based on EFA composition noted in research crop reports conducted in Manitoba and Canada during the last three years.
Only Hemp seed oil contains Omega 6, Omega 3 and GLA Only Hemp seed oil contains 75-80% polyunsaturated fatty acids – highest in the plant kingdom and unique among seed oils.
The following tables and charts offer typical specifications and compositional breakdowns of various hemp seed & oil products.
Hemp Seed Nutrition Information