Move aside apples and bananas, there’s a new superfruit in the neighbourhood, and it even has a cool name: Lucuma. This subtropical fruit is native to South America and has recently risen to popularity in the U.S. Even the ancient Inca civilization (modern-day Peru) ate Lucuma for its sweet taste and health benefits.
This fruit packs a variety of essential vitamins including B3, and it also contains protein, iron and zinc. You can eat the fruit as it is, or also consume the fruit powder in juice to get the same positive effects. Here are six reasons this new (but ancient) superfood is beneficial to your health…
1. It Puts the Flames Out
According to Livestrong, Lucuma has long been used for its “medicinal” properties, and it cited a trial study that showed the anti-inflammatory effects of the fruit’s extract on skin. The results showed the extract sped up healing, and also promoted skin rejuvenation.
The article goes as far as to say the fruit may have anti-aging abilities, and the leader of the study – Rutgers University in New Jersey – even applied for a patent on lucuma extracts following the trial.
2. It Packs Antioxidants
Huffington Post UK notes the fruit has a high content of antioxidants, which are any substances that can help prevent cell damage. Antioxidants have risen to fame from their researched ability to help prevent cancers, in particular.
These antioxidants have also been credited toward its anti-aging effects, as well as fighting off other diseases. The antioxidant content is retained when the fruit is consumed as power in liquid, noted the article.
3. The Benefits are Easy to Swallow
Several sources tout the benefits of lucuma (also known as Inca’s Gold, FYI) fruit for babies. The reasons behind this are that the fruit is tasty and easy to bite into as well as swallow, which makes it an ideal first solid meal for junior.
That means the likelihood of baby getting an upset stomach are lessened because it’s easy to digest, and an added bonus is that you know you’re giving your infant something that’s natural and packed with nutrition.
4. It Helps every Fiber of your Being
Lucuma is reportedly high in fiber, at least according to Organic Authority, an online food information network. Fiber is essential to movement of material through your digestive system, so consider biting into this fruit if constipation has been an issue for you.
Fiber also has other health benefits, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can help you maintain a healthy weight and even lower your chance of developing diabetes and even heart disease, explains the clinic.
5. There are Many Elements to the Fruit
There are literally many elements. According to Livestrong, lucuma has 14 trace elements that can all play a role in a healthy body. These elements are especially abundant when it comes to potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, according to the source.
Other trace elements needed in small quantities to help your system function property include iron, copper, zinc, and iodine, many of which you can find in lucuma.
6. It’s a Sweet Substitute to Sugar
Many people with dietary restrictions due to diabetes can turn to lucuma powder in place of sugar, Livestrong also says. It can sweeten a dish without the risk of raised blood sugar levels, which should make a lot of people happy.
The powder can be added to pastries, cakes and cookies for some extra zing, or even in plain yogurt for a burst of flavor. You also won’t get the empty calories from lucuma that you would from an artificial sweetener, adds Livestrong.