What is Lucuma good for?
Lucuma is a nutritional powerhouse! Scientifically classified as Pouteria lucuma, Lucuma is from a tree native to South America. Peruvians have prized this fruit for thousands of years.
The fact is that the United States is still not privy to Lucuma. It has some traction, but not much yet as it’s not fully understood just how powerful this fruit is. Lucuma was nicknamed the "gold of the incas." For centuries, it's been used in South America as a tried and true remedy for health.
Lucuma is so good for the body, and acts as a wonderful subtle sweetener. Let’s get into it!
How We Consume Lucuma And Its Taste
-Lucuma is naturally a fruit that hangs from a tree in a shell that is green. The meat of the fruit is a bright orange/yellow color. How we use it is in powdered form. It is dried, milled down and then packaged into a supplement powder. Preferably Lucuma is grown organic, with no GMOs. Powders should be single ingredient with no fillers.
-Lucuma tastes like a carmely-fruity flavor. It is beautifully complex. If you really want to nail it, people say it is a cross between maple syrup, fig, vanilla and sweet potato.
-Lucuma is often used in smoothies, tea, baking, pancakes, desserts, breads, and yogurt bowls!
Benefits of Lucuma
One of the biggest benefits of consuming Lucuma is the amount of antioxidants and polyphenols you get with each serving.
Antioxidants are important because they scavenge for free-radicals in the body. Free radicals come up when there is too much oxidative stress. It’s a good goal to get in powerful antioxidants regularly.
Peruvian fruits, in general (not just Lucuma) have been shown to have amazing antioxidant content. Many of them are great for the heart, colon, skin, and energy levels.
What's specifically great for the heart is the antioxidant polyphenols. Polyphenols are beneficial plant compounds. It's best to get our polyphenols through our food, which is one reason why Lucuma is awesome as an addition to the diet- it's such an easy way to get a quick dose.
Polyphenols may also support the brain and are good for our body on a whole cellular level.
Lucuma is high in fiber
One of the cool things about lucuma is it is good for gut health, as fiber feeds our good bacteria!
Getting in fiber is important for the digestive system, to help support in keeping it functioning properly. Fiber also helps us feel fuller longer and keeps our blood sugar levels in check by slowing the rate of which sugar is absorbed into the blood. Pretty rare that a sweetener can help with blood sugar levels- but Lucuma does the job!
Lucuma has both insoluble and soluble fiber. A serving of Lucuma is one tablespoon, and one table has 2g of fiber!
Insoluble fiber is linked to your digestive system. It helps bulk up stools so that it passes more smoothly through your system.
Soluble fiber feeds the good bacteria in your gut. This, in turn, produces beneficial short-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids are a big source of energy for our colon cells.
Given Lucuma's unique nutritional profile, using it consistently in your diet --instead of your typical table sugar-- will help promote gut and digestion health.
Lucuma has a high amount of carotenoids
Carotenoids are a class of fat-soluble pigments. This means that in order to absorb them properly, they should be paired with a fat. Often carotenoids are in the yellow-green-red range. They are a whole other layer of antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Carotenoids can help support the immune system, eye health, and help keep us vital. (See the full scientific breakdown here.)
Lucuma is great for skin
Lucuma is high in beta-carotene, which is wonderful for the skin. This is also another kind of carotenoid. Beta carotene, when consumed, is converted into vitamin A. Inside our bodies it starts to encourage cellular repair, as well as growth. Over time, consumption of regular beta-carotene can improve skin tone.
Some people say that beta-carotene encourages a beautiful glow in the skin!
Lucuma helps stabilize blood sugar levels
Keeping our blood pressure in check is important. Keeping blood sugar levels healthy can help keep us vital for a much longer time.
The cool thing about Lucuma is that it is a complex carb. This means that unlike a simple carb, complex carbs will not raise our blood sugar. Instead, it breaks down slowly in the body.
Because of the fiber content in lucuma, Lucuma can be a great sweetener for those who are trying to lose weight or those simply trying to keep their blood sugar levels in check.
It should also be noted that Lucuma powder has a low glycemic index (GI), which makes sense since it does not spike our blood sugar. (High glycemic index foods spike blood sugar.) This is highly attracted to many, especially those on a low glycemic diet.
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