Camu Camu: Feel the Goodness of This South American Wonder Berry
Like acai and goji berries, camu camu is a fruit that’s often touted as a superfood. Native to the Amazon region of South America, this berry is exceptionally acidic, sour, and fragile. You won’t find fresh camu camu berries at your supermarket. Instead, look for it in the supplements aisle.
Camu camu is also known as Myrciaria dubia, says Dr. Alissia Zenhausern, NMD, a naturopathic physician at NMD Wellness of Scottsdale, Arizona. She adds the camu camu plant has powerful antioxidant properties, including high levels of vitamin C.
Let’s learn more about the benefits of camu camu — and what to look for when you buy it.
What Are the Benefits of Camu Camu?
1. High in vitamin C
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, meaning your body cannot make it on its own.
The FDA’s Recommended Dietary Allowance of vitamin C is 90 mg for adults and children age 4 years and older.
2. Antioxidant-like compounds
Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant in your body, but camu camu contains other antioxidant-like compounds, too.
They include anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid commonly found in fruits, including bilberries.
3. May support heart health
In addition to its roster of healthy nutrients that include potassium, iron, calcium, and phosphorous, camu camu also contains amino acids such as serine, valine, and leucine.
Where To Buy Camu Camu
“Camu camu powder is the most popular form,” says Zenhausern. “It can be added to drinks or smoothies.”
You can get creative when adding camu camu to cold or already cooked foods, but “do not add to hot meals, as the high heat can reduce the phytonutrient profile,” she cautions.
And when you buy it, quality matters.
“Make sure to look for a reputable source that uses organic farming practices,” she says. “You also want to make sure you choose a source that is protecting the plant itself (to avoid over-harvesting),” in its native Amazon rainforest region.
You’ll find camu camu at health-food stores, in larger supermarkets, and online. Look for it alongside other supplements and functional foods. In addition to powders, you can also find camu camu in capsules.
You can also find the following camu camu products on Amazon:
- Antioxidant and associated capacities of Camu camu (Myrciaria dubia): a systematic review www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296744/
- Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin C ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
- Nutritional compositions and health promoting phytochemicals of camu-camu (myrciaria dubia) fruit: A review pubag.nal.usda.gov/catalog/502285