Whenever I see a headline telling me I need more of this or that in my diet, I want proof. I want to know this newly popularized “superfood,” whatever it may be, is actually worth the effort of purchasing and incorporating into my current diet. I want to know there’s a significant health benefit beyond feeling like I am eating healthy.

So when everyone became enthralled by the potential benefits of hemp hearts, I started researching. Turns out, they live up to their hype. According to researchers at St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre, hemp offers “excellent nutritional value.” Among the vast benefits include: a rich source of fatty acids, polyunsaturated fat, protein, vitamin E, phosphorous, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, omega 3, omega 6 and more. The researchers also indicate that the good fatty acids in hemp may be valuable for helping maintain a healthy cardiovascular system: they have shown promise in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Aside from that, hemp hearts are said to help with inflammation, muscle tension, mental function, body regulation, satiety and blood sugar spikes.

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Hemp hearts are definitely worth incorporating into your diet. Now that I’ve explained why, what about the how?

Here are five easy ways to add more hemp into your diet, starting today!

1. Toss Them Into Breakfast

Get ready to supercharge your day!

Perhaps the greatest part about hemp hearts is that they blend in really well and don’t overly affect the flavor of the foods you put them into. That makes them a perfect breakfast add-in. Whether you begin your day with a healthy smoothie, oats, tofu scramble or toast, you can add even just a teaspoon to any meal without really noticing it.

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2. Slurp Them Up in Soups

These little nutty seeds can be sprinkled on literally any soup recipe for an added boost of nutrients. I add them to tomato-based soups, potato-based soups, broth-based soups and more. Not a big fan of the finding the little seeds in your soup? Only add them to thick soups then where they will be readily disguised in each spoonful.

Need some inspiration? Why not try hemp hearts in these awesome soup recipes?

Warming Carrot Ginger Soup

Curry Maple Yam Soup

3. Simply Add to ANY Sauce

Hemp hearts are soft and absorb the flavors of other foods quite readily. This makes them a fine choice for adding into any sauce. Make sure to add in the hemp hearts as the sauce is simmering for best results, unless of course you are making a raw sauce. My favorite sauce to add hemp hearts into is definitely a spicy tomato, but they work wonderfully in the following sauces too:

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Vegan Bolognese

Perfect Pesto

4. Sneak Them Into Dip

Any dip you make can be made better by hemp hearts, as long as the texture of the seeds doesn’t bother you. If the texture is a problem, simply grind or crush the hemp hearts before adding. Another alternative way of getting hemp hearts into your dips without them taking over is simply to sprinkle some on top of the dish. After a few dips, they’ll be worked in entirely.

Check out these great vegan dips you can add hemp hearts into today:

Ranch

French Onion

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Artichoke

5. Slip Them Into Salads and Stir-Frys

By now, it should be clear just how versatile these little nutty seeds really are. Thus, it should come as no surprise that they can be added effortlessly to any salad or stir-fry. Honestly, the hardest part really is simply remembering to slip them in. I leave hemp hearts in close reach for that reason.

While they definitely compliment Asian-influenced meals, hemp hearts also work well in the following salads and stir-frys:

Quinoa Salad

Sweet Seasonal Fall Salad

Kale and Roasted Corn Stir-fry

So you see, it really isn’t that hard to start adding a few teaspoons or tablespoons of hemp hearts here and there to your current meals. What are you waiting for? Tell us your favorite way to use hemp hearts in the comments below!

Image Source: brownpau/Flickr

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