At a glance:
Camu camu is a sour, cherry colored berry native to the Amazon.
Camu camu is becoming popular in the health and wellness industry for its wide range of benefits due primarily to its polyphenols.
Polyphenols are plant compounds that provide plants and humans with protective benefits.
Have you heard of Camu Camu? It’s a super fruit that traces back to the Amazonian rainforest, where people have been using it as a natural remedy for centuries. Only recently has this highly sought after ingredient been introduced to the mainstream health market, which is why you might only be hearing about it now!
The reason Camu Camu is so sought after is because it’s extremely nutrient dense.
According to Roxana Ehsani, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “One teaspoon of raw camu camu provides 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, and 240 percent of the daily value of vitamin C.”
At KOR, we like to dig into the hype about any new wellness trend, which is why we reached out to one of our favorite health experts for her take on Camu Camu.
Below are 4 questions we had for Lisa Richards, nutritionist, published author, and creator of the Candida Diet about camu camu + one bonus Camu Camu Papaya Turmeric Smoothie recipe from Nutrition, Fitness & Health Expert Megan Ayala of Patricia and Carolyn.
What is Camu Camu?
Camu camu is becoming popular in the health and wellness industry for its wide range of benefits due primarily to its polyphenols. It is a sour, cherry colored berry native to the Amazon. While this berry grows naturally in the rainforest, it has been hitting store shelves in pill, juice, and powder forms and being categorized as a superfood.
How does Camu Camu boost immunity
Two important factors make camu camu effective in boosting immunity: antioxidants and vitamin C. This berry contains a significant amount of immune-supporting vitamin C: 3 grams per 3.5 ounces of the fresh fruit (and more in powder form due to the water being removed and making it more concentrated). Antioxidants support immunity by reducing oxidative damage in the body. When this damage is allowed to persist, the body becomes more susceptible to illness as the quality of the body's cells worsen and inflammation is triggered.
How does camu camu help to fight inflammation?
Chronic, low grade inflammation plays a significant role in the development of many of the chronic illnesses and diseases that are common to the West, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. This inflammation begins to damage the body at a cellular level and causes the immune system to become hyper responsive and ultimately insufficient. Antioxidants, like those found in camu camu, fight and reverse this damage. The forms of camu camu available on the market are so highly concentrated that they provide consumers with large doses of vitamin C and polyphenols that lower inflammatory and stress markers like C-reactive protein (CRP).
What are Polyphenols?
Polyphenols are plant compounds that provide plants with protective benefits. When consumed, they are able to provide similar benefits to humans. Polyphenols are well known for their antioxidant effects in the body. Antioxidants are anti-inflammatory and help to rid the body of free radicals while simultaneously reversing their damage. These characteristics make red wine ideal for heart health along with general health as well.
Now that you’re well-versed in the health benefits of camu camu (thanks to Dr. Lisa Richards!), you’re probably psyched to give this nutrient-rich ingredient a try. You’re in luck! Here’s an original Camu Camu Papaya Turmeric Smoothie recipe from Fitness and Health Expert Megan Ayala:
Camu Camu Papaya Turmeric Smoothie
- 2 teaspoons of camu camu powder
- 1/2 papaya
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 1 banana
- 2 teaspoons of honey
- 1/2 cup of ice cubes
- 1 1/2 cups of milk (or non-dairy substitute)
- Fill the blender with milk or any non-dairy substitute and add cubed papaya and banana.
- Blend all these ingredients until smooth and creamy.
- Add camu camu powder, turmeric, and honey.
- Blend all the ingredients well.
- Add ice cubes.
- Garnish with hemp seeds and/or mint leaves.
You can replace the papaya with some other tropical fruit like pineapple in case it’s not available in your area or you prefer a different flavor.
Another simple and blender-free way to add camu camu to your daily wellness routine is with our Wellness Fire. This nutritional boost is packed with immunity-boosting ingredients like mandarin juice, pineapple juice, ginger juice, and of course, camu camu! We’ve added jalapeno to harness the health benefits of spicy peppers and because we like a kick. This fiery nutritional boost will add a burst of digestion, energy, and immunity to your day.
Fire up, with KOR!