Sacha Inchi / Saviseed

ORAC Value:
μ mol TE/100g.

The antioxidant value of Sacha Inchi / Saviseed described in ORAC units is: 800 μ mol TE/100g.


In the United States this food is often sold under the name savi seeds (i.e. what the brand Vega calls them), while in South America it is also referred to as an Inca peanut, sacha peanut, and mountain peanut. Contrary to those nicknames, the sacha inchi is not a peanut (it's actually a seed). Therefore people with peanut allergies should not exclude this omega 3 rich source of protein from their diet for that reason. That being said, a separate and different sacha inchi allergy is possible but believed to be quite rare. If you are concerned about that possibility, there is no off the shelf allergy test for saviseed that we are aware of, but a qualified immunologist could conduct a skin prick test using a powdered version of the seed in a saline mixture.

How much antioxidants?

Most ORAC tests only use a single source for the ingredient. For example if you look at those done on nuts and seeds, most of them simply purchase a bag from a retailer and then use that to run the tests. From those, they report the total antioxidant content using an ORAC value, as well total phenolic compounds, hydrophilic and lipophilic values.

What makes this test of the sacha inchi seeds (Plukenetia volubilis) so intriguing is that rather than just evaluate one source, a total of 16 different cultivators of the seed were tested separately. The ORAC value reflected above represents the mean or average of all 16, which calculates out to be exactly 800. Breaking that down further, the lowest tested was 650 and the highest was 980.


The cultivator harvesting the most nutritious crop is still coming in with a low amount of antioxidants, at least relative the majority of seeds and nuts which are commonly consumed. This is not necessarily a negative, nor is it surprising.

Approximately 70% of the calories from sacha inchi seeds are from fat. Not just any fat but the best kind which western diets are most deficient of... omega 3 fatty acid or alpha-linolenic acid (LNA). With almost all other seeds and nuts, the ratio of omega 6 vs. 3 is the opposite, as they provide far too much omega 6 and almost no omega 3 fats. The remainder of the calories mostly come from protein, as saviseeds are one the highest protein seeds in the world. Naturally, the combination of the two leaves little room for other nutritional value. This is not a bad thing, as omega 3 offer you a whole host of health benefits even though high antioxidant activity isn't one of them.

To get a balanced nutritional profile, these seeds work great as a trail mix when combined with goji berries and pecans, which are the highest antioxidant nut.

ORAC Source

Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't: Food Chemistry. Volume 141, Issue 3, Pages 1732 - 1739 Link Dec 2013