Nicknamed the gold of the Incas, Lucuma fruit is a super fruit that has been eaten by Peruvians since 200 A.D. Despite its recognition in the Andes, modern science is just now discovering how nutrient-dense this fruit—that looks like an avocado, but with an orange colored center—really is. It contains beta carotene, calcium, iron, protein, vitamin B3, and zinc. While the gluten-free fruit can be hard to come by owing to the fact that they grow at very high altitudes, the powder can be obtained from many health food stores and is perfect for adding to smoothies or baking recipe.
Some say Lucuma tastes like a combination of maple syrup and sweet potato. But can it serve as a substitute for sugar? According to the award-winning cookbook author and nutrition expert Ricki Heller, in an interview with Gluten Free Find, “While I wouldn’t use Lucuma on its own as the sole sweetener in a recipe, it’s a lovely addition to amp up the sweetness and confer a slight caramel or butterscotch flavor to your dessert,” said Heller. Here are 8 more Lucuma benefits to get you loca for lucuma.
1. Packed With Antioxidants As Huff Post reports, the carotenoids in Lucuma are said to contain powerful antioxidant and immune-enhancing activity to promote proper cell communication.
2. Rich in Niacin While carnivores get their niacin or Vitamin B3 from meat, vegetarians would benefit from this niacin-rich fruit that aids in digestion and muscle development as well.
3. Loaded with Iron Those who suffer from anemia are aware that iron improves the transportation of oxygen into cells and is a vital nutrient for energy. Iron is also important for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
4. Rich in Fiber Lucuma fruit can help the digestive system work properly. It also reduces constipation and bloating.
5. Anti-Viral and Anti-Bacterial In traditional medicine, Lucuma oil is also said to help prevent colds, flu, and other viral or bacterial diseases.
6. Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Aging and Skin-Repair A Rutgers’s University study showed that its oil may be helpful for supporting wound healing by encouraging the activation of healing factors within the skin.
7. It’s a Natural Sweetener Worried about spiking your blood sugar? Lucuma can sweeten foods without doing so and it contains beneficial nutrients that sugar alone lacks.
8. And yes, it’s gluten free. Glucose intolerant? Lucuma was made for you. Try some Lucuma flavored ice cream today. It’s the number one flavored ice cream in Peru.