Acerola is an edible tropical fruit native to Latin America. Also known as acerola cherry or by its scientific name Malpighia emarginata, this sour red berry has been proven to contain extremely high amounts of vitamin C, a fact that has earned acerola the accolade of one of the world’s greatest superfoods. In countries like the US and UK, acerola fruit is usually sold in health food stores in supplemental form, typically as concentrated acerola powder made from freeze-dried acerola fruit. Those who swear by the health benefits of acerola powder use this increasingly popular natural supplement to improve the nutritional profile of cold soups, yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, and even home-made energy bars.
Did you know…that the acerola cherry benefits can help you lose weight, protect against cancer and heart disease, and boost your immune system with more vitamin C power than an orange?
Similar in appearance to a red cherry, the acerola cherry benefits originates from Mexico and from Central and South America. It contains over 150 phytonutrients and is one of the richest sources of vitamin C on the planet.
In fact, it far surpasses oranges in vitamin C potency!
Green, unripe acerola cherry packs 1500 to 4000mg of vitamin C for every 100g compared to oranges, which contain only 50mg of vitamin C per every 100g.
Oranges fall short in essential vitamins and minerals as well, containing only half the amounts of magnesium, potassium and pantothenic acid.
The Importance of Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps fight infections, strengthen the immune system, prevent blood clots, regenerate damaged skin tissues, build collagen and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Acerola fruit is a traditional remedy for scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, vitamin-C rich diets help to reduce your risk of cancers, especially of the breast, skin, and cervix. Such plentiful concentrations of vitamin C make it an excellent preventative for heart disease.
Acerola regulates cholesterol levels, protects against atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and stops blood clots from forming. The anthocyanins in acerola (responsible for the fruit’s red hue) also help treat the common cold, gum infections, sore throat, and hay fever.
Anthocyanins have proven anti-inflammatory properties and can relieve headaches and fever as well as ibuprofen or aspirin do.
Acerola cherry benefits provide a highly absorbable form of vitamin C because it contains bioflavonoids, which help the body more readily assimilate antioxidants.
Valuable Health Benefits
Acerola cherry benefits have been shown to improve metabolism and normalize blood pressure and heart rhythm. Its folate content helps to regenerate new cells, and the copper it contains aids in iron absorption.
ACEROLA CHERRY IS ALSO BRIMMING WITH VITAMIN A AND BETA-CAROTENE; TWO ANTIOXIDANTS THAT HELP:
• improve vision
• prevent cataracts and retinal hemorrhages
• alleviate arthritis
• act as anti-cancer agents
The dietary fiber in acerola cherry helps clear waste from the intestines, thereby soothing constipation, diarrhea, and many kidney and liver conditions. Acerola cherry benefits can even activate anti-stress hormones, making the fruit a useful treat when depressed or anxious.
Acerola cherry benefits can even aid weight loss. Not only is it low in calories, fat, and sodium, it’s high in nutrition. In addition, it speeds your metabolism and regulates cholesterol and blood sugar levels; it helps reduce your risk of obesity and supports your weight loss goals.
Acerola cherry has also been praised for its antiviral and astringent properties.
It is used in cosmetic products to help fight aging, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and acne.
What Science Says About Acerola Cherry
The few studies have been conducted so far on acerola cherry have provided some impressive findings. One study published in 2011 in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition proved that the acerola fruit protects against oxidative stress, which causes premature aging and disease.
The Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology published a study that found that acerola cherry extract helped stop the growth and spread of lung cancer.
Adding acerola cherry benefits to your daily fruits and veggies may help boost your health.
If the taste is too tart, dip the fruit in honey or chocolate for a tasty treat. Cheers to your health!
Known as extremely high in vitamin C and antioxidants, acerola fruit is also high in iron, calcium, beta carotenes and phosphorus. Acerola juice is as popular in Brazil as orange juice is in America.