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5 Brilliant Benefits Of Camu Camu And How To Make The Most Of This Superfood

18 May, 2020
Camu Camu from shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

  1. A Fruit Rich in Antioxidants

The camu camu berry is absolutely filled with antioxidants, including potent flavonoids like ellagic acid. Antioxidants help with a range of processes around the body and can heal the damage done by dangerous free radicals.

Free radicals are associated with a wide array of negative health effects, including increasing the risk of various diseases and leading to weaker skin, muscles and bones. Too many free radicals in your system can give you a higher chance of developing heart disease, for example, but camu camu can help with this.

Studies have shown the positive antioxidant effects of consuming camu camu. In simple terms, diet that is high in antioxidant-rich foods like camu camu extract can help to reduce the risk of developing various diseases and prolonging your lifespan.

There are several less important but still highly desirable effects of consuming high numbers of antioxidants too. Many people consume camu camu for skin health, for example, as antioxidants are believed to battle common signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging skin.

Antioxidants have also been linked with slowing down eye degeneration in the elderly, helping to prevent visual issues like cataracts and blindness. This makes the camu camu superfood a good option for elderly people, as well as younger individuals who want to stave off the negative effects associated with getting older.

  1. Camu Camu: Incredible Levels Of Vitamin C

Web MD and various other sources have confirmed that camu camu’s vitamin C levels are exceptionally high. In fact, it contains up to 3 grams of vitamin C for every 100 grams (3.5 ounces), giving it one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C of any known fruit.

The impressive levels of vitamin C in camu camu offer a lot of potential health benefits for the body, as vitamin C plays several key roles in the immune system, fighting stress, dealing with the signs of aging, and even helping with skin and bone growth.

Vitamin C has been proven to play a key part in the development of collagen, which is one of the key proteins used for developing new skin, bone, and muscle cells.

Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant, helping to protect the body from free radicals, which can lead to a range of mild to severe effects like the development of wrinkles or even the onset of serious diseases like cancer.

Consuming camu camu fruit and other foods that are rich in vitamin C, like oranges and lemons, can help to fight back against free radical damage. A single teaspoon of camu camu powder can offer around 750% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

  1. Reduces Inflammation Throughout The Body

Another benefit of consuming camu camu is the fact that these little berries can help to fight against inflammation throughout the body.

When we consider that some of the risks associated with inflammation include cancer and heart disease, it's a good idea to explore any way to calm and reduce inflammation throughout our organs.

Several key components found in camu camu can help to reduce inflammation. Ellagic acid, for example, is a powerful antioxidant that has been proven in studies to actually prevent a certain inflammatory enzyme called aldose reductase from functioning, thereby reducing the risk of inflammation.

One study involved a group of smokers who were given a cup of camu camu juice to drink each day for a week. They showed major reductions in certain inflammatory markers. A control group was given a tablet containing the same amount of vitamin C as the camu camu juice, but didn't experience the same anti-inflammatory effects.

This study suggests that it's not just the vitamin C content of camu camu that makes it such a potent nutritive ingredient, but perhaps the interaction of several different components all working together to produce such a desirable effect.

  1. Camu Camu May Help With Weight Loss

Many people aren't satisfied with their weight and try all sorts of diets and exercise plans in order to shed a few pounds and hit their targets. Well, certain studies in animals have shown that camu camu may be able to offer some assistance in this area too.

A study involving camu camu and obese mice produced some very promising results. The mice stopped gaining weight and accumulating fat after being given camu camu, suggesting that these little berries may be able to aid those who wish to get their weight under control.

A similar study looked at the effects of camu camu on obese rats. Two groups of rats were selected, with one group being given 25 ml of camu camu per day and the other being given none at all. The rats that had been eating camu camu were found to have lost weight and even had lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels too.

While additional studies and human tests are needed to determine how effective camu camu really is as a weight loss aid, the signs are strong that these South American fruits could aid with burning calories and boosting the digestive system for effective and efficient weight loss.

