on March 20, 2009
Have never been a big meat-eater, but cut back even more a few months ago. I began supplementing my diet with more beans/legumes, but was not feeling nutritionally satisfied, and realized I was not getting enough protein. Did a little research, and discovered that hemp was ideal for meeting protein requirements, and according several articles I read, it has many other nutritional and health benefits as well. I purchased the Nutiva hemp protein powder in conjunction with the Better Than Milk "Rice" (to avoid over use of soy). According to directions for both products, I mix 4 tablespoons hemp protein and 2 tablespoons of BTM, in water. It mixes easily in a regular plastic shaker, and I don't even have to use the "de-clumping" attachment that fits inside the shaker. It's just Shake-N-Go! This combination has been the perfect way to start my day. I was concerned about the taste, as some reviews I have read rated the taste of hemp very low. I can't speak for other brands, but the finely ground Nutiva hemp powder has a mild nutty flavor, and I LOVE IT. From what I've read, hemp does not contain oligosaccharides (which commonly causes "gastric distress" with soy proteins), and I have not experienced any bloating with the hemp and rice milk combo. I am happy to start my day with something both nutritious and delicious, and thank goodness I don't have to use the electric blender (one less thing to wash). Also, the Amazon price on the Nutiva Hemp Protein and the Better Than Milk Rice can't be beat, and both qualify for free shipping. FANTASTIC!!!
As someone who has not eaten meat since I was just out of college but who is very proud to say my age (47) because my diet ensures I don't quite age as quickly as my body thinks I should; I look for foods that keep me young, healthy, full of energy and fight off things I don't want.
As a natural foods chef, my goal in everything I eat is to make it gourmet, but make it work FOR me rather than against me as far as health, weight gain, aging, and energy.
Hemp protein is a powerhouse of protein and nutrition and is so very easily consumed because it can simply be added to things you already eat. Fantastic, for example, in your morning smoothies. And you can sneak it in on your spouse or kids without them even knowing they are consuming something healthy...even in, for example, a milkshake they ask you to make. Hey, at least it adds SOME nutritional benefit. But stir it in applesauce or yogurt and you get even more.
Here's a breakdown of what hemp can do for you:
Heart Health and Lowered Blood Pressure:
Clinical studies indicate that hemp products reduce inflammation and improve circulation, factors of primary importance in the cure and prevention of many diseases. My own improved within 2 months of daily use in my smoothies without any other changes.
Improved Digestion: Have been shown to assist in chronic digestive issues. Because many today are on gluten-free diets, they may not get the fiber they need daily through their diet. Hemp can assist in added fiber to the diet, along with the added protein and other benefits it naturally offers.
Losing Weight Naturally: Hemp seeds make all meals more filling and have been shown to reduce cravings for sugar and starches. A double whammy.
Increased Energy: Natural energy without stimulants such as sugar or caffeine.
Healthy Cholesterol Levels: Hemp protein is cholesterol free, but contains the optimum ratio of the
polyunsaturated essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and 6 - hemp oil contains 57% linoleic (LA) and 19% linolenic (LNA) acids. When added to the diet, in a whole, natural and a cold processed food, like hemp protein improves cholesterol profiles. Hemp oil also contains some GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) that is absent from the fats we normally eat, but considered to be beneficial to health by nutritional experts.
A Natural Way to Control Blood Sugars: The first steps in naturally balancing blood sugars is to introduce a high quality lean protein in your diet - the glucagon released when you eat protein helps keep insulin in check, then incorporate essential fatty acids, both of which are within the hemp seed. By avoiding refined carbohydrates - sugars and starches, in favour of high fibre vegetable and whole grain foods, you can naturally not only control your blood sugar, but reduce cravings because of it. Diabetics especially, report that circulation improves.
on July 16, 2010
First off, i definitely like hemp protein. This is the third bag i've ordered through Amazon but the first from Amazon.com. Having said this I'm not as happy with this purchase as I have been in the past. I know it's supposed to have a shelf life of a year but I'm fairly convinced I must have gotten a stale batch. The smell put me off initially, and when I went to make a smoothie out of it I couldn't finish it at all. The first bag I ordered (through Amazon from a company called Raw Foods) came in vacuum sealed and that one was perfectly fine. The second and third one was loose. So based on my experiences I would say that freshness matters somewhat. I tried searching for other folks experience with hemp protein but it's basically impossible to find any more critical reviews of it - all I ever seem to get is how much better the stuff is than Whey protein for bodybuilding.
