Acerola Cherry facts and health benefits

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Acerola-cherry-facts-and-health-benefits

Acerola Cherry Quick Facts
Name: Acerola Cherry
Scientific Name: Malpighia emarginata
Origin South America, Central America and Mexico, but now is being grown on Texas, India.
Colors Bright red
Shapes Small, Oblate-round
Diameter: 1.5-4 cm
Flesh colors Yellow-orange
Taste Sour
Calories 31 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin C (1826.67%)
Copper (9.33%)
Vitamin B5 (6.06%)
Carbohydrate (5.80%)
Vitamin A (5.29%)
Health benefits Induce oxidative stress, Prevent Obesity, Prevent Diabetes, Antioxidant Benefits, Prevent Liver Damage
More facts about Acerola Cherry
Acerola Cherry (Malpighia emarginata) with common names Acerola, Dwarf Barbados Cherry, Barbados Cherry, Garden Cherry, Indian Cherry, Huesito, Native Cherry, Manzanita, Surinam Cherry, Puerto Rico Cherry, and West Indian Cherry is a small and fast growing tree in the family Malpighiaceae. The name to be called Acerola Cherry depends on the country you are in such as Brazil: Acerola, Cereja-Do-Pará; India: Vallaria Simeyaranelli; Spanish: Acerola, Cereza De Jamaica; German: Acerola-Kirsche, Barbados-Kirsche.

History

Acerola Cherry is an inherent of South America, Central America and Mexico. But now it is also being cultivated to the Australia, Canary Islands, Brazil, Ethiopia, Cuba, Ghana, French Guiana, India, Hawaii, Jamaica, Indonesia, Pakistan, Madagascar, Philippines, Peru, Sri Lanka, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Surinam, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam Venezuela, and Zanzibar. Probably, the Acerola was grown in Southern Mexico and then it spread to the Latin America and Caribbean.

Plant

Acerola Cherry is an evergreen and semi deciduous tree which grows upto 3-6 m (6.6–9.8 ft.). It adapts well in the tropical and subtropical climates. The plant prefers loamy and well-drained soils. The leaves are elliptical, glossy and dark green with 5-10 cm in length and 2.5-5.5 cm in width. The tree bears the pink flowers which has 1-2 cm size and 1-2 cm diameter. Flowering season occurs from summer to the fall. The plant has the shallow root system with woody and brittle branches. There are only two varieties of Acerola Cherry which are:
a. Sweet varieties: Tropical Ruby, Hawaiian Queen, and Manoa Sweet
b. Sour varieties: J.H. Beaumont, C.F. Rehnborg, and Haley

Fruit

The fruit is small in size which measures 1.5 to 4 cm in diameter with the shape of oblate- round. Outer skin is thin in bright red color. Internally, the flesh is juicy and yellow to orange in color. Its flavor is sweet as well as tart and tastes sour. Each fruit yields three small seeds in round shape. Its weight ranges from 5 g to around 7 g. Fruit season lasts from summer to autumn.

Nutritional Value

Acerola Cherry is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, B2, B1, B3, Bioflavonoids and Carotenoids. By containing 31 calories per cup, Acerola Cherry is very good for health. Acerola Cherry juice contains 89.58 g water per 98 g. It also provides carbohydrates, protein and energy. In terms of minerals, it possesses copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, selenium, zinc and sodium. It contains vitamins such as Vitamin C, B5, A, B2, B9, B3, B1 and B6.

Quick Nutritional Value of Acerola Cherry
Serving Size: 1 cup ( 98 g)
Calories 31 Kcal.           Calories from Fat 2.61 Kcal.
Nutrients Amount % DV
Protein 0.39 g 0.78%
Total Fat 0.29 g 0.83%
Ash 0.2 g N/D
Carbohydrate 7.54 g 5.80%
Dietary Fiber 1.1 g 2.89%
Vitamins Amount % DV
Vitamin C 1644 mg 1826.67%
Vitamin B5 0.303 mg 6.06%
Vitamin A 37 µg 5.29%
Vitamin B2 0.059 mg 4.54%
Vitamin B9 14 µg 3.50%
Fats Amount % DV
Myristic acid 0.002 g N/D
Palmitic acid 0.047 g N/D
Palmitoleic acid  0.001 g N/D
Oleic acid 0.079 g N/D
Linoleic acid   0.045 g N/D
Minerals Amount % DV
Copper, Cu 0.084 mg 9.33%
Magnesium, Mg 18 mg 4.29%
Potassium, K 143 mg 3.04%
Iron, Fe 0.2 mg 2.50%
Phosphorus, P 11 mg 1.57%

*Percent Daily values (%DVs) are based on 2,000 calorie diet intake. Daily values (DVs) may be difference depending upon the daily calorie needs.
Source: USDA

Health Benefits

Acerola Cherries are also used in industries to produce various products. It is included in the body and bath products, hair care, medicinal purposes, soap making, beverages and food. Body products such as creams, lotions, ointments, conditioner, shampoo, massage oils, bath bombs, scrubs, facial masks, facial tones and aftershaves.

