Amla and Camu Camu are superfoods popular around the world for their beneficial effects. Both Amla and Camu Camu are tropical sour berries grown in India and Amazon. They are mostly sold in dehydrated or powdered form.
Both of them are considered superfoods, which, when eaten, provide high amounts of nutrients. But are these nutrients really beneficial for us? Is there enough evidence to support these claims? This article answers these questions with science-based answers.
So, please sit back and enjoy as we cover all of the benefits provided by these sour berries, step by step.
Table of Contents
Camu Camu is generally sold in powdered form, but you might also find it in a juice form if you are lucky. These sour berries come from the Amazon, where natives used it as bait while fishing. “but why didn’t they eat it? “you may ask.
The reason is simple; Camu Camu tastes weird. It is not sweet nor sour and looks like unripe cherries. And as they are tropical crops, they can’t be grown in cold weather. Hence they are mostly imported to North America and Europe.
Camu Camu is not a popular crop like avocado or chocolate, and it doesn’t taste great. Because of these reasons, it wasn’t until recently that scientists started researching this sour berry. Consequently, there is still a demand for high-quality human researches on Camu Camu before its advantages are said to be definite.
With that being said, let’s look at the evidence that we already have.
Perhaps the most obvious and central advantage we get from Camu Camu is its high Vitamin C content. According to Pubmed, 1 tsp of Camu Camu has 750 % of the vitamin C required by our bodies daily, which is 75 times more than the vitamin C found in fresh oranges. That’s not surprising because 2- 3 % of Camu Camu’s weight consists of vitamin C.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant essential to reduce our body’s oxidative stress. If our body’s oxidative stress rises too much, it can lead to heart problems, damage organs, cause cancer, and promote early skin aging.
Quercetin is another powerful antioxidant found in Camu Camu. It is essentially a flavonoid but can act as an antioxidant. According to several pieces of research, researchers found that intake of Quercetin has anti-aging, anti-allergic, and anti-asthmatic properties.
Other nutrients present in relatively small amounts in Camu Camu include:
- Fiber (33%).
- Potassium (867 mg in 100g).
- Vitamin B3 ( 800% of daily required value in 100g).
- Sugar (1g in 100g).
It is worth pointing out that the amount of Potassium present in 100 g of Camu Camu powder is 60% of that found in 100g of dehydrated and powdered banana.
Recommended Daily Intake
The Recommended amount of Camu Camu for daily intake varies depending on the brand you are using. But as a rule of thumb, 1 tsp of Camu Camu per day is the ideal amount for an average person.
Amla or Indian gooseberry is another sour berry, but it is native to India, not Amazon. Amla grows on small trees with yellow-greenish flowers that grow into fruit the size of a golf ball. Amla is similar in taste to Camu Camu, with Amla being slightly more sour and bitter.
In India, Amla is considered an Ayurveda wonder. Indians use the whole plant, including its leaves, stem, and fruit. But globally, only Amla fruit is sold, and that too in a powdered form. But what makes Amla so special? And what are the benefits we can derive from the daily use of Amla?
Let’s find out.
Health Benefits of Amla
Just like Camu Camu, Amla is not a popular commercial plant. So, the amount of research done on its benefits is not extensive. We still need more high-end research done on humans to confirm the benefits of this superfood. But in the meantime, let’s look at the evidence we already have and make the best of it.s
Amla is rich in Vitamin C, which is a great antioxidant, as we have already discussed. According to NCBI, 100g of Amla powder contains 600 – 800 % of Vitamin C required by our body in a day. Vitamin C strengthens our immune system and reduces inflammation and cellular damage by acting as an antioxidant.
Short-term inflammation is a normal reaction of our immune system in response to an antigen. According to research, when this inflammation becomes chronic, it leads to health concerns, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.
The antioxidant content in Amla prevents our bodies from accumulating too much oxidative stress, which is a leading cause of heart problems globally. Research has also shown that Amla plays an essential role in regulating endothelial function. The research asked the participants to take 1000 mg of Amla powder, and the results were similar to that of the drug atorvastatin.
Another human study showed the anti-inflammatory effects of the Indian gooseberry, which is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases. Amla has also been shown to reduce blood pressure in humans by acting as a vasodilator. Furthermore, Amla is proven to lower triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol).
- Protection against liver damage
- Helps in maintaining blood glucose level
- Acts as anti-platelet compound
- Prevents against cancer
- Anti-aging factors
- Protection against Heartburn
Both Amla and Camu Camu can help you overcome certain deficiencies, especially that of Vitamin C. They can supplement your diet and make it a little more nutritious, but you can’t completely rely on one food to meet your requirements. Similarly, you can’t expect improved health just by consuming the so-called “superfood”; you have to follow a well-balanced diet for that.
So What’s the Difference Between Amla and Camu Camu?
- Camu Camu is a rich source of the antioxidant Quercetin, unlike Amla.
- Amla has its origin in India while Camu Camu comes from the Amazon.
- Amla is slightly more sour and bitter when compared with Camu Camu.
- Camu Camu is used by natives as fishing bait while Amla is used by Indians for medical purposes.
- The whole Amla plant, including its leaves and stem can be used. In case of Camu Camu, only it’s fruit is used.
- Camu Camu is a source of Vitamin B3, Fiber, and potassium while Amla isn’t.
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