Lactose intolerance is becoming one of the most common food-related allergies doctors diagnose. For someone whose stomach can’t process milk, either because of its lactose or casein, as well as those who choose not to drink milk due to ethical concerns or because it doesn’t agree with their bodies, a big problem soon crops up—they miss milk! For many of these folks, hemp milk has proven to be a great, satisfying solution. But what on earth is hemp milk?
Rest assured, first of all, that hemp milk isn’t liquefied marijuana or anything of the sort. It’s made from the seeds of the hemp plant. Many describe its flavor as nutty or creamy. These seeds are known to have a variety of health benefits, but some pointed out in particular studies are worth special notice.
Why Is Hemp Milk Good for You?
- It’s loaded with the perfect setup of fatty acids. Those are your omega-3s and omega-6s, but their balance is spot-on in hempseed. This means that this milk is great for your cardiovascular health, not to mention your brain—remember, much of your brain is made of fat!
- Hempseed naturally reduces bad cholesterol. What’s even better is that it doesn’t tamper with other important parts of the blood in doing this, such as plasma.
- Hemp is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. This reduces vascular diseases like atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries from plaque buildup).
Some of the great nutrients that hemp milk contains include:
- All 10 essential amino acids (those are the ones our body can’t make by itself)
- Lots of calcium
- Potassium (helps with aches and pains!)
- Zinc (in which many people are deficient)
- Vitamins A, B-12, and E (which help our immune system)
There are many more—this list gives just a brief overview of the many nutrients we can obtain from hemp milk.
For the more adventurous types, you can also make your own hemp milk if you’re feeling a little unsure about buying it in a store-bought carton. You simply need to blend ½ cup of raw hempseeds (make sure they’re shelled!) and 2 cups of water. Then just give it a pass through a cheesecloth and voila! Chill it for even better taste, but don’t store it for more than about three days.
One word of advice if you’re going to try hopping on the hemp milk bandwagon, though—remember that a fancy label doesn’t mean superior quality. If you’re picking up hemp milk from the store, check the label and be wary of ingredients you can’t pronounce, added sugar, or promises of “low fat” or “added minerals.” As you’ve seen above, hemp milk is easy to make, so if it’s got 20 ingredients, something fishy is going on. And your body probably won’t like it.