It seems like there’s always a new superfood being hailed for its healthy attributes. The newest is the lucuma fruit, a Peruvian specialty, nicknamed Incan Gold, according to Popsugar. The website likens it to a combination of avocado and sweet potato that is often used in milkshakes, juices and desserts. Popsugar says it’s reminiscent of candied yams with a maple and sweet potato flavor.

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It may seem that something so delicious couldn’t possibly be a health food, but VeryWell says it’s often used as a low-glycemic sweetener for people with diabetes. The lucuma fruit is first dried before being ground into a powder for use as a sugar substitute. Oils can also be extracted from the fruit and used to help skin problems and wounds, the website advises.

Lucuma is known as a superfood because it’s loaded with antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals in the body. The fruit has loads of other nutrients like zinc, iron, beta carotene, calcium and niacin, reports Popsugar.

However, because it isn’t a household name, there is not much research looking into lucuma's health benefits. A study in 2010 found that Lucuma oil could help promote skin regeneration and be a potential key ingredient in medicine and skincare products.

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While there is still a lot of research that needs to be done on this superfood, it is a good alternative to sugar. PopSugar advises using it as a substitute in anything from cakes to homemade ice cream. As a supplement, you can even throw it in your morning smoothie like a protein powder. However, due to lack of research, VeryWell advises using it with caution as the long-term effects aren’t known.

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