Naranjilla: Interesting facts about Lulo juice

Lulo fruits are eaten by squeezing out the juice os scooping out the pulp with spoon
Ripe lulo fruits

If you have been to Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, or Costa Rica, the you must be acquainted with lulo fruits and lulo juice. In Colombia, the fruits is well known as Lulo fruits, while in Ecuador, it is commonly referred to as Naranjilla fruits.

Lulo plant

Lulo (Solanum quitoense) is an important fruit crop in both Colombia and Ecuador. It is commonly considered as the “golden fruit” of the Andes. Lulo belongs to the family of Solanaceae. This family has two main geographical varieties which are Solanum quitoense, and Solanum septentrionale. Lulo belongs to the same group as Tamarillo, Sweet tomatoes, and Egg plant. These group of plants are generally classified as nightshade plants

Solanum quitoense is a spineless variety, while Solanum septentrionale bears thorns like an orange tree. During maturity, flowers occur on the inflorescences that bear both female-sterile a d hermaphrodite flowers. Once lulo starts bearing flowers, the plant will start bearing buds, flowers, and fruits at different maturity stages throughout the year.

Lulo tastes like citrus

Since Lulo means little orange in Spanish, most people, especially those who haven’t had the chance to eat the fruit or drink the fruit juice, usually wandered what the taste of lulo might be. Well, for certain people, lulo tastes like kiwi, some argued that it tastes like citrus while a third group says it tastes like pineapple. The reason for the differences in the taste of lulo by different people is because of the geographical and nutritional differences of the lulo cultivars. because of this geographical impact, lulo juice tastes differently across geographical line. It may interest you to know that some people compare the taste of lulo fruits to that of lime.

Where can you find lulo fruit?

As i made mention of earlier, Lulo plant is native to Colombia, but can be cultivated across Ecuador, Peru, and Costa Rica. There may be many other countries across the globe which grow lulo plant as a major commercial plant. It is easy, therefore, for you to find Naranjilla in the local markets of the above mentioned countries. You may even place an order for lulo fruits from any country to where you are staying.

How do you eat lulo fruits?

Lulo fruits can be eaten raw, fresh or as a juice. It is best eaten when sprinkled with sugar or milk. The back skin is tough, so you would best eat Naranjilla fruits by either cutting the fruits in four and squeezing out the juice into your mouth, or scooping out fresh pulp and eat it fresh.

Lulo juice is tangy, and sweet. Its taste is a combination of Pineapple and Citrus taste. You can also make a smoothy of the fruit pulp.

Lulo fruits is tangy and sweet. The taste of lulo is between citrus and pineapple tastes.
Lulo juice is tangy and sweet

Lulo fruits contain lots of vitamins and minerals

Lulo fruit house many vitamins and minerals. The vitamins present in the fruit include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, vitamin E, vitamin K, and tocopherol.

The mineral content of naranjilla fruits are iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, copper, selenium, sodium and zinc.

All these vitamins and minerals are very important for cellular functions of the body. This makes lulo fruits, and juice a good drink for any time of the day.

Health benefits of Lulo fruits

Naranjilla fruits is fortified with several bioactive compounds, which confer on it the medicinal values which the fruit is known for.

The presence of lutein, cryptoxanthin, carotene, fiber, and tocopherol are of immense benefit to your health.

Lulo fruit juice improves eyesight

Lulo is well fortified with beta-carotenoid and vitamin A. These vitamin and other vitamins, including B vitamins are involved in the cellular functioning of the eyes. Vitamin A in particular is responsible for preventing night blindness and improving vision.

The antioxidants present in the lulo juice ensure that your macula lutea and other ocular cells are protected from the harmful effects of oxidative stress on your retina and macula muscles.

Aside the vitamins and minerals, lulo juice also contains Iron mineral. Iron is involved in the transport of oxygenated red blood cells through the tiny capillary tubes to the cells of your eyes.

May inhibit cancer cell growth

Having a regular cup of fruit juice is the best way to effectively prevent the growth of tumor cells in our body. This is because fruits and vegetables possess strong antioxidant compounds that readily inhibit the growth of cancer cells. In the case of lulo fruit juice, an additional compound, zinc confers on it the anticancer property it is known for. According to study conducted on seven Brazilian fruits, including Naranjilla, it was found that they all possess strong antitumor activities. So, you should help yourself by eaten more of naranjilla fruits.

