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Lose Stubborn Belly Fat With Sacha Inchi

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home". She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated".

Sacha Inchi Plant in jungle of Pucallpa, Peru

Sacha Inchi Plant in jungle of Pucallpa, Peru

What is Sacha Inchi or Savi Seed?

High in the misty Andean rainforest, home of the most widely sought medical remedies in the world, I thrive. Comfortable rooted in the loose, rich soil of riverbanks, I am a handsome vining plant flaunting hairy, heart-shaped leaves and star-shaped pods. My pods are chock full of seeds that are edible when roasted, or my seeds can be cold pressed for a nutrient-rich oil. What am I?

Sacha Inchi, Inca peanut, Plukenetia volubilis or marketed as "SaviSeed" in the United States.

Sacha Inchi seeds have been consumed by the Incas of Peru for centuries. Recently "discovered" by the industrialized world, Sacha Inchi plants are sown on previously cleared rainforest land thus returning the ravaged jungle to its original state. In turn, this crop supports the efforts of Peruvian farmers who might otherwise be obliged to abandon their traditional lifestyle and move to large cities in search of work.

So what's all the hype about Sacha Inchi or Savi Seed?


Sacha Inchi Pod and Seeds

Sacha Inchi Pod and Seeds

Why Does Sacha Inchi Promote Weight Loss?

When we get overly stressed, our thyroid secretes a hormone called cortisol. In normal levels, cortisol regulates blood pressure and insulin levels. But too much cortisol, caused by our modern fast-paced and stressful lifestyle, leads to blood sugar imbalances. That means increased cravings for sweets, stubborn belly fat and resistance to weight loss. Eventually, excess cortisol may lead to obesity, type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure.

How can Sacha Inchi help? Sacha Inchi is the richest plant-based source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which has been proven to lower cortisol levels. This in turn leads to less harmful sugar cravings, a calmer mood and weight loss.

Consider John's experience. After long days of a stressful office job, he would return home at night with uncontrollable food and alcohol cravings. After months of late night eating John had gained 25 pounds. He felt sluggish and moody. Dark circles under his eyes made him look several years older.

That was before he learned about Sacha Inchi. He began taking two tablespoons of Sacha Inchi oil before breakfast. Soon afterward, his harmful food cravings diminished and his moods balanced out. Within six months John lost the 25 pounds he had gained and even the dark circles under his eyes disappeared. John owes his improved health and appearance to adding Sacha Inchi oil to his diet. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of Sacha Inchi.


Why All the Hype?

A superfood in its own right, Sacha Inchi seeds are the richest plant-based source of Omega-3 in the world with 17 times more Omega-3 per ounce than wild salmon. It also boasts 9 grams of complete protein per ounce, making it the ideal natural alternative to protein powder! Cold-pressed Sacha Inchi oil's high concentration of Omega-3's makes it the ideal supplement for vegetarians.

Sacha Inchi offers many benefits to the major organs of the body. Sacha Inchi:

  • Reduces triglycerides and LDL cholesterol
  • Regulates arterial pressure
  • Promotes weight loss and reduces abdominal fat
  • Increases blood flow to the brain, thus improving concentration
  • Prevents cancer of the colon, breast, prostate and others
  • Boosts immune function and metabolism
  • Improves digestion
  • Contributes to neurological development of the unborn fetus
  • Improves vision

Interestingly, Sacha Inchi also contains unusually high amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid converted into seratonin in the body that fights depression and anxiety. What other health benefits does Sacha Inchi offer?


More Superfoods from Peru:



Sacha Inchi's Health Benefits

Following is a list of more health benefits you can enjoy by adding this amazing seed to your diet. Sacha Inchi is:

  • gluten-free.
  • a plant-sourced oil that promotes good health without mercury and toxins found in fish oil and the chemicals used to process it.
  • nutty and mild tasting with no bad odor or flavor.
  • chock full of natural antioxidants like Vitamins A & E.
  • high in natural antioxidants which means it won't go racid when stored for up to two years at room temperature.
  • a powerful anti-inflammatory.
  • an ally in the fight against coronary disease and hypertension.
  • an ally in diabetes management as a regulator of blood sugar levels.
  • the most polyunsaturated vegetable oil on the planet.
  • 8 times higher in tryptophan than roasted turkey!

What is tryptophan? An amino acid, it is converted into seratonin in the brain which promotes a positive mood and alleviates depression without the side effects caused by expensive prescription anti-depressant medications.


Sacha Inchi's Culinary Uses

Never cook with Sacha Inchi, as heat destroys the nutritional properties of this oil. Instead, enjoy it in its raw and natural state.

  • Drizzle a salad with Sacha Inchi oil and savor its light and nutty flavor.
  • Toss Sacha Inchi seeds into trail mix for a high protein snack.
  • Add a few tablespoons of Sacha Inchi powder to your morning smoothie for a breakfast with staying power.

