What is sacha inchi ?
Name: Sacha Inchi
Binomial name: Plukenetia volubilis.
Common name: sacha inchi, sacha peanut, mountain peanut, Inca nut or Inca-peanut
Origin: Amazon Peru
Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L.), also known as the “Inca Nut (although it is not related to a nut)”, is a plant native to the Amazon of Peru which produces a unique seed very rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9.
The plant is a hermaphrodite small plant with tiny flowers that produces a small pod (3 to 5 cm in diameter), bright green when young and dark brown when mature. The pod usually has 4 lobes – each one containing a seed of 15 to 20 mm wide and 7 to 8 mm thick. The weight of said seeds usually goes from 0.8 to 1.4 grams. Sacha Inchi is originally from the Amazon Rainforest, and what used to be a wild plant, now is cultivated widely in the Region becoming a sustainable source of income to many families of the area.
HOW DOES SACHA INCHI WORK?
Essential fatty acids (EFA’s), which is the main nutrients provided by Sacha Inchi, are called ‘essential’ because our body necessarily needs to receive them through our food. The body cannot make EFA’s by itself neither store them, so we need a regular supply in our food. EFA’s are converted by the body into prostaglandins and other chemicals – all of which are needed constantly by most tissues in the body and for essential body processes.
Unsaturated Essential Fatty Acids include, Omega 3, Omega 6 und Omega 9.
In addition to providing energy, Essential Fatty Acids are part of the structure of every cell in our bodies. We need them to achieve and maintain a healthy heart; but they are also essential for a healthy brain, for healthy function of other organs, eyes, skin, joints, hair & immune system.
What does Sacha Inchi contain?
The most important part of the Sacha Inchi seeds is the omega 3 content. There is very little other sources able to provide the same quantity of omega 3, which is often not available in the necessary quantity in an average diet. Hence the importance of incorporating it into the daily food. Certainly there is many other significant nutrients within Sacha Inchi which is other essential fatty acids like omega 6 and 9 but also proteins.
The Sacha Inchi seeds offer 33% of protein content. Not only that this is a significant amount, but even more important it contains all essential amino acids as well. This makes it also a very important source for high quality proteins.
Further the plant offers a good vitamin E value which is not only interesting for human consumption but also it is important as it allows to produce Sacha Inchi products without the need of adding preservatives.
Sacha Inchi is a very complete food, providing many of the most essential nutrients our body needs to receive through our daily diet.
Is Sacha Inchi safe ?
Yes, it is simply food. As with other oils rich in essential fatty acids, it is not recommend to excessively use the oil (e.g. drinking) nor should the oil be used for cooking or be heated in another way as it will go rancid very quickly.
is a food
has no toxic actions if used appropriately (not excessive and no heating)
has no side effects
can be consumed as similar oils rich in essential fatty acids
omega 3 plays an important role during pregnancy!
is very important for children and certainly as well for adults and elders
Other things to know
There are records that indicate that this plant was traditionally used by the “Chancas” as a food. The “Chancas”, an old civilization well known as one of the most rebel and warrior of the region, was conquered by the Incas passing its knowledge of this amazing plant to the rest of the empire and the Inca itself, being the reason why the plant is known as the “Inca nut”.
Reference : UHTCO Corporation | 22.07.2007 | General Reading