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What is Lucuma Powder?

Nov 20, 2017
What is Lucuma Powder?

Lucuma powder comes from the fruit of the Pouteria lucuma tree that grows in Peru, Ecuador and Chile. It is made by dehydrating the pulp of the lucuma fruit.

The outer part of the lucuma fruit has a yellowish green color. It’s common for people to mistake it for an avocado. Its yellow-orange flesh is dry and starchy. Its taste is often described as a mix of sweet potato and caramel.

Curiously, lucuma powder is widely used outside of South America where it originated. Lucuma powder is widely used in foods and drinks in Europe. It is the top regional user of lucuma with a 63 percent share of the market.

How is it used

In producing lucuma powder, ripe lucuma is washed and cut into small pieces. These bite-sized pieces are dehydrated at a temperature of under 45 degrees Celsius, mainly to preserve the nutritional content of the fruit. Once the fruit has been dehydrated, it is grounded into fine powder. Lucuma powder can be stored for up to two years.

Lucuma powder can be added to baking recipes such as cheesecakes. It can also be added to smoothies. Due to its taste and mild aroma, it can enhance the taste of most foods without affecting the overall quality and aroma of the recipes. Moreover, it has a dry consistency that is more appropriate for dessert, blended drinks and other recipes.

Nutritional profile of lucuma

Lucuma has high amounts of trace elements such as calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. A 100-gram of lucuma powder has 87 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein and 2.3 grams of fiber. It also has 92 milligrams of calcium and 186 milligrams of phosphorus.

Benefits of lucuma powder

The ancient Incan civilization was known to harness lucuma for a variety of applications. Today, lucuma is also used for many purposes.

Numerous studies have also proven that lucuma powder can support good skin, promote cardiovascular health, and normalize blood sugar levels, among other health benefits. The following are the health benefits of using lucuma powder:

1. It is a healthy sweetener.
Lucuma powder is considered a healthy sweetener because it can enhance the sweet taste of recipes without increasing sugar content. It is thus ideal for diabetics and even for people who want to stabilize their blood sugar levels. Lucuma powder can be substituted for sugar in a ratio of 2:1.

2. Heals wounds.
In South America, lucuma was widely used as a natural healing medicine owing to its antibiotic and antimicrobial properties. Several studies have found that indeed, lucuma can be effective in treating wounds. One study conducted by experts at the State University of New Jersey showed that lucuma can hasten wound closure and promote tissue regeneration quite effectively.

3. Helps in weight loss.
Since Lucuma powder is a good alternative to sugar and other artificial sweeteners, it can also be considered as a weight loss ingredient. Lucuma powder can be taken without worrying about an increase in blood sugar levels. It can help in cutting those urges to eat, or whenever the blood sugar levels rise and fall. It is ideal for people with the proverbial sweet tooth who want to lose weight. Moreover, lucuma has high levels of fiber which is important in digestion. It can effectively flush out toxins that can cause weight gain.

4. Reduces anemia.
There’s about 0.4 grams of iron per 100 grams of lucuma powder. This mineral is known to improve the transport of oxygen in between cells. As such, regular consumption of lucuma powder can treat iron deficiency anemia.

5. Improves the quality of life of pregnant women.
Lucuma powder can also improve quality of life of pregnant women because of its high amounts of iron. The mineral is essential in the production of the protein hemoglobin that carries oxygen to other cells. Iron is also needed by the body in supplying oxygen to the muscles as well as in maintaining a healthy immune system.

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