The cupuacu tree (pronounced "coo-pwah-sooh") is a member of the chocolate family and bears fruits that are roughly the size of a melon. It grows in the Amazon rainforest and has long been an important and nutritious health food for the indigenous peoples of the region.
Like chocolate, the Cupuacu fruit is widely admired for its delicious flesh. The fruit is used throughout Brazil to make a range of products such as jam, ice cream and a lovely fruit juice. The popular fruit ripens in the rainy months and is quickly snapped up by eager buyers, wanting to sell it in the cities of Brazil where demand for it exceeds supply.
The cupuacu fruit is also becoming well known outside Brazil, and is in fact already used in the West, to make a tasty and healthy chocolate alternative. In fact, like chocolate, the cupuacu is being widely studied by scientists keen to understand some of its health-giving properties.
Because of the close relationship between chocolate and cupuacu, many of the health benefits that are attributed to chocolate also apply to cupuacu. It may well be just a matter of time until cupuacu becomes more famous than chocolate! As well as the wonderful taste, it has some amazing health properties, and scientists are very excited about its potential to deliver a superb boost to human health.
A pharmacy in a fruit
Experts are finding that this fruit from the Amazon is absolutely packed to bursting with antioxidant phytonutrients known as polyphenols (please see our antioxidant page for more information on these). You may have heard of polyphenols contained in other health foods, such as grape seeds and green tea.
The marvelous discovery about the polyphenols in cupuacu is that they are totally unique, and have never been seen before. This new revelation is causing a stir in scientific circles and has prompted experts to give the new polyphenols in cupuacu their own name. These theograndins are excellent antioxidants, and can help you achieve optimum health the natural way.
The antioxidants in this fruit are extremely potent and provide outstanding cardiovascular and immune system benefits.
There are many healthy reasons to eat this delicious Rainforest fruit, and some of them are:
• Increased libido
• Increased stamina and energy
• Build up your immune system
• Have younger looking skin and fight off effects of aging
The antioxidants in cupuacu are extremely potent and provide outstanding cardiovascular and immune system benefits. This is because antioxidants are essential to help us neutralize free radicals, the compounds that often cause the body to grow wrinkled and develop degenerative diseases.
Free radicals are reactive and very dangerous forms of oxygen that can enter the body as the result of pollution, sunlight and chemicals in the environment. Most free radicals in our bodies are there as a by-product of our own metabolism. When cells use oxygen and hydrogen to make energy, positive and negative charges are moved around, and elements that are normally stable become charged and unstable. These charged and unstable particles are called free radicals, and are highly damaging to healthy cells unless they are removed or neutralized.
In addition to strongly contributing to the effects of ageing (wrinkled skin and degenerative diseases), free radicals are also implicated in one of the most frightening diseases of our time: cancer. Studies have shown that certain cells, when damaged by free radicals, begin to reproduce out of control. If these cells are allowed to carry on reproducing they can become cancerous.
It is reassuring to know that we can help neutralize the dangerous free radicals and therefore give ourselves the edge against a host of diseases and other age related problems, by taking natural products high in antioxidants.