What is Lucuma? – Health Benefits and Uses

Dr. Group
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

what-is-lucuma

Beloved by the Incas, lucuma is a super nutritious Peruvian fruit that contains beta carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium, and protein. Its maple-like taste makes it a sweet addition to smoothies, baked goods, and even ice cream. Viewed as a symbol of fertility and creation, lucuma was called the “Gold of the Incas” and was used for a variety of applications. Recent research shows that lucuma may be helpful for supporting skin health, blood sugar, and even cardiovascular health.

What is Lucuma?

Lucuma in its whole form looks similar to an avocado, with a hard green exterior covering the sweet, soft fruit. The flesh is yellow and has a texture that is slightly reminiscent to that of a dry egg yolk. Many people say the taste of lucuma reminds them of a cross between caramel and a sweet potato. While it does contain a mellow sweetness, it’s low on the glycemic scale and typically suitable for diabetics.

Often, lucuma is sold in a powdered form, perfect for adding to smoothies or baking recipes. Its soft taste and gentle aroma enhances most foods without directly influencing or impairing the overall taste of the recipe. Lucuma is grown sustainably in this region without the use of pesticides and is intercropped with other plants to provide a wider benefit for farmers.

Health Benefits

In ancient records, lucuma fruit was said to be used to support skin health and digestion. Recent studies have shown that lucuma oil may be helpful for supporting wound healing by encouraging the activation of healing factors within the skin. [1]

Lucuma was also used throughout the centuries to support cardiovascular health, and research seems to agree. Studies show that lucuma has potent ACE inhibitory activities in vitro, possibly decreasing the effects associated with hypertension. Lucuma may also support normal blood sugar, giving researchers hope for finding additional nutritional support for those with type II diabetes. These results point to the excellent potential of Peruvian fruits as food-based strategies for blood sugar and blood pressure issues. [2]

One Final Thought

Lucuma powder can be added to your morning smoothies or juices and can also be added to your dessert recipes as a natural sweetener. Many natural herbal supplements contain lucuma combined with other important herbs.

Do you use lucuma? How do you enjoy it? Let us know in the comments!

References (2)
  1. Rojo LE, Villano CM, Joseph G, Schmidt B, Shulsev V, Shuman JL, Lila MA, Raskin I. Wound-healing properties of nut oil from Pouteria lucuma. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2010 September;9(3):185-95. doi: 10.1111/j/1473-2165.2010.00509.x.
  2. Pinto Mda S, Ranilla LG, Apostolidis E, Lajolo FM, Genovese MI, Shetty K. Evaluation of antihyperglycemia and antihypertension potential of native Peruvian fruits using in vitro models. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2009 April;12(2):276-91. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2008.0113.

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