Expert: Hemp seeds rival soybeans in horse feed protein quality

BY JULIET M. GETTY, PH.D.

 

A relatively new food to western cultures, hemp seeds have exceptional protein quality. Their two main proteins are albumin and edestin, both of which have significant amounts of all EAAs. The protein in hemp seeds is comparable to that in soybeans and, in many cases, exceeds the EAA content of the animal protein, whey (found in milk), as shown in Table 1.

Hemp Seeds Rival Soybeans As An Ideal Protein

What’s even more impressive, however, is the ratio of each EAA to the lysine level – a true measure of protein quality. With horses, quality is determined by comparing each EAA to lysine as it would exist in muscle. Lysine is assigned a value of 100. The ideal values are shown in Table 2, which reveals how every EAA found in hemp seeds surpasses the ideal ratio beyond soybean’s ability.

Hemp seeds are easy to find in stores that sell whole foods. Horses enjoy their palatable, nutty flavor. Adding ½ cup (providing 25 grams of protein) to your horse’s daily ration will boost the overall protein quality of his diet.

 

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