4 Camu Camu Benefits (#1 is Best)

There's a new superfood in town and no doubt you've heard all about it - the exotic camu camu is quickly becoming a popular health supplement for its potent antioxidant properties. But is it just hype or are camu camu benefits worth superfood status?

Before we find out, here's a little background on the wonderfruit...

What is Camu camu?

Camu camu (Myrciaria dubia) isn't your average fruit - it grows mostly in flooded, water-logged areas of the Amazon rainforest, primarily in Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil and Peru where both its fruits and leaves are used for medicinal purposes.​

benefits of camu camu benefits

As you can see, camu camu sort of looks like a plum, except that it's typically light orange-colored and can grow as big as a lemon.

And it's being touted as the next big superfood not just because of its abundance in powerful phytochemicals and antioxidants, but for its impressive nutritional properties as well.

​Its fans claim that camu camu has anti-viral properties as well as energy-boosting powers that helps with everything from fighting off the common cold to improving eye health.

But does it live up to its claims?

Let's do a quick rundown of camu camu benefits to find out what's so special about this new superfood.

4 Gigantic Benefits of Camu Camu

Camu camu's been linked to a range of goodness: strengthening the immune system, improving mood, supporting healthy eyes, boosting liver health, giving arthritis relief thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, and even for being highly effective in curbing the effects of the herpes virus.

But how does it do all this? It all comes down to what's in it...

1. Camu camu has the highest Vitamin C levels found in nature

Oranges - the poster child for Vitamin C - have nothing on camu camu. This Amazon fruit gives 60 times more Vitamin C per serving than an orange.

Since camu camu powder is about 15% Vitamin C by weight, a single teaspoon of the powder equals over 1000% of your recommended daily value of Vitamin C, which is awesome since this popular vitamin isn't made by our bodies and we need to get it from food sources.

Unless you're in the habit of loading up on Vitamin C-rich foods everyday, camu camu is an effective and convenient way of making sure you get enough of this vitamin that does so much. Especially if you are hypoglycemic, a smoker, or elderly - you'll want to load up on extra Vitamin C. 

In case you're wondering, here's a little rundown of Vitamin C's health benefits...

  • Fights allergies by acting as a natural anti-histamine
  • Reduces the severity and duration of the common cold
  • Is an important factor in collagen production, helping to heal wounds and protect the skin from free radical damage and exposure to UV rays
  • Protects against almost all types of cancer by preventing certain cancer-causing compounds from forming in the body as well as protecting against DNA damage and mutation
  • Is awesome for smokers and asthmatics thanks to its antioxdiant function and protection against inflammation
  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels, benefiting people with diabetes
  • Protects the eyes against cataracts - vitamin C is concentrated in the lens and helps to counteract the free radical damage that comes as a result of sunlight on the eyes.
  • Is a strong ‘helper' and helps increase iron absorption by two or three times

Camu camu is, in our honest opinion, the best Vitamin C supplement as it is a potent and 100% whole foods source, as well as naturally packed with nutrients that help enhance the bioavailability of Vitamin C. 

​2. Camu camu is packed with vital amino acids

Its Vitamin C content alone is awesome, but camu camu also contains a full profile of naturally occurring amino acids that help enhance Vitamin C's efficiency and utilization in the body as well as play a key role in the growth and development of tissues, muscles and cells in the human body.

Having a sufficient amount of them in your system helps stave off metabolic disturbances that can set off health problems like arthritis, erectile dysfunction, insomnia, diabetes, spiking bad cholesterol levels and obesity.

And of course, these amino acids come with specific health benefits of their own, like...

  • Boosts digestion: Camu camu is very rich in serine, a vital amino acid that the body needs to efficiently dissolve the polypeptide and protein bonds in foods so that the digestive system can absorb all the beneficial nutrients they can provide. Serine is typically found in nuts, dairy, meat, and soy-based products so if you're a vegetarian or vegan, camu camu is a smart, fruit-based way to make sure you're getting this amino acid.
  • Brain food: Camu camu is a bountiful source of valine, an essential amino acid that can only be acquired in select fruits and veggies and is necessary for proper mental functioning. On top of helping to stimulate the central nervous system, valine is especially beneficial for improving insomnia and nervousness.​
  • Supports muscle health: Camu camu is also a fruit-based source of leucine, another rather elusive essential amino acid that has a major contribution when bone and muscle growth is concerned. It plays a key role in the full recovery of muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones after experiencing extreme levels of stress or perhaps injury.

3. Camu Camu is bursting with disease-fighting flavonoids

Wonder why camu camu has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties?

Much of it is due to its high flavonoid content, like the anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-histamine boost from quercetin, lutein, astaxanthin, zeaxanthin, and ellagic and gallic acid.

Flavonoids are what's responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their bright colors. In the body, they...​

  • Fight allergies since camu camu is rich in flavonoids like quercetin, which is a natural antihistamine that protects against allergic reactions by preventing both the manufacture and release of histamine
  • Act as antioxidants to protect cells from the negative effects of oxidative stress
  • Help boost eye health, thanks to the flavonoids lutein, astaxanthin and zeaxanthin
  • Act directly as antibiotics to disrupt the function of viruses and bacteria. The antiviral function of flavonoids have even been demonstrated with the HIV virus and also with HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus)
  • Enhance the activity of Vitamin C (Vitamin C and flavonoids have a mutually beneficial relationship - each improves the antioxidant activity of the other and many of the vitamin-related functions of Vitamin C need flavonoids to work)
  • Prevent inflammation

4. Camu Camu is loaded with essential minerals and vitamins

This Amazon fruit has more Vitamin C than an orange - but it also contains three times more niacin, twice as much riboflavin, and 50% more phosphorous.

It's even got calcium, iron, and protein!

Not to mention, its potassium content is remarkably high, which is awesome since potassium is a key mineral crucial to kidney, heart and nervous system health, as well as an important player in maintaining hormonal balance.​

Where to Buy Camu Camu

best organic camu camu

Kiva's camu camu is made from 100% organic, non-GMO berries and provides 1180% of your DV of Vitamin C per teaspoon

​Very high quality powder - tangy without being overwhelming. It's our top camu camu pick!

where to buy camu camu

Great-tasting and USDA certified organic and non-GMO.

One of the best organic camu camu powders currently available!

Camu Camu Side Effects You Should Know About

As great as some superfoods can be for you, a lot of them are quite potent and can have unexpected side effects. Camu camu is an exception, though.

There are no known side effects to date BUT there are medical concerns that some of its compounds can react with medicines used in chemotherapy so if you're undergoing cancer treatment, please check with your doctor before incorporating camu camu in your diet.​

About the Author Jessica

After growing up a perpetually pudgy kid, Jessica discovered real food - and her waistline shortly afterward. When she's not crafting concoctions in the kitchen, she spends her free time writing about food, making her own deodorant, watching sci-fi, doing headstands, and looking for gluten free food that doesn't suck.

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