I recently joined a group that focuses on blenderized diets. Originally my goal was to share my experience in order to help others with g-tubes live healthier lives. Little did I know I was going to need their help as well. Because Matthew is getting older and in need of more calories but not able to handle large volumes, I posed a question to the group regarding “milks” that were high in calorie. Hemp seed milk (something I hadn’t heard of) was on the list. Since this was coming from a group of people that had lot’s of experience, I began looking into it.
What I found was, it is yet another super food. So, as always, I dug deeper. Here’s what I found:
- Hemp seeds have 9 grams of protein per serving. They contain all of the essential amino acids making them a complete protein.
- They are a good source of iron and Zinc.
- They are an excellent source of Vitamin E, Magnesium and Phosphorus.
- There is also 2.8mg of Manganese which is 140% of the DV.
Hemp seeds are also over 30% fat but they are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 which is more than both chia seeds and flax seeds. These fatty acids, in balanced proportions, have been linked to a host of health benefits. “The typical American diet contains 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, which many nutritionally-oriented physicians consider to be way too high on the omega-6 side.
The Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, has a healthier balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Many studies have shown that people who follow this diet are less likely to develop heart disease.”
One bit of information I found was very important to know. Matthew has a condition called Chronic Thrombocytopenia. Due to a severe infection he had at the age of 4, Matthew has a lower than normal number of platelets in his blood. Since platelets are the part of the blood that allows clotting to occur, it is important for me to know that the oil in hemp seed may slow blood clotting. this is why it is so important for anyone being followed by a physician for any medical condition should research any and all super foods that hit the market and, check with and/or inform your doctor if you have or are interested in adding them to your diet.
Sometimes people have g-tubes and don’t have a lot of other medical conditions so just trying out this healthy high calorie food. Still others, like Matthew, are so complicated medically that research has to be done before even considering it. Healthy or not, medically complicated or not, my treat all super foods the same. See what is being said and check it against other websites. Health food websites tend to only give the health benefits and not the side effects or contraindications. Medical websites will sometimes do just the opposite. I choose to look at both sides and decide whether or not it’s something that will benefit Matthew or make conditions worse. If I am unsure, I check with his doctors. I especially make sure to alert his GI doctor of any dietary changes I have made. I also don’t give him anything I haven’t tried myself.
In closing, I follow the “less is more” rule. In other words, just because a super food has some really enticing health benefits, ingesting lots of it can cause problems. Look for sites that will give you therapeutic doses and stick to them. Our goal is to stay out of the doctor’s office, not end up in one.