October 11, 2019 · Written by Foodtolive Team
What Is Lucuma & Why You Should Love It
What Is Lucumafirst cultivated thousands of years ago, it rose quickly as a food of choice for people living in Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. In the last few years, this fruit has gained popularity as a superfood with various health benefits.
But what is lucuma
From the outside, this tropical fruit looks like a spherical avocado with smooth, thin, green skin. On the inside, it has bright, orange-yellow flesh that looks and feels a lot like the yolk of a hardboiled egg.
When ripe, lucuma can be eaten in its whole food form. Usually, though, it is consumed as a sweetener in yogurt, ice cream, and juice.
What Does Lucuma Taste Like
Whether eaten in fruit form or as a powder, lucuma is deliciously sweet. It is described mainly as having a slight apricot, caramel, maple flavor, alternatively, as a combination of pumpkin, sweet potato, and butterscotch.
Nutrition Facts – Lucuma Powder
The nutritional makeup and serving size can vary from brand to brand. But here’s what to expect from 2 tablespoons of lucuma powder:
- Energy: 120
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Carbs: 26 grams
- Sugars: 4 grams
- Iron: .72 grams
- Sodium: 10 grams
As a plant-based supplement, lucuma has high amounts of macro and micronutrients, plus disease-fighting phytochemicals.
Lucuma’s trace nutrients, micronutrients, and antioxidants help regulate and optimize various body functions, as well as improve overall health.
Even as a powder supplement, many of the health benefits can still be gained.
Boost Energy Levels
Carbs aren’t always the enemy. In fact, healthy carbohydrates are vital nutrients that fuel the body to perform its best. Lucuma has a large number of healthy carbs that can increase overall energy throughout the day.
Additionally, lucuma’s high fiber content slows down digestion, letting more carbs go towards providing energy instead of turning into sugar. This process creates more balanced blood sugar levels, leading to improved energy, alertness, and even weight management.
Rich Source Of Antioxidants
Whether it’s eaten as a fruit or a powder, lucuma has many antioxidants that protect cells against damaging free radicals.
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of antioxidants, including improved cardiovascular health or even prevention against some types of cancer.
Lucuma, in particular, contains polyphenols and carotenoids. These specific antioxidants ease inflammation, fight the growth of cancer cells, and decrease the risk of heart disease.
Xanthophylls, which are a collection of carotenoids that give the lucuma fruit its distinctive yellow hue, are believed to contribute to improved vision health.
Encourages Digestive Health
Lucuma is also beneficial for gut health. The fiber inside it can promote bowel regularity, relieve constipation, ease bloating, and boost metabolism.
It also acts as food for healthy gut bacteria that support the immune system, protecting the body from disease.
For people with gut disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis, the short-chain fats produced by this bacteria is critical for lowering inflammation and easing symptoms.
However, even for those without these medical problems, the bacteria is still an essential part of staying healthy.
Improves Skin Health
Controls Blood Pressure
The antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory compounds lucuma contain might be useful for managing high blood pressure and diabetes.
In a 2009 study, lucuma extra was shown to stop alpha-glucosidase, a gut enzyme that reduces sugar absorption by lowering the number of carbohydrates broken down in the digestive system.
By preventing that enzyme from working correctly, the lucuma extract blocked spikes in blood sugar.
Best Ways To Add Lucuma In Your Diet
In South America, lucuma is usually eaten as is, although it is said to have a powerful aftertaste when consumed as a whole fruit.
Alternatively, lucuma’s extremely sweet flesh often is made into syrups, used as pie-fillings, canned preserves, or ice cream.
However, in the US, it’s not easy to find it as a fruit. The easiest way to find lucuma is by purchasing it as a powder online, in health food stores, or supplement shops.
In its powdered form, lucuma is more versatile and easier to add to dozens of meals, snacks, and drinks. It’s great for those who want to lower their sugar intake, or for people with diabetes who want a sweet tooth fix.
Lucuma powder is a better replacement for sugar than artificial sweeteners because of its rich nutritional content. Plus, its complex flavor adds more dimension to foods and can satisfy cravings better.
Here are a few ideas to enjoy lucuma powder every day:
- Use it in baking
- Sweeten homemade popsicles or ice cream
- Add to smoothies
- Stir it in nut milk for a touch of extra flavor
- Add to coffee, hot chocolate, matcha, or any hot beverage
- Homemade energy bites
- Flavor oatmeal or yogurt
Look for lucuma powder in the Food To Live Shop and see the marvelous qualities of this superfood firsthand.