Lulo juice improves brain capacity

The vitamin B complex that is present in the juice of naranjilla fruits make it an excellent juice for sharpening your brain functions. The folate that is in the complex is involved in the development of neural tube in the fetus brain. Folate also prevents the development of birth defects that affect the brain of unborn babies.

Vitamin C and E are strong antioxidants that prevent oxidative damage of the brain cells due to excess free radicals. And the iron present in the juice supports the supply of oxygenated red blood cells to the brain, thereby preventing cerebral hypoxia.

So you see, you should actually make it a duty to always eat lulo fruits every day, especially during the fruiting season. You should also buy it in enough quantities for your household consumptions.

Lulo juice for pregnant women

Naranjilla is fortified with so many nutrients that would be of immense benefit for a pregnant woman. The vitman B complex, inckuding folate, Vitamin E and iron present in the fruit is an indication that a pregnant woman would find them not only tasty and satisfying, but also medicinal. For instance, vitamin B complex play important roles in pregnancy. Folate is known for improving neural tube development of fetus, It also prevents the development of brain birth defect of unborn children.

Vitamin E also plays important role too. Along with iron, vitamin E helps your body to stimulate more production of red blood cells, while iron ensures that your red blood cells are oxygenated to prevent pregnancy induced anemia. Vitamin E also improves the baby’s skin and eyes, and strengthens the maternal natural immunity. Naranjilla and Yuzu tea are excellent for supporting pregnancy.

May boost your immunity

If you’re having a low immunity level, you need to eat more of naranjilla fruits. This is because the fruits are packed with vitamin C, E, and A, and other antioxidants. These compounds clear free radicals from your system, thereby boosting your immune system.

Vitamin C is also involved in the production of white blood cells. You would remember that white blood cells are your first linen of defense against disease pathogens.

That is not all, there are enough zinc in the fruit juice of lulo. Zinc is popular for its role in the regulation of the immune systems. Zinc is also very potent against microorganisms. So consuming the fruit will help your immunity enormously.

Lulo juice improves digestion

The fruit is well packed with fiber, which makes lulo fruits, or juice a good companion of your daily meal. Once you are done eaten, you can eat two fruits of lulo or drink the pressed juice. This will work in concert with the food and ensure that not only is you digest properly, but also that you got all the nutrients you need. for instance, if you had eaten a protein but not enough carbohydrates, you can gain some carbohydrates from the juice in addition to multiple vitamins and mineral.

As a fiber loaded juice, lulo fruits will also prevent constipation and ensure you pass out stools with ease. It will also improve the muscular movement of your bowel.

Read also: 12 benefits of sweet lime juice

Read also: 9 benefits and best way to grow pepino melon plant

Naranjilla improves your bone health

Calcium and potassium plays very crucial roles in bone formation. It provides the skeletal strength and structure of the body. This makes our bones metabolic reservoir to maintain intra- and extra-cellular pool of calcium. About 99% of the calcium in our bones are present as calcium-phosphate complexes.

Potassium plays it role in this bone formation by neutralize acid load and reducing calcium loss from the bone, leading to beneficial effect on bone mineral density. But iron is necessary for the growth, proliferation, and differentiation of bone cells, especially for osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Hypoxia caused by iron deficiency can also lead to the activity and functional disorder of the bone cells.

Since lulo fruits juice has all these mineral elements and even more, do you still want to wait until i tell you to eat the fruit? There are more health complications you would avoid by drinking a cup of lulo juice every morning or night.

Lulo fruit juice detoxifies the body

One good thing about naranjilla is that it possesses strong antioxidants that detoxify your body and organs. Such antioxidants like vitamins C and E empower your body against free radicals, which are the reasons for early aging and death.

Antioxidants are also very important for flushing out toxic substances from your liver, kidney, and blood stream. These toxicants are very deleterious to your body, as they can even attack and destroy your DNA and cells.

Toxic substances and free radicals are the reasons for autoimmune diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

To keep your body at optimum performance, always drink lulo juice. Another herbal remedy for detoxifying your body, and boosting your immunity is Miracle seed.

