Lucama or 'Gold of the Incas' is a subtropical, Peruvian fruit that's only found in the mountainous Andes region. An indigenous staple food, it was first discovered by European conquistadors in Ecuador during the 15th Century. Today it remains a popular food throughout South America (Peru, Ecuador, Chile...), where it's usually served as an ice cream or used to spice up dishes. A sort of mango meets avocado hybrid, this yellow fruit has a sugary taste similar to caramel and maple syrup.
Lucuma boasts numerous benefits. This Andean fruit helps keep skin healthy, improves memory and eyesight. It's also known to boost our immune and cardiovascular systems. Bursting with vitamin B3, Lucuma combats stress, depression and lowers cholesterol levels. It's a turbo-charged energy booster that improves our mental capacity. Added plus? It has a low glycemic index, meaning it's suitable for diabetics and those of us with a sweet tooth!
Whether eaten as a fruit or in powdered form, Lucuma is a powerful, natural antioxidant that combats signs of ageing caused by oxidative stress. It's packed with zinc, beta-carotene, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, fibre and vitamin C, all of which help our skin. And to top it all, it has healing and anti-inflammatory properties!
Since Lucuma is not native to the Indian subcontinent, you will not be able to find the fresh fruit here. But dried Lucuma powder is easily available online and in many health food stores. You can use this Lucuma powder as a toping on your breakfast cereals or smoothies and even use it for baking! So give this powerhouse fruit a try and enjoy its varied health benefits.
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