Camu camu is a shrub that grows low to the ground and is found throughout the rain forests of the Amazon within Brazil, Columbia, and Peru. It produces a lemon sized, purplish red to light orange fruit that contains a yellowish pulp. This fruit boasts more natural vitamin C than any other food source recorded anywhere on Earth, in addition to potassium, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, niacin, protein, phosphorus,serine, leucine, thiamin, and valine. These powerful amino acids and phytochemicals have a surprising range of therapeutic effects. Camu camu has antioxidant, astringent, anti-inflammatory, nutritional and emollient properties.
Natural health experts rave over camu camu for it’s anti-viral properties that can help with shingles, herpes, cold sores, herpes, and even the common cold. Others swear by it’s natural energy boosting abilities that’s great for your gums and eyes.
Health Benefits of Camu Camu
Camu camu is packed full of vitamin C: 60 times more per serving than an orange in fact! One teaspoon of camu camu powder contains 1180% of your recommended daily intake for vitamin C, which is important many functions within our bodies. Camu Camu Powder is approximately 15% Vitamin C by weight. In comparison to oranges, camu camu provides 60 times more vitamin C, 3 times more niacin, 10 times more iron, 50% more phosphorus, and twice as much riboflavin.
Camu camu contains several different flavonoids, which are compounds found in plants and are part of what gives vegetables and fruits their color. They mostly function in the human body as antioxidants, which neutralize harmful free radicals.
In one study, 20 male smokers drank camu camu powder or took vitamin C tablets on a daily basis for a week. The group that took camu camu powder showed a decrease in some markers for antioxidants and oxidative stress at the conclusion of the study, while the group that took vitamin C tablets showed no change.
Camu camu contains valine, which is an amino acid. It’s an essential amino acid, meaning that we must get it in food because our bodies are unable to produce it. Valine is used by the body to prevent breakdown of muscle tissue and is important for cognitive and nervous system function.
Our bodies require potassium for the proper functioning of the kidneys and heart. Camu camu is a great way to get it, with 71.1 mg found in every 100 grams of powder.
This is another essential amino acid that is found in Camu camu. Leucine is needed in the body for muscle and bone tissue growth, and the recovery and the production of naturally occurring growth hormones.
Yet another amino acid, this one key for digestion. Serine assists in breaking down the bonds in polypeptides and proteins, so they can be used by they body.
Ellagic Acid is another acid with antioxidant properties that is found in Camu camu. It’s been studied for it’s anti-cancer effects. Some research also indicates that ellagic acid has anti-diabetes effects.
Gallic acid is found in camu camu, which is good news because it appears to have anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Gallic Acid also acts as an antioxidant within the human body.
Natural Vitamin C vs. Synthetic Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the most known and perhaps the most essential of all vitamins. It is unable to be manufactured by the body and must be consumed. Dr. Szent-Gyorgi received the honor of winning the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1937 for isolating vitamin C, and acknowledging its vital role in human health. In his studies, he demonstrated the numerous benefits of consuming vitamin C in its whole food form. Despite being the original scientist that isolated ascorbic acid, he insisted that the superior benefits of vitamin C are much more pronounced when consumed from natural foods.
Natural food sources that contain vitamin C also contain other co-factors that enhance vitamin C’s utilization and efficiency within the body. The natural vitamin C content in Camu camu is enhanced by a full profile of naturally occurring amino acids and minerals.
Mental & Emotional Well Being
Gary Null, Ph.D., a nationally known nutritionist and researcher, describes some extraordinary properties of this Amazon rainforest fruit. In his Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Healing, Null lists conditions and diseases and the herbs that are found to be effective for their health promoting properties in reference to specific system/organ problems and weaknesses. When he discusses the holistic treatment of depression, he lists 19 plants in total that contain chemical compounds with mood-balancing properties, in order of potency. Camu camu is #2 on this list. Camu camu provides nutritional support for the brain to make the best of its own mood balancing chemistry. Published research additionally suggests that Vitamin C supports an increased serotonin level within the brain. Even some health care practitioners have reported that Camu camu has same day mood-balancing effects. There are virtually no side effects, such as gastrointestinal problems or photo-sensitivity, and it can be used safely in tandem with pharmaceutical antidepressants.
Other Health Conditions
Health care practitioners report that premium quality Camu camu has provided very effective nutritional support for putting shingles into remission, and cuts the expected time for the reduction of symptoms in half, by supporting the body’s natural defenses and overall immune system. Consumers report that “cold sores,” generally resolve in one day, genital herpes typically resolves in 48 hours, and that the Epstein-Barr type of chronic fatigue will show improvements within one to two weeks. Camu camu can also be taken on a daily basis in order to provide highly effective support for the body’s immune defenses against the herpes virus when it is lies dormant within the body.
Where to Buy Camu Camu
Camu camu can be found within most health food stores in powder form. While it may be available at other locations, take notice as to whether the Camu camu is grown organically. The above mentioned benefits are provided based on premium quality raw organic Camu camu powder. Any store that sells superfoods or superfruits will likely carry this benefit packed fruit powder. If you live a while away from a health food store, Camu camu is available online at raw organic food stores like Sunfood.com. Again, just make sure you that are receiving all of the benefits by going organic, and none of the harmful toxins in non-organic products.
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