Vegetarians and vegans can sometimes struggle to get all the nutrients their bodies need, especially when one of the major sources of the essential fatty acid omega-3 is fish. But those following a plant-based diet needn’t despair—sacha inchi seeds have emerged as an option to ensure vegetarians and vegans are getting the omega-3s their bodies need.
Benefits of omega-3s
Omega-3s have been lauded in recent years as offering a host of benefits. According to Harvard School of Public Health, our bodies need omega-3 fatty acids to manage blood clotting and support brain health. They help to protect against heart disease and may also help to protect against
- inflammatory bowel disease
- rheumatoid arthritis
Omega-3 fatty acids are deemed essential because our bodies cannot produce them—it is essential that we obtain sufficient levels through our diets. While many people take omega-3 supplements to ensure they’re getting enough, these supplements are often made from fish oils, and are therefore excluded from vegetarians’ and vegans’ diets. As a result, those following a plant-based diet are at a higher risk of having low levels of omega-3s than meat-eaters.
That’s where sacha inchi seeds come in.
What are sacha inchi seeds?
Sacha inchi seeds, also called Inca peanuts, are native to the Amazon of Peru and were probably cultivated by the ancient Incas. Today, those who live in the Amazon still eat the seeds and use them for oil and flour.
But what has helped sachi inchi seeds appeal to vegans is that they are loaded with omega-3s—nearly three times as much as walnuts. A study into the characterization of the seeds showed that they are 27 percent protein and 35 to 60 percent oil high in unsaturated fatty acids, making them a nutritious plant-based addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Adding sacha inchi seeds to your diet
Sacha inchi seeds are readily available at health food and nutrition stores, as well as from several online sources.
With a taste similar to roasted dark peanuts, the seeds can be munched by themselves, sprinkled on top of a salad, or added into your granola or trail mix.
To find out more about sacha inchi seeds, visit your local health food store.