Here’s something you are going to want to add to the list of superfoods worth getting to know – one I recently stumbled across it while browsing through the Hagen Grote online catalogue — a superfood, super oil called Sacha Inchi.
Sacha Inchi (known as Inca Peanuts or Inca Nuts), is the seed of a plant that grows in the highlands of Peru. Although, it has been cultivated and used as a food source in the Amazon and Andes for nearly 3,000 years, it is only in recent times that it has gained popularity.
Health experts call it a “tasty alternative to fish oil supplements” because it’s a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, among numerous other health benefits. And if any of you can recall having to take cod liver oil as a kid, the thought does not stir up pleasant memories. Contrary to fish oils, Sacha Inchi with its mild and nutty flavor is considered to be among the class of “gourmet oils”. It even won a Gold Medal at the World Edible Oil Fair, held in Paris in 2004, however it has only been as recent as 2013 that this specialty oil was approved for use in food applications in the EU market.
With growing health consciousness among consumers and the increasing interest in using superfood ingredients, Sacha Inchi is yet another Peruvian superfood to join the ranks of chia, maca, quinoa and co. in the “New World Diet”. Highly valued for its health benefits, Sacha Inchi is loaded omega-3s, is rich in proteins, iodine, Vitamin A and Vitamin E and it is believed to be the most unsaturated vegetable oil available – with 93% concentration of unsaturated fatty acids it is superior to flaxseed oil (78%).
The list is long, so here are just a few of Sacha Inchi’s benefits:
An incredible natural source for omega oils – it offers a rich concentration that helps boost brain power, lower blood pressure, and aids the absorption of calcium to keep bones healthy.
The high levels of omega oils are also good for lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol. Plus it’s one of the most potent vegetarian sources, making it attractive for individuals following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and E – important for anyone interested in maintaining healthy skin. Their anti-aging power is essential for helping fight free radicals that can cause premature aging. Plus, because of Sacha Inchi’s high omega-3 content, it has the added benefit of helping regulate your skins oil production, locks in hydration, keeps elastic, and helps repair damage when it happens.
Want to learn more? Read here.
How to use Sacha Inchi oil:
Sacha Inchi oil should always be used raw as heat will damage the omega-3s and cause them to lose their potency. It can be used the same way as you would use extra-virgin olive oil for salad dressings, or drizzled on vegetables…add some salt and dip your bread in it, or use it as an excellent replacement for flaxseed oil in your next smoothie…the possibilities are endless.
Yields 1 large smoothie
3/4 cup frozen mixed berries (or a mix of fresh strawberries and blueberries)
1 handful baby spinach leaves (or other leafy greens)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon Sacha Inchi oil
1 cup almond milk (or any seed/nut milk you prefer) (250 ml)
Blend together and enjoy!