Camu camu, a berry from the Amazonian lowlands, contains up to 50 times more vitamin C than an orange - just one part of a nutrient profile that has some calling it the next super fruit.
Food for Thought: is camu camu the next super fruit?
Camu camu is becoming known as the most potent botanical source of vitamin C in the world, according to a Natural News report, and the claim has earned the camu camu super fruit status.
Found in the Amazonian lowlands, the purply red cherry-sized berries of the camu camu tree have been used by indigenous people for hundreds of years to relieve pain, treat infections and promote longevity.
Ounce for ounce, camu camu berries contain 30 to 50 times more vitamin C than an orange; they also have high levels of amino acids, beta carotene, calcium, potassium, B vitamins and flavonoids. On paper, it's impressive.
While studies remain inconclusive regarding specific claims that camu camu can address health issues such as infertility and Crohn's and Parkinson's diseases, it is accepted that a high vitamin C content, along with the other nutrients, helps the body fight disease by significantly building the immune system.
According to Viana Muller of Whole World Botanicals research, camu camu has both anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties and it has proven to be an effective mood enhancer.
Its high phytonutrient content suggests that camu camu is an excellent neutraliser of free radicals, helping to keep our cellular health intact while also lowering both cholesterol and blood pressure.
However, as is the case with many nutrient-dense foods, scientists don't yet fully understand the different components or how they work synergistically within the body to promote health. Quantifying the added benefit remains a challenge.
Even with this in mind, the nutrient profile of camu camu is certainly impressive and since it is available in the UAE, it seems to be something too good to miss.
You can find camu camu in powder form, which is an effective way of adding the super fruit to your diet while maintaining all the nutritional benefits. Simply adding it to smoothies, or even water, is a tasty and effective alternative to a vitamin C supplement any day.
Laura Holland is a well-being consultant and nutritional therapist. For more information, visit www.BeUtifulYou.co.uk