Have you ever heard of acerola before? If not, don’t worry. We’re gonna teach you everything you need to know! Acerola is actually a shrub-like tree taht bears a delicious fruit: the acerola cherry. This plant is oozing with nutrients that give it the ability to improve moods, protect the skin, improve eye health, stimulate immunity, reduce allergic reactions, increase circulation, prevent various types of cancer, reduce the signs of aging, manage diabetes and more. There is more to acerola than meets the eye! Keep reading this article to learn more.
What is Acerola?
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Other common names of acerola include West indian cherry and Barbados cherry, but scientifically it is referred to as Malpighia emarginata. This particular cherry is native to Central America, South America and Mexico, where it has been valued for thousands of years by several indigenous cultures. It is now extensively exported all over the world and cultivated in various parts of India, as well as in the southern United States.
When it comes to the culinary applications, acerola has a distinct flavor and is eaten the same way as regular cherries, although the two are not related. You can eat them raw, in baked goods, as a juice concentrate, in jam or ice creams, among other things. Some manufacturers even use it in the production of various alcoholic beverages. However, the real health benefits of acerola come from its rich combination of nutrients and vitamins, as well as its ample amounts of antioxidants. In fact, acerola cherries have some of the highest vitamin C levels of any fruit!
Nutritional Value of Acerola
Acerola is actually low in calories content, with 100 grams only containing about 32 calories. Yet they still offer many health components. Refer to the table below to learn more.
|Principle||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total Fat||0.30 grams||1.5%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.1 grams||2.5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.309 milligrams||6%|
Health Benefits of Acerola
Here are some of the most surprising health benefits of acerola:
- Aids in digestion. The dietary fiber in acerola cherries helps promote smooth passage of food via the gastrointestinal tract. That is beneficial in relieving constipation, cramping, diarrhea and bloating.
- Helps improve heart health. The rich potassium content of acerola is essential in boosting the heart health, as it acts as a vasodilator. This just means that it is essential in lowering the chances of developing atherosclerosis.
- Helps improve metabolism. The B vitamins in acerola are all essential for regulating the metabolism, which helps keep the body running normally.
- Helps boost the immune system. There is a high concentration of vitamin C in acerola, which greatly boosts immunity. Vitamin C is also essential for stimulating the production of white blood cells, which are the body’s main line of defense.
- Possesses anti-aging properties. The rich levels of antioxidants in acerola cherries help slow down the spread of cancer and cleanse the body of various dangerous toxins.
- Helps prevent cancer. This is actually one of the best health benefits of acerola, and it is mainly thanks to its diverse mix of antioxidant properties, including bioflavonoids and carotenoids. Both of these neutralize the effects of free radicals in the body.
- Helps manage diabetes. Recent studies show that the antioxidants in acerola are essential in slowing down the release of sugar in the bloodstream. This regulation of insulin and glucose is important in preventing diabetes drops and spikes.
Cautions on Acerola Consumption
Some people have reported adverse effects of eating acerola, like insomnia and stomachaches. Excessive consumption may also cause diarrhea. The high levels of vitamin C in it may also be dangerous if you are suffering from gout.