Life Extension Magazine®

Scoop of hemp seeds high in protein and skin health

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are high in protein, can lower the risk of heart disease, improve skin health, and more.

Scientifically reviewed by: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N, in August 2023. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Hemp seeds, with their mild, nutty flavor, have been used in China for more than 3,000 years, as both food and medicine.

More recently, hemp seeds (also called hemp hearts) have experienced a resurgence in the West because of their unique nutrient profile, which boasts an abundance of protein, healthy fats, and minerals.

A Top Source of Plant-Based Protein

About 25% of the total calories in hemp seeds are from protein. Just two to three tablespoons of the seeds provide about 11 grams of protein.1

In addition, hemp seeds are considered a complete protein source, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids.

Reduces Heart Disease Risk

Hemp seed consumption can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Animal studies have shown that hemp seeds can lower blood pressure,2 decrease cholesterol-induced platelet aggregation,3 and help the heart recover after a heart attack.4

Improves Skin Health

Dietary hemp seed oil has been shown to help improve clinical symptoms in patients with atopic dermatitis.5 Researchers attributed these improvements to the abundance of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in hemp seed oil, which include both omega-3 and omega-6 fats.

According to Life Extension®, the optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 consumption is about 4 to 1. In fact, hemp seeds boast a 3 to 1 ratio.

You can enjoy hemp seeds sprinkled on salads, in smoothies, or as a topping on oatmeal.


  1. Available at: Accessed January 28, 2020.
  2. Eur J Nutr. 2014 Aug;53(5):1237-46.
  3. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2008 Apr;86(4):153-9.
  4. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Mar;292(3):R1198-203.
  5. J Dermatolog Treat. 2005 Apr;16(2):87-94.