The most powerful benefit of camu camu is its tremendous ability to increase your body's immunity. You might not have even heard of camu camu, but this superfood is even more nutritious than highly discussed Acai Berry. Camu camu also known as cacari is the highest vitamin C content food known so far. From cognitive disorders to preventing body from infections and from improving sexual health to eye health it offers multiple advantages.
What is Camu Camu?
Light orange purple color small lemon size fruit of camu camu grows on shrubs in Amazon rainforests of Peru Brazil and south America. Its botanical name is Myrciaria dubia. Its use is becoming more wider as more people have begun to understand its usefulness for health. It is antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant and anti-genocide.
When the fruit is fully ripened it gets its flavor but loses some of the vitamin C that camu camu is famous for. It contains 2145 mg of Vitamin C, a whooping 3575% RDA ( Recommended Dietary Allowance) in 100 grams.
It is also an excellent source of Manganese 2.1 mg which is 106% RDA.
It also contains 0.2mg of copper which is 10% RDA. This type of copper is rare in fruits and vegetables making it a very good source of copper for people suffering from Copper deficiency.
94% of the fruit is water.
Following is a brief nutritional profile. All quantities are per 100 grams of camu camu. (DV stands for Daily Value)
- Water 94.1 g
- Protein 0.4 g 1 % DV
- Fat 0.2 g
- Vitamin C 2145 mg 3575 % DV
- Calcium 15.7 mg 2 % DV
- Copper 0.2 mg 10 % DV
- Iron 0.53 mg 3 % DV
- Magnesium 12.4 mg 3 % DV
- Manganese 2.1 mg 106 % DV
- Potassium 83.8 mg 2 % DV
- Sodium 11.1 mg 0 %DV
- Zinc 0.36 mg 2 %DV
(Sources include: USDA)
Acai berry and Acerola are other two superfoods with high vitamin C contents, but camu camu beats both of them.
Health Benefits of Camu Camu
Following is a brief list of main benefits of camu camu. It is a superfood. Go for it.
1. Increases immunity
High Vitamin C content of camu camu helps to increase your body's immunity. A berry compared with one orange can give you 200 to 250 times more vitamin C. In addition it's anti inflammatory capabilities keeps infections away. Antioxidant capabilities help to fight with free radicals.
2.Improves Cognitive Ability
High antioxidant capacity of camu camu helps fight free radicals that stops plaque buildup on cognitive pathways. This helps in preventing Alzheimer's and dementia in elderly people. You get people to be more focused and sharo. Their memory improves.
3. Reduces Mood Swings and Enhances Moods
Camu camu helps your brain to produce more serotonin which can enhance your moods. People with Vitamin C deficiency normally show the signs of depression. Camu Camu with its high Vitamin C content not only improves mood but also can treat depression.
4. Improves Metabolism
Camu camu is a powerhouse of nutrients. With antioxidants, vitamins, minerals amino acids and phytonutrients, it boosts metabolism. This improves your overall health in every way. When your gut health is in order, your entire body is in order.
5. Improves Liver Health
Vitamin C has been found very useful in dealing with cirrhosis of the liver and other liver conditions. Rich vitamin C contents of camu camu along with antioxidants, and active compound methyl malate and other phytonutrients helps liver health.
6. Protects from Gum Disease
Changing white hair periodontal health problems can be improved by the use of camu camu due to it's high antiviral and antioxidant capabilities. Regular consumption of camu camu can significantly improve your oral health and prevent you from those difficult to treat dental conditions.
7. Improves Vision
Vitamin C and other antioxidants in can camu can slow down the progression of age related macular degeneration. People above the age of 50 have high risk and in some cases macular degeneration can cause blindness.
How To Use Camu Camu
Since camu camu berry is very tart, it's powder form is more popular. You can use it in the following manners to get the best out of the berry.
- Use slightly ripen berries rather than fully ripened berries to get maximum Vitamin C.
- Add fresh camu camu to other fruits to make smoothies. This will take care of it's tart taste while retaining full nutritional value.
- Put powdered camu camu to drinks, oatmeal and other recipes.Powdered versions are easily available in stores.
You can also get pills and juices. For use
Tips and Precautions
Camu camu has not been studied very much, therefore its side effects are not well recorded. It is a natural berry so it is generally safe. However excessive consumption of vitamin C can cause diarrhea, stomach upset, nausea and vomiting.
If you are prone to stomach ulcers then avoid consuming camu camu in any form.
Wherever high vitamin C interferes with medication camu camu will also do. So if you are taking chemotherapy medication then consult your doctor who may cause you to stop consuming during the course of chemotherapy.