The Importance of Protein for Cancer Patients
Many cancer patients, in an effort to slow cancer growth and improve immune system function, make some very drastic changes to their diet to limit the unhealthy foods they eat. While these diet changes can be very beneficial, extreme restrictions can lead to unwanted side effects.
Protein is something that is essential for life. So much so, that if you do not get enough protein in your diet through the foods that you eat, your body will start breaking down first its own muscle tissue, then its own organ tissue to get the proteins that it needs. Loss of muscle mass can gradually lead to loss of strength, loss of energy, loss of appetite, and loss of will to go on. When cancer is the cause of muscle wasting and loss of appetite, it is called cachexia. But often, those who have placed strict limits on their diet go through a similar wasting that can be reversed if they only increase their protein intake.
Many people want to restrict their intake of red meat in their diet, but there are other sources of protein: organic chicken, wild-caught fish, farm-fresh eggs, raw nuts and seeds, spirulina, pea protein, and hemp protein. Of all of these, hemp protein is the most highly recommended.
Why Hemp Protein
Hemp seeds are one of the most nutritious sources of plant-based protein. Hemp is what is known as a complete protein, because hemp seeds contain all 20 known amino acids including the 8 essential amino acids necessary for life. Hemp seeds are one of the few known sources of gamma-linolenic acid, and provide the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 in the ideal 3:1 ratio. No other single plant source has such a concentration of amino acids and essential fatty acids in such an easily digestible form.
Hemp also has important benefits for the immune system. The body needs certain key amino acids in the right amount and combination to create important disease-destroying antibodies. These antibodies are created by the immune system to destroy antigens, which are toxins or other substances such as viruses, bacteria, or diseased tissue that induce an immune system response. Rapid immune system response depends on ready reserves of these crucial antibodies. Hemp seeds provide the right ingredients necessary for immune enhancing gamma globulin antibody production.
Hemp is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Unlike soy proteins, hemp protein does not contain the anti-nutrients which interfere with protein uptake. Because of this, there are no known food allergies to hemp.
The hemp plant is extremely hardy and can be easily grown organically without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or petrochemical fertilizers, making it a naturally healthy alternative to soy and whey proteins.
Hemp Protein Pros:
• non-genetically modified
• grown organically
• no saturated fatty acids
• no trans fats
• no cholesterol
• 3:1 omega-3 to omega-6 ratio
• 20 amino acids
• 8 essential amino acids
Since 1998, Canada has been a leading source of hemp grown for both seeds and for fiber. Canadian farmers and businesses are interested in the growing business of hemp as it realizes its potential to produce healthy food and environmentally friendly products, including paper, textiles, bio-composites and sustainable building materials. As a fast–growing annual, hemp is a renewable, reusable and recyclable resource. Changing environmental in the world’s business community are helping to turn these green attributes into a valued quality.
The Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance is a national organization that promotes Canadian hemp and hemp products globally. Established in 2003 the Alliance represents those involved in Canada’s hemp industry. Members include; farmers, processors, manufacturers, researchers, entrepreneurs and marketers. The key functions of the Alliance are to disseminate information, promote the use of nutritional and industrial hemp and coordinate research.
Canada’s federal hemp regulations help to create quality, safety and accountability. A supportive scientific research community ensures that essential and necessary research continues.Sources:
• Hemp Protein: Nutrition in a Seed
• Benefits of Organic Hemp Protein Powder
• Hemp Protein Health Topic
• Hemp Seed: The Most Nutritionally Complete Food Source in the World
• Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance
• Spirulina Image: Spirulina Powder Close
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Raw, whole food made with a single ingredient: hemp! Each 4 Tablespoon (30 gram) serving of Hemp Pro 50® contains 15 grams of easy to digest protein, 7 grams of fiber, and 2.6 grams Omega 3 and 6. Available here