Click here for a healthy smoothie that makes the perfect base for Sacha Inchi powder: How to Make Smoothies Without Yogurt.


Exciting DYI Anti-Aging Serum

I highly recommend my friend SuzieHQ's DYI anti-aging serum made with Peruvian rainforest fruit. Check it out here: Anti-Aging Serum with Camu-Camu and Vitamin C

Sacha Inchi Oil for Beauty

Sacha Inchi oil is a light, easily absorbed skin moisturizer. Offering high doses of Vitamins A and E (tocopherols and beta carotene) which are also natural antioxidants, it protects from free radical damage caused by the sun. Combined with a regular regimen of sunscreen usage, Sacha Inchi oil will help minimize damage caused by ultraviolet sunlight. How can you add Sacha Inchi oil to your beauty routine?

Remove makeup and wash face. Smooth Sacha Inchi oil over freshly washed, damp skin. Sacha Inchi is also the perfect carrier or base oil for blending with essential oils. Check out Suzie HQ's article "How to Use Essential Oils and a Base Oil to Make a Dilution" for more information.

For a quick and effective beauty treatment, mix two ounces of Sacha Inchi oil with a few drops of lavender for inflamed or acne-prone skin, neroli or rose oil for aging or sun-damaged complexions. Or try a few drops of frankincense for additional sun protection properties. Smooth a few drops of your customized beauty treatment over clean, freshly washed skin. Sacha Inchi oil is easily tolerated by most skin types and will leave your skin feeling soft and pampered.


Sacha Inchi oil

Sacha Inchi oil

Sacha Inchi's Skin Protection Properties

Here are more benefits of using Sacha Inchi oil as a moisturizer. Sacha Inchi:

  • protects the skin from environmental pollution
  • protects against photodamage by UV radiation
  • is a powerful anti-inflammatory which prevents premature aging
  • has superior wound healing properties
  • softens old scars
  • moisturizes
  • reduces damage from free radicals
  • smooths wrinkles in mature skin

Try Sacha Inchi oil in your favorite homemade beauty preparation. Your complexion will thank you!


Conclusion

In short, both the oil and seeds of the Sacha Inchi plant provide numerous health benefits. Why not add this superfood to your diet today?

Sacha Inchi Fun Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Where does the Sacha Inchi plant grow?
    • Along the coast of India
    • In the tropical rainforests of Peru
    • In the mountainous regions of China
  2. How tall is the Sacha Inchi plant?
    • 2 feet high
    • 6 feet high
    • 12 feet high
  3. What Makes Sacha Inchi a sustainable crop?
    • It bears seeds just 8 months after planted
    • It has a lifespan of 10 years
    • It produces seeds almost year-round
    • All of the Above
  4. Why are Sacha Inchi seeds and oil so beneficial?
    • chock full of Vitamins A & E
    • high concentrations of tryptophan
    • more Omega-3's than any other plant source
    • All of the Above
  5. Why should I try Sacha Inchi protein powder?
    • It's all natural, whey and gluten-free and won't irritate the stomach
    • It's highly digestible
    • It's preservative-free
    • All of the Above

Answer Key

  1. In the tropical rainforests of Peru
  2. 6 feet high
  3. All of the Above
  4. All of the Above
  5. All of the Above

Comments

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on December 08, 2015:

Just can't get enough of this hub. Here for the third read. Thanks.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 08, 2015:

Thank you ChitrangadaSharan!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 07, 2015:

A very useful and informative hub about Sacha Inchi. I have not heard about this earlier but will search for it now. May be I get it in the supermarkets. The benefits you suggest are really interesting.

Thank you for sharing! Pinning for later reference!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on July 15, 2014:

Grand old lady, I would be interested to hear if you find Sacha Inchi in the

Philippines.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on July 12, 2014:

Nice. Wonder if there is a sacha inchi in the Philippines?

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 30, 2014:

Vocalcoach, I'm so glad to hear you're going to try this very beneficial oil. Thanks for taking the time to comment, too.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on January 30, 2014:

Came back again to review this well-written hub on the benefits of Sacha Inchi. So glad I did. I had forgotten about it. Going shopping tomorrow and will pick some up. Thanks, once again.

Audrey Howitt from California on January 29, 2014:

So useful to know!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 05, 2013:

GetitScene, thanks for the votes!

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on December 05, 2013:

Never heard of this before. Thanks for sharing. Voted up, etc.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 04, 2013:

Suzanne Day, I hope you can find some Sacha Inchi oil in your local health food store. Thank you for coming by!

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on December 04, 2013:

I haven't heard of Sacha Inchi but I always like to read about new superfoods. Thank you for your information about the benefits of Sacha Inchi oil, sounds like something I should look out for at the health food shop!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

RTalloni, although sacha inchi is just being introduced to Western society, its attributes have been known and loved for centuries. I hope you can find and use this oil someday. Thanks for coming by!

