Discover the benefits of “Inca gold”
Green and hard skin, a soft, yellowish interior and a pleasantly sweet flavor. It comes to us from South America, and it’s loaded with benefits!
It is known as the “gold of the Incas”, due to the fact that it has been used for many centuries in traditional medicine by several South American peoples.
Tree native to the Andes valleys of Peru. Today it is also found in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Chile. It likes mild temperatures, being the ideal time for harvesting the fruits at an altitude of 500m.
It is sometimes used as a healthy natural sweetener, as it has 75% less sugar than regular cane sugar (and about half the carbohydrates). It is widely used in ice cream (one of the most popular flavors in South America), milkshakes, cakes, sweets, among others.
Lucuma fruit is consumed ripe. Due to its high starch content, the pulp can be dried for conservation. The result of this flour has a very sweet, nutritious flavor and is very durable. Lucuma has a sweet flavor, reminiscent of caramel.
Flavor combined with high nutritional value
Lucuma is rich in iron, zinc, beta-carotene, niacin, calcium, fiber and proteins. Contains a wide variety of antioxidants and vitamin C. It is rich in polyphenols and carotenoids. Within the group of carotenoids present in lucuma, the xanthophylls that give it the yellow color for which it is known stand out. Xanthophylls can contribute to good eye health. It also has a low glycemic index and a low saturated fat content.
Contains long-chain carbohydrates, also known as complex carbohydrates.
Lucuma contains about 25% fiber, both soluble and non-soluble.
Lucuma is a good source of minerals
Lucuma has a high content of minerals such as iron and zinc. These two minerals contribute to:
- Reduction of tiredness and fatigue
- Normal carbohydrate metabolism
- A normal cognitive function
- Normal fertility and reproduction
- The normal metabolism of macronutrients, fatty acids and vitamin A
- Normal protein synthesis
- Maintaining normal bones, skin, hair and nails
- Maintaining normal testosterone levels in the blood
- Maintaining normal vision
- The normal functioning of the immune system
- The normal formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin and the normal transport of oxygen in the body
- Protecting cells against unwanted oxidation
Antioxidants can contribute to antioxidant action and a healthy heart
Antioxidants are components that help protect cells from the destructive effects of free radicals. Consuming antioxidants can help prevent diseases such as heart disease or even cancer.
Lucuma is especially rich in polyphenols and carotenoids. These are two types of antioxidants, particularly known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and cardiovascular health-promoting properties.
It is especially rich in xanthophyll, a group of carotenoids, responsible for the yellow color of lucuma and associated with benefits in terms of eye health and good vision.
It also has a lot of vitamin C, a nutrient with antioxidant properties, essential for our health. Vitamin C plays a vital role in strengthening the immune system and maintaining good eye and heart health.
Complex carbohydrates can help control blood sugar levels
In addition to the action of antioxidants, the carbohydrates present in lucuma can also help prevent diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes. This is mainly due to the fact that most of these carbohydrates are complex (and not simple, such as sugars). ).
Together with fiber (also present in lucuma) these carbohydrates can contribute to greater stability in blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity.
Lucuma is rich in soluble and insoluble fiber
The Directorate-General for Health recommends a daily intake of at least 25g/day of fiber for its beneficial action.
Soluble fibers are responsible for food remaining in the small intestine for longer, promoting the absorption of nutrients.
Insoluble fibers, those that do not undergo changes when passing through the stomach, are present in foods such as whole grains or vegetables. These fibers increase the volume of feces, and thus stimulate the peristaltic movements of the large intestine, facilitating its emptying.
Lucuma is very tasty!
It has a sweet flavor, described by some people as being similar to brown sugar or dried figs. It shines in mixtures and recipes, being used as a sugar substitute by some people.