Camu Camu: The Healthiest Berry in the World

Camu Camu: The Healthiest Berry in the World

6th Dec 2014

Deep in the Amazon rainforest, you can find one of the most nutrient and anti-oxidant rich berries in the world, Camu Camu. This super-berry, native to Peru and Brazil has been carefully harvested for hundreds of years by native tribes for its medicinal-like qualities. An unparalleled natural source of Vitamin C, along with anti-oxidants, amino acids, bioflavonoids and micronutrients are a few of this berry's properties. It has been used in traditional medicine as an anti-viral and to treat cold and flu symptoms. A true super-fruit, this miraculous berry contains more Vitamin C than any other fruit on the planet.

As little as 1/3 of a teaspoon of Camu Camu powder is the equivalent to 200% your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C!

Camu Camu Berries are native to South America and have been used by native tribes for millennia.

Superfood Profile: Camu Camu is considered a superfood because of its extraordinarily high nutrient content. For any food to be considered a superfood, it must contain super rich concentrations of beneficial macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients such as essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Camu Camu Berry not only contains the highest quantity of immune boosting Vitamin C in the world, but also a high level of anti-aging antioxidants and other essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, phosphorous, iron and beta carotene. Within the category of superfoods, Camu Camu is considered to be a superfruit, a fruit that contains high levels of antioxidants and a range of health benefits. Unfortunately, the term superfruit has been abused by the media to market and exploit certain fruits as having superpowers for making you healthy. Often times, products are marketed that have no real nutritional value and the term starts to lose its meaning. Not every fruit qualifies as a superfruit. Berries such as Goji, Camu Camu, Acerola, Amla, and Mangosteen all contain superior healing qualities that have been used in ancient healing traditions for centuries. Camu Camu, in particular, has been used in Peru and Brazil for healing and building immunity due to its extremely high Vitamin C content. 

Health Benefits: With all of its vitamins and minerals, Camu Camu berries can assist in fighting off colds, the flu, herpes, and other viral infections. Camu Camu also supports the circulatory system, detoxifies the liver, decreases inflammation, improves respiratory health, and helps maintain mental clarity. Besides being a superfruit, Camu Camu is also an adaptogen, a plant whose medicinal qualities are able to help your body and mind deal with stress. Camu Camu is especially beneficial for balancing mood by acting as a safe and effective anti-depressant. This miraculous berry also provides support to the nervous system by optimizing the function of the brain and eyes.

Vitamin C

Some studies show that camu camu has 60 times the amount of Vitamin C per serving as that of an orange. Vitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of all tissues in the body. It is required for the synthesis of collagen, a protein that the body uses to grow skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. This strengthening effect is what causes the body to ward off the common cold, flu, and other viral diseases. Vitamin C is critical for not only healing wounds, but repairing bones and teeth as well.  

Amino Acids

Amino Acids are absolutely essential for all metabolic processes in the body. They are responsible for the transportation and storage of all nutrients ( i.e. water, fat, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates) and are the basis of all life processes. There are many diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, and even obesity that can be traced back to a disturbance in metabolism. Camu Camu contains a unique profile of amino acids that include Leucine, Valine, and Serine. Leucine is required for muscle and bone tissue growth and recovery as well as the production of growth hormones. Valine is considered an essential amino acid that our bodies cannot produce on its own and must be sourced from food. It aids in muscle regeneration and is important for the nervous system and cognitive function. Serine, on the other hand, is essential for digestion and the proper breakdown of protein so that the body can use it for energy. As you can tell, amino acids play a critical role in helping our bodies function properly so that we can feel good!

Anti-oxidants

Along with Vitamin C, Camu Camu contains an unusual amount of antioxidants. Compared to Acai, Camu Camu is known to have nearly 10x the amount of antioxidant capacity. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants contain a range of health benefits such as protecting cells from cancer causing free radicals and fighting oxidative damage attributed to premature aging. Antioxidants also improve skin tone, eyesight, and hair. Gallic acid and ellagic acid are a few of the known antioxidants found in camu camu. Both are known to have anti-viral, anti-fungal and disease fighting properties.

Bioflavonoids

Bioflavonoids are a set of naturally occurring plant compounds commonly found in citrus fruits, especially those high in Vitamin C that act primarily as plant pigments and antioxidants. Flavonoids are what give many fruits their amazing and unique colors such as the deep blue of blueberries and the rich red of raspberries. They work with other antioxidants to protect the body from oxidizing Vitamin C, thus allowing the body to obtain all of the health benefits of Vitamin C. Flavonoids are best known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits as well as the support of the cardiovascular and nervous systems. 

Vitamins & Minerals

Potassium, calcium, iron, and phosphorous are all minerals that naturally occur in Camu Camu. These essential minerals are needed for brain function, nerve function and most physical processes related to total well-being. They act as catalysts for many biological reactions such as the transmission of messages through the nervous system, digestion, and metabolizing all nutrients in foods. If there is an incorrect balance of minerals, key vitamins cannot be properly assimilated. For instance, the presence of minerals suh as calcium in Camu Camu ensures that Vitamin C is assimilated and utilized in the body. Minerals also keep the blood and tissue fluids from becoming too acidic or too alkaline, allowing nutrients to pass through the blood stream and be transported to cells. Deficiencies in minerals can cause the body to feel run down, causing a decrease in energy, vitality, and mood. 

Native Habitat & Sustainable Harvesting: Native to the Amazonian rainforests of Peru, Brazil and Venezuela, Camucamu.jpg Camu berries are found in wild swamps deep in the forest. Traditionally, Camu Camu could only be wild-harvested harvested by canoe. Until recently, most of the world harvest of Camu Camu was owned by Japan, making these wild berries a rare commodity even by native people in the Amazon jungle. Today, tribes are beginning to care-take wild plantations as well as plant orchards and graft trees. Although it takes nearly 4 to 5 years for a Camu Camu bush to bear fruit, it is far more valuable to grow than to clear cut a forest to graze cattle. 

Sustainable harvesting of camu camu could literally save the Amazon from clear cutting.  More and more, communities in the Amazon are realizing the opportunity of creating a sustainable economy based on an ancient tradition of wild-crafting Camu Camu berries, allowing them to both save their homeland as well as provide the global market with a highly medicinal plant. 

How to Use it: Camu Camu is often found in powdered form, and can be purchased from several sustainable and eco-friendly retailers. It is often found in many superfood powders and can be added to drinks and smoothies. 



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