What is Sacha Inchi Oil?
Extracted from the seeds and flesh of a fruit that grows around the Amazon River, sacha inchi oil is emerging as one of the ‘newest’ superfoods. It packs a powerful healthy punch and shows promising benefits for improving the nutritional status of the body. Sacha inchi oil benefits extend to the health of your skin and hair.
Best of all, it comes from a sustainable source and is ethically harvested. It has a long production cycle and the sacha inchi plant assists in reforestation of the amazon.
Cultivated for centuries in South America, sacha inchi oil has long been used for its health and medicinal properties. Recently it has been gaining more attention worldwide, and it is also grown in countries throughout Southeast Asia.
The seeds that produce sacha inchi oil are inedible in their raw state. However, they can be lighted roasted for a nutritious snack with a nutty flavor.
They’re also known as the ‘Inca peanut’ because they have a nut-like appearance and taste. The scientific name for sacha inchi is Plukenetia Volubilis.
Let’s take a look at some of the little known sacha inchi oil benefits. The limited research available, and any potential side effects will also be addressed.
Sacha inchi oil benefits
- Sacha inchi oil benefits
- Health benefits – Improve cardiovascular health
- Sacha inchi oil benefits for skin
- Sacha inchi oil benefits for hair
- Sachainchi can play a role in defense against diabetes
- Sacha inchi oil benefits for brain health
- Sacha inchi seeds benefits | Helps repair muscles and other tissues
- It can help you sleep better and feel happier!
- Sacha inchi oil may even help with weight loss!
- It’s more ‘shelf stable’ than other vegetable oils
- Sacha inchi oil side effects | Sacha inchi seeds side effects
- Sacha inchi oil reviews
- Where to buy sacha inchi oil and other sacha inchi supplements
The first five sacha inchi oil benefits listed are reflective of the high levels of essential fatty acids (it’s especially rich in omega 3) contained in the seed. Sacha inchi oil contains higher levels of omega 3 than any other plant-based oil. It contains omega 3, 6 and 9. More studies are still needed, but current evidence shows that sacha inchi oil can increase the levels of essential fatty acids in the body.
Health benefits – Improve cardiovascular health
The ‘good fats’ or ‘healthy fats’ contained in sacha inchi oil can help lower LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels. Although further studies are needed, a pilot study suggests sacha inchi benefits for the lipid profile of patients with dyslipidemia.
It’s not only the omega 3 fatty acid content of sacha inchi oil that helps promote a healthy cardiovascular system. Sacha inchi oil is also a good source of phytosterols. Phytosterols have a similar structure to cholesterol so they reduce cholesterol absorption and can, therefore, help support a healthy cardiovascular system.
Sacha inchi oil benefits for skin
Sacha inchi oil benefits extend to the health of the skin. Essential fatty acids are crucial for good skin health. They play a role in maintaining the softness and elasticity of the skin as well as retaining moisture.
The benefits of sacha inchi oil for skin are extended by the tocopherols contained in the oil. Tocopherols are part of the vitamin E family. Vitamin E can help the skin maintain it’s elasticity due to its role in collagen production. These sacha inchi oil skin benefits are worth considering as part of a plan for healthy, vibrant skin.
Sacha inchi oil benefits for hair
Sacha inchi oil can be a great addition to a natural hair care regime. The reasons it’s so great for hair are very similar to the benefits for skin. The high omega 3 content can help keep hair conditioned by locking in moisture. This can also help relieve the irritation from a dry, itchy scalp.
Sachainchi can play a role in defense against diabetes
Sacha inchi oil could play a role in defending against diabetes. This again due to the high levels of omega 3 contained within the oil. Omega 3’s help regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity.
Because people with diabetes have trouble balancing their levels of insulin and glucose, sacha inchi benefits could extend to helping diabetics manage their condition.
Sacha inchi oil benefits for brain health
The majority of the brain is comprised of fats. This is yet another reason why essential fatty acids are crucial for optimal health. As you now know, sacha inchi oil contains high levels of essential fatty acids. These help to decrease inflammation in the brain and have the potential to protect against diseases such as dementia and Alzheimers.
Sacha inchi seeds benefits | Helps repair muscles and other tissues
Sacha inchi oil benefits extend to its protein content. Protein is an important macronutrient that helps all the tissues in the body to repair. It plays an important role in workout recovery and also in satiety. At approximately 25% protein, sacha inchi seeds provide a good source of protein.
The combination of sacha inchi protein and essential fatty acids makes it a great addition to a vegan diet. Manufacturers are now producing sacha inchi protein powder as an alternative to other options on the market.
It can help you sleep better and feel happier!
Sacha inchi oil benefits for sleep cannot be dismissed! The oil contains tryptophan. This is an amino acid that can increase the release of serotonin. Serotonin is a ‘feel-good’ hormone that can help promote rest and relaxation, as well as happiness levels.
Sacha inchi oil also contains a decent level of magnesium, which could further contribute to its ability to aid in a good night’s sleep.
Sacha inchi oil may even help with weight loss!
The potential weight loss benefits of sacha inchi oil are again due to the presence of tryptophan. This time the benefits stem from the fact that tryptophan helps regulate appetite. Additionally, the fiber and protein content can help
It’s more ‘shelf stable’ than other vegetable oils
The high levels of tocopherols contained in sacha inchi oil mean that it has a high antioxidant capacity. The shelf life of the product can be as long as two years. It is advised to keep sacha inchi oil in the fridge to prolong shelf life.
Sacha inchi oil side effects | Sacha inchi seeds side effects
There are limited human studies on sacha inchi oil side effects. One study with 30 participants compared the acceptability, safety, and efficacy of oral administration of sacha inchi oil. The study compared the effects of sacha inchi oil as compared to sunflower oil. The most commonly reported sacha inchi oil side effect was nausea in the initial weeks.
However, this was also reported in the group consuming sunflower oil. Acceptability improved over time and the study reported sacha inchi oil as safe for consumption.
What are the other sacha inchi oil side effects? Overall it is considered safe to consume, and it has been recognized by the FDA as generally safe to consume (GRAS).
Some people may experience mood-altering effects. Therefore it could interfere with the effects of certain medications. If mood swings occur it is best to cease the consumption of sacha inchi oil.
Sacha inchi oil reviews
If you want to hear some sacha inchi oil testimonials and reviews of other sacha inchi oil products, check out the videos below.
Where to buy sacha inchi oil and other sacha inchi supplements
As well as oil, you’ll be able to find food products containing sacha inchi, sacha inchi powder, and packaged forms of the sacha inchi nut. I purchased some sacha inchi nuts off the shelf when we were in Laos!
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Also published on Medium.