When you think of naturally sweet foods, what’s the first one that comes to your mind? Dates, sweet potatoes, or maybe bananas One food that probably didn’t jump out to you is lucuma, one of our favorite superfoods!
Not many people have heard of this golden superfruit, but I’m here to share some fast facts about lucuma, including health benefits and nutritional information.
What is lucuma?
If a mango and a date had a love child, it would be lucuma (pronounced loo-ku-mah). This superfruit, which has a green skin and yellow pulp, is native to Peru and Ecuador. It was a staple food of the Incas and is even nicknamed “gold of the Incas. ” It has a sweet taste, like maple syrup, and a creamy texture.
In Peru, you can find fresh lucuma juice on nearly every street corner. Outside of the country, you’ll find you’re more likely to come across lucuma powder, which is what we use in our superfood mixes.
Is lucuma nutritious?
Yes! Like all superfoods, lucuma has a very impressive nutritional profile.
For starters, lucuma is rich in antioxidants, especially flavonoids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Lucuma is also high in xanthophylls, the carotenoids that give the superfruit its yellow hue.
When it comes to nutrients, lucuma contains vitamin C, zinc, calcium, fiber, potassium and iron.
What is lucuma used for?
Lucuma, or more specifically lucuma powder, is commonly used as a natural sweetener in baked goods, juice and smoothies. (It’s what gives our Energy Bomb and Golden Mellow mixes a slightly sweet taste!)
One tablespoon of lucuma powder contains 75% less sugar than table sugar. (It scores 5 on the glycemic index.) And, as we mentioned above, it offers a lot more nutrition than table sugar as well.
Does lucuma have any health benefits?
Compared to other superfoods, like turmeric or matcha, lucuma isn’t a heavily researched food. However, the studies that do exist show that lucuma has some pretty impressive health benefits.
For example, some studies support that lucuma may protect against type 2 diabetes. One study found the superfruit’s ability to lower blood sugar is comparable to anti-diabetic drugs. Lucuma is also a low glycemic food, which is also beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes.
Another health benefit of lucuma is it’s a heart healthy superfood. Research shows that lucuma may help lower blood pressure.
How Your Super's lucuma is different
We source our organic lucuma powder from a small farm in Peru. Our farmer, Llorge, grows his lucuma amongst cows, chickens, mandarin oranges, lemons and so much more. When we asked him why he grows organic and doesn’t spray his crops with pesticides, he said his animals wouldn’t be able to graze in the grass.