Anyway I much prefer the taste of Nutiva Hemp Protein moreso than the Living Harvest brand, and I did try to contact Nutiva via email about the possibility of a stale batch, but never heard a reply. From now on I will only order bags that have been vacuum packed.
on April 12, 2011
Despite claims to the contrary, hemp protein is not a complete protein. It is very weak in lysine, and doesn't have enough leucine and tryptophan. Because of this, if you eat it in large quantities, especially in a vegetarian diet, it cannot count gram for gram. That is not to say it is not a very positive element of a well balanced diet in reasonable diet proportions or when complementary proteins balance the weaknesses. One tip: Protein from almonds and almond milk are also just as incomplete in lysine.
Hemp seed protein has all essential amino acids - just not in the optimal proportions. You'd be hard pressed to find any protein that was nearly devoid of even one of them (ok, gelatin is a rare contender). ... it is good to separate the hype in the marketing of nutritional supplements and then to enjoy it for what it offers ;-)
According to the amino acid data Nutiva, this manufacturer of this natural hemp 50% protein powder, provides on THEIR website - put in terms of proportions of each of the essential amino acids per actual gram of the hemp protein, this is NOT complete protein by definition.
The standard "complete protein" definition you can find on Wikipedia defined, or on the Self (Nutrition) site is, in mg per gram overall protein:
Hemp: Lysine is only 27/51: incomplete.
If you look at the essential aa's stated on the Nutiva website and compared them to the definition of a complete protein above you will notably find less than 55% of the complete proportion of lysine. Tryptophan and BCAA leucine are also coming up short: three of the nine essential amino acids are thus lacking vs. a "complete protein". That gives hemp seed protein quality score of under 55 when a complete protein needs to be 100 or more. Normally protein quality is nothing to worry about since randomly several sources are combined and usually work out well. But some people seem to really push their protein intake very high for bulking up, etc., and others, usually not healthy are trying to supplement their needs to meet their numbers. In both of those cases protein quality will make or break their strategy. That is not to say they need to have complete proteins each time they eat: Only; they need to approximate optimal human essential amino acid proportions basically over a day or so.
The bioavailability of hemp protein is decent - somewhere around 80% bioavailability - typical for veggies which presents a challenge. Compared to milk, egg or chicken, for example, these score in the high 90's for bioavailability in digestion (flavor and whether it agrees with you are different concepts). In perspective, and unfortunately, that makes hemp's protein quality worse than the approximate 55 ...
All the above said hemp can be GREAT if balanced properly in the diet! You just need to quantify what you are getting and tailor it to your needs, when you use the supplements as a major portion of your diet.
SUGGESTION: The bottom line is if you are in need of protein supplementation, be careful with counting on large amounts of hemp if you haven't complemented the relatively "low protein quality" with other "low quality" or otherwise complementary proteins (don't get misled by the use of the word quality ... all protein is good ... we are just looking to meet optimal human requirements and that is where the misnomer 'quality' is being applied).
To get the correct mix for optimal diet needs... it would be critical to add at some point in the day, (this works) 100g of frozen spinach and a cob of corn or its equivalent in kernels to get the additional lysine and tryptophan per serving of hemp - it would be a reasonable vegetable source if you go the vegetarian route. Alternately, adding a reasonable amount of yogurt for its protein content works fine, and if you eat fish, cod is one of the best complements to hemp as it has a lysine score of about 180 vs. hemp's 55.
"Eat a well balanced diet". Yogurt or whey protein in your diet will take care of that - combining it with hemp protein content 1:1; soy somewhat if you are vegan - but be careful of not overdoing it for your thyroid hormone with soy since that is controversial and certainly for people who have low thyroid hormone levels... find soy extracted with alcohol if this is the case since the hormones in soy (which many tout as 'good') are diminished during the alcohol extraction.
Soy is great in moderation and offers better "quality" than hemp if you look at it alone, but properly part of a balanced diet, neither is better than the other.
Believe it or not, eating too much protein can be a problem, too if you get supplemented out. This applies especially if the amino acid profile is not a good match for optimal nutrition conveniently found in meat, dairy and soy proteins (which are close to optimal individually eaten). Excess amino acids in a diet are disposed of by putting the liver to work. In extreme cases (somewhere over 1.2 grams protein per pound of body weight depending on the strength of your liver), you will get a yellower urine even when you drink lots. That is basically the nitrogen byproduct after the body burns and stores the protein it cannot use. So, if you eat an average protein quality of 55 and get your daily grams, you will actually only get let's estimate something of the order of 55% of that protein incorporated into you (ok, there is a bit more to it depending on the non-essentials, but this is the general idea) and the rest will be dumped into your liver, excreted nitrogen and the rest converted into energy or stored as glycogen or fat - there is no memory or "protein reserve" in the body. The excretion part will be in the form of urea. Too much urea in the urine puts you at risk for gout a disease you don't want to know about. All these consideration are for extreme cases. In healthy cases where hemp is part of a balanced diet it is a non-issue.
