The acerola cherry, also known as the Barbados, Puerto Rican or Indian cherry is one of the most nutrient-dense fruits available to the average consumer. On sale in grocery chains, health food stores and at farmers’ markets all across the U.S., the acerola cherry contains more vitamin C per serving than any other common fruit. In addition, it delivers a wide array of other nutritional components, helps fight several pernicious physical disorders, and tastes great. Eat it as a fruit or in liquid or powder supplement form.
Acerola cherry supplements are also available in powder or liquid form making it easy to take advantage of the benefits of this miracle plant.
Don’t let acerola’s sweetness fool you. This food is serious medicine, especially for those suffering from heart disease, atherosclerosis, blood clots, vitamin C deficiency, scurvy, and certain types of cancer.
Physical fitness buffs have long known about acerola’s powers to boost physical endurance. In addition, it also works to beat back the common cold, heals cold sores, treats a variety of gum and tooth infections, prevents tooth decay, remedies collagen disorders, and even helps tackle hay fever and depression. Indeed, this unassuming little red fruit is much more potent than it looks!
Bioflavonoids and carotenoids are but two of the super nutrients found in acerola cherries and acerola supplements. The full list includes a roster of the most important vitamins and minerals, like vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, protein, lipids, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, iron, pyridoxine, and a good amount of dietary fiber to help it all digest properly!
Prior to the 1990s, the primary growing regions for acerola cherries were pretty much confined to South America, Central America and Southern Mexico. The plant thrives in sandy, extremely sunny climates that have little wind. Because the roots are so shallow, the acerola plant is easily uprooted by stormy, volatile weather.
Fortunately, once the health benefits became well known to fitness and medical communities in the U.S. and Europe, demand for the fruit blossomed, no pun intended. Growers began to create a hardier plant that can withstand a bit of wind and an environment that is not sunny 100 percent of the time.
Nowadays, acerola cherries are even grown as “far north” as Texas and northern Mexico. India also got into the act and began growing acerola fruit for both export and domestic consumption. Even so, the strongest of plant varieties still cannot endure even one night of temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most people who eat acerola cherry fruit or use the supplemental form do so for its incredibly high vitamin C content. Just 100 grams of the fruit contains nearly 1,700 mg of vitamin C! You’ll typically find acerola in the produce section at your grocery or health food store, in all sorts of frozen and non-frozen juices, in baby food, vodka, and even in herbal medicines that treat herpes and allergic rhinitis. It seems like the list of places to find acerola grows with each passing year, as does the list of its beneficial effects.
Nearly all the health benefits of the fruit are a direct result of its unusually high vitamin C content as well as its vast menu of other nutrients.
One of the best things about acerola is that fact that it is a natural food. And like all natural substances, unless you are allergic to it, it usually causes no side effects at all. Just to be on the safe side, however, medical professionals advise pregnant and breast-feeding women to avoid large amounts of acerola supplements. Extremely high doses can cause certain individuals to experience symptoms of diarrhea, drowsiness, nausea, insomnia and stomach cramps. Again, these types of things usually follow excessive intake by people who are already sensitive to its natural ingredients.
It is also good to keep in mind that vitamin C at very high doses can cause problems for certain individuals. Thus, it’s not the acerola, per se, that is the problem. Virtually ANY food rich in vitamin C can lead to most of the symptoms mentioned above as well as kidney stones and gout in extremely rare cases. The bottom line is this: As with any health supplement or natural food, never go to extremes, especially when you are first trying it out. Use foods and supplements in moderation and you’ll almost never have to worry about any negative side effects.
The next time you go shopping, why not pick up a pound of acerola cherries and see what fresh, healthy fruit tastes like. Or get one of the many supplements available, most of which come in either powder or liquid form. They make a super addition to practically any kind of blender drink, smoothie, shake or salad. And of course you can just eat them all by themselves. Acerola cherries and acerola cherry supplements are available everywhere, are reasonably priced and are one of nature’s most bountiful gifts.