Naranjilla is native to Ecuador, and Colombia
Naranjilla fruit tree

Naranjilla is diuretic

Most people drink diuretic substance when they want to loose weight, or detoxify their body and blood of toxins. This is also true of lulo juice. In traditional medicines, naranjilla is given to patients to clean excess toxins out of their kidney. Naranjilla also relieve stress from their kidneys by removing excess salt, water, and even fat, which are passed out through excess urination.

Naranjilla is an antiaging fruit

As with spermidine, lulo juice may act as an antiaging juice through its antioxidant activities against free radicals and toxins. The vitamin C that’s present in Naranjilla juice is involved in the development of collagen. Collagen enhances skin elasticity and smoothening. Thus, vitamin C through it collagen synthesis may remove wrinkles and dead skin cells. Vitamin E is also involved in the maintenance of a healthy and smooth skin. It promotes skin tone and hair growth.

May prevent anemia

Anemia is the effect of iron deficiency. When there is a low dietary iron in the body to produce hemoglobin and myoglobin, the red blood cells will be deprived of oxygen, and in turn your cells will not receive adequate oxygenated blood. This leads to a health condition called anemia, and hypoxia.

Lulo juice is well fortified with iron and vitamin E, which support the production of new red blood cells. When you drink the juice of eat the fruits of lulo, the anemic condition will disappear in a moment due to the dietary iron and vitamins present in the fruit.

Naranjilla relieves stress

The best time to eat naranjilla fruits or drink lulo juice is at even time, when you are back from the day’s work and had had your dinner.

Lulo relieves stress and ensures you enjoy a sound, calm sleep. It stops the nervousness and calms your muscles.

How do you grow and care for lulo?

Having seen the numerous health benefits of lulo juice, it is natural that you should imagine having a lulo tree in your garden. The challenge is that lulo is native to a particular region with peculiar weather conditions.

In other to grow lulo, there are certain conditions that must be met.

When is the best time to grow lulo?

If you want the best for your lulo tree, the best time to grow it is early in the year. Lulo is grown between late January and early March.

How to grow you lulo

Just like you would grow your tomato, first make a nursery bed, then spread the dried lulo seeds and cove it with light organic matters. When the seeds had germinated and grown to a certain level, like tomatoes, you can now transplant them to your garden. The moving of your young lulo plants should be done by May.

The ideal location for lulo should be a bright, warm and sheltered place. Unlike Tuckey berry,  naranjilla doesn’t like direct sunlight for all day long. It thrives in a garden bed with rich nutrients. The soil should be moist with water lodge. Because the plant spreads it branches as it grows, it is important you space the seedlings about one square metre from one another.

How to care for naranjilla

It is generally quite easy to care for naranjilla. There are not much requirements, unlike in many garden plants. Two things are required to keep your garden lush:

Always water your garden well. Yes, lulo loves water. So always ensure the soil is adequately watered and moist.

Always apply fertiliser. Lulo loves nutrient rich soil. So you would be required to always water and apply fertiliser to your plant, if you expect a great yield.


Lulo takes about four to five months to bloom after transplantation. It then takes another five to seven months to start bearing fruits.

Lulo is ready for harvest after the fruits have turned from dark green to distinct orange color. This usually starts around September, but mostly around October, when the berries turned yellow-orange and the stalk becomes dry and brown.

After harvest, you can keep your fruits in the fridge for a month. Above the temperature of 10°C


The skin of lulo fruits are hairy. You should be careful not to touch those hairs with your skin. They can be irritating and cause burning sensations.



Kong SH, Kim JH, Hong AR, Lee JH, Kim SW, Shin CS. Dietary potassium intake is beneficial to bone health in a low calcium intake population: the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) (2008-2011). Osteoporos Int. 2017 May;28(5):1577-1585. doi: 10.1007/s00198-017-3908-4. Epub 2017 Jan 16. PMID: 28093633.

Yang J, Li Q, Feng Y, Zeng Y. Iron Deficiency and Iron Deficiency Anemia: Potential Risk Factors in Bone Loss. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2023; 24(8):6891.

NHS. Vitamin E [Online]. 2017. Available at: [Accessed March 2020].



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