The seed of the sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis) plant is marketed by nutrition and wellness companies in North America as Savi seed. But indigenous Peruvian farmers near the Amazon Rainforest who actually cultivate this superfood call it the mountain or Inca peanut. Considering their mild nutty flavor and how unusually large they are (almost as big as peanuts), I have to side with the farmers on this one.
Sachi inchi flower and seed
At a Glance
The inchi seed or mountain peanut is one of the most talked about superfoods currently known, and for good reason. Frankly, I’m in awe of its nutritional makeup and still having a hard time believing that it actually exists. See for yourself.
A 28g (1oz) serving of inchi seeds, which I devoured in about 60 seconds, delivers the following:
- Amazing (almost addictive) taste
- 17x more omega-3 than wild sockeye salmon
- Rich source of omega-6, omega-9, vitamin A and E
- 18 essential amino acids, including a high concentration of tryptophan (importance explained below)
- Overall, 9g of complete 100% plant-based and absorbable protein
From both a health and performance standpoint, the mountain peanut is about as close to a miracle food as vegans are likely to find, at least nowadays. Not only is it packed with complete protein (capable of muscle-building), it is a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids for those who cannot eat fish because of their dietary beliefs.
But what exactly is so great about omega-3s? Aside from managing inflammation and promoting better brain health, omega-3s provide some of the best protection nature has to offer against cardiovascular disease. A study published in the Peruvian Journal of Experimental Medicine and Public Health, titled Effect of sacha inchi oil (Plukenetia volubilis) on the lipid profile of patients with hyperlipproteinemia, concluded that sachi inchi oil improved overall cholesterol profile by effectively lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and raising HDL (good cholesterol).
According to researchers, although further study is required, findings so far seem quite promising.
Feel Good, Look Good
The cosmetic, fitness, and fashion industries all work hard to convince us that looking good (preferably by using their products) comes before feeling good. In other words, first appearance, then confidence. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, one of the great features of most superfoods is that they simultaneously address mood and appearance. The inchi seed is no different.
Aside from the usual superfood benefits of brighter, clearer eyes and skin, you can expect to feel your best because of the inchi seed’s powerful blend of healthy fats and tryptophan. Tryptophan plays a vital role in the production of serotonin, which not only regulates mood but, combined with the satiating effect of healthy fats, also provides some degree of appetite control.
The Total Package
So they taste great, ease inflammation, shield your heart and brain, and give you that all day feel-good state of mind. Best of all, they’re as handy as food can get, perfect for healthy at-home, on-the-road or at-the-office snacking.
As always, buy organic and support the indigenous Peruvian farmers who work tirelessly to bring you this favored fuel of the ancient Incan warriors.