Lucuma (Lucuma obovata or Pouteria lucuma) is a tropical, exotic, and yellow-orange fruit that originated from South America, primarily in Chile, Peru, and Ecuador.
During the ancient Incan times, the fruit was highly valued like gold and depicted on pottery in burial sites. It was also considered as a symbol of creation and fertility.
In fact, more than twenty villages in Peru are named after lucuma. Today, the fruit is in the superfood world and used as a natural sweetener with unique qualities.
It is referred to as “egg fruit” because of its appearance with flavor and texture that resembles to a combined maple and sweet potato.
It can be eaten either raw or cooked for a smoother and softer texture. Aside from naturally adding sweetness to food, lucuma fruit is known across the world for the variety of health benefits it provides.
Top 10 Benefits of Lucuma Fruit
A Good Source of Beta-Carotene
With its rich yellow-orange color, it’s easy to guess that lucuma contains high amounts of beta-carotene. It is an essential source of vitamin A necessary for healthy eyesight, cellular growth, and immune system functions.
It also helps protect the body from different types of cancers such as ovarian, pancreatic, rectal, colon, liver, cervical, and esophageal due to its antioxidant properties.
Niacin (Vitamin B3) for Vegetarians
While the majority of meat-eaters get B3 from chicken and steaks, vegan can enjoy this vitamin from lucuma fruit. This nutrient is helpful in muscle development, digestion, and regulation of sex hormones and stress.
Best Alternative to Sugar
Lucuma is considered to be the best alternative to sugar and a good source of carbohydrate that fuels the body. It is a safe and natural sugar for those with diabetes as it does not spike the sugar levels. It maintains 2 grams of natural fruit sugar in every 11 grams of carbohydrates.
The fruit is known to promote wound closure through tissue regeneration. It is also capable of skin-repairing, anti-inflammatory and has anti-aging effects on the skin.
Lucuma is a low-glycemic index food, thus it is safe for diabetics or those who are conscious of their blood sugar levels. It helps stabilize blood sugar without blood sugar spikes and provide long-term energy.
Regulates the Digestive Tract
Lucuma fruit is a good source of fiber- an important components behind the regulation of the digestive tract. It cleanses the body by flushing out the toxins.
With this benefit and its good flavor, lucuma becomes an ideal choice for everyone, regardless of age when it comes to restoring and maintaining the health of their digestive tract.
Since lucuma is a low-calorie sweetener, it satisfies ones sweet tooth in a more natural and healthy way. Unlike with other artificial sweeteners such as saccharine and aspartame, lucuma has the right amount of flavor and sweetness. In fact, people claim to be more satisfied after consuming it while keeping their cravings at bay.
Anti-bacterial and Anti-viral
Lucuma is a super fruit that can prevent flu, colds, and bacterial and viral diseases. In most cases, this is used as the best substitute for pharmaceutical antibiotics.
Rich in Iron
Iron is helpful in the transportation of oxygen to the cells in the body. It is also a vital nutrient for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
Having the right level and amount of iron is important to maintain energy levels. Eating the fruit lucuma is a good way to add more iron to the body.
Health Benefits to Babies
In Peru, where it abundantly grew, lucuma is fed to babies for their first whole food. Babies love the soft texture and sweet taste of the fruit. It is also very gentle on the stomach and can be digested easily.
Lucuma is nutritious fruit that makes a great addition to the diet of every health-conscious person. The tasty fruit has been used for centuries and overflows with numerous benefits. It is also a sweetener with lots of nutrition- a quality that you will never find in other sweeteners.
It becomes the best substitute for sugar, particularly for those with sweet tooth who still want to be healthy. The powder form of the fruit, which is very popular, adds flavor to both savory and dishes.
You can enjoy lucuma ice cream or smoothie or use it as a thickening agent in raw food dishes, puddings, and custards. Whichever it is, lucuma fruit is unlikely to disappoint when it comes to taste and health benefits.