RTalloni on November 18, 2013:

Thanks much for this introduction! Now to find the amazing sacha inchi in all its various forms here...

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on September 09, 2013:

JackieLynnley, please let me know what you think when you get a chance. : )

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on September 08, 2013:

I hope I can too, I have it on a store bill to search and see!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on September 08, 2013:

JackieLynnley, it's nice to hear from you! I hope you can find this healthy and exotic oil. Thanks for all the votes and comment!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on September 08, 2013:

I need to tuck this away and study it much better. Just fascinating and I am all for natural to benefit us in so many ways. Up and across.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 26, 2013:

ThelmaAlberts, I hope you can find sacha inchi oil and enjoy the benefits. Thanks for coming by, for the vote and share!

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on August 26, 2013:

I have not heard about this plant until now. Thank you for sharing this very useful informative hub. I´ll be looking for this oil in the shops. Well done! Voted up and shared. Have a great week!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on June 25, 2013:

Alocsin, sacha inchi is a pleasantly flavored, light oil that can be found in health food stores and on Amazon. (No surprise there!) It's worth looking into. Thanks for the vote and comment.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on June 25, 2013:

Sounds like something interesting to try, not only for the health benefits, but also for the exotic flavor. But can you actually buy this in the U.S.? I've never seen it. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on June 04, 2013:

epbooks, I hope you can find Sacha Inchi oil. We use it on salads and for skin care...it really is a healthy product. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 04, 2013:

Wow - I will need to find some of this. This does it all!!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 10, 2013:

KyCardinal, I'm glad you learned something new about sacha inchi!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 10, 2013:

GlimmerTwinFan, I've read that the Amazon rainforest contains more medicinal plants than anywhere else in the world! So Sacha Inchi is no exception. I'm glad you enjoyed the information!

Vicki from Sun City, AZ on May 09, 2013:

This plant is new to me. I plan on trying some the first chance I get.

Claudia Mitchell on May 09, 2013:

Hi Vespa - This is fascinating. I imagine that there are so many beneficial plants in the rainforest. I have never heard of this. Thanks for the information.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 08, 2013:

agapsikap, I'm glad you learned something new about sacha inchi! I hope you can find it in your area. Thanks for coming by!

agapsikap from Philippines on May 08, 2013:

I have not heard sacha inchi and had no idea about it. With all its healthy benefits I think it is really nice to have it in the garden. Its interesting and really useful. I'll have to find out first if we have it here. Thank you for sharing.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 08, 2013:

Suzanne, glad you enjoyed this Hub! I've been mixing sacha inchi and jojoba oils and my skin is very happy indeed.: ) I love camu camu!! They make juice mixes commercially which include it. I've never had the fresh fruit, though, since it's mostly found in the jungle. I look forward to reading your Hub about it. Thanks for all the support, my HP friend! : )

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on May 08, 2013:

Hi vespa,

Well, a new one in the homemade skin care department!! Wow, never heard of this incredible oil and plant, how fascinating learning its properties, history and benefits. Peru really does have some fantastic plants fruits and trees. In fact one is featuring in my next recipe! Camu Camu! I am mad keen to try this Sacha Inchi oil it sounds wonderful, love the shape of the pod! Great job again, apologies being late it must have slipped through my vespa radar! Votes across, shared, pinned and posted on g+. Thanks so much for your linking my hub too, you are a star and a friend!!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 05, 2013:

Deborah-Diane, I'm glad you enjoyed reading about Sacha Inchi! It really is a wonderful seed. Hope you can try it sometime!

Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on May 05, 2013:

This sounds like a wonderful product. I had never heard of it before, so thank you for sharing this fascinating information. Voted up!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 27, 2013:

Au fait, if you have a green thumb you could try growing the plant. They produce almost year-round for 10 years so it would be a worthy investment. I hope you can find a local farmers who is cultivating Sacha Inchi. 9 grams of complete protein is a big deal! I'm glad you found this interesting--thank you for the votes and comment.

C E Clark from North Texas on April 26, 2013:

9 grams of complete protein is pretty amazing. Vegetarians should be interested in this for sure. Now I will have to go in search of them. I know they're on the Net, but I would prefer a local source if I an find one. Very interesting and useful hub!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 23, 2013:

lindacee, I've seen on the internet that Whole Foods is one of the companies offering Savi Seeds. Peruvians swear by them for lowering cholesterol--it would definitely be a healthful addition to your husband's diet. My husband and I take a tablespoonful every evening. I'm glad this information on Sacha Inchi was useful. Thanks for coming by!

