This Superfood Spotlight we take a look at sacha inchi seeds, the crunchy snack food loaded with omega fatty acids.
In today’s Superfood Spotlight we check out sacha inchi seeds, the crunchy snack food packed with heart-healthy omegas.
Origin and distinguishing features
Indigenous to the Amazon Rainforest, the sacha inchi seed (also referred to as the Inca peanut) has been cultivated for human consumption for centuries.
Its mother plant (Plukenetia volubilis) is recognizable by its four- to seven-pointed star-shaped fruit, which contains the cherished sacha inchi seeds. While the fruit itself is inedible, the encapsulated seeds, when roasted and shelled, are a tasty mouth-popping snack.
Sacha inchi seeds are most prized for their high levels of omega fatty acids (3, 6, and 9).Some varieties are reported to contain a whopping 17 times more omega-3s than wild sockeye salmon, making sacha inchi seeds richest plant source of omega-3s. These high levels of healthy fatty acids have shown in recent studies to lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
In addition, sacha inchi seeds are a complete protein, meaning that they contain all nine essential amino acids—great news for vegans and vegetarians!
Buying and eating sacha inchi seeds
Sacha inchi seeds are now a common staple in natural health food stores. As a snack, sachi inchi seeds can be found in individual-sized packages, and may be lightly seasoned, sweetened with caramelized cane sugar, or covered in chocolate for a delectable treat.
You can also incorporate roasted sacha inchi seeds into dishes. Try adding them to salads or crusting tofu with them (crushed, of course).