Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.
Not only did Dr. Oz inherit Oprah’s timeslot, he also snagged “The Oprah Effect,” (When Oprah endorses a product, business explodes.) Case in point: Inca Peanuts. Had you heard of them before?
Here’s what Dr. Oz wants you to know.
“Inca Peanuts are the best snack for weight loss,” according to Dr. Oz. That’s because they control your appetite. They don’t suppress it like diet pills. Inca Peanuts are loaded with protein, fiber and fat, three nutrients that promote satiety. Inca Peanuts take the edge off hunger.
The protein in Inca Peanuts has all the essential amino acids, just like in animal foods. And the protein is highly digestible, as plant proteins go. Inca Peanuts are high in fiber with 6 grams of fiber per ounce. As a point of reference, one ounce of regular peanuts has only 2.4 grams of fiber.
Inca peanuts, also called sacha inchi nuts, are cultivated in the Andes Mountains of Peru. Loved for centuries by the Incas, Inca peanuts have recently been plugged by Dr. Oz as a superfood.
Historians believe that the sacha inchi plant (which produces the seeds we know as Inca peanuts) has been used by the natives of Peru for over 3,000 years. Images of the sacha inchi plant in Incan tombs are thought to be proof of this long-ago cultivation. The seeds are shelled and eaten raw, roasted, with sugar on top, or as an oil in traditional recipes. It’s also used as a cosmetic facial cream in some areas.
For those of us who live far from the Andes, Inca peanuts remain elusive. It can be hard to find them and the high cost of special ordering deters a lot of people so don’t be afraid to start off with a small order. Hopefully, availability will increase as time goes on and more people show an interest in the new health food- although there’s really nothing new about a centuries-old Amazonian plant.