Camu camu, also known as Myrciaria Dubia, is a sour berry that looks much like a cherry but tastes much tangier.
Amazon rain forests of Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia are home to the shrub camu camu. The leaves and berries have medicinal purposes.
Due to their sour taste, camu camu berries are more usually available in powders, tablets, and juice than as fresh fruit.
Camu camu is often regarded as a superfood due to its abundant supply of many beneficial nutrients and potent plant components, including vitamin C. Camu camu powder has been utilised in traditional medicine for centuries due to its high concentration of vitamin C and other nutrients, as well as its high antioxidant content.
Benefits of Camu camu powder
High in Vitamin C
Vitamin C serves multiple crucial functions in the human body. Collagen – a protein that nourishes the skin, bones, and muscles- can be made without it and helps boost your immune system.
In its role as an antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Even though free radicals occur naturally as a byproduct of biological function, an excess of them can be produced by things like stress, a bad diet, and environmental toxins.
Antioxidant-rich diets, especially those high in vitamin C, protect cells from oxidative stress and free radical damage.
With its intense sour flavour, it is usually only offered in powdered form rather than used in cooking. Due to the elimination of all water, one gramme of the powder has more vitamin C than one gramme of the fresh berries.
Research shows one teaspoon of camu camu powder contains up to 750% of the RDI for vitamin C(5 grams).
There is already a system to deal with free radicals, but eating foods rich in antioxidants can help reduce their numbers even further.
Camu camu contains two anthocyanin chemicals, cyanidin-3-glucoside and delphinidin-3-glucoside and the powerful antioxidant ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Scientific studies show that Camu camu powder has the highest quantities of ascorbic acid and antioxidants of all Brazilian fruits.
Along with variables including growing conditions and soil type, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact concentration of these substances in camu camu. It would appear that camu camu is rich in antioxidants nonetheless.
The inflammation-reducing properties of camu camu are well-documented.
Diseases including cancer, heart problems, and autoimmune disorders have all been linked to chronic inflammation because it compromises cell health.
Ellagic acid, found in the pulp of the camu camu fruit, is an antioxidant that blocks the inflammation-inducing enzyme aldose reductase.
Camu camu contains an anti-inflammatory component synergistic with those of other therapeutic components.
There are potent anti-inflammatory components in the camu camu fruit’s seeds as well, and an extract of these seeds was shown to reduce inflammation in a scientific investigation.
How to utilise it
Most people find the sour taste of camu camu to be unpleasant when eaten on its own.
Camu powder is indeed more common than the berry itself. This makes sense because drying the camu camu increases the concentration and increases the storage life because the water has been eliminated.
Smoothies, oats, muesli, yoghurts, and even salad dressings benefit from the addition of camu camu powder. Its sour flavour can be masked and made more tolerable by mixing it with other ingredients.
To avoid the loss of nutrients, particularly vitamin C, during cooking, it is recommended that camu camu be added to food only after it has been prepared.
Camu camu is also sold in concentrated supplements and extract forms.
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Vitamin C and flavonoids are two potent antioxidants in camu camu fruit and seeds.
Camu powder can reduce inflammation, blood sugar, and blood pressure, similar to the benefits of medicinal mushrooms in Australia.
The sour flavour of fresh camu camu fruit can be overcome by taking a powder or concentrated supplement.