Peru has a huge variety of fruits, 600 in total. 553 of these are native in origin: one of them is the camu camu; which is grown on the river banks and floodplains of the Amazon. It is considered an emblematic crop in the region of Ucayali.
It is also known by its scientific name: Myrciaria dubia is a tiny reddish-green fruit with a rather sharp taste, but it is highly beneficial to the human body. This is why, like other local foods, it is considered on the list of Peruvian superfoods that are conquering the international market.
Camu camu can be found between February-June and October-November. Its main day is in fact celebrated on October 16 in the Peruvian jungle. Fairs are held for almost a week, in which local farmers have the chance to sell it, and new presentations of the product are also displayed.
The most traditional way to consume it is in its natural state. But thanks to its popularity, its original version has been reinvented in various presentations, such as nectar, capsules, flesh and powder. It is also used to make products such as liqueurs, jam, yogurt, confectionery and ice cream. Here are some powerful reasons why you should include it in your daily diet
Source of vitamin C. A study carried out by the National Institute of Amazonian Studies (INPA) in Brazil revealed that we are talking about the fruit with the highest source of vitamin C on the planet (10 times more than oranges and 40 times more than lemons, based on 3.5 ounces of each fruit). This makes it an ingredient with high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also relieves cardiovascular diseases.
It eliminates oxidative stress. Thanks to its high antioxidant power, this Amazon fruit helps reduce the negative impact caused by oxidative stress, an alteration that occurs due to the entry of free radicals into the body and a lack of antioxidants, which can cause cell death and premature aging.
It stimulates bone formation. "Camu camu is excellent for healing processes and for the formation and repair of cartilage, bones and teeth", says Carla Torres, a specialist at the Ricardo Palma Clinic. This fruit does in addition contribute to the formation of collagen, a protein that promotes the development of tendons and blood vessels.
High-potassium food. A 3.5-ounce portion of this fruit is equivalent to 7.1 mg of potassium. Consumption of this macromineral in a balanced diet will prevent you from suffering from ailments such as muscle weakness, neuromuscular disorders and low blood pressure, also known as hypotension. It also allows you to regulate the level of water in your body.
It prevents the appearance of cancer. According to experts, another of the antioxidant functions of camu camu is the prevention of cancer; this is due to its high percentage of anthocyanin, a substance that prevents the appearance of malignant cells in the human body. This fruit does in particular ward off prostate, pancreas, liver and colon cancer.
It regenerates tissues and provides energy: Each berry provides the body with a varied cocktail of amino acids, such as serine, valine and leucine, which help the body to grow, repair its tissues and, in addition, provide energy for physical and daily activities.
Sources: Andina/ El Comercio/ RPP/ Publimetro / University of Michigan/ U.S. National Library of Medicine.