If you haven't heard much about camu camu yet, expect that to change very soon. Camu camu is the latest superfood growing in popularity, and once you learn about all the benefits that camu camu has to offer, you'll definitely want a taste.
What is camu camu?
Camu camu is a fruit native to Peru and Brazil that is known for being red and purple in color, and fairly similar to a cherry. In the Amazon region, one of the most common camu camu products is a fresh juice. However, some folks prefer to use the fruit for jams, jellies, wines, liquors, or even pie fillings, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Although camu camu is still known as a bit of a fringe health food in many markets, it has been steadily growing in popularity over the years, especially in the United States and Japan. Considering all the wonderful vitamins and minerals in camu camu, it's little wonder why.
Camu Camu Benefits
One of the biggest benefits of camu camu is the high level of antioxidants in the fruit. Studies have suggested that camu camu may play a potential role in disease prevention and the promotion of good health, especially when it comes to inflammation. According to the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the fruit's pulp, skin, and seed all show anti-inflammatory potential.
Another benefit of camu camu is its high levels of vitamin C. According to Medical News Today, the fruit boasts 3,000 milligrams of the vitamin per 100 grams. To put that in perspective, that's about 20 or 30 times more vitamin C than the amount found in kiwis. On top of that, camu camu also includes an impressive array of other minerals, such as potassium, calcium, zinc, and magnesium.
But what about using camu camu for weight loss? An August 2018 study published in Gut found that mice who ate camu camu extract on an eight-week high-fat and high-sugar diet gained 50 percent less weight than mice on the same eating plan who hadn't consumed the extract. While those results might seem exciting, it's worth noting that this eating plan has not yet been tested on humans. That said, the researchers' next plan of action is to find out if camu camu can indeed reduce weight gain in humans like it did in mice, according to Science Alert. We'll definitely have to stay tuned to see if it does.
How to Use Camu Camu
Despite camu camu's health benefits, it's worth noting that many folks are not fans of the flavor of the actual fruit. Unless you happen to like extremely sour and acidic notes, it might not be the best plan to eat a whole camu camu right off the bat. And even if you wanted to do that, fresh camu camu berries are tough to come by outside of the Amazon region because they're super fragile to transport, according to NPR. That said, there are quite a few other options for consuming camu camu that make the taste much easier to swallow — literally.
For example, there are a couple of popular camu camu powders available for purchase online, such as Terrasoul Superfoods Camu Camu Powder ($10.49, Amazon) and Peruvian Pure Organic Camu Camu Powder ($17.95, Amazon). These powders can be added as flavor enhancers to smoothies and juices. They may even help make citrus desserts a bit tastier. If you don't want to use a powder, you also have the option of taking an Organic Camu Camu Berry Supplement ($15.15, Amazon). Remember, always talk to your doctor about trying any new supplement.
Next, learn about the tastiest superfoods that can help you live longer in the video below: