Sacha Inchi, also known as Mani del Inca or Inca Peanut, is native to the Peruvian Amazon region and consumed by indigenous tribes for over 3000 years. The oval, dark brown seeds inside the characteristic star shaped fruits are rich in oils, proteins and amino acids.
Sacha Inchi nuts contain high levels of essential fatty acids such as Omega 3, 6 & 9 and are rich in iodine, Vitamin A and E. So lots of healthy ingredients our body needs to maintain our health. And the good thing Sacha Inchi is easily digested and usually doesn’t cause allergies or irritations. The Inca Peanut is also ideal for vegans and raw food dieters as it offers the necessary omega-3s from a non-animal source.
How to use the Inca Peanut
Traditionally Inca Peanuts are eaten as they are or lightly roasted. They are crunchy and have a pleasant nutty flavor making them a great snack and addition to salads or even cakes.
Sacha Inchi flour, which is high in proteins, is used in breads and other baked goods.
Sacha Inchi oil can be used just like extra virgin olive oil (so don’t heat it too much to not damage the fatty acids) and your body can easily absorb all the nutrients. It has a delicious mild nutty flavor and is great for cooking, salads and marinades. The oil is as well used in cosmetic products due to its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties.
Health benefits of Sacha Inchi
Sacha Inchi nuts and Sacha Inchi oil are said to offer a variety of health benefits:
- Sacha Inchi promotes strengthening the entire cardiovascular system and improving the overall circulation. It helps to lower the blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- The Inca Peanut is said to reduce blood sugar levels and helps to control healthy glucose levels lowering the risk of diabetes.
- Sacha Inchi promotes a better calcium absorption and maintains bone density.
- This healthy superfood as well can relieve the symptoms of depression, is supposed to improve the mood and problems with hyperactivity.
- It is often suggested that consuming Sacha Inchi helps reducing excess abdominal fat and promotes weight loss.
- Additionally, the Inca Peanut is said to improve your vision and to prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Numerous cosmetic brands use Sacha Inchi oil in creams and other beauty products. It has anti-inflammatory properties, activates the cells, supports fluidizing cell membranes and increases skin elasticity. So it regenerates and protects the skin, hair and nails.