10 Amazing Benefits of Camu Camu

Some of the most interesting benefits of camu camu include its ability to boost the immune system, protect against chronic diseases, reduce inflammation, detoxify the body, prevent viral infections, reduce mood swings, promote eye health, protect the sexual organ system, and prevent cognitive disorders.

Camu Camu

Although the scientific name is technically Myrciaria dubia, most of the world knows this miraculous little fruit as camu camu, or perhaps cacari, depending on where you happen to be. This tree that grows on riverbanks is most commonly found in South America, in Peru and Brazil, and its fruit is a small, cherry-like drupe. These fruits weren’t known to the rest of the world until recently, and the major importer is actually Japan, but as more and more is discovered about its remarkable nutritional composition, the demand is increasing. While the fruit is relatively easy to harvest, there is still no large-scale cultivation outside South America, making it a very important crop.

Interestingly enough, the amount of vitamin C content (about 2-3% of the total volume) begins to diminish as the fruit reaches maturity, which is when the top flavors emerge. Therefore, harvesters have to forge a delicate balance between flavor and nutritional benefit, which is why some people prefer slightly less ripened camu camu fruit. In terms of uses, camu camu lacks an overwhelming flavor, so it is commonly used in ice creams or sweets, but little else. The dried powder of camu camu has also been sold as a dietary supplement, given its rich nutrient content, including some antioxidants and essential amino acids for human health.

Camu camuHealth Benefits of Camu Camu

Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of this fruit.

Vitamin C Content

There’s no way to talk about camu camu without first mentioning the massive amount of vitamin C found in this remarkable little drupe. Camu camu has one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C of any food source, and since vitamin C is not only vital for human health, but also impossible to naturally create in our bodies, having a rich source like camu camu is a huge advantage. Also, the synthetic vitamin C that has recently been injected into foods to boost their potency is not nearly as beneficial as naturally occurring vitamin C. Ascorbic acid stimulates white blood cell production, which significantly boosts the immune system, and is also a key component in collagen production, which helps repair and develop cells, tissues, and organs. Just as a comparison, camu camu has 200 times more vitamin C than a banana in terms of vitamin C per ounce.

Improves Cognitive Ability

The various antioxidant effects of camu camu, some of which are derived from the huge amount of vitamin C, also help to eliminate plaque build-up in the cognitive pathways, often caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. Camu camu has been linked to preventing certain cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It can also boost cognitive ability in younger people, increasing focus, memory, and concentration skills.

Anti-inflammatory

Vitamin C is a natural anti-inflammatory substance, but the other nutrients and amino acids found in camu camu, such as anthocyanins, catechins, and flavonols, are also potent anti-inflammatory agents. For people who suffer everything from arthritis and gout, to hemorrhoids and headaches, camu camu can offer pain relief and soothe inflammation.

Prevents Cancer

Everyone is looking for the magical cure for cancer, and while it hasn’t been discovered yet, antioxidant compounds like those found in such abundance in camu camu, are often considered the best natural remedy to prevent the development or spread of certain types of cancers. Camu camu has dozens of antioxidant compounds in its tiny little package, so load up on these cancer-fighting drupes whenever you can!

Relieves Mood Swings

Some research has indicated that camu camu can have a relaxing effect on the body, acting almost as a sedative, which can certainly help to balance mood swings and soothe mental anxiety. Although the exact pathway isn’t completely clear, the high levels of magnesium and other vitamins that reduce inflammation and calm the body are likely the cause behind this important health benefit, particularly for people suffering from depression or menopausal mood swings.

Antiviral and Antibacterial

The natural antiseptic qualities of camu camu make it ideal for fending off bacterial and viral infections, including E. coli and various sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes. This makes camu camu a powerful dietary supplement for everyone, as our immune systems are constantly attacked by these foreign agents.

Prevents Infertility

Camu camu has been shown to prevent infertility by specifically protecting the health of sexual organs and ensuring proper functioning of those systems.

Tones Muscle

The diverse blend of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and organic compounds found within camu camu make it one of the most complete health foods out there, but that combination also facilitates the growth and protection of muscles. If you are looking to boost your metabolism and increase your muscle tone, eating camu camu can be an ideal workout complement.

Improves Vision

Carotenoids are primarily praised for their ability to protect eye health as an antioxidant, although they do have other important roles in the body. By eliminating oxidative stress in the ocular system, camu camu’s carotenoids can prevent the onset of macular degeneration and the development of cataracts, allowing you to see clearly well into your old age.

camucamuinfo

Aids Digestion

The dietary fiber content of camu camu isn’t as remarkable as its vitamin C content, but it is still significant, and can help boost your overall health by optimizing your digestive processes and even protecting your heart from the dangers of unbalanced cholesterol levels. Fiber also regulates the activity of insulin receptors in the body, thereby helping to manage and even prevent diabetes.

Word of Caution

Camu camu is not known as an allergenic food, and can be taken in conjunction with other pharmaceuticals and supplements. If you suffer from gout or other uric acid-related conditions, camu camu may exacerbate the symptoms, so be sure to consult a medical professional before adding it to your diet.

References
  1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jsfa.2740610310/abstract
  2. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf051357v
  3. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/195058
  4. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0914508708001500
  5. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996911002043
  6. http://world-food.net/download/journals/2010-issue_2/f60.pdf
  7. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/15376516.2013.802830
  8. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814606003207
  9. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/414104

What do you think?

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.
Download our App