So, best to eat a serving of spinach and cob of corn with a 30 gram serving of this hemp, beans and Swiss chard would be helpful, but really a well balanced diet including dairy is the healthy low risk situation keeping a general eye on fats but no dwelling on it to the point of worrying about gaining an ounce of weight every now and then ... that's why we need to exercise. Alternately you can spend a mint on amino acid supplement pills to raise the hemp to a "higher" quality protein than soy or whey for that matter ...
People who are immobile have other issues and the bioavailability, supplementation and protein quality can become major issues for them. Like to preventing skin breakdown and bed sores to start with. Depends on your situation.
on September 1, 2008
SOME PEOPLE SEEM TO GET HEMP POWDER AND HEMP SEEDS MIXED UP. THEY ARE BOTH GREAT PRODUCTS, PUT THE POWDER IS WHAT YOU WANT FOR SMOOTHIES AND SUCH. THE HEMP SEEDS ARE FOR SPRINKLING ON SALADS AND SUCH!!!! This is a great product, have used every day for last 3 years. Since it is raw and in it's natural state, you body has to do "no work" to process and digest it, thus that energy is used to do other things (like staw awake at work). Yes the amount of protein is 11 grams per serving, but since it is raw and in its natural state, the body will assimilate more of it that many protein sources with 2 or 3 times as much protein. The more nutrition in any food, the less your body needs to be happy. I do about 20 grams per serving since I'm near 200 pounds. But forget about the concept of grams of protein per serving, think more in terms of how much of a protein your body can process and assimilate from the protein source. I have proved this theory by eating a chicken breast one day, and drinking a hump smoothie at the same time another day and noticing that after the chicken I get hungrier faster, which implies the chicken has less nutrients in it. 50 grams of beef or chicken will not give your body as much protein as hemp. One point to remember is hemp is not something you can mix with water or milk by itself and expect a good taste. It has a muddy and mirky look and taste and an un-appealing green color it. However my smoothies are great because I add frozen banana, gives it an "Ice creamy taste", frozen blueberries (turns my smoothies an appealing grape-purple color) and strawberries, cacao nibs, and also instead of water, I always keep some cold herbal fruit flavored tea in the fridge and use that, gives it a fruity taste that permeates the smoothie. Very often they are so good, I smack my lips wanna go make another. Jamba Juice ain't got nothin' on me! Don't mean to get long-winded, but this is one of the healthiest foods in the world, and when you eat healthy, get great physicals, and never feel tired, you wanna spread the word with so much mis-information out here. By the by, been using for 3 years everyday and have passed to 2 drug tests for 2 jobs.
Oh and I have to respond to another reviewer named "Not Me" on his comments in relation to mine pertaining to "Chicken vs. Hemp". We both gave the product 5 stars but had some disagreement on the best protein. He threw out a lot info on the components of protein, but I am very in tune with my body, and I can say for sure that a hemp base smoothie gives my body type more nutrition than a chicken breast and I get positive energy effects after my smoothie and not the dropp-off like after I eat meat. I'm not saying hemp has the best amino acid profile, so I supplement my protein intake daily from other sources, especially organic free range eggs. He mentions soy as a great protein, but he is not aware that excessive soy is bad for women, and the benefits of soy is mainly in fermented soy products. So, I guess we can go back and forth, but my review was for the person who is trying to get started in finding better products, that person is probably not at the point of analyzing the amino acid profile of a smoothie. I'll say again that I know for fact through experience and experimentation that a hemp based smoothie gives me more nutrition that chicken of beef. Not sure how a stranger on the web can tell me it doesn't. But we are all trying to learn, and I am experimenting with supplementing my Hemp protein with Brazil Nut protein and some others, BUT DEFINITELY NOT WHEY OR SOY. There are many opinions in health just as in politics and sports, the key get is to just get started, enjoy researching products, enjoy positive effects of good products, get in tune with yourself, and your body will tell you what is right or wrong.
on May 17, 2013
OK. So I'm going to get a bit more graphic than perhaps others about this product, so if you don't wanna read about other's bowel movements, then "move" on (hehe). Anyway, I have tried a variety of protein powders and fiber supplements. My favorite combination is Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey, and CVS/pharmacy Natural Fiber Supplement Bulk Forming Laxative. I normally buy these separate, then mix them when I have my post-workout shake. Let me tell you, you will be AMAZED at the size of your poop when you use this particular fiber supplement. It is by far the best fiber supplement out there. Having said that, I was getting a bit tired of buying them separately (the CVS fiber can be hard to find in the store sometimes), and I wanted a change of scenery. I saw this hemp protein powder with both protein and fiber, and decided to try it out and kill two birds with one stone. The protein content isn't as high, but I wasn't worried about that since I get plenty of protein in my diet. So I bought a 3 lb bag (go big or go home), and gave it a shot.
