What is the Olluco?

The Olluco is an Andean tuber that grows in the Andean areas, is highlighted by high content of zinc, calcium and complete B, ideal for growing children, pregnant women and people with memory problems such as Alzheimer’s, also known as MeIloco, ulluco, Chugua, Ruba, Lisa or Papa Lisa.

If you want to know everything about the Olluco with scientific name Ullucus tuberosus, here you will have all the necessary information to continue discovering more of this valuable Andean tuber.

olluquito con charqui

Fun fact of the Olluco (Day of the Olluquito with Charqui)

In different Andean towns of Peru, on October 5 is celebrated the Day of the Olluquito, this most prestigious party is in Huancavelica Peruvian department, where the famous recipe is prepared with the Peruvian Olluco and Charqui, which gathers hundreds of visitors a year. Gastón Acurio, recognized Gastronomic Chef of Peru, is devoted to the Olluquito that is cooked in this place, also confesses that it is the best Olluquito with Charquí in the world.

If you want to learn the recipe click on the link —> Olluquito with Charquí

Origin and Cultivation of Olluco

Olluco or Melloco is from the Andes of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, this Andean food has been cultivated for 5,500 years and domesticated in the Prehispanic era, expanding its cultivation in South America, in the country of Peru the cultivation is expanding for its great demand for Peruvian Gastronomy, made with Peruvian Olluco.

The name comes from the Quechua language called ulluku, in other countries it adopts different names like in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina as Olluco, smooth potato, smooth in Ecuador as MellIco, in Colombia as Ulluco, Chugua, and in Venezuela as ruba.

Olluco plant is cultivated between 2600 and 3800 meters above sea level in the Peruvian, Bolivian and Ecuadorian Andes, preferably in cool and humid climates and are very resistant to the freezing weather, between 8 and 14º C, it requires abundant and frequent irrigation, also between 10 to 14 hours of sun exposure daily, to offer fruits of better qualities.

planta olluco

Characteristics and Types of Olluco

The plant of the Olluco, is an herbaceous plant grows to a maximum height of 50 cm, contains between 3 to 6 erect stems, are fleshy, usually with basal branches, with semi-reniform green leaves.

It is an edible tuber, with appearance similar to a mini potato, with elongated or spherical shapes and colors of yellow, red, purple among other colors pigmentation is Andean food is extensive because there are several types, usually measured between 2 to 15cm.

planta ulluco

There are more than 70 different varieties of Olluco, here is a list of the most important:

  • Chucchan smooth, elongated shape and superior quality.
  • Ckello chuccha, yellow pigmentation.
  • Smooth muru, pink tubers and precocious growth.
  • Yurac smooth, white tuber.
  • Bela ap chuccha, reddish-brown.
  • Smooth puca, reddish tuber.
  • Kita lisa, atoc lisa and kipa ulluco, of wild varieties.

tipos olluco melloco Types

Nutritional properties of Olluco or Melloco

El Olluco is a good source of carbohydrates, the fresh Olluco has 85% moisture, 14% starch and sugars and between 1 and 2% of proteins, also enjoy high content of vitamin C, finally contains a kind of rubber, which is not fat or fibers.

It also has various proportions of water, protein, starch, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar and fat, also has vitamin C. It has been discovered that it is a good alternative to potato and Mashua, being one of the most delicious tubers in Peru.

The ulluco colors are the result of high concentrations of betalaine, a pigment that is also found in beets and has antioxidant activity. Some of the types of betalains present in MelIoco have not been found in any other edible plant.

Being a good source of carbohydrates, although it contributes 20% less calories per serving than the Andean potato. It is rich in water, vitamin C, proteins, fiber, minerals, among other essential nutrients.

Nutritional table of Olluco per 100 grams:

  • Energy            —————> 51,0 kcal
  • Moisture          —————> 85,9 gr
  • Proteins           —————> 1,0 gr
  • Fat                   —————> 0,1 gr
  • Carbohydrates —————> 12,5 gr
  • Fiber                —————> 0,6 gr
  • Ashes              —————> 0,6 gr
  • Calcium           —————> 0,6 gr
  • Iron                  —————> 3,0 gr
  • Phosphorus     —————> 0,8 gr
  • Thiamine         —————> 35,0 gr
  • Riboflavin        —————> 0,04 gr
  • Niacin              —————> 0,02 mg
  • Ascorbic Acid  —————> 23,0 mg

tipos de olluco

Benefits of the consumption and uses of Olluco

What is the use of Olluco, Melloco or Ruba for?. The benefits offered by Olluco or MeIloco are extensive, I will mention the 10 main benefits granted by the properties and medicinal and healing uses of the Andean tuber.

Olluco removes skin spots

Vitamin C, which contains ulluco, offers lightening properties, avoiding and controlling the appearance of spots on the skin, besides preventing the negative effect of the sun’s rays, strengthening the natural protective barrier of the skin.

The acquisition of this benefit must be the external application, on the skin, for example; If we want to clarify some tones, the face should be placed like a mask when the tuber is liquefied.

