The Amazon rainforests offer a wide variety of delicious foods that have become staples in diets around the world. Some of the most popular items include chocolate, coffee, bananas and cashews. A variety of less well-known fruits available from this area are starting to gain attention, thanks to their extraordinary health benefits. One of the most interesting is antioxidant superstar camu camu, which has numerous benefits.
A peek indide: The nutrition you will find in Camu Camu
Camu camu can be found in wet, swampy environments, and the trees are typically between 10 and 16 feet tall. The berries of the camu camu tree resemble cherries, and trees can produce up to 26 pounds of fruit per year.
Some key nutrients of camu camu include the following:
- Vitamin C
- Amino acids (serine, leucine and valine)
- Carotenoids (lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin)
Camu camu’s vitamin C content is exceptionally high, making this the most notable thing about the fruit. Depending on ripeness, berries may contain up to 60 times the amount of vitamin C in an orange.
Key health benefits of Camu Camu
With all of these nutrients combined in one small berry, camu camu complements healthy diets to prevent and treat a number of common health problems.
- Excellent source of antioxidants — Thanks to the massive amount of vitamin C in camu camu, the berry is high in antioxidants. These work with your body to protect against damage from molecules called free radicals, which contribute to many diseases. Examples of diseases related to free radicals include cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Enhances physical performance — The combination of nutrients in camu camu is helpful in boosting energy. In addition, the amino acids leucine and valine support healthy muscles, enhancing overall physical performance.
- Guards against cancer — A variety of common environmental toxins have been identified as cancer-causing agents. Fortunately, healthy eating can mitigate some of the damage. Study after study has come to the same conclusion: Antioxidants are helpful in preventing and treating many forms of cancer.
- Supports healthy blood pressure — The combination of vitamin C and critical minerals in camu camu has been shown to effectively relax blood vessels, supporting healthy blood pressure.
- Effective treatment of gout — The pain caused by gout can make everyday activities difficult. Physicians often recommend anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, indomethacin and naproxen. Camu camu offers a natural alternative, as it contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can be effective in treating gout.
- Improves cardiovascular health — The potassium in camu camu is important to heart health, and the combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties protects against atherosclerosis, also known as “hardening of the arteries.”
- Aids in weight loss — Studies show that vitamin C lowers cortisol levels, which are directly related to how the body stores fat. Lower cortisol levels mean reduced fat storage, leading to weight loss.
- Reduces risk of diabetes — Manganese has been shown to directly impact diabetes, reducing risk for those who have not yet developed the disease and reducing complications for those who already have diabetes.
- Increases liver health — Vitamin C is a natural detoxifier, which is important for long-term liver health. The high vitamin C content of camu camu makes this an excellent solution for improving liver function.