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What is Sacha Inchi?

Sacha Inchi, a food source for over 3,000 years in the Amazon rainforest, has become a staple ingredient in the nutritional industry and plant-based lifestyle.  With other names like Sacha Peanut, Mountain Peanut, Inca Nut, and Inca Peanut, it’s among one of the best plant sources for protein, Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 essential fatty acids, alpha tocopherol vitamin E, carotenoids (vitamin A), and fiber.

Sacha Inchi is usually described to have a mild nutty taste with a buttery finish that compliments a wide range of foods. The small star-shaped fruit is usually filled with 4-7 pods. When ripe, the fruit becomes green. More commonly, the fruit is dried, leaving an easier seed extraction process. While you can’t eat the seeds raw, roasting the seeds is an easy way to make a nutritious snack. You can also find Sacha Inchi in oil and powder form. Sacha Inchi has a long list of health benefits. It is widely referred to as the new “superfood” which is described as a nutrient-rich compound that benefits a person’s health and well-being.

So, what exactly are some of the benefits of Sacha Inchi?

  • Controls Cholesterol and Improves Blood Circulation: Sacha Inchi reduces LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL cholesterol levels (good cholesterol) because of the high levels of potassium. Having high LDL cholesterol levels is associated with coronary heart disease and plaque build-up in the arteries. With lower LDL levels, cardiovascular concerns are reduced, and blood circulation usually improves.
  • Supports Brain Function: As previously stated, Sacha Inchi is abundant in Omega and healthy fats. Inflammation is one of the main causes of cognitive disorders and complications. Sacha Inchi helps the brain to defend inflammation. As a result, this can reduce the risk of headaches, depression, fatigue, memory issues, and neurogenerative diseases.
  • Diabetes Preventer: High levels of Omega-3 have been associated with lowering glucose (sugar) levels in the body which is something a person with diabetes constantly has to monitor. It also is known to lower triglycerides levels. Triglycerides are a chemical compound that provides energy for metabolism. People with diabetes generally have high triglycerides.
  • Stress Reliever: Sacha Inchi is high in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps the brain to release the hormone called serotonin (aka the “feel good” hormone). With the increase in tryptophan, serotonin is released more quickly, which will ultimately make you feel better. Once again, with such high Omega-3 levels, Sacha Inchi reduces brain inflammation which could result in lower stress-levels, while countering less headaches, mood shifts, and more.
  • Promotes Better Sleep Quality: With the significant levels of tryptophan mentioned above, if you combine this with the magnesium found in the fruit, it can bring on an increased feeling of relaxation. Increasing magnesium has been found to help people struggling with sleep disorders and insomnia.
  • Improves Vision Health: Sacha Inchi is abundant in alpha tocopherol vitamin E and carotenoids vitamin A. Both vitamins help with a person’s overall vision health. Vitamins E and A prevent macular degeneration and slow down the process of cataracts and deterioration that can come along with age.
  • Hair and Skin Care: Having healthy fats in your diet are a necessity when it comes to healthy hair and skin production. Sacha Inchi is high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids. For hair this helps stimulate growth and repair, locks in moisture, and eliminates inflammation (which can cause dandruff). For skin, Omega-3 and Omega-6 improves the overall appearance by reducing blemishes, wrinkles, and reducing inflammation (which can cause eczema and psoriasis).
  • Digestive Aid: Sacha Inchi is also claimed to help improve digestion and aid in weight loss due to its high levels of fiber. Dietary fiber is a vital part in the normal digestive process. Fiber can help by satisfying your appetite and prevent overeating due to feeling full.

It’s easy to see why Sacha Inchi has gained such popularity. You can consume this plant protein in  numerous ways: as a roasted nut, in a powder form, or in an oil form. You can add the powder to smoothies, baked goods, oatmeal, etc. With the oil, you can utilize it in everything from your beauty routine to salad dressing. Not only is Sacha Inchi vegan/vegetarian friendly, it’s gluten free, and allergen friendly. With the list of benefits Sacha Inchi has, by adding it to a well-balanced diet it can enhance your overall health and well-being.

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Collagen 101:

You may have noticed recently collagen has been booming in the nutrition industry. With such a wide range of benefits that have been documented numerous times, the supplement is taking off. Usually when people think of collagen they think of it as an additive to lotions and other supplements. While it can be used as an additive, collagen can also be taken by itself resulting in an increase of several benefits. So, what exactly is collagen?

In our bodies collagen is found in our muscles, bones, skin, blood-vessels, the digestive system, and tendons. As we age, our bodies natural collagen production rate begins to slow down. Therefore, we start to get wrinkles, joint pain, and sagging skin. While age is just one of the degenerative processes, other factors like smoking, sun exposure, and certain diets can also reduce the collagen levels in our bodies more rapidly.  As mentioned before, collagen has a wide range of benefits. These include but are not limited to:

  • Reduces joint pain
  • Slows down the degenerative process
  • Improves skin, our largest organ
  • Strengthens hair, nails, and teeth
  • Supports gut health
  • Builds muscle and repairs tissue
  • Increases metabolism, muscle mass, and energy levels
  • Protects cardiovascular health
  • Reduces cellulite and stretch marks

Next, we need to recognize that there are multiple types of collagen with different benefits within each:

  • Type 1: Type 1 collagen is the most abundant in our bodies and helps tendons, ligaments, organs, skin, bones, and can also be found in your gut.
  • Type 2: Type 2 collagen mainly helps build the cartilage in our connective tissue.
  • Type 3: Type 3 collagen is mostly found in reticular connective tissues which can be found in the kidney, the spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow, blood vessels, and tissue in the heart.
  • Type 4: Type 4 collagen forms basal lamina, which is found in endothelial cells that form tissue surrounding our organs, muscles, and fat. Basal lamina can also be found in our digestive organs, respiratory surfaces, as well as the space between the top layer of skin and tissue, and the deepest layer.
  • Type 5: Type 5 collagen helps build the surface of our cells, hair strands, and tissue found in women’s placentas.
  • Type 10: Type 10 collagen helps form articular cartilage and new bone formation.

There are various sources of collagen: Bovine (beef or cow) collagen, Chicken collagen, Fish (marine) collagen, and Egg shell membrane collagen. Each protein source provides different benefits from their collagens. Bovine collagen is made up of mostly Type 1 and Type 3 collagens. Chicken collagen is typically made up of Type 2 collagen. Fish collagen is normally Type 1 collagen. Lastly, Egg shell membrane collagen is mostly Type 1 collagen, but can also include Type 3, 4, and 10. Depending on your needs, certain collagens may alleviate or help specific symptoms you’re experiencing due to a decrease in collagen. Bovine and Fish collagens both seem to take the lead in the collagen market.

Introducing collagen to your diet is relatively easy. You can simply add it to a soup, coffee, or smoothie. With the numerous benefits it’s easy to see why this supplement has taken off. People are also becoming more aware of their overall health and are on a constant search to simply feel better. When you take into consideration the rapid decline in your body’s collagen production, adding collagen to your diet seems like an easy solution with long-term benefits and hardly any risks.

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