Our team ate approximately one and a half of these glass tubs of sacha inchi seeds before we actually stopped to wonder what they were. That’s a good sign, right? We reached out to the most sustainable producer of these superfood seeds we could find, Imlak’esh Organics, to find out what all the buzz is about on these strangely addictive, protein-rich seeds. This is also the brand we keep seeing in every healthy grocery store lately, including here! Here’s why you should be taking notice…
What You Should Know: Growing on thick jungle vines, the sacha inchi seed thrives in the pristine, mountainous rainforests of Southeast Asia. Also known as Inca peanuts, these extremely nutrient-dense superseeds have been consumed by indigenous peoples as part of a healthy, nourishing diet for thousands of years.
With high protein content – higher than almonds and walnuts at 8.5 grams per ounce – sacha inchi is an excellent source of fuel. It contains all nine essential amino acids, as well as a spectrum of non-essential aminos – making it a digestible and bioavailable superfood. It also boasts a powerful combination of vitamins, minerals, omegas and nutrients.
Sacha inchi is thought to have ancient medicinal and ceremonial significance, and has been depicted in pottery found in burial sites dating back to 800 CE. Today, different cultures around the world recognize its nutritional value and have begun to incorporate these seeds into their diets.
Why You Should Try Them: Sacha inchi seeds are sometimes considered ‘vegan landfish’ because of their high protein and omega oils content. The human body cannot produce omega-3s; that’s why it’s important we get it from our food sources. It is vital for supporting heart health, boosting cognitive function and reducing inflammation, which is the source of many chronic diseases including arthritis, fatigue and even cancer. One ounce of sacha inchi seeds contains 17 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon. That’s 350% the daily value of ALA per ounce. Sacha inchi is one of the most sustainable sources of plant-based omega 3s on the planet – something vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike will enjoy.
In addition to the healthy fats, sacha inchi also has an incredible amount of fiber – 5 grams in each serving, which is more than many nuts and seeds. Fiber has been shown to normalize bowel movements, lower cholesterol, promote feelings of fullness and manage blood sugar. This, combined with the benefits of its high protein composition, make it especially effective at enhancing weight loss, building lean muscle and maintaining high energy levels. This superseed also contains calcium, iodine, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Let’s Get Together: Sacha inchi has a unique, yet somehow familiar flavor that makes it easy to incorporate into a variety of dishes and desserts. It is deliciously nutty, with a rich umami-ness that comes from the omega oils. These seeds are lightly toasted to unlock their full nutritional value, giving them a savory profile. You can enjoy them by the handful, take them with you on adventurous treks, sprinkle them on smoothies, add them to salads or grain bowls, throw them into stir fries, create a foundation for desserts and more! Try them in any recipe that calls for nuts or seeds.