Of Andean origin, the lucuma fruit not only has a delicious flavor, but it also offers wonderful nutritional properties, which is why it forms part of the group of Peruvian Superfoods.
According to chroniclers and historians, the use of lucuma dates back to the pre-Inca era. Examples (ceramics, textiles) have been found with representations of this fruit in cultures like the Nazca and Moche; a fact that demonstrates its use by our ancient settlers.
The highest concentration of lucuma is currently found in the regions of Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Ancash, Moquegua and Lima. Its natural habitat is low mountain areas, although it grows well practically from sea level to an altitude of 10,000 feet, at temperatures of 46-80 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels of 80%-90%.
Being a fruit that is rich in potassium, minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates, Lucuma brings many benefits to our health. Let's find out the properties of this ancient Peruvian fruit in more detail.
A powerful antioxidant. The yellow of its flesh shows that it is rich in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant and also a source of vitamin A, something which assists regeneration and cell growth. According to a nutritionist from Lab Nutrition, Jean Carlos Sulca, this component reduces the damage caused by UV rays.
Natural energizer. Due to its niacin content (vitamin B3), lucuma increases our body and mental energy. It also contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous system, preventing any kinds of disorders or depression.
Strengthens the immune system. Due to its beta-carotene content, it strengthens the defenses, protecting our body from future diseases.
Prevents heart disease. The beta-carotene contained in this fruit also helps to regulate blood pressure, which helps to prevent heart attacks.
Combats diabetes. The nutritionist maintains that the consumption of lucuma helps control the concentration of glucose in the blood.
Lucuma, internationally recognized
In July 2018, the prestigious international news agency Bloomberg published an article highlighting the properties of this Peruvian Superfood that is gaining ground in the international market. "Lucuma has a high content of beta-carotene, iron, zinc, calcium, proteins and fiber. It also contains antioxidants and potassium, which are said to be good for the heart, immune system and skin", the publication mentions.
Bloomberg also highlighted the delicious flavor and special texture of lucuma, which has made it an important ingredient for brands such as Pure Green (cold pressed juices and shakes) in New York and LA Press Organic (cold pressed juice and coffee) in Los Angeles, our fruit also being a popular order in candy stores, including Mitchell's Ice Cream in San Francisco.
Sources: Minagri/ Andina/ El Comercio/ Perú 21/ delperu.org/ Udep