Martina rischke whole food

Eating hemp seeds peeled or unpeeled? And why?

As a trained nutrition trainer and food enthusiast, I am repeatedly confronted with the following question: Eat all of the food or just part of it? I did a lot of research on this question, in general and specifically about hemp seeds, with extremely interesting findings.

Whole or shelled hemp seeds, which is better? Clearly peeled! Why?

  • The shell consists mainly of Fiber, and there is also one of them Too much of the good.
  • Most of them are in the bowl Antinutrientswhich, among other things, inhibit mineral absorption.
  • The content of valuable fats and proteins relative to total weight is much higher without shell.

Many people choose the unpeeled hemp seed because it is cheaper, and rightly so for some applications. Most people should, though better to peeled seeds to grab. For whom and what is which variant is the right one? Read on

Fiber in hemp seeds, too much of a good thing?

Probably very few of you have ever viewed fiber critically or even negatively. They are largely considered to be the pillars of a good, healthy diet and digestion. But it's not that easy after all. Dietary fiber is initially vegetable fiber with no real nutritional value. From a nutritional point of view, they only increase the volume of the food, which helps the healthy digestive tract to transport the pulp.

In the jungle of nutritional advice you will find voices that attribute an extremely healthy, blood sugar regulating and cleansing effect to fiber, according to the general tenor. But you will also find advocates of the opinion that fiber, at best, clogs and, at worst, even a holey intestine, the dreaded "Leaky good“Cause. Unfortunately, the topic would go beyond the scope in detail. Personally, I can learn one thing or the other from both theories and have learned the lessons for my digestive tract from them.

Not all fiber is created equal

Dietary fiber from grains, legumes, nuts, kernels and seeds are harder than those made from greens or vegetables. And they are still harder than those made from fruit. The softer the vegetable fibers, all the more gentle and more helpful for the digestive system. Someone with a healthy, iron gut can draw on unlimited resources and basically eat whatever he or she wants. Most of us, however, are a bit more sensitive. Unconditional wholegrain diets then often do more harm than good. Humans have always processed food or at least changed it to make it more digestible. And in the case of the cannabis seeds, this makes perfect sense. Also what the sheer amount of fiber concerns.

Amount of fiber in hemp seeds

Include whole cannabis seeds over 30 grams Fiber per 100 grams. Fresh fruits and vegetables only contain between 1 and 2 grams. Of course, vegetables and seeds have very different calorie densities. But let's take as a sample meal a salad with 300 g cucumber and 30 g whole hemp seeds as a garnish or something to nibble on. Then 3 g of fiber would come from the vegetable portion and 10 g from the snack portion. And, as already mentioned, these 10 g are much more demanding for the intestines.

Most digestive systems would be overwhelmed with a constantly high intake of harder fiber and would react with it Flatulence, constipation, bloating. I think it would be a shame if such experiences take away the joy of plant-based nutrient bombs such as sesame, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or even hemp seeds. All these wonderful foods are available in peeled versions with hardly any fiber. Hemp seeds then only contain a modest 2 to 4 grams of it instead of the original 30.

Hemp seeds and anti-nutrients

Voices are circulating on the internet claiming that hemp seeds are free of any anti-nutrients such as Phytic acid, lectins or trypsin. Others again claim the presence in hemp seeds is worrying. Still others claim that plant antinutrients have beneficial properties on the human body. And of course there are studies for any claim.

If the study situation only confuses instead of clarity, I like to use common sense. What do all grains, legumes, nuts, kernels and seeds have in common? They serve the respective plant genus as Mechanism of Propagation. How? By creating new life from it when it comes into contact with water.

Some of the antinutrients serve the young plant as a source of energy in the first days of life. Another part serves the respective plant species as a species natural protection against feeding. After all, plants just want to multiply, including hemp. So why should the hemp seed not have developed such mechanisms in the course of its evolution? Pretty sure he has.

