It’s been a while since I’ve heard people talking about superfruit, which means it’s about time for the internet to start harping on them again. Enter: The camu camu berry. Remember açaí, goji berries, noni fruit? I wonder what they’re up to these days. But honestly, who cares? It’s all about the camu camu berry now, apparently.
Real Simple explains that this berry comes from a bushy little tree along the Amazon river. The tree yields a tart red fruit that’s too sour and bitter to eat on its own, so it’s often turned into pills or powder to mix into drinks or hot cereal like oatmeal. Its supposed benefits include antioxidants to reduce inflammation, and it might help regulate blood sugar levels. There haven’t been any widespread studies yet, so supporting evidence of any health claims is limited, as is often the case when it comes to the alleged benefits of superfoods.
What’s notable about camu camu is that it has a shocking amount of vitamin C in it. In 2014, NPR went on a hunt in Brazil to find the berry (so, yes, it’s been the “next big thing” for a while now). A researcher at the National Institute of Amazonian Research in Manaus, Brazil, Jaime Aguiar, says “Every 100 grams of camu camu has up to 6 grams of vitamin C.” That’s 100 times more vitamin C that you’d find in the same amount of lemon. Take that, scurvy. If the seamen of yore only knew about this back then.
As of now, the camu camu berry remains very expensive: a 3-oz. bag costs a whopping $22.99. Is it the fountain of youth? Will it turn me into a superhuman? If I eat camu camu berry powder, will I, a little 5'5" man, finally be able to slam dunk on Michael Jordan? These are the most important questions that have yet to be answered. But for now you’re probably better off with delicious, affordable, antioxidant-rich blueberries.