I recently read about the many benefits of camu camu berries and am so excited to share the healthy properties of this superfood. The camu camu berries grow wild on bushes in Peru’s Amazon rainforest. They are a grape sized fruit that is red and packs a tart punch, and just like acai, they are sold freeze dried. Although they haven’t received as much attention as acai, they are just as powerful as the benefits of camu camu berries are plentiful!
1. Vitamin C Powerhouse
Camu camu is considered a superfood because it is an extremely concentrated source of natural vitamin C. A single teaspoon of freeze dried camu camu powder has 1,180% of your daily value of vitamin C! All of this vitamin C is the primary reason there are so many benefits of camu camu. An inadequate vitamin C intake can result in many problems including joint pain, dry skin, and decreased immunity. It is important to note that during times of stress your body needs even more vitamin C to ward off these problems, and with a teaspoon of camu camu a day it is very easy to get all the vitamin C you need!
2. Combats Depression
Camu camu has been shown to be beneficial for people suffering from depression. One of the first health practitioners to recognize camu camu’s use in treating depression was Dr. Gary Null. He discovered that it has a great ability to balance mood and increase serotonin levels, which is primarily due to its high vitamin C content. Interestingly, these benefits can at times be experienced almost immediately! Many alternative health care practitioners have noted that people’s mood improves shortly after taking camu camu. I can attest to camu camu’s mood boosting abilities as I often feel a bit perky after I have some of the powder in my morning smoothie!
3. Relieves Arthritis Pain
Joint pain seems to be a problem for so many different people, myself included. When I read that camu camu could help arthritis pain I was very excited to think that it could help my own achy joints. The vitamin C in the camu camu berries decreases the risk of cartilage loss while also supporting collagen formation for healthy joints. Additionally, healthy vitamin C intake reduces inflammation and decreases the risk of developing inflammatory arthritis. If you suffer from occasional joint pain or arthritis try adding camu camu into your diet as a natural way to reduce your pain.
4. Improves Skin Quality
Like most women, I always perk up when I hear about something that can improve the quality of my skin, and camu camu has several key qualities that make it a beauty superfood. The vitamin C and antioxidants in camu camu make it especially adept at fighting the wrinkles and brown spots that every woman dislikes. By increasing collagen production through its high vitamin C content, camu camu can diminish the visibility of wrinkles and prevent new wrinkles from forming! The antioxidants in camu camu also improve skin quality by reducing brown spots caused by free radical damage from sun exposure. I have been adding camu camu to my smoothies for a few weeks, and, although it is too soon to see a difference, I like to think the crow’s feet around my eyes are getting smaller!
With cold and flu season here, it is really great to know that the viruses that cause these infections can be thwarted by the camu camu berry. Camu camu has been shown to have antiviral properties, making it useful in protecting against colds and the flu. It has also been demonstrated to be beneficial in the treatment of cold sores, shingles, and the Epstein Barr virus! These illnesses range from being minor to very serious, and the fact that camu camu can help fight all of them demonstrates that it is a very powerful fruit. I know that I am going to be making use of its antiviral properties by adding a little extra to my smoothies if I feel a cold coming on.
6. Protects Eyes
I have always considered carrots to be a great food for eye health, so I was surprised to learn that camu camu actually has wonderful benefits for eyesight. Camu camu can protect the retina and nerves in the eyes, and its high vitamin C content has been shown to tone eye muscles. In fact, camu camu is considered so beneficial for eye health that alternative doctors have used it to successfully treat cataracts, and it is possible that it may even help with glaucoma. While I don’t think carrots have been officially dethroned, it is intriguing to know that camu camu is great for eye health and is even considered to be the number one superfood for resorting and maintain eyesight!
7. Eases Migraines
I have been plagued with migraines most of my life and am all too aware of how painful and debilitating they can be, and I am always interested to learn about something that may help migraines. Camu camu has neuro-protective properties that help migraines caused by food triggers like MSG, aspartame, and chocolate. While it is still advisable to avoid these triggers, eating camu camu may ease migraines caused by food triggers. Camu camu may also reduce the migraine frequency. I don’t get migraines too often anymore; however, I am encouraged to know that there is a natural food that can decrease migraine pain and frequency.
In the last decade there have been so many different superfoods discovered, including the amazing camu camu berry. The health promoting properties of these berries are so numerous that I am thrilled I started adding the powder to my morning smoothies. I find it so amazing that one fruit can have so many different benefits! Maybe after reading this you will consider adding camu camu to your diet too!
What are your favorite superfoods?