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SaviSeed (Sacha Inchi Seeds)

February 9, 2012

SaviSeeds

SaviSeed has been enjoying some great product placement next to the cash registers at Whole Foods. I’ve been curious about them for a while, but I only tried them recently when my mom picked me up a pack on a whim. Their claim to fame is Omega 3, which I don’t buy for a second. For me it’s just the novelty factor of trying something new. Plus, they’re coated in dark chocolate (well, not really, but 70%). I found out later that Dr. Oz declared SaviSeed the Best Snack of 2010. Go figure :P Anyways, I don’t think they’re necessarily good for you, but I don’t think they’re evil either. I’d say they’re okay to enjoy in moderation if you’re up for something different. Just be forewarned, though, that they taste kinda funky…

SaviSeed

What are SaviSeeds?

According to Sequel’s marketing, they taste and look like nuts, but they’re actually seeds. These “Inca Peanuts” are native to Amazon rainforests and have been cultivated in Peru and eaten by Incas for over 3,000 years. Don’t worry, they’re not actually legumes, they’re really just the seeds of the sacha inchi plants (Plukenetia volubilis). These plants produce star-shaped green pods which are sun-dried until the seeds are exposed.

Uses

Peruvians eat them in a regional soup called inchicapi, and also in sauces (cooked and ground up). The oil has also been used topically on the skin as a cream. These SaviSeeds are being marketed as healthy snacks, and there are some SaviSeed recipes on Sequel’s website.

Nutrition

Omega 3. SaviSeeds are very much hyped as being a great source of Omega 3: “13 times more than wild salmon!” ; “Richest source of Omega 3 on the planet!”. Unfortunately, all the Omega 3 is in the parent ALA form, and there’s no EPA or DHA. Our bodies are very inefficient at converting ALA into EPA and DHA, meaning that less than 10% of the ALA will be converted into the form that we need. Having excess Omega 6 in our diets, as most of us do, will decrease this rate of conversion even further. Grass-eating animals or plankton-eating fish are much more efficient at these conversions, which is why the best sources of usable Omega 3 (EPA and DHA) is wild-caught seafood and grass-fed beef, lamb, bison, etc. So the fact that the Omega 3 is pretty much useless to us in the ALA form, and that SaviSeeds also contain Omega 6 is slightly worrisome. Nuts and seeds in general tend to contain more Omega 6 than I’m comfortable with consuming regularly.

Vitamin E. SavidSeeds are said to contain Vitamin E.

Fiber. One ounce of SaviSeeds = 5g of dietary fiber. Definitely not a selling feature for me, regardless of what Dr. Oz may say.

Tryptophan. For whatever reason, theses seeds have 8 times as much tryptophan as roasted turkey. Weird…

Ingredients

SaviSeeds are organic and gluten-free, although they are processed in the same facility as wheat, soy, and dairy… They come in 3 flavors:

Oh Natural: Organic sacha inchi seed, organic sea salt.

Cocoa Kissed: Organic sacha inchi seed, organic 70% cacao (cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa powder), organic cane sugar.

Karmalized: Organic sachi inchi seed, organic cane sugar.

Taste

SaviSeeds are marketed as having more Omega 3 than salmon, without the fishy aftertaste. Well, I’ve already debunked the Omega 3. But the funny thing is that I actually think they do taste like fish! I don’t know what causes it, if it’s the “Omega 3” or what, but it’s a little bizarre.

I tried the Cocoa Kissed flavor, and honestly, I didn’t really like them. Of course, having a sweet tooth, I was drawn to the sugar content. And I did enjoy the crunchiness. But the flavor of the actual seeds? Meh. They weren’t gross, but they definitely weren’t tasty.

The Verdict

Well, they don’t taste very good. And nutritionally, the only thing they have going for them is that they might have some Vitamin E. As for the Omega 3, you might be doing more harm than good since you’re actually consuming more Omega 6. So overall, I’m glad to have tried them, and if you like the taste, then in moderation they’re probably okay. But I could think of a lot of other foods I’d prefer in moderation, like nuts, which actually taste awesome.

Have you tried SaviSeeds? What did you think of them?

Shared with Food Renegade.

Leave a Comment

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Gigi June 20, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Yes, I tried these seeds because of what I read on the bag. I am always looking for good sources of Omega 3s (plus I am drawn to the foods that my native Latin American ancestors ate). I almost choked on them because they were so dry. The only way I can eat them is if I drink some water while chewing on them. They are not too bad if eaten that way (maybe that’s why the Peruvians eat them in soup and sauces? Hmmmm…).

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admin@primalist June 24, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Interesting point about the sauces. I didn’t find them very dry, but maybe because they were coated in chocolate it didn’t bother me? I’ll eat just about anything covered in chocolate :P

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Sita July 10, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Ooh, I like them! I got the plain ones and I like their nutty flavour. Quite tasty.

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admin@primalist July 10, 2012 at 7:26 PM

I haven’t tried the plain ones – probably should give them a shot to see what they really taste like without the chocolate.

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Artur K August 6, 2012 at 10:38 PM

I just tried these today and I agree with the fish flavor. Best way I can describe the flavor is peanuts that were deep fried in used oil from a fish n chips restaurant. I don’t see why they are so expensive!

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admin@primalist August 15, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Lol. That’s not a very appetizing description! Or maybe it would be to people who enjoy peanuts and fish & chips?? Strange combo.

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Dr. G August 15, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Although long chain omega-3s like DHA and EPA are important, our bodies use ALA and LA as well.. and not just to convert to long chain forms. Omega-6s are essential too. It’s bad to get too much long chain omega-3s as well as too much omega-6. The issue is getting a balance. Getting from a variety of foods, both animal and plants, one can balance the ratio of n-6:n:3. Of course lots of people eat too much vegetable oils with lots of n-6s. Research shows that taking too much DHA and EPA is harmful.

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admin@primalist August 23, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Thanks for the comment! It definitely is all about the ratio. And like you said, although most people overdo the omega 6′s, you can also overdo the omega 3′s, especially if you supplement overzealously.

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Dan October 1, 2012 at 8:04 AM

I agree that they taste bad, and it’s strange to me that anyone likes them at all. I wonder if it’s a supertaster thing.

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Lynn January 29, 2013 at 11:18 AM

I tried the Karmalized flavor. The flavor was a mix of quite good to very bad because around 1 in 7 tastes extremely moldy, though I could see no mold. The non-moldy tasting ones were delicious to me and I could see myself buying these often if it weren’t for the heavy inclusion of the moldy tasting ones.

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admin@primalist January 29, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Yuck, weird about the moldy tasting ones – I could see how that would discourage someone from buying them again.

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Laura Christie February 13, 2013 at 11:48 AM

This is an awesome review and a great site. Lots of reviews say lots of information but very few in the manner which you have layed out. Perhaps the SaviSeed isn’t so great but this site is!

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admin@primalist February 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Thanks, I appreciate it :)

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Alexandra Headley February 19, 2013 at 7:23 AM

I’ve been tasting a lot of mold in my cocoa kissed savi seeds. It’s slightly comforting to see I’m not the only one who has sensed this. Slightly comforting.

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