Botanical Name:Pouteria lucuma
Species: P. lucuma
*Achras lucuma Ruiz & Pav.
*Lucuma bifera Molina
*Lucuma biflora J.F. Gmel.
*Lucuma obovata Kunth
*Lucuma obovata var. ruizii A.DC.
*Lucuma turbinata Molina
*Pouteria insignis Baehni
*Richardella lucuma (Ruiz & Pav.) Aubrév.
Common Name: Lucuma
Habitat:Lucuma is native to the Andean valleys of Peru and Ecuador. The area of origin of P. lucuma is located in the Andes of Ecuador and Peru, at temperate elevations of 2,700–3,000 m (8,900–9,800 ft)
Lucuma tree is a evergreen tree is up to 20 m tall, and has greyish-brown, fissured bark, which produces a milky white exudate. The end of branchlets and the petioles are covered with short, brown hairs. The leaves are simple, oblanceolate to elliptical, up to 25 cm long and 10 cm wide, and glabrous (or sometimes slightly hairy on the underside) grouped at the end of the branches. Flowers are solitary or in fascicles, small, axillary, with hairy sepals and a corolla forming a tube 1.0-1.8 cm long, greenish white, with five lobes, five stamens, five staminodes, a pubescent ovary, and a style 0.8-1.5 cm long. The fruit is globose, 6–12 cm long, glabrous, and russet to yellow when mature; the pulp is bright yellow; the one to several seeds are 1.8-3.5 cm long, dark brown, and glossy…….CLICK & SEE
In addition to Peru, the fruit is grown also to a limited extent in Bolivia and Costa Rica. Attempts at growing lúcuma in Florida’s climate typically fail.
In Peru, harvesting season is from October to March and in Chile from June to November.
The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked. When eaten raw, the fruit has a dry texture. In Peru, it is more commonly used as a flavor in juice, milk shakes, and especially ice cream. Its unique flavor in such preparations has been described variously as being similar to sweet potato, maple syrup, or butterscotch. A dessert called merengue con salsa de lúcuma is served in Chile. In Peru, manjar de lúcuma (dulce de leche with lúcuma purée) is a dessert.
Lúcuma pulp has a 64-72% moisture content. The pulp also contains glucose, fructose, sucrose, inositol, citric acid, and succinic acid. However, only limited nutritional information is available for lúcuma powder, indicating moderate content of protein and iron, each providing 14% of the Daily Value in a 100-g (3.5 oz) serving, which supplies 420 Calories.
The leaves of the lucuma tree are found to have medicinal qualities. They are used for treating skin problems like ring worm infections or impetigo. Apart from having medicinal values, the leaves are also used as an excellent dye for coloring textiles.
Lucuma is a very healthy and nutritious fruit that can be added to your daily diet. One of the great things about this fruit is that it is extremely tasty without being unhealthy. Lucuma powder, when added as a sweetener to desserts, ice creams and other dairy products offers a plethora of health benefits. In addition to being a natural sweetener, lucuma is absolutely gluten free and rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are essential to your body.
Health benefits of Lucuma:
In spite of the fact that lucuma tastes very sweet and is used as a sweetening agent, it is found to be very effective in managing diabetes. This fruit falls in the category of foods with a low glycemic index and hence is suitable for people suffering from diabetes. It helps to control blood sugar levels and provides energy without causing considerable spikes or falls in the sugar levels.
For weight management:
Just like most of the fruits, lucuma is also an excellent source of fiber. The advantage of eating fiber rich foods is that they have fewer calories and they make you feel full for a longer period of time. This prevents you from frequent snacking and overeating, which is very important when it comes to weight management.
For improving digestive health:
The high content of fiber in lucuma helps in normalizing your bowel movements, thus preventing constipation. Fiber adds volume to your stool, making it easy to pass through the digestive tract. A diet rich in fibers is known to reduce the risk of many problems related to the digestive system such as stomach ulcers, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome and gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD).
For Wound healing:
Studies suggest that lucuma has both antifungal and antibiotic properties. It has been found to be highly effective in tissue regeneration and in wound closure. Lucuma nut oil when applied to the affected area helps to speed up the healing process.
For cancer prevention:
Lucuma has been found to prevent some types of cancers. The antioxidants in this fruit fight against the free radicals that are harmful to your body. These toxins have been associated with causing many health problems including cancer.
Foe improving immune system:
The nutrients and antioxidants in lucuma have the power to boost your immune system and protect you from many of the serious diseases.
For skin benefits:
Because of the excellent anti-inflammatory qualities of lucuma, it is used for healing abrasions and wounds of the skin. It also has the ability to reduce the effects of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines. Lucuma is rich in beta-carotene that promotes the growth and repair of cells, which in turn reduces the signs of aging. Beta-carotene also acts as a sunscreen, protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun.
For stronger bones:
Lucuma contains a significant amount of calcium and phosphorus that provides strength to the bones. Both these minerals are essential for the growth of your bones and also for keeping them healthy and strong.
For lowering cholesterol levels:
It has been found that lucuma has the ability to reduce the levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood and reduce the risks of stroke and heart attack.
For muscle building:
Proper nutrition and exercise are the two things that can help you build your muscles the natural way. Lucuma has been found to help in muscle building. This fruit, being rich in antioxidants offers you vitality. The high content of iron in lucuma helps to reduce fatigue so that you can recover from the muscle building exercise routines at a much faster rate. Muscle building depends to a great extent on the strength of your bones. The abundance of minerals like calcium and phosphorus in lucuma not only increases bone strength but also improves blood circulation.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.