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Heart Smart Living

Cardiologist, author, and heart health expert Dr. Sarah Samaan offers advice on how to live a heart smart life.

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SaviSeeds: A New Twist on an Ancient Treat

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I love exploring natural foods stores. They’re stocked with an intriguing assortment of groceries and products, and they’re often willing to take a chance on something new and a little quirky. Sacha inchi seeds, a Peruvian treat marketed as SaviSeeds and distributed in the U.S. by Sequel Naturals, are my latest happy discovery.

The seeds, about the size of small peanuts, taste a bit like a roasted soy bean, but with a texture closer to that of a crunchy peanut. They’re a great source of vegetarian protein, supplying 8 grams per one ounce serving.

Although the label indicates that SaviSeeds have as much as 13 times more omega-3 content than wild salmon, that’s a bit misleading, since the EPA and DHA forms of omega-3 in salmon and other fish can be put to use by our bodies right away. Omega-3 fats from plant sources have to be broken down by our body before they can be put to work. That process is fairly inefficient, and ultimately only about 10 percent of the plant-based omega-3 is actually turned into EPA and DHA. Nevertheless, at 7000 mg of omega-3 per ounce, sacha inchi seeds come out far ahead of other nuts. By comparison, an ounce of walnuts, considered a very good plant-based source of omega-3s, supplies about 2300 mg of the good stuff.

According to the SaviSeeds website, the seeds are good for more than just our hearts. The company states that the SaviSeed crops “aid in returning previously cleared land of the Amazon rainforest to its native state while supporting the economy for rural farmers”. While most people don’t think about the environmental impact of their snacking habits, many popular brands of snack foods contain palm oil, which is actually contributing to the devastation of the rainforest as swaths of land are cleared to make way for the palm oil plantations.

SaviSeeds weigh in at about 190 calories per ounce, so they are not what you would call a “diet food.”  A five ounce pouch costs about ten dollars, so they can’t be considered a bargain, either. But if you’re looking for an interesting new treat, or a healthy dose of crunch to add to your salads and trail mixes, SaviSeeds are worth checking out.

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About the Author


MD, FACC

Dr. Samaan is an acclaimed cardiologist, writer, and heart health educator.

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