What is camu camu? Camu camu is a fruiting shrub found in the flooded areas and river basins of the Amazon rainforest throughout Peru, Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela. Its large berries are similar to cherries in terms of size and colour, and their taste is very acidic and sour. However, camu camu has more than 50x as much vitamin C per gram as oranges and, according to researchers, is one of the most potent natural source of vitamin C on the planet.
potent source of nutrients we need for wellbeing, camu camu has been used in South American cultures for many generations. However, due to its superfood status, this native Amazonian berry has gone from hidden secret to global popularity in recent years.
Camu camu powder benefits
Even though it has such a strong, sour flavour, camu camu’s health benefits are so nourishing and revitalising to your body that this superfood berry should definitely be in your diet! Fortunately, camu camu is available in powder form with a refreshing citrus flavour, making it easy to mix with other foods and providing a convenient and tasty addition to tropical smoothies, creamy smoothie bowls and decadent, healthy desserts.
Let's take a look at camu camu's many health benefits so you can see for yourself why it's a great addition to your healthy diet.
It’s a nourishing superfood
Camu camu's status as a superfood is mainly due to the potent plant compounds it contains and its exceptionally high concentration of vitamin C, but it's also a great source of other essential nutrients. Beyond vitamin C, camu camu is also a good source of one of the most important minerals for a healthy heart and kidneys; potassium.
Potassium is an electrolyte, which means it conducts electrical impulses throughout the body and assists with muscle contractions, digestion, blood pressure, and other critical biological functions.
Besides other essential minerals like calcium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and copper, camu camu also contains vitamin B3, which we need for healthy metabolism and nervous system function.
It helps with iron absorption
Iron is an essential mineral that’s vital to many important functions within the body, but its primary role involves transferring oxygen from the lungs to other areas. Although not 'normal', low iron is most common among menstruating women, causing severe fatigue and compromised immune function.
Surprisingly, eating more iron-rich food isn't always the solution for low iron levels. Low iron is often a result of poor iron absorption, and eating more vitamin C-rich superfoods like camu camu powder can help. Adequate iron absorption not only enables you to feel focused, strong, energised, and well-rested, but it also keeps your immune system functioning at an optimum level.
Non-heme iron is found in plant foods, but this form is less easily absorbed than animal-derived heme iron on its own. Vitamin C enhances iron absorption by capturing plant-based non-heme iron and storing it in a more absorbable form. This camu camu powder benefit makes it a great addition to your diet if you want to thrive on a plant-based lifestyle.
Increasing your vitamin C intake with camu camu can help your body use fat for energy
It reduces tiredness and fatigue
Along with more energy from better iron absorption, there are other ways camu camu can reduce fatigue in and outside the gym. Vitamin C plays a role in the body’s production of L-carnitine, an amino acid that helps the body convert fat into energy by breaking down fatty acids to fuel your cells.
Increasing your vitamin C intake with camu camu can help your body use fat for energy once your glycogen stores are depleted during a workout. Without enough carnitine, the body breaks down muscle for energy, your metabolism decreases, and you experience fatigue much sooner.
Camu camu is also a source of valine, leucine, and serine. These three amino acids further prevent muscle breakdown, assist with muscle growth and repair, and ensure your metabolism and energy production run smoothly.
It supports healthy skin
Collagen is a protein made by the body to maintain the healthy structure of your skin, teeth, gums, cartilage and bones, and its synthesis and regeneration relies on vitamin C. As one of the highest known sources of vitamin C on the planet, camu camu can be a powerful friend for your skin.
Camu camu also contains an antioxidant compound called quercetin, which not only reduces inflammation, blood pressure, and allergy symptoms, but it also combats the effects of sun exposure on the skin. While sun protection is still essential, camu camu may enhance your body's natural resilience against UV rays.
An antioxidant pigment found in camu camu, has similar effects to caffeine on cognitive function and memory
It’s good for your motivation, mood and mind
At this point, you may already be astounded by all the benefits of a diet rich in vitamin C, but it’s also necessary for normal neurological and psychological function. In other words, vitamin C not only has natural antidepressant properties, but it also supports a healthy nervous system by protecting your neurons and increasing the speed of impulse transmission.
Vitamin C is sometimes referred to as a neuro-vitamin because it plays a vital role in the production of serotonin (the happiness hormone) and norepinephrine. Both a hormone and a neurotransmitter, norepinephrine helps your body break down fat in times of stress to ensure you have enough focus and energy to rise to the challenge, which is arguably a critical factor in maintaining mental health.
The vitamin B3 (niacin) in camu camu is also a neuro-vitamin because it supports the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with physical coordination, as well as motivation, pleasure, and reward. Dopamine also regulates our focus, supports the cognitive flexibility we need for problem-solving, and boosts our emotional resilience.
Studies show that quercetin, an antioxidant pigment found in camu camu, has similar effects to caffeine on cognitive function and memory. And to top it all off, camu camu provides the body with serine, an amino acid needed for the production of tryptophan, which is then converted to serotonin.
It protects cells from free radical damage
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant in itself, but camu camu also contains bioactive compounds called polyphenols. Since the antioxidant properties in these compounds protect your cells from harmful molecules called free radicals, adding vitamin C to your diet may help to support the health of your cells and DNA while reducing the oxidative stress that causes inflammation.
As chronic inflammation is at the root of many health problems, finding ways to reduce inflammation is one of the best things you can do to support and protect your health. You really can't have too many antioxidants in your diet, and an antioxidant-rich superfood like camu camu powder is a powerful nutrition tool in times of stress.
It supports a healthy immune system
Camu camu’s immune system support comes primarily from its vitamin C and antioxidant content. High doses of vitamin C can help reduce the length and severity of viral infections and strengthen the immune system, while antioxidants enhance the immune response by protecting your immune cells from oxidative stress.
However, since this wonderful superfood is also a rich source of polyphenols with antimicrobial properties, adding camu camu powder to your diet may support positive changes in the gut microbiome. Healthier populations of gut bacteria have been linked with healthy weight management, normal immune function, better heart health, and more.
Since superfoods offer the most efficient and delicious way to consume large doses of vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, and other potent plant compounds, adding superfood powders to your diet is the best option for supporting your immune system naturally. For best results, be sure to choose the highest quality, certified organic superfoods.
Who says a healthy diet can’t be delicious, fun and convenient?
Vitamin C is water-soluble, and the body has no way to store it for later use. This means we need to eat vitamin C-rich foods every day to maintain sufficient vitamin C levels for optimal health. Fortunately, the versatility and refreshing citrus flavour of Tropeaka Camu Camu Powder make it super easy to enjoy – even on your busiest days!