In times of self-optimization, only the best of the best should be used in nutrition. On closer inspection, expensive superfoods are often not more nutritious than local foods at a low price. What about the Camu-Camu fruit from the Amazon?
True wonder fruit? Camu-Camu
Novel foods, are virtually flooding the market and are advertised with all kinds of promises of salvation. Superfoods do indeed contain a comparatively high amount of nutrients, but often no more than many foods from domestic cultivation.
Camu-Camu, a fruit from the Amazon region, contains a lot of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Since the berries growing on a shrub are hardly available fresh, they are offered as powder, extract, juice, or as capsules. The problem: If you want to take advantage of the high vitamin content, you would have to take a relatively large amount of it. Oranges and lemons do not provide vitamin C in the same high quantities as Camu Camu, but you can still cover your daily requirements with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. And that much cheaper than with Camu-Camu.
How does Camu-Camu work?
The need for ascorbic acid can be covered generally well because vitamin C is not only found in fruits and vegetables, but also in many other foods. A deficiency rarely occurs in a normal, balanced diet. For this reason, no one has to resort to Camu-Camu.
However, the fruit is said to have many other effects as a medicinal plant. It is said to have an immune-strengthening and anti-inflammatory effect, to help digestion, to keep young with its antioxidants, to drive away tiredness, and prevent arteriosclerosis. None of these claims have been scientifically proven. There are only research results where mice fed with Camu Camu extract did not gain weight as fast as their fellow mice that did not receive the extract. Which ingredients of the Camu-Camu plant have this effect and whether it can be transferred to humans is the subject of further research.
Use and dosage of Camu-Camu
If you still want to try Camu Camu powder, you can sprinkle it into muesli, stir it into drinks or yogurt. The taste is rather tart, so sweet dishes are preferable. It is important that you do not heat Camu-Camu too much: Vitamin C is sensitive to heat. You should follow the instructions on the packaging when dosing Camu-Camu. In principle, the intake of too much vitamin C is unproblematic for healthy people. What the body does not need, is simply excreted with the urine. If the fun is too expensive for you, our nutrition expert has listed vegetable varieties with the most vitamin C for you. This allows you to enjoy this nutrient at a reasonable price.
Losing weight with Camu-Camu
The fact that research has now become aware of Myrciaria is because it is full of so-called polyphenols. These plant substances provide fruit with taste and color, among other things. Studies show that they can also prevent weight gain in humans and reduce the risk of diabetes.
In order to test the effect of Camu Camu, Canadian researchers have now carried out the first test on mice. They divided the animals into two groups. All animals were fed food with increased sugar and fat content for eight weeks, and one group also received some camu camu extract as a dietary supplement. The result: The mice that received the extract had gained 50 percent less weight than the animals in the other group.
Does the fruit also protect against diabetes?
But that is not all Myrciaria can do: The researchers also examined the insulin sensitivity of the mice. This indicates how strongly the body reacts to insulin. The lower the value, the higher the risk of developing diabetes. The mice that received Camu-Camu had improved insulin sensitivity. In addition, their inflammation values had decreased.
Last, but not least: an examination of the intestinal flora of the mice showed that taking Camu-Camu had changed the composition of the bacteria in the intestine. The bacterium called Akkermansia muciniphila had increased significantly. This could indicate that Myrciaria could also help with irritable bowel syndrome. This is because previous studies show that a low level of this bacterium is associated with the occurrence of the disease.