Acerola and camu camu are tropical fruits full of Vitamin C. They have up to 60 times more Vitamin C than oranges. Acerola is a drupe with one fruit while Camu Camu is a berry that contains several seeds covered by the pulp. They are superfoods that have gained popularity in the recent past. Though similar in many ways, they differ in several ways too.
Acerola Vs. Camu Camu
Acerola is a red drupe that originated from Mexico, South, and Central America. It is also known as Barbados cherry, Acerola cherries, or Antilles cherry. They have become widespread throughout the world and are mainly found in tropical regions. They are a rich source of Vitamin C. It contains lutein, folic acid, riboflavin, and niacin. It not only prevents Vitamin C deficiency but is also used to treat diarrhea, common cold, and flu.
Appearance And Taste
Ripe acerola is red and orange-red when unripe. It is remotely reminiscent of cherry and could be easily mistaken for miniature apples. They have a tart to sweet taste that is pleasant to taste buds and is often eaten raw. They could be powdered, made into fruit puree, or manufactured into vitamin c supplements.
100 grams of acerola contains; 1680 mg of Vitamin C, which is way beyond the recommended daily intake, 8gm of carbohydrates, 1.1gm of dietary fiber, 0.4gm of proteins, and 0.3gm of fat.
Health Benefits Of Acerola
Acerola is a powerhouse of minerals, phytochemicals, and amino acids. Its health benefits are;
- It helps in boosting immunity due to its high amount of vitamins and minerals.
- It might help in the fight against diseases and infections.
- It can be a skin astringent, helpful in treating blemishes and improving skin elasticity. It could alleviate signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines.
- Acerola might help improve moods and alleviate stress. The phytochemicals found in this fruit help in the production of endorphin, the feel-good hormone.
- It could help in fighting depression-related symptoms such as the feeling of worthlessness, sleep disorder, excessive weight gain or loss, and suicidal thoughts.
- It might help in gut health and relieve diarrhea when consumed in the right amounts. It could also be helpful in the treatment of dysentery.
- Acerola contains antiviral and antibacterial properties that might help to fight diseases and infections.
- It contains antioxidants that help fight free radical cells that cause cancers, and thus it could help suppress the growth of cancer cells.
- It could help in stabilizing blood sugars and fighting cholesterol.
Side Effects Of Acerola
Overconsumption of vitamin c in acerola might cause kidney stones. Persons with latex allergies could also be allergic to acerola. Other side effects are; diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, flushed appearances, frequent urination, dizziness, and convulsions.
Camu Camu is a great source of vitamin C and could give up to 60 times more than oranges. It contains phytochemicals, minerals, and amino acids such as valine, serine, and leucine. It is also rich in beta carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein which are excellent antioxidants. Its origin is traced to Peru and is mostly found in the Amazon rainforest. They grow on low-lying shrubs in swampy rainforests.
Appearance And Taste
When ripe, Camu Camu is purple or brown on the outside, and pink on the inside. It is quite acidic and sour and is not easily eaten raw. They are ground into powder or added to other mixes to cut down the sourness.
Camu Camu is said to be the highest source of Vitamin C on the earth. 100 grams contain; 2145cgm of Vitamin C, 5.9gms of carbohydrates, 1.1 gm of fiber, 0.4gm of protein, and 0.2 gms of fat.
Health Benefits Of Camu Camu
- Camu Camu helps in boosting the immune system. It contains antioxidants that fight free radicals and aid in strengthening the disease-fighting cells.
- It might help boost your gut health.
- The antioxidants and phytochemicals in camu camu might help improve liver health. Vitamin C might be helpful in patients suffering from liver cirrhosis.
- It enhances mood and helps alleviate signs of depression and stress.
- It helps improve gum and oral health. Free radicals can cause gingival and periodontal health problems. Antioxidants in camu camu help fight these free radical cells reducing the risk of oral problems.
- It helps boost vision and eye health. Vitamin C and beta carotene found in camu camu might help slow visual acuity loss and muscular degeneration associated with aging.
- It might help in cardiovascular health. The anti-inflammatory properties in camu camu help fight heart conditions associated with inflammation.
- It might help in preventing the progression of arthritis.
- It might be helpful in the treatment of herpes, flu, and common colds.
Side Effects Of Camu Camu
When consumed in large quantities, camu camu can cause side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach upsets, and kidney problems. Pregnant women should consult a doctor before settling on a camu camu supplement or diet. Patients with kidney problems should also be cautious when taking camu camu.
Summary Of Differences Between Acerola And Camu Camu
|Color||Red||Brown/ purple with pink pulp|
|Taste||Pleasant- eaten fresh||Sour- rarely eaten fresh|
|Habitat||Tropical regions||Amazon rainforest|
|Vitamin C in 100grams||1680 mg||2145mg|
How To Store Acerola And Camu Camu
Tropical fruits can be stored at room temperature when picked before ripening fully. Put them in a sack or bag and place them away from direct sunlight and excess heat. You could also refrigerate the fruits in an airtight container or bag for up to 10 days or freeze for up to 6 months. When the fruits are at their peak season, you could harvest or purchase them in large quantities and store them for future use.
In conclusion, acerola and camu camu are tropical fruits rich in Vitamin C. Acerola is mainly found in tropical regions, while camu camu is mainly found in swampy rain forests.