Meet the Ingredients
Lucuma (pronounced loo-koo-ma) fruit has been consumed for thousands of years. Native to Peru, it has been called “the gold of the Incas”. Lucuma was a symbol of fertility for the Incans, and remains a staple food in Peru, where 26 villages are named after it. It has been a traditional remedy for centuries in South America, and now it’s on our list of favorite superfoods - and holds a top spot on our ingredients list.
What’s so special about it?
Lucuma is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, soluble and insoluble fiber. It is deliciously sweet and is a much healthier choice than regular sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its low glycemic index means it won't lead to spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels or the ‘crash’ after a ‘sugar high’. It’s safer for diabetics, and the soluble fiber in lucuma may protect against diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity. Research shows that the actions of lucuma are comparable to some prescription drugs used to treat diabetes and high blood pressure. The fiber content of lucuma promotes a balanced gut microbiome, and overall metabolic and immune health.
There’s a lot more to love about lucuma, too. It is loaded with antioxidants!
Antioxidants protect us against health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and diminish the impact of normal aging and environmental toxins, oxidative stress and free radical damage. It is rich in polyphenols, carotenoids, triterpenes, and flavonoids - substances known for their antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal activities. It’s especially high in xanthophylls, a group of carotenoids shown to promote eye health and good vision.
Lucuma is a very good source of vitamins B3 and B1, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium and 14 other trace minerals and contains a fair amount of vitamin C, too. It also contains miraculin, a protein that causes the taste buds to perceive sour or acidic foods as sweet. The agreeable sweetness of the lucuma fruit is due to a combination of sugars, namely glucose, fructose, sucrose, and inositol. Inositol, in particular, is a glycoside that plays a crucial role in the metabolic actions of insulin, thus helping regulate glucose levels in the human body. Lucuma also contains gallic acid, which stimulates the creation of new blood vessels, helps regulate blood pressure, and it is instrumental for cardiovascular function.
Lucuma is being studied as a potential treatment for some types of breast cancer, macular degeneration and liver disease, among other things. It truly is a superfood, packed with compounds that beneficially affect our health, immune systems and state of mind.