What Is Lucuma Fruit?
Lucuma (Pouteria lucuma) fruit is native to Peru (where it accounts for 88 percent of global production) and Chile (12 percent). The tree that produces it grows between 25 and 50 feet in height (8–15 m).
Each fruit is elliptical to ovoid in shape and large, weighing up to 2.2 pounds (1 kg) and weighing up to 2.2 pounds (1 kg). Its outer layer is typically green, but it can also be yellowish-tan in some cases.
Facts About Lucuma Fruit
The fruit’s interior is composed of dry flesh that accounts for 64–82 percent of its total weight. Large seeds make up the remainder of the fruit; there are usually 1–5 seeds per fruit.
The flavor of lucuma varies depending on the form in which it is consumed. The dried powder is the most widely used form, and it has a strong flavor that is a cross between maple and butterscotch syrup in flavor.
When the fruit is fully ripe, there is no astringency. Fresh lucuma has a similar sweet flavor to dried lucuma, but it is less intense. Some people claim it has a pumpkin flavor. The pulp is not juicy but rather dry.
In contrast to apples, it does not hold up well after being harvested. When it comes to exports, frozen pulp accounts for nearly 80% of the crop. All that’s left is lucuma powder, such as that sold by Navitas and other companies.
What Can Lucuma Be Used For?
Only four references to the lucuma plant can be found in the nearly 30 million pieces of medical literature contained in the PubMed database. There has been slightly formal research conducted on the alleged medicinal properties of the fruit and its seed.
Lucuma is primarily used as a flavoring agent due to its short shelf life and mildly bitter aftertaste. In Peru and Chile, lucuma is used to make ice cream, which is the most popular use for fruit.
You’ll also find lucuma-flavored pies, tarts, yogurts, milkshakes, alcoholic beverages, and even baby food on the shelves of your local supermarket.
Just like maple syrup in the United States and Canada, the flavor of lucuma in Peru is universally recognized and generally enjoyed as a flavoring agent in food. It has only been experienced by a small number of people outside of South and Central America.
Fresh fruit is not readily available, and it is only rarely found in shelf-stable foods that are prepared with it.
Health Benefits of Lucuma
Aids in the Restoration of Muscle
Fruits aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about foods that can help you gain muscle mass and recover after a workout (except for bananas, perhaps due to their potassium content).
Lucuma, on the other hand, is a fantastic fruit for those who enjoy working out. Lucuma has a beneficial effect on muscle growth and function because of its high potassium content and high protein content.
It’s important to remember that each serving of lucuma cheesecake contains anywhere from 2.5 to 7 grams of protein, depending on the variety.
Flaunts B Vitamins
Per 100 g (3.5 oz), fresh fruit contains 13% of the daily recommended value for niacin (B3) and 10% of the daily recommended value for riboflavin (B2). Thiamine is present but in negligible quantities.
Unfortunately, because you’ll be eating such a small amount of the dried powder per serving, it won’t be a particularly good source of these nutrients.
Neither the fresh lucuma designs nor the dried powder contains significant amounts of vitamin C. Fresh pulp contains only about 2.2 mg of ascorbic acid per 100g, which is only about 3% of the recommended daily allowance for adults.
As much as possible, this vitamin C should remain intact in the raw powder form.
Improves Heart Health
A high concentration of antioxidants in lucumas, such as polyphenols and carotenoids, may help to improve heart health. More research, on the other hand, is needed to fully understand the benefits of carotenoids.
As previously stated, Lucuma has the potential to significantly reduce the production of angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE). By constricting blood vessels, this enzyme has the potential to raise blood pressure.
It may also cause an increase in thirst and a desire for salt, both of which have the potential to significantly raise blood pressure. Improving the management of blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease may be accomplished by inhibiting the action of ACE.
People who flaunt high blood pressure are at an increased risk of developing heart disease. The phenolic compounds and potassium found in the fruit have been shown to have hypotensive and cardiovascular protective properties.
Consuming juices or smoothies containing lucuma can help to alleviate this health condition to some extent.
Lucuma Helps with Wound Healing
If you can find lucuma nut oil, keep a bottle in your medicine cabinet as a natural first aid remedy for minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. It can help speed up the healing process.
When applied topically, oil derived from the lucuma nut (the pit found inside the lucuma fruit) has been shown to contain powerful fatty acids that can reduce inflammation and accelerate wound healing when applied topically.
Helps to Relieve Constipation
Lucuma contains a significant amount of insoluble dietary fiber (a dietary fiber that cannot be digested and that does not dissolve in water). This aids in the movement of food through your digestive system and helps to prevent constipation.
It has also been demonstrated that increasing dietary fiber intake increases stool frequency in patients suffering from constipation. Furthermore, healthy eating habits and the timely consumption of recommended levels of dietary fiber may aid in the management of constipation in adults.
Lucuma has a unique ability to reduce inflammation. Yes, it contains potent antioxidants that are effective in fighting chronic inflammation.
However, the benefits of lucuma powder found in fiber found plays an important role in the reduction of inflammation in the body.
The soluble fiber in lucuma is beneficial to the beneficial bacteria in your gut. In response to fiber consumption by your gut bacteria, these bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids, which not only help to lower inflammation but also help to maintain the health of your digestive system.
Lucuma Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels
The fruit has a low glycemic index, meaning it digests slowly, which helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. Soluble fiber is found in the fruit, which aids in the stabilization of blood glucose levels. The fiber in the fruit may also have the additional benefit of improving insulin sensitivity.
Lowers the Risk of Cancer
The presence of a variety of antioxidants in lucuma may contribute to the fruit’s ability to combat certain types of cancer. -sitosterol, a component found in the fruit, is a nutraceutical that has anti-cancer properties.
It turns out to be non-toxic, in contrast to chemotherapy. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that sitosterol has anti-cancer activity in animals. The gallic acid found in lucuma also has antioxidant properties and may be beneficial in the prevention of cancer.
In addition, the fruit contains pectin and tannins. In addition to having anti-tumor activity, tannins have been shown to significantly reduce the formation and development of tumor cells.
Contains a Sufficient Amount of Vitamin B3 for Energy and Mental Function
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is required by virtually every cell in the body in order to function properly.
Niacin deficiency will leave you feeling depressed, fatigued, and unable to concentrate on your tasks. Headaches, diarrhea, and even skin problems can be caused by low vitamin B3 levels, which can be dangerous.
Including it in your diet is a delicious way to maintain your energy levels, concentration, and mental health.
Improves Skin Health
This fruit is high in vitamin C and beta-carotene (a vitamin A derivative), both of which are beneficial to the skin’s overall health. Vitamin C helps to improve collagen production while also protecting the skin from ultraviolet B rays.
Beta-carotene is a potent antioxidant with photoprotective properties that can be found in high concentrations.
By including this fruit in your diet, you can take advantage of all of these advantages.
Supports the Immune System
A good source of vitamin C can be found in lucuma powder, which is especially beneficial when combined with citrus fruits and leafy greens in smoothies.
To top it all off, the powder contains powerful antioxidants that help to maintain a healthy immune system and prevent free radical damage from occurring.
Effects of Lucuma on the Body
In spite of the possibility of alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity, people who are prone to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) are unlikely to experience that side effect when lucuma is consumed. The fruit still contains a significant amount of digestible carbohydrates.
There have been no documented adverse reactions associated with the consumption of lucuma fruit or powder in the medical literature, and as a potential food allergen, there have been no published case studies documenting allergic reactions.
While allergies cause by the in-organic and organic lucuma powder are possible, they are extremely rare, especially considering how widely this food is consumed in Peru and other parts of the world.