Camu Camu: All about this immune-supporting berry (Plus 3 must-try recipes)
If there’s one fruit that is worth its weight in gold, it is camu camu.
One of the latest exotic fruits to hit the market, the camu camu (Myrciaria dubia) is a plant native to the jungles of the Amazon region, where it is used by several indigenous Amazonian tribes as a base for natural remedies.
A relative of the guava, camu camu is a low-growing shrub that produces compact, purple-and yellow-colored fruits, which pack quite an impressive, nutrient-rich punch. Not only are camu camu berries rich in health-promoting nutrients and vitamins, they also contain essential minerals and powerful phytochemicals, such as flavonoids and anthocyanins.
Because of its berries’ nutrient density, many have come to attribute several impressive health benefits** to camu camu, with some even branding it as a “superfruit.”
So, what exactly is camu camu and how can it be added to your diet?
Camu camu: A nutrient-rich superfruit *
As with all whole foods, the health benefits attributed to the camu camu stem from its incredibly high concentration of essential nutrients, particularly vitamin C. (1)
Unlike most of the vitamin C sold today, which is synthetic vitamin C derived from genetically modified (GMO) corn, the vitamin C in camu camu is a natural and full-spectrum form of the vitamin – meaning it hasn’t been stripped of its necessary bioflavonoids, which serve to increase the effect of the vitamin and enable its optimal bioavailability.
Furthermore, according to a recent study, a 100 g serving of camu camu fruit pulp can contain up to 2,000 mg of vitamin C – roughly 30 to 60 times the amount of vitamin C present in a medium-sized orange, which is quite impressive for such a small fruit.
Camu camu is also rich in B vitamins, as well as essential minerals such as manganese, copper, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc -- all of which have been linked to several health benefits.
Not only that, the fruit is also a rich source of health-supporting phytochemicals. According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, camu camu contains a range of amino acids, as well as organic acids such as citric acid, isocitric acid, and malic acid. The fruits also contain several fatty acids, such as stearic acid, linoleic acid and oleic acid. (2)
The same study also noted the presence of volatile compounds in camu camu: They are a major source of various bioactive compounds, including many polyphenols such as phenolic acids, tannins, stilbenes and lignans.
Simply put, camu camu is extremely effective when it comes to supporting one’s overall health and wellness. Here are several reasons why this superfruit deserves a spot in your diet:
It supports a healthy immune system*
According to numerous studies, camu camu can support a healthy immune system. This is largely due to its unusually high concentration of natural, full-spectrum vitamin C, coupled with other natural compounds, which function as potent antioxidants. (3)
This means that camu camu can help the body fight oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals present in the environment, as well as help shield it from external threats.
It supports a healthy liver and a healthy digestive system*
The effects of camu camu’s antioxidant properties don’t just stop there – they’re also valuable when it comes to maintaining a healthy liver, as well as supporting healthy digestive function. In addition to supporting the immune system, camu camu also helps support the body’s natural elimination of toxic elements. (4)
It promotes a healthy cardiovascular system*
A veritable cornucopia when it comes to wellness, the camu camu and its potent cocktail of antioxidants and phytochemicals can also help maintain a healthy heart. According to studies, it does this by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels that are already in the normal range. (5) (6)
Camu camu: A wellspring of overall health and wellness*
The camu camu fruit also helps support one’s vision thanks to its rich supply of carotenoids and phytochemicals, including lutein and beta carotene. These two compounds help protect the eyes from oxidative stress and damage. (7)
If you’re into skin care, here’s some good news: Camu camu supports healthy, glowing skin – all thanks to its high vitamin C and antioxidant content.
Supercharging your diet: How to incorporate camu camu into your meals
Demand for camu camu has grown so much that now, about 1,400 hectares of camu camu are destined for international export to Japan, as well as other countries such as the United States and Canada.
There is a caveat, however: Camu camu isn’t exactly palatable. Due to its high vitamin C concentration, fresh camu camu berries, unsurprisingly, are very tart and acidic. Because of this, camu camu is typically sold as frozen pulp, or as a powdered supplement, like Groovy Bee Organic Camu Camu Powder, to be added into numerous recipes.
