Lucuma powder delivers an abundance of healthy benefits when added to your favorite food or beverage. In addition to satisfying your sweet tooth, lucuma is gluten-free and a source of antioxidants, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals necessary for bodily functions and of benefit to the immune system.
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Lucuma powder is made from the subtropical fruit of the Pouteria lucuma tree, which is native to Peru, Chile and Equador. Lucuma are cool-weather drought-resistant trees that grow 25 to 50 feet tall. Known as the Gold of the Incas in ancestral times, the fruit is yellowish green and egg-shaped with a dry, starchy yellow-orange flesh. The taste is described as maple or caramel to pumpkin-like. The pulp of the lucuma fruit is dehydrated to produce the lucuma powder, or flour, which is marketed primarily as a flavoring.
Lucuma provides 14 essential trace elements, including a considerable amount of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, while heavy metal content is low, according to the Ministry of Agriculture in Nanning, China. Lucuma powder contains 329 calories per 100 grams. Per 100 grams, it contains 87 grams of carbohydrates, 2.3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 2.4 grams of total fat content. It also has 92 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams to keep your bones and teeth strong. Phosphorus is important for bone and protein formation, digestion and hormone balance; lucuma provides 186 milligrams per 100 grams. According to My Fitness Pal, 1 tablespoon of lucuma provides 2 percent of the recommended daily value for iron, which may help stimulate the immune system and improve physical endurance.
Lucuma has been used for centuries in South America for its medicinal properties, according to a report from the Third World Network. Rutgers University conducted a study that evaluated the anti-inflammatory effect of lucuma extract on wound healing and skin aging. Results of the trial determined that lucuma significantly increased wound closure and promoted tissue regeneration. The report of the study concluded that lucuma may have anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and skin-repair effects on human skin. The results of this study drove Rutger's University to apply for a patent on lucuma extracts, particularly the oil.
Lucuma fruit powder has a distinctively sweet and fragrant taste that provides a natural sweetening to desserts without increasing your blood sugar levels, unlike many sweeteners that offer empty calories. A healthy alternative to sugar, lucuma powder may be useful for diabetics and people with other health issues. Lucuma fruit powder can be added to any beverage, smoothie, yogurt, granola, pudding or pastry. Lucuma powder is ideal for making gourmet ice cream products, nutritional supplements and functional beverages because it helps combine and emulsify fats and oils with sugars and polysaccharides. You can use lucuma powder in baking cakes, cookies and pies to fortify the nutritional content of your dessert. Lucuma also makes healthy baby food. As with any food supplement, always consult with your doctor before altering your diet.