Sometimes called the "Incan Peanut," Sacha Inchi is a plant that hails from the heart of the Amazon.
Revered by Pre-Inca cultures 3000–5000 years ago, its discovery was immortalized in ancient ceramics found in Inca tombs.
Chronicled for its nutty flavor and medicinal oil, the plant has survived many trials, including being declared endangered in the 21st century.
However, these seeds, rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, are now globally recognized, boosting the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries. From Peru to the globe, Sacha Inchi's story is one of resilience and growth, as it continues to enrich our diets.
It is touted as the next Superseed.
Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubilis) is a perennial plant that grows a beautiful star shaped fruit. It has a hard-shell casing that contains between 4 and 6 seeds that give it that appealing star shape.
Note: Perennial means it can live for six years or more, continually growing and bearing fruit throughout its lifespan.
Interest in Sacha Inchi has further increased because of the sustainable nature of the plant. The plant reseeds itself and is able to be grown alongside other plants in its first year.
The plants deep roots are known to help prevent soil erosion and it needs much less water compared to other crops. These are both huge factor as growers looked to use the plant to aid in developing nations.
It has been enjoyed by indigenous communities for thousands of years. But it's only recently that people worldwide have started to notice its exceptional health benefits and nutritional value.
"Boasts more protein per ounce than an egg, surpasses broccoli in fiber, and exceeds salmon in Omega3's.
It is nothing less than a remarkable natural resource."
Our article starts with discussing the Sacha Inchi seed.
It is the foundation of the majority of all products derived from the plant.
While they have long been savored for unique taste, an increasing number of people are now embracing them as their favorite health product.
It stands out in the realm of superfoods for its exceptionally rare content of complete proteins and omega-3 fatty acids.
Each 1 ounce serving contains an incredible 9 grams of protein. More than eggs, almonds, peanuts, and even meats ounce per ounce.
The seeds are also a powerhouse of dietary fiber, with 5 grams per serving, and surprisingly, almost no carbohydrates. With the modern dietary shift towards low-carb and high-protein foods, Sacha Inchi seeds certainly align well.
A simple breakdown of a single seed is as follows:
Modern western diets are lacking many of these nutrients above that play a crucial role in keeping the body healthy.
Especially the complete proteins and Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
New research that has been conducted states that over 68% of US adults are not meeting the recommended omega 3 intake in their daily diet. Worldwide, over 1 billion people are protein deficient.
Experts recognize that Sacha Inchi could be part of the solution to these two problems.
The Sacha Inchi plant typically bears fruit about nine months after planting, producing a steady supply of seeds for several years thereafter.
For Omegoodness, our seeds don't require or contain fertilizers, chemicals, GMO's, or any other harmful practice to the environment in which we get our product.
Given their hardy nature and minimal care required to grow them, Sacha Inchi seeds are playing an important role in sustainable agriculture.
Their high yield and nutritional value make them a potentially valuable crop, especially in regions struggling with food security and malnutrition.
For the Sacha Inchi seeds specifically, they must be cooked for a long enough period of time to be edible, or they may cause an upset stomach.
If they aren't roasted and sold as a snacking food, the seeds are made into two main products: An incredibly fine hair oil and arguably the world's best natural plant protein powder.
Picture an elixir born from the heart of the Amazon - that is Sacha Inchi Oil.
It isn't your average cooking oil. Far from it, it's a health champion packed to the brim with nutrients, quietly held within its unassuming seeds.
These seeds are cold pressed - a method that cherishes every beneficial nutrient, sparing them from harsh chemicals. It's a process that honors the seed's essence, our environment, and resonating our deep-rooted commitment to a greener world.
Here's the real spectacle - the oils nutrients. The oil is 92% unsaturated fat (healthy fats) and 50% Omega 3's. These are incredible numbers.
Omega-3s are the vanguard for your heart health, challenging the rise of bad cholesterol and standing firm against the threat of heart diseases/strokes. They are known to eliminate inflammation, offering respite to conditions like arthritis. They are also the silent protectors of your sight, fortifying against age-induced eye conditions like macular degeneration. And they are the caretakers of your skin, ensuring it stays smooth, hydrated, and free from unwanted visitors like redness and acne.
"95% of American's are Omega3 deficient."
The other real star of the Sacha Inchi plant is its powder.
This flour-like powder is made by pressing the seeds, where it is then baked and extruded to improve texture, taste, and digestibility.
The powder, which is just 1 natural ingredient is 60% complete protein.
Important: A "complete protein" means that it contains all 9 essential amino acids. They are called essential amino acids because your body can't produce them on it's own. This means that you have to get them from outside sources such as certain meats and plants.
The 9 essential amino acids (EAA's) are as follows:
In bold, is what is commonly referred to as BCAAs which just means "branched-chain amino acids". These are very important for muscle development, your hormones, and many more of your body's functions. It is listed in the infographic above because it is a variable many look at when deciding to purchase a new protein powder.
You must have all 9 of the above in any diet.
And since Sacha Inchi contains more essential amino acids than virtually any other plant protein source in existence.... It makes it a strong candidate as one of the best protein options someone could consume - especially vegetarians and vegans.
Sacha Inchi Powder is not only nutritional, but it is also versatile in the kitchen. It can be added to:
It can even be used to make baked goods such as:
With only 80 calories per serving (20g/1 tbs), it is great for weight management, lean muscle, and improving your mood & energy.
Compared to other plant-based proteins, it is easier to digest and has a more balanced amino acid profile. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone seeking to upgrade their protein intake - without increasing calories in their diet.
You can learn more here if you are interested.
The taste depends on which form of the seed you are consuming. The following are brief breakdowns of what each "version" of the seed tastes like. Keep in mind, taste may vary depending on where you get the product from, how they process it, and if they include any special additives or seasonings.
Sacha Inchi Seeds:
Sacha Inchi Oil:
Sacha Inchi Powder:
While Sacha Inchi is safe to consume, there are a few things to remember. Unusual digestion may occur due to first-time use, so we recommend starting with smaller portions.
This is because new proteins may seem foreign to our bodies. So, in the case of Sacha Inchi, starting with smaller portions can sometimes be better. There have also been reports of mild allergic reactions as a result of consuming Sacha Inchi. However, this is very rare and you should consult with your medical professional on what is best for you.
It has also been speculated that the "allergic reactions" are actually a result of eating uncooked product. The seeds themselves are not fit for human consumption before they get baked. This means that if you happen to consume raw Sacha Inchi seeds, you're likely to experience:
With its remarkable nutritional profile and versatility, Sacha Inchi is an invaluable addition to anyone's dietary regimen. It could also play a key role in promoting your heart health, reducing inflammation, boosting cognitive function, and fostering gut health. It's health benefits and sustainability make it a real hero in the realm of superfoods.