One day, my mom dumped a spoonful of tiny, white dots into my cereal. I was grossed out at first, assuming this was her newest health obsession. I was right. Hemp seeds have recently become a health craze and I wanted to see why my mom and hundreds of other people became obsessed with this superfood.

What I found out was that these small, soft seeds are filled with healthy proteins, fats, and other nutrients. They also add that slight crunchy topping to smoothies, cereal, yogurt, or whatever you want! Here are five reasons why you should try them out. 

1. Aids in digestion 

Alina Yu

Hemp seeds are sources of soluble and insoluble fibers, which means they promote better digestion by reducing spikes in blood sugar and helping food and liquids pass through the body. Unshelled hemp seeds are the best to consume because they have the highest amount of fibers, so they help the most with digestion. If your digestion system is sensitive, start adding small amounts of hemp seeds to your diet and gradually increase the amount.

2. May reduce symptoms of PMS and menopause 

Alina Yu

PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, is caused by an imbalance of hormones that cause women physical and mental pain. Hemp seeds can actually help reduce these symptoms because they contain high amounts of fatty acids. They help regulate hormones and inflammation, which are both PMS and menopause symptoms. A specific acid inside hemp seeds, Gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA), has been proven to reduce Proclatin, which is a hormone that increases sensitivity during women's periods. Experts recommend 500-1000 grams of GLA per day for women who experience PMS. 

3. Keeps the heart healthy 

Alina Yu

Hemp seeds contain arginine, which is an amino acid that lowers blood pressure and levels of C-reactive protein, which improves cardiovascular health by enhancing blood flow, maintaining blood pressure, and allowing blood vessels to relax. In addition, the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of coronary artery disease. 

4. Relieves stress 

Alina Yu

Magnesium is a strong weapon against stress, and luckily, hemp seeds contain very high amounts of it. In fact, magnesium makes up 45% of nutrients in hemp seeds, which is more than a cup of green vegetables! The high amounts of magnesium, amino acids, and other vitamins in hemp seeds provide the body with energy, reduce stress, and help maintain homeostasis in the body. Grab a handful of these seeds before you next midterm! 

5. Improves skin 

Alina Yu

The oil inside hemp seeds is extremely beneficial to improving dry or discolored skin. In addition, the oil can help many skin disorders, such as eczema.  This is because the oil contains a perfect balance of different essential fatty acids that penetrate the skin and improve its health. On top of that, the oil slows down aging by retaining moisture. Professionals suggest making homemade lotions, makeup, and soaps with the oil from hemp seeds. 

Hemp seeds are a superfood not many people know about, but should. They provide the body with multiple nutrients and are easy to incorporate into meals. Plus, they have a yummy, nutty flavor. Add them to your morning oatmeal or salad, or just scoop a spoonful out of the bag and snack as is!