5 Incredible Benefits of Camu Camu: How They Help Your Health Soar to Next Level
Over the last several years, more scientific evidence has emerged surrounding the powerful health benefits of some particular foods that are aptly referred to as “superfoods.” That’s why health buffs have been taking the phrase, “You are what you eat” more seriously than ever.
Many different aspects can place an item in the category of a superfood, but the most general feature is that these foods have shown measurable health benefits for those who consume them regularly.
Many superfoods have been around for hundreds or even thousands of years and have been used in ancient civilizations for their healing properties.
One of the newest additions to the superfood roster is the camu camu berry. Haven’t heard about it yet? Let’s dive deeper into this superfood’s rich history, its many uses and forms, and the incredible health benefits of camu camu.
Table of Contents:
- What is camu camu?
- Brief history of the camu camu berry
- Myrciaria Dubia Plant: Origins and How to Harvest
- Why camu-camu is special to cleansing diets
- Camu Camu: Taste, Texture, Pairing with Other Foods
- Different forms of camu camu
- Superfoods to pair with camu camu
- Where can I find camu camu?
- How to Properly Store camu camu?
- How can I eat camu camu?
- Health Benefits of camu camu
- Are there any risks related to camu camu
What Is Camu Camu?
Camu camu is a reddish-purple berry about the size of a grape that grows within the Amazon rainforest area, particularly in swampy marshlands that contain nutrient-rich soil and plenty of moisture. The berry originally appears as a pale yellow or green color and deepens to a red or purple hue as it ripens.
Though the camu camu berry is mostly seen in the Amazon rainforest, it can also grow in certain regions of Columbia, Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil based on local climates. This berry does not naturally grow anywhere in North America
Brief History of the Camu Camu Berry
Amazonian civilizations have been including camu camu berry in their diets for centuries. While the berry’s tart flavor and high level of acidity make it difficult to consume straight off the bush, camu camu is often included in juices or ground into a fine powder to consume with other foods.
The notable health benefits of camu camu have been celebrated for many generations in South American cultures, particularly for its extremely high vitamin C content.
Local Amazonians have also used the berry and its leaves as a medicine to treat ailments. These ailments include eye conditions like cataracts, the common cold, hardening of the arteries, and chronic fatigue.
Myrciaria Dubia Plant: Origins and How to Harvest
The camu camu berry grows on the Myrciaria dubia, a shrub native to rainforest climates like those found in Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. The berries are harvested by local farmers at the point of ultimate ripeness when the berries are a dark purple or reddish color.
In some cases, the Myrciaria dubia leaves will be harvested as well to be used for their medicinal properties. However, when the crops are being harvested to be imported to the U.S. and other countries, most farmers will only include the berries or ship them as a powder for sale in health food stores.
Why Camu Camu is Special to Cleansing Diets
Superfoods like camu camu are often used in cleanses, which are diets designed to remove toxins from the body by way of an adjustment in your food intake.
Many superfoods have properties that are specifically powerful for removing such toxins, which is why juice cleanses and other types of cleansing diets focus on consuming a large quantity of these foods for a certain period.
Camu camu may contain some antioxidant properties based on recent findings. Antioxidants are compounds found in many fruits and vegetables that can help the body fight free radicals, which are potentially damaging agents. Regularly consuming antioxidants can help prevent disease and reduce inflammation in the body.
Camu Camu: Taste, Texture, Pairing with Other Foods
So what does camu camu taste like? The camu camu berry has a very sour taste, even at peak ripeness. That’s why the berry is not typically consumed on its own but rather combined with other foods or consumed in various forms.
The texture of camu camu will depend on the form in which it’s consumed. When the berry’s juice is used in fruit juice blends, it combines seamlessly with the texture and mouthfeel of the other juices.
However, when the berry is dried and ground into a powder, the texture can be slightly gritty depending on what other foods you’re combining it with.
Different Forms of Camu Camu
Camu camu powder is the most common form in which to consume this exotic berry. Since camu camu doesn’t grow in North America, importing fresh camu camu berries can be costly, not to mention their freshness is difficult to maintain during the importation process.
Camu camu powder has a much longer shelf life than fresh berries, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and it can travel much more easily than the berries can in their natural state.
Camu camu powder contains all of the same health benefits as the whole berry but is more convenient to purchase and can be combined with various foods.
If you prefer to include the health-supporting benefits of camu camu in your beverages, you can also find camu camu in liquid form (a dilution of pure camu camu juice and water due to the strong taste) either on its own or mixed with other juice flavors.
Superfoods to Pair with Camu Camu
The taste of camu camu can pair nicely with a variety of other superfoods. One of the most common ways to incorporate camu camu into a healthy diet is by mixing the powder in acai bowls, another superfood that comes from the Amazon rainforest region. Like camu camu, acai features a tart, tangy taste and a variety of health benefits.
If you want to incorporate camu camu into your beverages, you can pair its sour and tangy taste with sweeter fruits like berries, strawberries, and pineapple. Additionally, if you prefer a more subtle or even spicy taste to your juice (and want to include more health benefits), you can mix your camu camu and other fruit juices with celery juice or ginger.
