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Camu Camu

The Camu Camu berry, also known as myrciaria dubia, is the fruit of an Amazonian riverside tree commonly found in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and Peru. The tree is partially submerged in water for close to six months and produces small white flowers with waxy petals. It takes approximately six to eight years for the tree to initially bear fruit. The small deep red and purple colored berries resemble cherries and are significantly high in Vitamin C content. The berries are typically harvested during high flood by boat or canoe and distributed for use all over the globe.

History

When historically used by Natives of the Amazon region, the Camu Camu berry provided a rich source of nutrition and phytochemicals needed to sustain proper health in ancient times. Traditional uses of the berry included alleviating pain, treating infection and inflammation, and healing wounds. People living within the Amazon region today still use these berries for other than nutritional purposes. In some cases, berries have been applied to unhealthy hair in an effort to treat brittle, split ends and to restore texture, strength, and shine.

Why Is It a Superfood?

The Camu Camu’s high concentration of vitamins and minerals has made the berries a highly aspired superfood worldwide. The berries likely have a higher concentration of whole food Vitamin C than most other fresh foods. In fact, one serving of theses berries may have up to 250 times more Vitamin C content than an orange. The berries are also rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron, and potassium, providing natural boosts of energy. Amino acids present in them include serine, leucine, and valine. Their increased levels of the antioxidants ellagic acid and quercetin make them optimal for promoting immune function and cardiovascular health. Antioxidant function also extends to help prevent untimely oxidative cell damage that will advance the aging progress.

The popularity of the Camu Camu has increased incrementally after some of its health benefits were discovered. Aside from its significant vitamin and antioxidant content, this superfood also helps protect the nervous system from degenerative diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. In the absence of certain nutrients in a diet, the nervous system may be exposed to damaging toxins from unhealthy food choices, making it more susceptible to certain mental disorders or impairments, such as depression.  It is also a great protective source for the eyes and greatly reduces the risks of macular degeneration and development of cataracts. Preventative effects extend further to protect against certain types of cancer as well as liver disease.

camu-camu-berry

The Camu Camu berry’s health benefits may also impact exposure to seasonal illnesses. The risk of acquiring the common cold or the flu after exposure to respiratory viruses may be severely reduced if this superfood is a regular part of a person’s diet. Its antiviral components also help fend off numerous other viruses. The berries may also protect against certain bacterial infections and inflammations in the body. It has been found to stave off gingivitis and gum disease in some patients.

How to eat it?

It can be consumed in a variety of ways. Since its taste is essentially rather sour, the berry is typically not consumed in its raw form. One of the most popular ways the berry is distributed is in the form of powder or capsules. After the berries are dried and fashioned into a dark red powder, they are ready to be used as a natural supplement. Camu Camu berry powder may be added to certain types of foods or drinks, such as shakes, smoothies, juices, or simply a glass of fresh water. In its supplement form it should be added very sparsely. Since it takes approximately fifteen pounds of raw berries to produce merely one pound of powder, the supplement’s vitamin C content is still rather high in very small quantities.

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