Sacha Inchi | Q+A with RD Jenna Stangland

Q&A with Jenna Stangland, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN, CLT

Every ingredient in Realm smoothies is incorporated with an eye on quality and taste with a deep foundation in nutrition! Our holistic approach means we do our serious research and are always backed by science. When we discovered Sacha Inchi Protein, we were blown away — it's light, creamy taste brought a brighter, fruitier flavor to our smoothies, but what about it's nutrition? We sat down with one of our incredible nutritionists, Jenna Stangland to gut-check that this incredible protein was truly the best of the best. (Spoiler-alert: it's nutrition is CRAZY good!) 

Check out the full interview with Jenna, Director of Nutrition, Registered and Licensed Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (she's a rockstar)!

Q: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE DEBATE BETWEEN WHEY-BASED PROTEIN AND PLANT-BASED PROTEINS?

A: It truly is about purity and quality when it comes to these two ingredients. "Purity" refers to how filtered the protein is and what else comes with it. A whey-based protein can come with additional sugars such as lactose and milk fats, and a plant-based protein can come with additional fibers.

When we talk about "quality" of the protein, we mean the quality based on amino acid profiles and bioavailability. With amino acids, our body can make 9 amino acids on its own but the other 9 amino acids we MUST get from food hence why they are called essential amino acids. A protein that contains all 9 of those essential amino acids is a complete protein whereas a protein without all 9 is an incomplete protein.

All whey-based proteins are complete proteins and contain the amino acids in optimal ratios. Many plant-based proteins are incomplete and have lower ratios of amino acids, which influences the quality of the protein since crucial components are missing.

Additionally, nutritional profile considerations are big. But, an intentionally sourced plant-based protein can be both good for health and the environment. Taste, texture, and digestibility are key factors when people are choosing proteins. In the end it’s what works best for your palate and your digestive health!

Plus, including more plant-based proteins supports agricultural diversity, which ultimately brings less environmental strain to ecosystems.

Q: WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FUNCTIONAL BENEFITS OF SACHA INCHI PROTEIN?

A: It has great taste and texture when added as an ingredient! Not to mention additional benefits such as...

  • Leucine content – research has shown that we need a minimum of 2.2 grams of leucine to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and actually use the protein we consume in our muscle tissue. Sacha Inchi has 4.07 grams per 100 grams which is enough to support that process.
  • One of the primary amino acids in our collagen tissues is glycine which is the other amino acid high in this protein.
  • Sacha Inchi is very unique as a plant protein, since it is a complete protein AND contains omega 3’s that act as anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It is allergen-free and has better digestibility than most plant proteins. With better digestion comes higher absorption of the amino acids and total protein.
  • Not all plant-based proteins are great at being digested and absorbed, Sacha Inchi is and has a greater bioavailability than most!

Q: WHEN WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS PROTEIN TO A CLIENT?

A: Numerous situations! Clients with allergens, clients looking to increase their plant-based food intake, clients in need of convenient protein on the go, digestive symptoms, autoimmune diseases. The list goes on!

Q: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE COMPLETE AMINO ACIDE PROFILE OF THIS PLANT PROTEIN?

A: Many plant-based proteins need to be combined with another plants in order to make it a complete protein. The beauty of the Sacha Inchi protein is that it doesn't need to be combined with any other plants, since those essential amino acids are all in it. These play specific roles in the body including stimulating muscle protein synthesis, supporting red blood cell structure and our DNA!

Q: IS SACHA INCHI EASIER TO DIGEST COMPARED TO OTHER PLANT PROTEINS?

A: There is a score used to assess digestion of proteins called the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS). Because Sacha Inchi is a complete protein it brings its PDCAAS above higher than other plant proteins and is most definitely the one to choose!

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