Acerola Cherries have many health benefits. Read this article to discover more
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  • Vitamin C content in Acerola Cherries is so high that no other fruits can beat them.
  • Results demonstrated that Acerola had the highest antioxidant capacity, and no other fruit was able to match it.
  • Brazil is one of its top cultivators in the world.
  • In Brazil, Acerola is also used in medications of common colds, diarrhea, fevers, etc.
  • A study has shown that vitamin C deficiency can put you at risk of developing Ultraviolet B-induced skin pigmentations.
  • Recommended Daily Allowance for Acerola Cherries is around 90 mg for adults.

The tropics have bestowed mankind with many delicious fruits. Acerola cherries are one of them.

These small, bright red-colored fruits, also known as Barbados cherries or West Indian cherries, grow on a tropical shrub, named Malpighia emarginata. Apart from the good taste, nature has concealed many health benefits within them.

Vitamin C content in Acerola Cherries is so high that no other fruits can beat them in this regard. This is what makes acerola cherry a “super-fruit”.

Along with vitamin C, they also contain various minerals, carotenoids, bioflavonoids, and other vitamins like A, B­­­1­­­­­, B2, and B3.

Another property that makes acerola cherries exceptional and unmatchable is its anti-oxidant potential.

Comparative Analysis –  Acerola Has The Highest Antioxidant Capacity 

A comparative analysis was done among 11 different fruit pulps, including acerola cherries, to find out which fruit has more anti-oxidant potency.

Results demonstrated that acerola had the highest antioxidant capacity, and no other fruit was able to match it.

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How & When Did Acerola Cherry Gain its Popularity?

Acerola cherries have not always been as popular as they are today.

They were mere wild fruit shrubs until 1940 when Puerto Rican researchers found that these fruits had 100 times more Vitamin C than lime and orange pulp.

After that, their popularity increased suddenly and people started cultivating them. These were even planted in schoolyards to enhance the vitamin intake of school children.

Those cherries were historically used during World War 2 when Puerto Rican families were asked to plant them in “victory gardens”. These are small vegetables and fruits gardens grown privately at public residences and parks to meet the food demands, during wartime.

Acerola Cultivating Countries and Trends

Acerola had been excessively planted in Brazil during the initial days of its popularity, and so today, Brazil is one of its top cultivators in the world.

It is also a native fruit in South America, Southern Mexico, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Central America.

Nowadays, it is also being produced as far as Texas, and even in subtropical countries of Asia like India.

  • Common Uses 

People use them in different ways. Some people prefer to eat them as raw fruits while others use their juice extracts. 

Other prefer to make different recipes out of it such as in smoothies, cakes or salsas.

Moreover, acerola supplements are being used for treating vitamin C deficiencies.

  • Available Forms 

They are available in a variety of forms like powders, chewables, tinctures, or capsules.

In Brazil, Acerola is also used in medications of common colds, diarrhea and fevers. 

Health Benefits of Using Acerola Cherry

  • Good Source of Vitamin C

Acerola cherries have numerous positive effects on our health.

They help in fulfilling the body’s requirement of vitamin C.

So, by their simple intake, one can counter countless diseases occurring because of vitamin C deficiency, such as scurvy, common colds, fatigue, bleeding gums and excessive bruising. 

Acerola Juice Protects Against Skin Pigmentation

Moreover, their juice extract is also good for the skin. A study has shown that vitamin C deficiency can put you at risk of developing Ultraviolet B-induced skin pigmentations.

Drinking juice of acerola cherries inhibits the genes involved in this abnormal melanogenesis, and thus; effectively protects against skin pigmentation due to UV rays in sunlight.

  • Works as An Anti-Oxidant

Due to their incredibly high anti-oxidative potency, acerola fruit also protects body tissues and organs from the resultant damage of oxidative stress.

As the Western diet induces oxidative stress in the body, research studies have proven that eating acerola cherries is a good way to minimize the harmful consequences of these unhealthy foods.

Anti-Oxidative Properties of Acerola in Research 

A research was done on mice in which they were fed with cafeteria diet for almost 13 weeks.

On subsequent supplementation with acerola cherry juice, a significant drop was observed in the diet-induced oxidative damage to the cortex, hippocampus, heart, liver, and kidneys of these animals.

  • Is an Anti-Inflammatory & Aids Metabolism

They are also beneficial in ameliorating the metabolic and inflammatory problems associated with obesity.

A Research Study on Obese Mice

Through a study conducted on obese mice, researchers have found that its juice not only prevents weight gain and obesity-related dyslipidemias (elevated levels of fats or cholesterol in the blood) but also restores the inflammatory and metabolic pathways to the normal range.

It is also used in medicines to treat diarrhea, dysentery, and fevers.

Moreover, it is also considered effective against hay fever, diabetes, depression, collagen disorders, anemia, etc; however, little research data is present in this regard.

Potential Negative Effects of Overeating Acerola Cherries

Acerola cherry may have many health benefits but few negative effects are also associated with it.

Overeating acerola cherries can disturb your gastrointestinal tract functionality and may lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

Purdue University Horticulture Department published a report on Barbados cherry according to which doctors in Curacao had witnessed that the children eating these wild cherries often suffered from intestinal inflammation and obstruction.

Very limited research data is available regarding the potential harms of eating acerola cherries, excessively. However, most of these effects are attributed to the over-intake of Vitamin C.

A study has demonstrated that taking 1 or 2 g of vitamin C per day significantly increases oxalates concentration in urine thus enhancing the risk of kidney stones formation.  

Recommended Daily Allowance for Acerola Cherries is around 90 mg for adults.

  • Be Careful If You Have a History of Renal Stones 

If a person has a previous history of renal stones, he should not eat acerola, inordinately.

As vitamin C also promotes iron absorption, eating a lot of acerola cherries may lead to iron overload that is harmful especially for patients of thalassemia and hemochromatosis.

Moreover, patients of G6PD deficiency should also avoid these cherries because researchers have found that vitamin C decreases the survival of G6PD-deficient RBCs, leading to hemolysis.

Possible Drug Interactions with Acerola 

Some drug interactions are also associated with acerola cherries. For instance, high amounts of vitamin C in acerola may reduce the functionality of warfarin (anti-clotting drug) in the body elevating the risk of blood clotting.

Finally, Why should You Eat Acerola Cherries?

In total, Acerola is highly enriched with vitamin C and antioxidants.

It is quite popular for numerous health advantages and is now being cultivated in many countries around the globe.

It is not only beneficial for treating various disorders related to vitamin C deficiency, but also protects the body from oxidative stresses.

However, its excessive use can pose negative effects to health especially to patients who are suffering from particular illnesses or are on specific medications.