Looking for ways to get more Vitamin C, Iron and micro-nutrients into your diet? A small busy along the rivers of the Amazon may be your solution! This South American relative of the guavaberry, rumberry and jaboticaba plants produces a reddish-purple fruit resembling a cherry. For years, no one thought to eat this little fruit because its taste is so acidic. However, Camu Camu has now been cultivated into a powder supplement and is in high-demand in health food stores around the world.
Fun Facts About Camu Camu
Here are some interesting facts about Camu Camu:
- The trees can grow up to 40 feet high and yield 1,000 fruits per year.
- To get the same amount of Vitamin C found in one Camu Camu, you’d need to eat 50 oranges.
- Until recently, the fruit was used exclusively as fish bait and the tree for firewood.
- The powder is made by peeling the fruit, making a juice, and dehydrating the liquid.
Camu Camu Powder Nutrition
There’s no fat, cholesterol, sodium, or sugar in Camu Camu. In 1 teaspoon of Camu Camu Powder, you’ll find:
- 20 Calories
- 43 mg of Potassium (1% DV)
- 4 g of Carbohydrates (1% DV)
- 2% DV Vitamin A
- 1,180% DV Vitamin C
- 10% DV Iron
You’ll also find a good deal of carotenoids – particularly lutein, followed by beta-carotene and zeaxanthin – in Camu Camu Powder.
5 Health Benefits of Camu Camu Powder
- Boost Your Immune System: The amazing Vitamin C content is the main reason people gravitate to Camu Camu Powder. Naturally occurring Vitamin C is the best way to boost the immune system, rather than relying on synthetic forms. So why ingest Vitamin C? The nutrient is a key factor in collagen production, cell repair, white blood cell production, neutralizing free radicals, and immune system function that may help to promote a healthier “you” all around!
- Reduce Inflammation: Along with Vitamin C, Camu Camu is packed with anthocyanins, catechins and flavonols, which are other known anti-inflammatory agents.
- Fight Cancer: Like other Myrtaceae family plants, Camu-Camu is a source of ellagic acid, an anti-cancer compound. According to HealWithFood.org, research has shown that ellagic acid works to “neutralize cancer-causing substances, boost the immune system, and promote apoptosis (self-destruction) of cancerous cells” in test tubes. Whether it does the same within the human body is yet to be shown through research, but the preliminary findings are promising.
- Improve Eye Health: The carotenoids (particularly lutein) in Camu Camu are great antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress in the ocular system. Lutein is, in fact, sometimes referred to as “the eye vitamin” for its role in preventing cataracts, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and other eye diseases. Furthermore, the flavonoids and anthocyanins may also protect the eyes from macular degeneration and impaired night vision.
- Stay Forever Young: The powerful antioxidant punch will keep your ticker in good shape and may help by lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation and promoting heart health. In 100 grams (a good scoop) of Camu Camu, you’ll find 71 mg of Potassium, which may support heart and kidney function. With so much Vitamin C, you can also expect better collagen production, which makes the skin more elastic and reduces the formation of wrinkles. The essential amino acid valine may help to prevent muscle breakdown and nervous system / cognitive declines associated with aging as well.
Disclaimer/Note: Always talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement.
Tips For Buying, Storing & Cooking With Camu Camu Powder
- Buying: If you can’t find it at your local health store, you can also buy USDA-certified organic, raw, vegan Camu Camu Powder on Amazon for around $14 a bag. There are several different brands out there, but Men’s Fitness and the AllWomensTalk blog suggest Navitas Naturals, as you get the pure Peru-sourced powder, without any artificial additives. If you are looking for a whole foods vitamin C, I recommend this brand: http://bit.ly/1TRiGdO
- Storing: According to research, the Camu Camu fruit loses a quarter of its Vitamin C content after just one month of storage. The powder form of Camu Camu should be used within a year to get all the benefits.
- Cooking: The most common way people ingest Camu Camu tends to be by adding a scoop to smoothies. Dr. Oz recommends adding it to oatmeal and yogurt or making a refreshing citrus soda by adding it to seltzer water and a splash of lemon juice.
- Add Camu Camu to The Chalkboard Mag’s Stevia-Sweetened Tropical Smoothie Recipe
- Nuts.com’s Camu Camu Berry Lemonade
- Bright Earth Superfoods’ Tangy Camu Camu Strawberry Milkshake
- Bioglan’s Camu & Mango Frozen Yogurt (for dairy sensitive make with fresh coconut yogurt)
- Que Rica Vida’s Camu & Mango Popsicles (for dairy sensitive make with fresh coconut milk)
- Lifestyle Health’s Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Camu Chia Berry Compote
- Navitas Naturals’ Power Energy Treats
- Navitas Naturals’ Raspberry Camu Vinaigrette Dressing
- Navitas Naturals’ Goldenberry Macaroons