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Lucuma is cultivated in the Peruvian highlands and is often known as “the gold of the Incas”. The scientific name for this fruit is Pouteria Lucuma. It grows best at altitudes above 1,000 up to 2400 meters and can grow up to 20 metres in height and live for up to 500 years of age and still remain productive. It takes roughly 5 years for the Lucuma trees to bear fruit, and each tree is capable of producing up to 500 fruits over a year. Each fruit can weigh a kilogram and can be up to 10cm in length. The fruit itself has a sweet caramel-like fruit taste with an inside flesh texture very similar to that of the pumpkin.

Lucuma has an excellent nutrient profile and contains a wide range of antioxidant carotene nutrients, along with vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B5. It is also considered a good source of potassium, calcium and phosphorous, which help towards the development of red blood cells as well as contributing towards keeping your bones and teeth strong and healthy.

According to researchers at St Andrew’s University, carotenes help keep your skin healthy, and acts towards changing its tone and colour, giving it a more attractive and youthful appearance.

Evidence also suggests Lucama may help slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream by inhibiting the enzymes which break down starch into glucose. It also scores extremely low on the glycemic index and contains a 25% content of dietary fibre which will help towards better digestion.