A Unique Brazilian Fruit, Explained

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The Amazon rainforest is residence to dozens of distinctive meals, a few of that are rapidly gaining recognition in the US and elsewhere.

One such tropical plant is cupuaçu, a tree that produces a wealthy, scrumptious fruit.

This text tells you all it’s essential to learn about cupuaçu, together with its advantages and numerous makes use of.

Cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum), also referred to as cupuassu, is said to the cacao tree (1, 2).

Native to the Amazon, this tree grows as much as 65 toes (20 meters) excessive. Its fruit is the nationwide fruit of Brazil — which is the world’s largest cupuaçu producer (1, 2).

The fruit is ovular with a brown rind and white, fleshy pulp. It resembles its relative, the cacao fruit. Its taste is in comparison with chocolate with hints of tropical fruit like melon or pineapple (1).

Cupuaçu is usually utilized in desserts or pressed right into a juice. As well as, its seeds are pressed to extract a nutrient-rich fats that’s used as a cooking oil or magnificence therapy (1).


Cupuaçu is said to cacao. Its fruit has a fleshy, white pulp with a chocolatey, fruity taste and is common all through Brazil. What’s extra, its seeds produce a wealthy fats utilized in cooking and beauty merchandise.

Cupuaçu and merchandise produced from it have gotten extra commonplace in Western international locations. The fruit and its butter are prized for his or her versatility in each meals and wonder merchandise.

In truth, cupuaçu could have an a variety of benefits.

Might help wholesome pores and skin

Cupuaçu butter is wealthy in wholesome fat and serves as a wonderful emollient that will assist restore your pores and skin’s pure moisture barrier.

Because of its low melting level, cupuaçu butter softens when utilized to the pores and skin, permitting for fast absorption. Its excessive fats content material helps seal in moisture to rehydrate your pores and skin, enhance suppleness, and decrease signs of aging like positive strains and wrinkles (3).

In truth, it could be considerably extra moisturizing than shea butter, as test-tube research point out that it will possibly help 440% of its weight in water (3).

Furthermore, its excessive antioxidant content material could defend your pores and skin from dangerous compounds, akin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, environmental pollution, and cigarette smoke (3).

Remember that you might tolerate cupuaçu butter in another way relying in your pores and skin kind. For instance, when you have oily pores and skin, go for utilizing it solely on drier physique elements, akin to your arms, toes, and elbows (4).

Might maintain your hair smooth and wholesome

Cupuaçu is usually used as a hydrating ingredient in hair merchandise.

Dry hair outcomes from an absence of moisture within the hair shaft, which may result in broken, uninteresting, or frizzy hair. Cupuaçu is wealthy in each saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been proven to penetrate the hair shaft and restore hydration (5, 6, 7).

One examine handled dyed hair samples with both cupuaçu butter, argan oil, or a conventional conditioner. Each the cupuaçu and argan merchandise considerably restored hair hydration and curbed protein loss — a typical results of dying hair (7).

Wealthy in antioxidants and quite a few vitamins

Cupuaçu is wealthy in antioxidants and vitamins that will profit your well being.

Its flavonoid antioxidants struggle oxidative stress, excessive ranges of that are linked to irritation, weight problems, and plenty of power ailments (8, 9, 10, 11).

Consuming a weight loss plan with a number of antioxidant-rich foods is linked to a decrease danger of irritation and power illnesses like coronary heart illness and diabetes (12, 13, 14).

Furthermore, the fruit is a superb source of fiber, which helps intestine well being, boosts emotions of fullness, and aids blood sugar management (15, 16).


Cupuaçu butter is wealthy in fat that contribute to wholesome hair and pores and skin. What’s extra, its fruit is a superb supply of antioxidants and fiber.

Cupuaçu is offered in lots of varieties and can be utilized in meals merchandise in addition to cosmetics.

Scrumptious various to chocolate

In case you’re trying to attempt one thing new, cupuaçu is a superb various to chocolate.

Because it comes from the cocoa household, it has many related traits and might be processed like cocoa to make scrumptious treats. In truth, it’s typically added to power bars, drinks, and different snacks (1).

Furthermore, because of its naturally excessive fats content material and slight sweetness, it may be processed into bars very similar to dark chocolate.

Cupuaçu powder can be utilized in baking — although it could not work as effectively in recipes that decision for sweetened cocoa powder, which has considerably extra sugar than cupuaçu (1).

Meals merchandise

Cupuaçu has gained recognition as an antioxidant-rich meals.

The uncooked fruit has a barely acidic style and chewy texture. Nonetheless, it could be troublesome to seek out exterior of South America, because it’s not generally exported — although some specialty shops could carry it.

You should use cupuaçu fruit or powder in each desserts and smoothies. As well as, the uncooked fruit is usually pressed into a juice.

Moreover, you need to use cupuaçu butter as a cooking oil. Because of its excessive oleic acid content material, it has a smooth texture and a melting level just like that of butter. As such, it’s finest for low to medium warmth cooking, akin to pan- or stir-frying (17).

Dietary supplements

Although cupuaçu dietary supplements can be found, no human research help their use.

In a small examine in rats, cupuaçu extract considerably lowered markers of inflammation and oxidative stress (18).

Although these outcomes are promising, human analysis is required — and the protection and unwanted side effects of cupuaçu dietary supplements are unknown. It is best to at all times seek the advice of a healthcare skilled earlier than including any dietary supplements to your routine.


Given its hydrating and moisturizing properties, cupuaçu is added to many cosmetics. These embody physique butters, pores and skin lotions, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, and lip balms.

Most cupuaçu merchandise include different components, akin to shea butter, argan oil, and different plant oils. They might likewise embody fragrances, alcohols, surfactants, and different components.

You’ll want to read the label fastidiously in the event you’re delicate to components generally present in hair and pores and skin merchandise.


Cupuaçu might be eaten uncooked and is usually added to smoothies and desserts. It’s additionally present in an array of beauty merchandise, together with physique butters and soaps. Moreover, its powder is a wonderful various to cocoa powder.

Cupuaçu is a chocolaty, nutrient-dense fruit native to Brazil.

It’s broadly utilized in pores and skin and hair merchandise because of its excessive fats content material, which will help moisturize your pores and skin and hair.

It’s additionally fairly versatile as a meals. You may eat the fruit uncooked, use its butter as a cooking oil, and add cupuaçu powder to desserts and smoothies.

Though cupuaçu is bought broadly in South America, it may be laborious to seek out elsewhere. Relying in your location, merchandise like powder, butter, and cosmetics could also be your finest guess for attempting this distinctive tropical meals.

Store for cupuaçu merchandise on-line

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