Lucuma fruit comes from the Sapotaceae family. This plant’s fruit is small to medium and is oval-shaped. The fruit peel is very smooth and thin. Their color varies from dark to light green. The pulp of this fruit contains 63-72% moisture. It also has citric acid, glucose, succinic acid, fructose, sucrose, and inositol. Lucuma fruit can be consumed fresh or dried.
The amazing thing about this fruit is that its powdered form can substitute table sugar. Lucuma fruit’s unique, sweet taste has been compared to sweet potato, maple, caramel, and pumpkin. In Peru, this fruit is described as the most popular ice cream flavor and fresh fruit.
Here are Some Surprising Benefits of Lucuma
1. Boost Heart Health
Lucuma is loaded with antioxidants such as carotenoids and polyphenols. It is also rich in magnesium, potassium, and iron which can help promote heart health. According to studies, high levels of potassium can help reduce blood pressure and the risk of stroke or heart attack. Magnesium helps relax the muscles of the arteries to improve blood flow. An individual with hypertension has a greater risk of developing heart disease. The phenolic compounds and potassium contained in the fruit have properties that reduce hypertension and prevent heart disease.
2. Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
Lucuma contains a high concentration of antioxidants that can fight certain cancers. This fruit has the compound β-sitosterol which has anti-cancer Nutraceutical properties. The gallic acid in lucuma also acts as an antioxidant and may protect against cancer. Lucuma has pectin and tannins. Pectin has anti-tumor activity while tannins may significantly combat the formation and development of tumor cells.
3. Support The Immune System
Lucuma is loaded with vitamin C. This vitamin helps support the immune system. It also helps to fight off infections and illnesses by stimulating the production of white blood cells. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which helps in improving the immunity system.
4. Promote Skin Health
Lucuma contains several beneficial nutrients, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, which contribute to skin health. Vitamin C helps to produce collagen and protects the skin from UVB rays. While beta-carotene is an effective antioxidant with photo-protective properties.
5. Control Blood Sugar Levels
Lucuma’s low glycemic index helps maintain steady blood sugar levels. This fruit is rich in soluble fiber that stabilizes blood sugar levels and may even increase insulin sensitivity. The fiber present in this fruit inhibits enzymes like alpha-amylase, alpha-glucosidase, and angiotensin I-converting enzyme. These enzymes break up carbohydrates and can significantly raise post-prandial blood glucose levels. This can help manage type 2 diabetes symptoms such as hyperglycemia and hypertension.
Nutrition Facts Of Lucuma
Lucuma powder is a nutritious food with many benefits, making it an excellent addition to one’s diet. 100g of lucuma contain:
- Calories: 143.8
- Fat: 0.2g
- Fiber: 1.1g
- Carbohydrate: 33.2g
- Protein: 2.3g
- Iron: 0.4 mg
- Calcium: 16 mg
- Phosphorus: 26 mg
Side Effects Of Lucuma Fruit
In a few people as soon as consumed this fruit they can observe allergic reactions such as itchy tongue, rashes, and headaches. If you experience any of this thing make sure to consult the doctor and also stop eating the fruit.
2. Mild Hypoglycemia
Some unreliable studies stated that lucuma may cause hypoglycemia in some individuals. One can consult a doctor if you have hypoglycemia and want to add lucuma to your diet.