First off, I'll start with the taste. By itself in water, it's like drinking a bag of lawn clippings. It has a very "earthy" taste to it, so I suggest mixing it with something. I like mixing it with vanilla coconut milk in a pre-workout shake. The vanilla and lawn clippings somehow blend well together, and tastes pretty good. Now it's not so good you'd want to drink it just to drink it, but it's a protein drink. It's purpose is to deliver nutrients, not satisfy your sweet tooth. I also mix it with chocolate almond milk for my post workout shake. I like the coconut milk for the MCTs it contains (perfect for fueling a workout), and I like the chocolate almond milk post workout for the sugar it delivers to rapidly replenish depleted glucose levels. For those using this powder as part of a weightlifting routine, I suggest trying it.
Next is the texture. It doesn't so much as dissolve in liquid, as it more or less is suspended in it. It's a fine, almost sandy quality to it. The individual grains are visible when you rinse out the cup in the sink. It's like sediment. Which brings us to the title of my review. This stuff comes out pretty much the same way it goes in. If you fart after drinking this stuff, your underwear will be speckled with sediment. When you are on the toilet, you will wipe and you will see sediment on the toilet paper. And you'll wipe again. And again. And again. And it will seem like no matter how much you wipe, you'll still see little flecks on the toilet paper. I guess it's just doing what it's meant to do, since the body can't digest fiber, it's going to come out very much like how it went in. However, with the CVS brand fiber, I never had this problem. I would give birth to a 3 lb food baby, and not even have to wipe. It was AMAZING.
So aside from all my graphic descriptions, and my issue with the constant wiping, I want to give this product 3 stars, but perhaps some may think it worthy of at least 4, maybe even 5. I gave this score in comparison to my own protein/fiber combination (the CVS fiber and ON 100% Whey). That combo is worthy of 5 stars due to high fiber, high protein, and virtually no wiping. It also tastes better. Problem is the hassle buying them separately, and the CVS fiber being a bit expensive and hard to come by. The Nutiva brand is perfect for vegans or vegetarians, or just hippie freaks that like their foods all-natural and whatnot. Good brand, price, and flavor, but not without its flaws (in my eyes).
on August 2, 2013
Personally, I love this protein powder. It's a relatively low-cost vegan alternative to most of the other mass-market protein supplements available. I've used a handful of various protein powders in the past, including flavored whey, unflavored whey, flavored soy, and unflavored soy.
In my personal, humble, non-expert opinion, here are the pros of the Nutiva Hemp Protein Powder: organic; vegan; pretty low-cost; nutritionally outstanding; no junk added (no sugars, real or fake, no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no toys at the bottom of the bag).
And of course, the cons: does not blend as well as whey (probably due to the high fiber content, of which whey protein offers none) so it adds a pretty grainy texture to everything you put it in; it's probably considered an acquired taste - I find even unflavored whey protein to have a somewhat appealing taste, but the hemp protein has a bit of a pea flavor to it, akin to pea soup - so unless you can handle its flavor, you'll probably end up adding bananas or other "sugars" to mask it; I'm no nutritionist, but my limited internet research leads me to believe that for muscle development, hemp protein powder may not be quite as effective as whey protein, however it does offer all the essential amino acids in a "complete" ratio, including respectable amounts of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that I've read are critical to muscle development.
So to summarize, I believe that this is a very healthy source of complete protein for those interested in strength training, or to supplement a vegan diet which may otherwise be low in protein, but unless you're pretty open to its distinct flavor and texture you may not buy another package!
on November 30, 2009
I read up on this product before I bought it and was not disappointed. It gives me more energy, is a good appetite suppressor, and does not taste bad. I mix it in my breakfast smoothies every day, along with organic Acai, coconut oil, chia seeds, fruit, and orange juice with calcium. Good stuff!!!
on January 21, 2012
I add this to water and guzzle it down in about 1 minute, twice a day. It goes down fine, just a sandy texture. This is perfect for me as I'm not really interested in dressing it up and deriving any pleasure from it - it's PROTEIN.
on January 6, 2015
I had bought this before and loved it. This time the powder seemed to really irritate my throat, and I have stopped using it. I noticed something rather strange and disturbing on the container: the date stamp said two different things. It was stamped "BEST BEFORE 24 SEP 14 R14, and then next to this, 24 SEP 15. The ink of the 2014 date matched the "Best Before" ink; the second date's ink was lighter, and the text was crooked. I don't know what's up with this, but from now on I will buy it from a local shop. I buy a lot of things on Amazon, and this has been my only complaint. The first time I bought this product it was great. I don't know what the dates were on those 2 jars because I had no reason to look that closely at them. This time, the stuff really seemed strange, and I felt like I was allergic to it, which is why I noticed the date. Also strange, it had 2 labels on it (identical). The dates were on the plastic jar, not the label(s).