You know how surprised you were when you found out that strawberries, bell peppers, and even cauliflower have more Vitamin C than an orange? It turns out there is one fruit that trumps them all: the camu camu berry.

What is it?

Photo by Erol Ahmed | Unsplash

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The camu camu berry is a small fruit native to the Amazon rainforest. It's about the size of a table tennis ball, and not surprisingly, has a strong sour taste. With 9 to 50 grams of Vitamin C per kilo of the berry, it's got 30 to 60 times more Vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin C is needed for healthy teeth and gums and has been linked to lessen the impact of the common cold.

Camu camu berries also have an impressive variety of other nutrients too. A 1993 study found that juice extracted from the berry had high levels of serine, an amino acid that helps digestion; valine, an amino acid used in our nervous systems, and leucine, an amino acid that powers muscle growth. 

Another study found that camu camu had anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Male smokers who drank 70mL of pure camu camu juice for seven days showed a decrease in some stress-related chemical markers, compared to male smokers who were given Vitamin C tablets.

Where Can I Get It?

Owen Yin

While you won't be able to find the berry on sale in your standard North American supermarket, you can buy it in tablet or powder form in specialty health stores or online. 

I first found out about camu camu because it was listed on a Happy Planet drink I picked up from the UBC cafeteria. The Extreme C fruit smoothie contains a whopping 330% of your daily Vitamin C intake in a 355mL bottle. 

So the next time you're looking for a quick dose of Vitamin C, camu camu might just have what you need.