Where Can I Find Camu Camu?
In most areas, you can find camu camu products at your local health food store or even in a typical grocery store. Camu camu is easiest to find in powder form, but you may be able to find camu camu juice in select health food markets.
If you aren’t able to find camu camu on the shelves of your local market, it’s easy to purchase online and get delivered to your house through a variety of brands. You can purchase organic camu camu powder in many different bag sizes, either in its pure form or mixed with other superfood powders.
How to Properly Store Camu Camu
Camu camu powder has a long shelf life and can last for several weeks in your pantry if properly kept. Make sure your camu camu powder is stored in an airtight container that’s kept cool and dry. Additionally, you should consume your camu camu powder before the expiration date for the best results.
Camu camu juice and any juice mixtures containing camu camu should be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within a few days of opening.
How Can I Eat Camu Camu?
Acai bowls are all the rage for their health benefits as well as their delicious taste and endless ability to customize. Many acai fans like to mix camu camu powder into their acai bowls for the added health effects.
Other ways to incorporate the benefits of camu camu powder into your daily diet include sprinkling the powder over yogurt or cereal, adding it into your smoothie or protein shake, or even stirring it into tea for added benefits and taste.
Some people include camu camu juice in their pressed juices or smoothies, especially if they like to cut the sweetness of a pressed juice or smoothie with a slightly tangy or sour taste.
What’s the Most Digestible Way to Consume Camu Camu?
There are no incorrect ways to consume camu camu, especially if you don’t have any sensitivities to fruit juice or fruit extract.
However, since camu camu juice has a sour taste and contains high acidity levels, it may cause some digestive issues for those struggling with acid reflux. In this case, you should try using camu camu powder instead of its juice form.
Health Benefits of Camu Camu
Now that you have learned a bit about what camu camu is and the best ways to consume it, let’s take a closer look at the specific health benefits of camu camu that you can enjoy when you include this superfood in your diet.
High Concentration of Vitamin C
The vitamin C content is one of the most significant health benefits of camu camu. In fact, vitamin C makes up between 2 and 3% of the berry’s entire weight, which makes camu camu the second richest vitamin C source among all known fruits and vegetables.
Some of the most common benefits associated with regular vitamin C consumption include better collagen formation, a stronger immune system, and more efficient iron absorption, among others.
Plenty of Polyphenols
Polyphenols are chemical groups naturally found in a variety of plants and known to provide many health effects. According to many scientific studies, polyphenols have very similar effects to antioxidants, which means they can help reduce inflammation in the body and even aid in future disease prevention.
Camu camu is known to contain multiple types of polyphenols, including phenolic acids, stilbenes, flavonoids, lignans, and tannins. However, the amount of these compounds found in any given camu camu plant will depend on the fruit’s maturity at the time of picking, the soil in which it grew, and what type of extraction method was used.
Immune System Support
The best way to support your immune system is to eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C.
A single serving of camu camu powder contains well over the daily recommendation of vitamin C intake, which means including camu camu powder in your diet even just a few days a week could make a big difference in your body’s immune response.
Smoother Aging Process
Among the many positive health effects of polyphenols and antioxidants is the benefit of anti-aging properties.
One of the biggest causes of internal aging is inflammation, which can cause various internal issues. Polyphenols and antioxidants fight against free radicals and other inflammatory agents, which help keep your internal systems working efficiently.
Regular consumption of camu camu can also help prevent outward signs of aging, such as skin dullness or fine lines. Vitamin C, one of the most significant benefits of camu camu, can support increased collagen production in the body and improve the appearance of the skin.
Are There Any Risks Related to Camu Camu?
As of yet, there are no definitive studies that have found significant risk with consuming too much camu camu, whether in powder or juice form. However, just like any substance or supplement, you should consult your doctor before including camu camu in your diet on a regular basis and especially before consuming it daily.
Limits on Camu Camu Consumption
Some studies suggest that too many antioxidants in your diet could have an adverse effect on your health. Ask your doctor if you should place any specific limitations on camu camu consumption based on the other sources of antioxidants already included in your diet and other details of your current health status.
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Ready to learn firsthand how the benefits of camu camu can improve your life from day to day? At Clean Juice, we make healthy taste great with fresh pressed juices, hand-crafted acai bowls, and much more. Contact us and order now for delivery right to your door!
- Camu Camu is the buzziest anti-inflammatory fruit right now
- Myrciaria dubia
- Antioxidant and Associated Capacities of Camu Camu
- What is Camu Camu?
- Chemistry and Biochemistry of Dietary Polyphenols
- 4 Camu Camu Benefits that are good for your skin
Disclaimer: The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. Consult your doctor before using any health treatment, including natural remedies, and tell your doctor if you have a serious medical condition or are taking any medications.
Like any food, however, you should refrain from consuming too much and creating an imbalance in your diet. You can ask your doctor about a healthy level of daily fruit consumption for your health needs.
Some people with specific allergies may have a negative reaction to eating acai or foods that contain acai. If you are allergic to pollen, ask your doctor whether acai is safe for you, as this berry could potentially aggravate your allergy.