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The Amazon continues to surprise us, Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L.), also known as the “Inca Nut” (although is not related to a nut), is a plant native to the Amazon of Peru which produces a unique seed very rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9. The seeds are very rich in nutrients and essential fatty acids making it uniqueamong other similar plants.

Sacha Inchi is a small hermaphrodite plant with tiny flowers that produces a small pod (3 to 5 cm in diameter), bright green when young and dark brown when mature. The pod usually has 4 lobes – each one containing a seed of 15 to 20 mm wide and 7 to 8 mm thick, weighting 1 gr. in average.

The plant was originally cultivated by the Incas in the Region of Junin, in a district called Pichanaqui, one of the best areas to grow this plant due to its excellent environmental conditions (soil, humidity, sun, etc.). The plant grows at 500 meters (1,650 ft) over sea level in a mountain hillside at the end of the Andes on the jungle side, in a place protected from excessive rain, floods and high winds. The soil is particularly special, soft and muddy,very rich in mineral content and nutrients.

Sacha Inchi oil is made from selected raw seeds and obtained by a cold press extraction; a filtration process thereafter is necessary to eliminate impurities and achieve the final product. The oil is of light colour and a pleasant nutty flavour, very rich in essential nutrients and an excellent source of essential fatty acids; contains an average of 50% Omega-3, 34% Omega-6 and 9% Omega-9, a total of 93% of unsaturated fatty acids with the best ratio between omega 6 to omega 3, 1:1.4 (the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1:1)

Furthermore, Sacha Inchi Oil could be one of the best oils ever known as the essential fatty acids contained in this product are considered precursors fatty acids, which allows the body to easily convert them to DHA and EPA fatty acids commonly found on fish.

Today, studies shows us that optimal omega-3 levels can greatly improve your overall health, increase energy, and help retain mental function as you age.Omega-3’s also reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, depression, and Alzheimer's disease; it can also be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis,diabetes, digestive disorders, and a host of other diseases, including weight gain, memory problems and allergies.

From a nutritional perspective, as we lack of Omega-3 fats in our diet, Sacha Inchi Oil represents one of the best alternatives known.

Written by Jorge L. Urena, President & CEO, UHTCO Corporation, Ontario Canada

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