  1. Camu Camu Can Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is a common condition affecting people around the world, and it can have severe consequences, being one of the major contributing factors towards heart disease. Even in mild cases, it can cause damage to blood vessels and the heart, while slowly and silently increasing the risks of a heart attack or stroke.

Enter, camu camu. Several promising studies have taken place to determine the effects of this superfood on blood pressure, with one human study in particular standing out with some very optimistic results.

For this study, ten healthy men and ten healthy women were selected, with half being given some camu camu extract and half being given a placebo. Then, special ultrasonic equipment was used to see if the diameter of their arteries changed in any way, as well as recording their blood pressure values.

The results were by no means conclusive, with more studies needed to reach any definitive conclusions, but they did show that the berries may help to reduce blood pressure, as many members of the camu camu group had lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings by the end of the test.

How To Make The Most Of Camu Camu

With such a super set of nutrients and an impressive array of health advantages, it seems like a no-brainer to incorporate camu camu into your diet. So how can you best enjoy these little berries?

Well, one of the first things to note about camu camu is that the berries are actually quite sour if eaten on their own. Most people can't really tolerate their flavour, but luckily, camu camu can easily be found in supplement pills or ground powder form, as well as juice, pulp, and purée.

So, whether you're looking for a super source of vitamin C, seeking out a superfood that can help you lower your risks of various diseases, or you want to enjoy camu camu’s weight loss advantages, there are quite a few ways you can make these berries a part of your diet.

Camu Camu Powder

Powder is the most popular and commonly used form of camu camu, and there are many different camu camu powder recipes you can try out. Just don't forget that camu camu may not be quite as nutritious when heated, so if you want to use it in a warm dish, we recommend adding it at the end, when everything is already cooked.

With camu camu powder, all moisture has been removed, preserving the healthy components of the berries and giving them a much longer shelf life too. You can keep camu camu powder for 18 months or longer without worrying about it losing any of its potency.

When it comes to using camu camu powder in recipes, the sky's the limit. You can simply sprinkle it over your morning muesli, mix a spoonful in with yogurt or oatmeal, or even add it to salad dressings or sauces to vastly increase the vitamin C and antioxidant contents of your meals.

Even in powder form, camu camu is still quite sour, so it makes sense to try and mask that flavour however you can by mixing it up with other ingredients. This way, you get all of the benefits without having to deal with that unpleasant taste.

Camu Camu Juice

Camu camu can also be found in juice form, allowing you to simply drink it like any other fruit juice, or mix it up with other ingredients as part of a smoothie. You can find dozens of camu camu smoothie recipes online.[SM5] 

There are various camu camu juice blends you can buy from health and specialty shops, and they're sometimes sweetened naturally or blended together with concentrates of other fruits and superfoods like acai and blueberry.

These unique juice blends can give you multiple superfood benefits in every single sip, so they might be a good choice for those who want to enjoy all the advantages of camu camu alongside other effective ingredients without having to buy them all separately.

Camu Camu Tablets

One of the simplest ways to incorporate camu camu into your diet is by taking supplements. Camu camu capsules and tablets are available and can be taken alongside meals to offer high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants without the need to actually add camu camu powder, juice, or pulp into your recipes.

Craving fresh apple juice in the morning? Learn how to make it using these five methods - any of which yields a refreshing juice full of flavor.

Other Camu Camu Recipes

As the popularity of camu camu continues to rise, we're seeing people really getting creative with camu camu powder, pulp, juice, and even the raw berries themselves. There are all kinds of online recipes to try out, from camu camu cider to camu camu lemonade. Some folks are even incorporating camu camu into face masks, which are said to brighten and tighten the skin.

Camu Camu: A Superfood with A Bright Future

Plenty more studies need to be done to determine just how effective and nutritious camu camu really is, but the early signs are encouraging. Nobody is saying it can solve all of your problems, but its high vitamin C content and myriad of minerals make it a great ingredient to add to your diet.

While its tangy and sour flavour might not be to everyone's taste, the powdered and juice forms of camu camu make it so simple to invisibly incorporate into almost any dish, letting us all enjoy its health-boosting qualities whenever we like. If you're looking for a superfood that really lives up to the name, camu camu is one to check out.

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