Nuts, kernels and seeds are definitely poorer in such substances. Unlike cereals or legumes, we can at least consume them raw without any problems. But the antinutrients definitely decrease their nutritional value. And as mentioned earlier, they are sitting Antinutrients mostly in the shell. Some of the minerals may also be located there, but I am happy to accept this compromise.

What to do about anti-nutrients

As already done in the case of the hemp seed, Peel! You can safely sprinkle the peeled hemp seeds from the pack over your muesli as they are, in this condition it is an absolute bringer in every respect. Personally, I soak my peeled hemp seeds for a few hours before processing them into milk or dips, at least on disciplined days :). This sets the natural enzyme formation in motion and breaks down anti-nutrients. One simple measure and the nutritional value increases a lot.

If you want it to be as natural and valuable as possible, you can get whole high-quality hemp seeds, soak them first, germinate them and grow sprouts from them. In the first days of life, the young plants completely break down the antinutrients, multiply the amounts of micronutrients, change their molecular structure and are even easier and more usable for the human body. Needless to say, that goes a long way Dedication, love and discipline is necessary. But if you successfully integrate this into your everyday life, you have the opportunity to have a regular supply of extremely valuable and, above all, extremely cheap superfood.

Macronutrient distribution hemp seeds peeled vs. unpeeled

As mentioned, the unpeeled hemp seed contains over 30% dietary fiber, the peeled only 2 to 4%, depending on the processing. How does removing the bulk of the fiber behave on the relative share in fat, protein and carbohydrates?

These are in the hemp seed with a very low occurrence tends to be negligible. The whole seed is a little over 7 g, the peeled then a little less than 3 g per 100 g. In relative terms, one Reduction of a good 60%, but only slightly less than 4% in absolute terms. For someone in ketosis, however, those 4 grams could make a huge difference.

Something more is happening here. Peeling increases the content from around 20 to a good 30 g per 100 g. A 50% increase relative and still 10% absolute, that's a lot. Mainly because we are talking about very high quality protein. You can find out more about the protein in hemp seeds and why it is so valuable in my now very popular article "Hemp protein, amino acids and biological value".

This is where most of the time happens. Peeling increases the content from a little over 30 to over 55 g per 100 g. A Increase of over 80% relative and 25% absolute, that's a lot. And the fat in the hemp seed is not only of high value, it is downright excellent. It consists mainly of the polyunsaturated fatty acids omega 3 and 6, in an ideal ratio of 1 to 3. Which is why hemp oil is also very popular as a food.

Is the higher price for peeled hemp seeds justified?

Peeled hemp seeds cost about 50% more with the same quality of the seed. Is this justified? Absolutely! And I think we have just discussed that sufficiently. But also from a mathematical point of view: The most valuable components in hemp seeds are you Protein and fat. When it comes to protein, the higher price is pretty much the same as the increase in protein, 50% each. When it comes to fat, you get an increase of over 80% for 50% more money, more of the good for the same money. The advantages of peeling far outweigh the few disadvantages.

Only minor disadvantages from peeling

But of course I want to mention these too. First, the seed loses its shell when the shell falls away Germinability. So if you want to grow hemp sprouts or maybe even hemp grass for juicing, please choose high-quality, unpeeled seeds, as already mentioned. This leads to the next possible disadvantage: hemp seeds are peeled less durable. I say “possibly” because I would happily recommend one kilogram of peeled hemp seeds a month to everyone. If stored correctly, there is no trace of spoilage. The only thing left is the option of carelessness and convenience, and this should really not play a role in the context of nutrition.


If we have a choice, we should definitely use peeled instead of whole cannabis seeds. Be it due to the amount and type of fiber, any anti-nutrients, or due to the much lower proportions of high-quality fat and protein in unpeeled hemp seeds. The slightly higher price for the peeled variant is more than justified. I only recommend whole hemp seeds to those rare people who plan to germinate them.

For those who want to try peeled hemp seeds as quickly as possible, here is my absolute top recommendation, from Austrian cultivation: