Organic Camu Camu

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What Is Camu Camu?

It’s a cherry — it’s acai berries — no, it’s — camu camu? 

If you’re new to the camu camu berry, it’s a tropical stone fruit larger than a cherry and smaller than a plum, with the gradient coloration of apples. Camu camus are mostly a dark red color but can morph into oranges, yellows, and greens.

The flesh of the berry is tart and sour. Due to it’s unappealing flavor, it’s quite unpopular in its local markets. However, camu camu supplements — powders, extracts, and concentrates — have become a significant export to the American, Japanese and European markets.

Why Is Camu Camu so Popular?

Camu camu launched into the public eye only within the last decade. It has been called a ‘superfood’ and is often compared favorably to acai, another recent superfruit import.

But camu camu is doing quite well on its own merits as well. The number of products and coverage relating to this niche fruit is rather impressive.

Two factors play a key role in rocketing the supplement to its newfound fame:it’s potent vitamin C content and its origins. Despite its size, a camu camu berry has incredible amounts of vitamin C due to it’s potent concentration. For this reason alone, Camu Camu is often incorporated into meals in an effort to boost one’s immune system. 

Where Does Camu Camu Come From?

As for the second reason for camu camu’s popularity,its origins, the fruit hails from the lowlands of the Amazon rainforest. The camu camu plant is a small, bushy tree that loves water and can thrive in flood conditions for months on end, even if the root system is totally submerged. 

It can be seen in places like Bolivia and Colombia, but it is mainly found in Brazil and Peru. Before the 21st century, camu camu leaves and fruit were typically used by indigenous Amazonian peoples, although accounts of such use are scarce. Today you can find it as a flavor of ice cream and other treats where it’s locally grown.

A small global market means camu camu products can come straight from South America and arrive on your front doorstep.

Different Types of Camu Camu Products

  • Camu Camu Powder
  • Camu Camu Supplements 
  • Camu Camu Juice
  • Camu Camu for Beauty 

Is Camu Camu Healthy?

Camu camu has its quirks, but it also has its bonafide nutritional benefits.

However, just eating camu camu fruit (aside from it being a questionable flavor experience) actually wouldn’t provide equivalent camu camu powder benefits. In addition, heating the fruit would degrade its nutritional value.

Camu Camu powder combines the most nutritional properties of the fruit into a concentrated powder. Due to it’s wide availability and dence nutritional profile, the powder form of Camu Camu is likely to be the best form to consume.

Camu Camu Benefits

Camu camu benefits are not extensively studied,however, the beneficial components of camu camu and their resulting products are well-known and well-proven.

Vitamin C

Camu camu — along with the Australian Kakadu plum — is one of the single most vitamin C rich fruits on the planet. Vitamin C, a cell-protecting antioxidant, provides excellent support for the immune system and also helps to form the protein ‘collagen,’ which reduces signs of aging in skin, bone, and muscles.

The riper the camu camu fruit, the less vitamin C that is contained within. Regardless, 100 grams of camu camu has between 1800 and 2300 mg of vitamin C, depending on ripeness. A mere spoonful provides almost 1000% of your daily value!

Antioxidants

Aside from vitamin C, camu camu is also full of other antioxidants such as‘flavonoids.’ These compounds are common in fruits and vegetables and support a number of functions, including those found in our cardiovascular and nervous systems. Camu camu specifically boasts: 

  • Flavonols
  • Catechins
  • Anthocyanins
  • Gallic and Ellagic acids

May Fight Inflammation

This cocktail of antioxidants includes nutritional properties that are known to help reduce existing inflammation and further inhibit enzymes that produce an inflammatory response. 

Although it is not known if camu camu juice or powder can directly lessen inflammation when consumed, in the way ibuprofen might, it contains all the right elements to help support your body’s fight against inflammation.

Other Benefits of Camu Camu

Camu camu is also a beneficial source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It also contains some fiber, a small amount of direct protein, and amino acids, which are the building blocks of the body’s essential proteins.

How to Use Camu Camu

 

  • Camu Camu Powder

Powdered is the most popular form of camu camu because of its wide variety of applications. The powdered form may come freeze-dried or not, but in either case, it will offer the same nutritional value and it can be easily mixed into smoothies, yogurts, or creamy desserts.

  • Camu Camu Supplements 

If you simply want to add an extra boost to your health and not your recipes, camu camu supplements are sold in capsules for oral ingestion. They’re available in different serving sizes so you can tailor your intake to your needs or restrictions.

  • Camu Camu Juice

The serving size of camu camu fruit juice is only a small amount;it’s not for drinking in the usual sense, even if you can handle the taste. Just like with the camu camu pill supplements, you could take it daily or use it as a vitamin C and antioxidant booster as needed.

  • Camu Camu for Beauty 

Camu camu benefits aren’t only for the inner workings of the body! It also has properties beneficial for hair,skin, and nails that many people take advantage of via topical application. Camu camu beauty products include moisturizing oils, lotions, and face creams. 

Side Effects of Camu Camu

Because camu camu’s vitamin C levels are so potent, one risk of ingesting camu camu products is hitting your daily upper limit of vitamin C. If in a 24 hour period you take camu camu and then anything else containing significant amounts of vitamin C, you may approach the 2,000mg threshold. 

At that point, digestive issues may arise and you may experience nausea, diarrhea, or generally an upset stomach. Luckily, that would likely be the worst of it, and vitamin C is water-soluble so any build-up would easily flush from the body if this unlikely event were to occur in the first place.

When your internal levels of vitamin C normalize, any side effects will disapear fairly quickly.

Takeaway

Camu camu is a tart and sour berry grown in the wettest parts of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and Peru. This densely nutritious and unpalatable fruit is commonly exported as a supplement in powder or capsule form.

Camu camu is an incredible source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and some essential minerals and amino acids. 

Keep track of your vitamin C intake while taking camu camu supplementally, since it’s possible to cause stomach irritation from consuming too much vitamin C.

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