Native to the Amazon rainforest, Camucamu is a small berry that resembles cherry in color. Its consumption has been associated with impressive health benefits.
Scientifically, camucamu is called Myrciariadubia. It has gained popularity so fast that it is considered a superfood – and for a good reason. CamuCamu is highly nutritious and contains powerful plant compounds like vitamin C. It is too acidic that people find it hard to enjoy it fresh from the tree-like other berries. For that reason, camucamu is sometimes blended alongside other fruits into a juice or made into powder form and sold as supplements. This article reviews the health benefits of camucamu.
1. Loaded with Vitamin C
As per the National Institutes of Health, camucamu is high in vitamin C. You and I know how essential vitamin C is when it comes to protecting and boosting the immune system. To hit the nail on the head, vitamin C is responsible for the formation of a protein called collagen, which gives the skin, bones, and muscles their firm structure. Additionally, vitamin C plays a role as an antioxidant – compound that protect your cells and tissues from damages caused by harmful free radicals.
While free radicals are produced as normal byproducts of metabolism, lots of them can be produced due to an unhealthy diet, exposure to pollutants, and stress when free radicals are left to accumulate in the body and outnumber antioxidants, oxidative stress sets in, which increases your risk of long-term conditions like heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Increasing your intake of foods loaded with antioxidants like camucamu can effectively reduce oxidative stress and free radicals damage. CamuCamu is believed to contain about 3 g of vitamin C per 100 g of the fruit. It is worth mentioning that camucamu is acidic and, therefore, cannot be eaten fresh. This explains why it is made and sold in powder form, which has all the water extracted. Powdered Camu Camu contains more vitamin C than the fruit. In fact, the power of this fruit provides up to 750% of the recommended daily value (RDV) for vitamin C per 5 g. The amount of vitamin C in camucamu may also vary depending on where it was grown.
2. Is High in Powerful Antioxidants
CamuCamu is said to have incredible antioxidant properties. This is because it contains high levels of vitamin C plus several powerful plant compounds like flavonoid antioxidants – ellagic acid and anthocyanins. Usually, your body naturally produces antioxidants to protect itself from damages caused by free radicals. This sometimes cannot be enough as free radicals can outnumber them and cause chronic conditions like cancer and heart disease over time. Some habits like excessive smoking of cigarettes may cause free radicals to rise and lead to oxidative stress. Therefore, smokers may find the rich content of antioxidants in camucamu beneficial.
3. May Help With Inflammation
The National Institutes of Health claim that camucamu may effectively help reduce inflammation, thanks to antioxidants in them. Inflammation is not bad as it is a response your body uses to protect itself. However, chronic inflammation has been associated with negative impacts on cells which leads to diseases like cancer, autoimmune disease, and heart disease.
The sour pulp of camucamu is said to contain high levels of ellagic acid which is an antioxidant believed to block the production of aldose reductase – an enzyme that triggers inflammation. Additionally, studies suggest that camucamu can effectively reduce high sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and interleukin (IL-6) in smokers. Lastly, the seeds of camucamu are also believed to contain high levels of the anti-inflammatory compound, according to mouse studies. However, there is a need to do more human-based research to confirm the anti-inflammatory effects of camucamu.
4. May Help with Weight Loss
Overweight and obesity are key contributors to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Many people struggle to shed off the extra weight. Interestingly, camucamu can help you lose weight along side other weight loss strategies like regular exercise and a healthy diet. Studies suggest that it can increase your rate of metabolism and act as food to the good gut bacteria, both of which help with weight loss.
5. May Improve Blood Sugar Control
Impaired control of blood sugar is one problem that many people living with diabetes deal with. CamuCamu is said to be digested and absorbed slowly into your bloodstream. With that in mind, it only leads to a slow spike in blood sugar than other foods that shoot sugar levels within a short time.
6. May Fight Bacteria
Your skin is the main barrier protecting your body from bacterial invasion. Evidence indicates that camucamu possesses antibacterial properties which are active against several strains of bacteria. It may effectively kill Escherichia coli and S. mutans – bacteria which causes most infections in human.
7. CamuCamu and Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the leading causes of death in the world, and it is major heart disease. It is controlled by taking antihypertensive medications, which work in various ways, including dilating blood vessels and reducing heart rate. Evidence suggests that camucamu may as well work better than conventional antihypertensive medications. It is said to promote the dilation of blood vessels, which in turn reduces blood pressure.
Risks and Side Effects of CamuCamu
CamuCamu provides many nutrients and antioxidants which help protect your body against diseases. You may thus be tempted to eat it frequently. However, you may need to consider some of its side effects before you binge on it. Side effects of this berry are linked to the high content of vitamin C. With 5 g of camucamu providing 682 mg of vitamin C, eating a satisfying amount may provide more than the needed amount per day. Excess of vitamin C can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, among other digestive discomforts.
CamuCamu is a popular berry native to the Amazon rainforest. It has a strong sour taste that makes it hard to eat it fresh, and it has to be made into powder or blended with other fruits. That way, it provides important nutrients that benefit your body.