Lulo –have you heard of this before? Well, to put simply, lulo is a citrus-like fruit, which grows on a small tree or shrub. It is mainly native to the northwestern region of South America. It possesses an ample amount of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are all beneficial for overall health. Not just that, these nutrients are also what make up the necessary health benefits of lulo. These include giving protection against certain types of cancer, detoxifying the body, increasing the blood circulation, preventing diabetes, lowering cholesterol levels, promote sleep, provide skin care, relieve stress, regulate digestion, boost the vision, and improve the immunity, among others. There is more to lulo than meets the eye. If you want to learn more about this amazing fruit, feel free to give this article a read.
Lulo: What is this?
Lulo is actually a citrus-like fruit, which grows on a small tree or shrub. Mainly, it is native to the northwestern region of South America. This particular fruit has a lot of name on which it is popularly known. In the actual fact, in Colombia, lulo is an accepted name, yet in Ecuador and Panama, this delightful tangy fruit is what they call as Naranjilla. Scientifically, they call lulo as Solanum quitoense. Its flavor is so unique and tart. Some people might compare to the pineapple or even a combination of rhubarb and lime. Various cultivars in various countries actually have a bit different tastes, and different concentrations of nutrients. As a matter of fact, the juice of the lulo fruit is a healthy drink, yet the unusual green color of the juice may surprise some people.
Even though the demand for the lulo all over the world is now growing because of its distinct, exotic taste, unluckily, it is part of the nightshade plant family that is notoriously delicate and is very vulnerable to insects, diseases, discoloration, and bruising. For this particular reason, the mass cultivation is not actually an option for it. Therefore, it remains a small-scale crop, which has a relatively low export level.
In order for you to eat the fruit, you need to cut it in half and scoop out the white fleshy meat. You can eat the fruit raw or you can cook it if you want. Nevertheless, it is most prevalently added to pies, jellies, and jams, among other desserts. It may even be a good addition to ice cream and as a main ingredient to various wines and juices.
Nutritional Content of Lulo
The lulo fruit has been found to possess rich levels thiamin, niacin, folate, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin A, and vitamin C. not just that, it is also rich in dietary fiber, zinc, potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and calcium. In addition to its carbohydrate, sugar, and protein content, it also has a lot of water in it and extremely low levels of calories and fats. Moreover, it also has a lot of antioxidant properties, even though the exact antioxidant properties haven’t been studied sufficiently.
Health Benefits of Lulo
Here are some of the most fascinating health benefits of lulo:
- Aids in skin care. The vitamin C content of lulo is essential for the development of collagen that enhances the elasticity of the skin and its smoothening. Not just that, it also supports connective tissue development, as well as the development of the organs and the blood vessels.
- Helps in preventing cancer. The distinct mix of vitamins and antioxidants in lulo is essential in neutralizing the free radicals in the body, which mutate the healthy cells into cancerous types of cells. This is one of the most fascinating health benefits of lulo.
- Helps in relieving stress. Lulo has the capacity to have a connection in the hormonal changes in the body. Most especially in promoting sleep, reducing stress, and improving the mood, among others.
- Helps in detoxifying the body. Lulo is beneficial in traditional medicine as a diuretic substance. Therefore, it is essential in increasing the urination. This is beneficial for the cleansing of the kidney.
- Helps in boosting the immune system. Since it is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, lulo is a great way of boosting the immunity. It works as a natural antioxidant, which clears the free radicals out from the system.
Culinary Uses of Lulo
One of the major uses of lulo is in the preparation of smoothies and juices. In the traditional Columbian drink, you can make lulada by combining sugar and water with lulo. One more queue is the Champus that is actually prepared by combining the lulo with pineapple, orange tree leaves, cloves, cinnamon, panela, and corn. Furthermore, the fruit is consumable in cooked or in raw form. Not only that, you can also use it in making fruit pies, jellies, and jams. Adding this fruit’s pulp as a topping for yogurt, fruit salads, cakes, and ice creams, can also be a good idea.