Olluco eliminates acne problems

Of course, if cutting an Olluco, the cut part applied to the face with acne, serving as a scar, using it frequently will notice an improvement in the texture of the skin, closing pores and regenerating damaged skin.

The Olluco prevents and protects us against rheumatism

The Olluco is used to naturally treat rheumatism, bronchial infections and erysipelas, a way to take advantage of its benefits is making an infusion of its leaves, add honey and lemon juice to serve, wait for it to cool a bit and take it It is very good because it helps to calm the intense cough.

Olluco eliminates stretch marks

It has a natural healing effect, functioning as a product that eliminates especially in stretch marks of pregnancy or sequelae of weight gain, thanks to the B vitamins that the ulluco has.

The Olluco  removes the scars

The olluco has healing properties that help protect the skin, for example, for centuries the natives of the Andes, used it to treat acne, chicken pox, burns and stretch marks.

Olluco consumption delays cell aging

Thanks for its contribution in B vitamins, it favors the skin, nails and hair; avoiding premature aging and the presence of wrinkles.

The Olluco provides great benefits for the skin

Another use of olluco for the benefit of the skin is external application, for example; in a container combine the same amount of ulluco juice and water, add lemon juice and apply every night on the face, resulting in a smooth skin, healthy and free of blemishes or scars.

Its an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial food

The juice of the smooth potato, is good in mineral salts helping to expel toxins from the body, it helps to relieve the inflammation of muscles and joints.

Helps you lose weight and lose weight

Well yes, since it is considered by many as a dietetic food for its low content in calories and fibers, being a food that has few calories and exactly 81% water rich, melIoco a great option to include it in the diet if you want lose a few kilos of more.

Because of its low quality in calories and that 85% of its composition is water the melIoco is considered a dietetic product, which becomes a great source of carbohydrates that helps us to lose a few kilos that we have more.

Olluco an ideal food for athletes

Due to its phosphorus content, this small Andean tuber helps to fight muscle contractions and accelerate wound healing.

The Ruba or Olluco is an anti-carcinogenic tuber
For being a valuable food in betalaína, that is an antioxidant that is not very common to find it in vegetables or fruits, according to investigations they confirm that this antioxidant helps to fight and to prevent the cancer, thanks to that destroys the famous free radicals those that cause this evil .

Olluco relieves and cures digestive problems

The leaves of the tuber were used habitually by the inhabitants, as a food or in infusions, for constipation, stomach pain and tranquilize indigestion, thanks to its effectiveness it is used in pets or animals to alleviate their digestive problems.

Finally for centuries the inhabitants of the areas where the MelIoco are grown, discovered that it has relaxing properties, which they used to calm the pain of childbirth of women.

Olluco fights Alzheimer’s

The indication of the nutritionists is that tuber consumption is very necessary for the elderly people suffering from Alzheimer’s, since it contains B complex, which helps to overcome mental problems and reduce anxiety.

Olluco is recommended for growing children and pregnant women

This small yellow tuber has a high content of Zinc and Calcium, important nutrients in the growth stage of a child and calcium for women who are in the gestation stage.

Beneficios Olluco or Melloco Benefits (1) (1)

Recommended dose and Contraindications of Olluco

So far it does not know negative side effects or contraindications of Olluco, there is no official dose or ration per person per day, but some doctors or health centers recommend consuming between 3 to 4 times a week, in such a way that you can take advantage of all its nutrients and benefits that another this medicinal tuber.

It is an Andean Food highly recommended as it has very remarkable benefits, so we can insert it in our diet, but as all food must have a responsible consumption and vary it in the menu of the week, you can prepare it in spicy, stews or pure.

Frequently asked questions about el olluco

How many calories does Olluco have?

The Olluco, MelIoco or Ruba is a food that has few calories, this Andean tuber has a maximum of 51 calories per 100 grams.

How to remove or remove the scars of the face or body with the Olluco?

La Ruba has anti-scarring properties, helping to eliminate and disappear as scars, so I present a natural recipe that helps you eliminate scars on both the face and the body:

  • First of all wash your face with plenty of water and glycerin soap, then cut the Olluco in two vertical pieces and pass the gum on the part of your face or body that is the scar or affected area, do it every night for 15 days and you will notice how the scars disappear, if you are consistent, you will get better results.

Images of Olluco or Melloco

Recipes with Olluco or MelIoco

The Olluco or MeIloco is one of the Andean tubers that is being recognized for its high nutritional power and to combat memory problems, you will find recipes for food and dishes made with Olluco, to take advantage of its medicinal and healing properties.

You will also learn how to prepare, make or cook the Olluco with these fabulous and nutritious recipes, you can enter by clicking on the images of the recipe you want to learn to cook or you can enter Recipes with Melloco.

If you can’t go to the recipes by clicking on the images, don’t worry, we leave you the links:
Olluquito with Charqui
Olluco Soup
Olluco Locro
Olluco Ajiaco
Olluco Saltado with chicken
Olluco Arrobezado with eggs

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