About the Camu-Camu
You might have come across the camu-camu fruit if you’re interested in exotic fruits. However, it’s less well-known in the Western world than in Asia. The camu-camu fruit is prevalent in Japan, where it’s believed to fight depression and improve mood, increase energy levels, and have several other potential health benefits.
With various forms of camu-camu fruit now being available online, it’s never been easier to sample this superfood for yourself and see how it can boost your immune system, fight free radicals and boost your mental health.
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The fruit of the camu camu plant is mainly grown in the Amazon rainforest across Peru and Brazil. The Latin name of the bush is the Myrciaria Dubia, and it’s evergreen. When fully ripe, the fruit itself is maroon or purple, almost black. It’s a round fruit that grows to around 25mm in diameter and has a flesh that is more sour or tart than sweet, similar to some citrus fruits.
Camu-Camu Health Benefits
There are many potential health benefits to camu-camu fruit. First, it’s considered a superfood because of its many nutrients, including vitamin C. In fact, of all fruits, camu-camu has one of the highest vitamin C levels – around 2-3% of the whole fruit is the vitamin.
Vitamin C plays several vital roles in the body. It can boost your immune system and strengthen your bones and muscles, as it’s an essential nutrient in producing natural collagen. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, helping to protect your cells from free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress – when free radicals outnumber the antioxidants in your body – has been linked to conditions around diabetes, heart problems, and even some cancers. Conversely, camu-camu can lower your risk of cancers and other serious illnesses.
And that’s not just because of the vitamin C. Camu-camu also contains flavonoids such as anthocyanins and ellagic acid, other antioxidants that can help improve your physical health and reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s also worth noting that while natural camu-camu contains up to 3% vitamin C, it’s rarely eaten as a fresh fruit due to its strong sour taste. Instead, typically most people eat camu-camu capsules or add camu-camu powder to a smoothie. Since the powder removes all the water from the fruit, it’s actually richer in vitamin C.
Another benefit of the high amounts of vitamin C is the production of serotonin in the brain. This natural mood enhancer can help anyone suffering from depression or low moods. In addition, eating nutrient-rich foods like camu-camu helps promote healthier brain activity, fighting mood disorders.
How Camu-Camu Benefits Hair:
Camu-camu can strengthen your hair and fight some of the causes of hair loss:
1. It improves collagen production, giving you stronger hair
2. Applying camu-camu oil to your scalp strengthens the skin and promotes hair growth
3. Vitamin C can fight illnesses that can cause hair loss
4. It boosts serotonin production, reducing depression and stress, which can have hair loss side effects
How Camu-Camu Benefits Skin:
Camu-camu can also benefit your skin in many ways:
· The boost to collagen production caused by camu-camu’s Vitamin C can soften skin, reducing wrinkles
· Camu-camu oil applied to the scalp can fight bacteria and fight dandruff and skin flakes
· Camu-camu contains niacin, which alongside vitamin C, can fight discoloration caused by sun damage or acne
· It improves skin tone by helping remove more dried-out, dead skin
Camu-Camu Side Effects:
Generally, camu-camu is a healthy fruit, but as with any nutrient-rich food, there are potential side effects if you overeat. One teaspoon of camu-camu powder contains around 760% of your recommended daily vitamin C intake – and around a third of the tolerable upper limit. So, three teaspoons would be unsafe, potentially risking nausea and diarrhea.
Vitamin C also encourages iron absorption from foods. Therefore, anyone with a condition related to iron overload, such as hemochromatosis, may need to avoid camu-camu fruit to ensure they don’t take in too much iron and trigger their condition. And with any superfood, it’s always worth consulting a healthcare professional if you’re on medication before taking supplements or concentrated powders to ensure there won’t be any problems.
Some people prefer to buy camu-camu juice over the powdered form of the fruit, although that’s still a rare find in North America. It still has the sour taste of fresh fruit, so it’s only for some. But if you are okay with sharp citrus fruits, you may enjoy it. Mixing it with other, sweeter fruits may be a good idea to soften the tart flavor.
A study was conducted on smokers who had advanced oxidative stress in 2008 to determine the antioxidant qualities of camu-camu juice. A control group was fed 1050mg tablets of vitamin C, while the test group was given 70ml (around 2.5oz) of camu-camu juice, which contained the equivalent of 1050mg of the vitamin.
The test group given camu-camu juice showed a considerable reduction in oxidative stress, with little to no change in the group only taking the vitamin tablets. This shows just how effective camu-camu fruit can be.
The Best Camu-Camu Amazon Products:
When shopping for camu-camu products online, you won’t be able to buy fresh fruit in the West. Instead, you’ll need to look at capsules or powder.
The powder is a fantastic supplement that can be added to smoothies. However, you might prefer to dust it on your granola, yogurt, or desserts. You can also add it to water if you want to drink it or add it to sauces.
If you prefer to avoid the flavor and get the benefit, consider camu-camu capsules. This 120-pack from Mother Nature is entirely organic and vegan. With a recommended dose of two capsules a day, it will last you two months.
Purchase on Amazon.
Camu-camu is a rainforest superfood that is absolutely packed with antioxidant benefits. Introducing this fruit into your diet can do wonders for your physical and mental health alongside a healthy diet, boosting your immune system and mood.