Sourced from plants grown in the rich soils of Peru, Groovy Bee Organic Camu Camu Powder can easily be added to smoothies and fruit shakes, as well as savory food items such as dips, salad dressings and even sauces, in order to give them a tropical – not to mention vitamin-enriched – twist.
Here are three tasty and easy recipes you can try, if you’re keen on adding this antioxidant-rich superfruit into your diet:
Recipe: Camu Camu and Mango Yogurt Pops
If you’re craving something fruity and icy, this recipe, adapted from an original by Que Rica Vida, may be perfect for you. Not only is it rich and creamy, it’s also packed with nutrients and antioxidants.
- 2 cups frozen organic mango
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 cups organic, non-dairy yogurt of choice
- 1 teaspoon Groovy Bee Organic Camu Camu Powder
- Health Ranger Select Premium Manuka Honey, to taste
- Blend frozen mango, lemon juice and Groovy Bee Organic Camu Camu Powder until thick and well-blended.
- Mix yogurt with Health Ranger Select Premium Manuka Honey.
- Prepare popsicle molds and sticks.
- Pour a small amount of the mango-camu camu mixture into the molds. Place in the freezer and wait for it to set. When firm, add a similar amount of the yogurt-honey mix. Repeat until the molds are filled. Place in the freezer.
- Before the layers harden completely, insert the popsicle sticks.
- Freeze overnight.
- To unmold, dip the molds in warm water.
- Serve and enjoy!
Recipe: Super-Charged Wild Berry Smoothie
Here’s a smoothie recipe for a filling, delicious and healthy breakfast, as adapted from Wolf Zen Cafe:
- 1 small organic banana
- 1 cup frozen organic blueberries
- 1 handful of organic spinach
- 1/3 cup Health Ranger Select Organic Goji Berries
- 1 tablespoon Groovy Bee Organic Camu Camu Powder
- 1 tablespoon Health Ranger Select Organic Bee Pollen
- 1 1/4 cup prepared FlaxJoy™ Organic Instant Flax Milk Powder
- Health Ranger Select Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, to taste
- Place all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend well.
- Transfer mixture into a cup and serve. Enjoy!
Recipe: Camu Camu and Matcha Vegan Ice Cream
Yes, it’s possible to whip up an icy and creamy dessert using only the most healthful of ingredients.
Take this recipe for a vegan ice cream, for instance. Not only is it satisfyingly decadent, sweet and creamy, it’s also unbelievably healthy!
- 2 large, frozen organic bananas
- 2 ½ cups prepared FlaxJoy™ Organic Instant Flax Milk Powder
- ½ cup prepared Health Ranger Select Organic Coconut Milk Powder
- 1 cup frozen organic avocado
- 2 large tablespoons Organic Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder
- 1 large teaspoon Groovy Bee Organic Camu Camu Powder
- 2 large tablespoons Health Ranger Select Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- Health Ranger Select Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, to taste
- 4 tablespoons Groovy Bee Raw Organic Cacao Nibs
- Chop the frozen banana into manageable chunks.
- Put the banana inside the blender and add the prepared flax and coconut milks, avocado, matcha powder, camu camu powder, and coconut oil.
- Blend until the ingredients are well-combined.
- Taste and add coconut palm sugar until it reaches the desired sweetness.
- Blend until the mixture is smooth.
- Transfer mixture into an ice cream machine and churn.
- When the mixture starts to thicken, add the cacao nibs.
- Pour the mixture into a food-safe and airtight container and place in a freezer to set for 4 hours, or preferably, overnight.
- Once it is sufficiently frozen, scoop the ice cream into bowls.
- Serve and enjoy!
Tip: You can easily switch out the matcha powder and cacao nibs in the recipe for other flavors. We recommend trying frozen organic blueberries, raw chocolate and hazelnut spreads, organic almonds and even hemp hearts, for a truly healthy and delicious ice cream.
Do you know any other ways to add camu camu into your daily diet? Let us know in the comments below!
Share this article with your friends and tell us about your experience with this superfruit and how it has enriched your overall wellness!
**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.