Lately I’ve been experiencing intense peanut butter cravings (especially after discovering PB2), and as I was shopping for my next jar to binge on, I stumbled upon Sacha Inchi seeds.
After eating the whole dang package (seriously, you’d be surprised how little self-control I sometimes have), I then wondered what the heck a Sacha Inchi seed is since it tasted similar to a peanut, but clearly isn’t one. So I took it upon myself as I usually do to figure out where this food comes from and the potential benefits.
Originating in Peru, Sacha Inchi has been consumed by those who’ve inhabited the Amazon Rainforest for thousands of years. These seeds grow on thick jungle vines and have been touted as an extremely nutrient dense food that increases endurance and well being. Sacha Inchi contains essential amino acids, proteins and fatty acids, and breaks down easily when consumed for optimal absorption.
Health Benefits Of Sacha Inchi Seeds
- High protein content: Sacha Inchi seeds contain more protein than other nuts (8.5 grams per ounce), and contains all nine essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein so that we can maintain and build healthy cells and connective tissues in our body. If you eat primarily a plant-based diet, it may be hard to find foods that contain all nine essential amino acids that we cannot synthesize ourselves. Luckily, sacha inchi seeds contain all of the amino acids we cannot produce.
- A great source of omega-3: Since we can’t produce omega-3’s on our own, it’s important that we get this fatty acid from food or supplement sources. Sacha Inchi seeds are packed with omega-3 which is vital for reducing inflammation, boosting heart and brain health, and many other functions. The fatty acid content of these seeds help create and maintain healthy skin and hair by boosting elasticity of our skin and hydrating hair. As far as brain health, since our brain is composed primarily of fat, we need healthy fats to maintain the cells in our brain and fight inflammation.
- Lowers inflammation: Because of the omega-3 content and Vitamin E content of Sacha Inchi seeds, we may get great anti-inflammatory benefits from this tasty snack. The anti-inflammatory compounds of these seeds may help lower joint inflammation or inflammation anywhere in the body. By lowering inflammation throughout our body, we are also less prone to cardiovascular issues.
- Keeps your peepers healthy: The vitamin E and A content of Sacha Inchi can help maintain eye health as we age.
- Packed with antioxidants: A study that was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that sacha inchi oil contained phenolic compounds and gamma-tocopherol which both have intense antioxidant properties.
- Weight loss and happiness thanks to tryptophan: Sacha Inchi seeds contain a protein called tryptophan. This specific protein helps us produce the happy hormone, serotonin, which also has been linked to stabilizing our appetite. It is important to note though that there is lack of clinical evidence that links sacha inchi to direct weight loss results.
So next time you need a nutrient dense snack, grab a handful of sacha inchi seeds, but try not to eat the whole bag like I do. 😉