Lucuma originates from the Peruvian Andes valley and is a traditional food of the Incas. Known as the Gold of the Incas, Lucuma is rich in antioxidants with a naturally sweet taste. This fruit is believed to be beneficial for healthy heart and skin. To eat it, mix it in smoothies or add it to yogurt and ice cream.
This evergreen tree is up to 20 m tall, and has greyish-brown, fissured bark, which produces a milky white exudate.The end of branchlets and the petioles are covered with short, brown hairs. The leaves are simple, oblanceolate to elliptical, up to 25 cm long and 10 cm wide, and glabrous (or sometimes slightly hairy on the underside) grouped at the end of the branches. Flowers are solitary or in fascicles, small, axillary, with hairy sepals and a corolla forming a tube 1.0-1.8 cm long, greenish white, with five lobes, five stamens, five staminodes, a pubescent ovary, and a style 0.8-1.5 cm long.The fruit is globose, 6–12 cm long, glabrous, and russet to yellow when mature; the pulp is bright yellow; the one to several seeds are 1.8-3.5 cm long, dark brown, and glossy.
The Amazing Benefits of Lucuma for Health/Nutrition
The nature and benefits of funnyma
1- Helps correct nerve function
Usually, we find niacin in meat, but surprisingly, Lucuma fruit contains high levels of this nutrient. You can find a total of 1.96 grams per 100 of these fruits in its composition.
Also called vitamin B3, it helps improve nerve function especially in relation to short-term memory and chronic fatigue.
In addition, it helps regulate hormones related to depression, stress and sex.
For vegetarians, Lucuma is the perfect food to add vitamin B3 to their diet without having to take supplements.
2- Prevention of cardiovascular disease
Its amount of niacin helps to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood and hence avoids problems related to obesity and cardiovascular.
In 2009, the scientific journal Public Journal of Food Medicine He said that consumption of this fruit helps the treatment of high blood pressure.
3- Good source of defense against cancer
Its color, between yellowish and orange, reveals the presence of beta-carotene, the component that produces this type of color. This substance enhances the appearance of antioxidants that protect us against cancers of the esophagus, liver, pancreas, colon, rectum, prostate, ovaries and cervix.
In addition, beta-carotene is a great source of vitamin A, which causes effective cell growth and really helps improve our eyesight. It prevents dysfunctions such as cataracts or even vision loss due to retinal degeneration.
4- Natural sweetener and regulator
This fruit is used for many culinary purposes, all of which are destined for pastry.
Its widespread use is due to its function as a strong natural sweetener, sweetening food without having to use sugar.
To get an idea, two medium tablespoons of Lucuma equals one sugar.
In addition, thanks to its low glycemic index, it can be used as a drug to regulate blood sugar, and therefore, type 2 diabetes.
5- Reduce anemia
Lucuma fruit stands out as a source of essential minerals such as zinc or calcium (it is stated that the Lucuma fruit is equivalent to a glass of cow’s milk). But without a doubt, it was iron that took the palm of the hand for a total of 0.4 grams per 100.
With large doses in its composition, iron improves the transport of oxygen between cells. It also improves the quality of life of pregnant women and prevents the appearance of anemia in the blood.
It is common to see supplements consisting of Lucuma for pregnant women who are in a weakened state of health.
6- Avoid constipation
Our digestive system will benefit from the abundance of fiber it enjoys – 1.3 grams per 100 – Lucuma.
Constipation and abdominal distension will reduce its effects because it washes out toxins produced by fiber in the body.
7- Anti-inflammatory and healing
A study conducted by the University of Rutgers, New Jersey, concluded that Lucuma has anti-inflammatory and healing effects on a variety of pains and wounds.
It is advisable to ingest a smoothie that mixes cinnamon, ginger and Lucuma, as it is the perfect combination to help reduce the inflammation suffered.
On the other hand, Lucuma sap is used against herpes, warts and skin irritations.
8- Treating the flu
Being an antibacterial fruit, it helps prevent many viral diseases such as flu or colds. This protection is due to the abundance of minerals and vitamins available.
In many occasions, Lucuma can serve as a natural substitute for antibiotics.
- Lucuma is a symbol of longevity and fertility for the Peruvian people.
- This fruit has been consumed for thousands of years. It is known that in pre-Hispanic times it was used as a plant by the ancient Mayans and, especially, the Incas. To be precise, the latter were nominated like “edible gold” because of the awards they had.
- Consumption of fresh Lucuma has been restricted in Spain for many years, due to European application regulations on the consumption of new foods. It affects foods that Europeans had not consumed before 15 May 1997.
- In its most natural form, it is difficult to reach, as it grows at altitudes between 1,300 and 3,000 meters. On the other hand, the powder state is much easier to obtain.