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Many people are constantly on the lookout for meat-free ways to up their protein intake. If you're one of them, hemp seeds could be the answer you've been searching for.

Don't be put off by the fact that hemp seeds come from the same plant as the drug cannabis - they are perfectly legal and you can purchase them from stores including Whole Foods and Holland & Barrett.

One of the main reasons they're so popular is their aforementioned high protein content. Hemp seeds contain 20 amino acids, including ten of the essential ones our bodies can't produce. An ounce of hemp contains about ten grams of protein. The protein and fibre of hemp seeds combine, which prevents spikes in blood sugar and should stave off hunger pangs.

Because hemp keeps you fuller for longer, it's a great tip for people on a diet. If you combine the seeds with a balanced diet and regular exercise, it shouldn't be long before you see some progress.

They also boast omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for cardiovascular health, low blood pressure and could even prevent Alzheimer's. It's actually fairly hard to find omega-3 in plants, so hemp seeds are pretty special!

Omega-6 is also found in hemp seeds and has some seriously amazing beauty benefits. It stimulates skin and hair growth, regulates the metabolism and boosts brain function.

If you're new to hemp seeds, we also have some easy ways you can add them to your diet. One of the most popular is to sprinkle them on cereal in the mornings, making for a healthy and nutritious breakfast.

If you'd rather incorporate the seeds into your lunch, try them on salads or swap to hemp oil as a dressing.

Many people also love adding hemp seed to their smoothies, blitzing them with ingredients like fruit, veg and Greek yoghurt. And speaking of yoghurt, you could sprinkle them on one of those for a healthy snack, too.

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