Linda Chechar from Arizona on April 23, 2013:

Will be making a trip to Whole Foods this week to find SaviSeeds. I've never heard of Sacha Inchi, so thanks for the introduction. I will be looking for the oil. My husband has heart and artery issues, so I think this would be a good adjunct to his medications. Thanks for sharing! :)

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 23, 2013:

vocalcoach, I'm happy you enjoyed this information on Sacha Inchi and am glad you're going to include it in your diet! Thanks for your comment.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on April 22, 2013:

I'm so very glad to learn about Sachi-Inchi. I'm eager to include this in my diet. Thanks so much for introducing this to me.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 22, 2013:

anglnwu, I hope you have a chance to try this wonderful moisturizing oil sometime. Thanks for the vote and comment!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 22, 2013:

prasetio, thank you for your kind words! I really appreciate the votes too!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 22, 2013:

AudreyHowitt, thank you for sharing this information on Sacha Inchi!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 22, 2013:

tammyswallow, now that you mention it you're right about the resemblance to snapdragons! It is a beautiful plant and I hope you have a chance to try the oil or seeds someday. Thanks!

anglnwu on April 22, 2013:

Very interesting hub. I'm always looking for natural oil as moisturizer and Sacha Inchi seems to have it all. I enjoyed this hub and rated up.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on April 22, 2013:

Very informative hub. I had never heard about this plant before reading this hub. My friend, you always come up with something great like this one. I learn something new here. Thanks for sharing with us. Voted up!

Prasetio

Audrey Howitt from California on April 22, 2013:

I love it when I learn something new--sharing this everywhere!

Tammy from North Carolina on April 22, 2013:

I have never heard of this plant or saw it. How amazing. It looks a bit like snapdragons that we have all over the US. Very interesting and very beneficial!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 22, 2013:

livingsta, I'm happy you found this information on Sacha Inchi beneficial. I hope you can try it someday!

livingsta from United Kingdom on April 22, 2013:

Wow, thank you for this. I have not heard of this seed, and its benefits are many. Thank you for sharing this with us. Voting up and sharing!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 22, 2013:

DDE, I'm glad you found this information on Sacha Inchi useful. I hope you can try it sometime!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 22, 2013:

pstraubie, thank you for your compliment. This really is a fascinating plant and the oil and seeds are so beneficial to our health. I appreciate the votes and comment!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 22, 2013:

PeggyW, I'm glad you found this information on Sacha Inchi interesting. I hope it can be useful, too, and that you have a chance to add it to your diet. Thanks for your support!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 22, 2013:

moonlake, I'm glad you found this interesting! Thanks for the votes!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 22, 2013:

Informative and useful, a hub filled with unique information about Sacha Inchi: Source of Vegetarian Omega 3's and More, I had learned everything about Sacha Inchi and its sources right here.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 22, 2013:

Thanks for sharing this. I did not know of this plant. And it sounds like it has many health benefits in addition to its use as a culinary complement. I loved the way you began your article with the plant addressing us.

Have a lovely week. Shared and interesting and useful. Angels are on the way to you . :) ps

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 21, 2013:

This is definitely a new one for me. I had never previously heard of this plant with all of the beneficial aspects to consuming the seeds or using the oils derived from it. Will be checking to see if our local health food stores sell it or obviously can purchase it online. Thanks for this wonderful information. Intend to read more about it. Up, useful and interesting votes.

moonlake from America on April 21, 2013:

Very interesting I had no idea about this plant. Voted up and more.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 21, 2013:

RajanJolly, I thought of you as I wrote this Hub. This oil is extremely beneficial for health. I hope you can find it in your neck of the woods! Thank you for all your support.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 21, 2013:

Vespawoolf, I had just no idea about this healthy seed before reading this. Now I'll have to check out if it is available here? It's certainly a very healthful addition to one's diet.

Voted up and useful.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 21, 2013:

AliciaC, I hope you find Sacha Inchi oil in your area. Of course, I highly recommend it! Thank you for your comment and have a nice evening.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 21, 2013:

I've never heard of this plant before. It sounds fascinating! I will definitely be watching for the seeds or the oil to appear in my local stores. Thank you very much for all the information!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 21, 2013:

Ericdierker, I'm glad you enjoyed this Hub and have some Sacha Inchi oil on the way! Please let me know what you think...this oil is so beneficial that I highly recommend it. Thanks for your comment!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 21, 2013:

Amaazon advertised here. So mine is on the way. I think I will dip some fresh bread in it and love it as a better oil. Thank you for this, and my body thanks you for this.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 21, 2013:

Vickiw, my husband and I take a tablespoonful of oil every day and I use it as a skin moisturizer. Of course, we have the advantage of being at the source so it's inexpensive here. I definitely recommend this oil and hope you can find some soon. Thanks for coming by!

Vickiw on April 21, 2013:

Oh wow, Vespa, I feel like moving to Peru instantly. Certainly I would be tracking this down in the jungle! I have to find some. It sounds to be just what I need!