  1. Induced oxidative stress

Acerola Cherry is rich in carotenoids, vitamin C and anthocyanins. The hepatoprotective activity from the extracts of plant was studied to reduce the oxidative stress. The research was conducted on the mice. The result shows that it was able to prohibit lipid peroxidation with the reduction in the aminotransferases activities. It also reports that the juice of Acerola hinders the hepatic damage caused by ethanol. (1)

  1. Prevent Obesity

Obesity is the result of imbalance between energy expenditure and food intake. Besides, the studies show the relationship between obesity and mitochondrial dysfunction. The juice of Acerola Cherry restrains the blood glucose which reduces the disposition of glucose with energetic metabolism. Acerola Cherry prohibits the triglycerides, weight gain, and cholesterol and reinforce metabolism and inflammation. It assists in using the free fatty acids as the source of energy that helps to maintain the energy in the body. (2)

  1. Prevent Diabetes

Health conditions such as macrosomia, premature birth, spontaneous termination of pregnancy and complications of respiratory and metabolic in the newborn are the caused by hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia. The research reports that the juice of Acerola Cherry could be helpful to prevent dyslipidemias and hyperglycemia.

The extracts of polyphenolic substances from the Acerola prevent the effects of α-glucosidase and maltase and lower the absorption of glucose which eliminates glycemia. Polyphenols prevents advanced glycation products (AGEs) formation in diabetic people which involves the complication of macro and microvascular of diabetes mellitus. The presence of antioxidant properties prevents oxidative stress lead by the free radicals. The juice of Acerola Cherry prevents the future damage caused by diabetes such as vascular diseases. (3)

  1. Antioxidant Benefits

Acerola Cherry is loaded with huge source of iron, calcium, vitamin C, anthocyanins, quercetin, caffeic and chlorogenic acids, kaempferol. Acerola Cherry contains the powerful antioxidative activities in comparison to alpha-tocopherol. Cartenoids could also be found in Acerola Cherry which is an antioxidant and also supplies nutrients. Antioxidants and vitamins lower the cholesterol, blood glucose, LDL – cholesterol levels, triglycerides and raises HDL-cholesterol level. (4)

  1. Prevent Liver Damage

Acerola Cherry has antioxidant properties which are related to the liver protective effect. The juice of Acerola Cherry provides various health benefits. It is rich in vitamin C as well as phenolic compounds that assist to protect liver cells membrane from damage of free radicals. Eventually, the research concludes that the juice of Acerola Cherry forbids the liver damage. The results have been very clear that Acerola Cherry helps to maintain the health of liver. (5)

6. Promotes Healthy Skin and Collagen Formation

Acerola Cherry is loaded with nutrients such as Copper, Vitamin C and others which helps to enhance skin texture and provides a beautiful skin. Vitamin C reduces the appearance of wrinkles, skin dryness and slows down the process of aging. Vitamin C is essential for the development of ligaments, tendons and blood vessels. It assists to heal the wound and forms a scar tissue. A mineral such as copper helps to develop elastin which promotes the skin firmness and elasticity.

  1. Improves Cardiovascular Health

Body needs pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 to produce cholesterol. The study of pantethine which is a derivative of pantothenic acid shows its ability to influence the heart ailment such as cholesterol with positive effect. Vitamin B5 contained in Acerola Cherry plays a role in the use and regulation of cholesterol, helping to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol within the arteries and to prevent dangerous plaque build-up which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Vitamin B5 also helps the body create red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout our body. Vitamin B5 has been shown to enhance the level of hemoglobin in our bodies. Adding Vitamin B5 rich food Acerola Cherry to your diet may help to prevent cardiovascular diseases. (6)

Traditional uses

Diarrhoea, dysentery and problems related to liver, cold and cough are treated with the use of fruits. In Brazil, fever and dysentery is treated with Acerola Cherries and also used as a stimulant for the liver and renal systems. The health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, rheumatism, fungal infections and tuberculosis is also treated with Acerola Cherries. It also heals the burns and wounds. The dental problems such as gum infections and tooth decay could be treated with Acerola Cherries. It also helps depression, diarrhea, pressure sores, constipation, hay fever and collagen disorders. It also prevents hardening of arteries, heart disease, blood clots and cancer.

How to Eat

Acerola Cherries are also used in culinary dishes. It should be used instantly after it is picked because it gets spoiled quickly.  Acerola Cherry is also consumed in ripe form. It is also preserved as jelly, jam or syrup. Alcohol of some types is also produced with this fruit. It is also added to the fruit cup, fruit salad, etc. The juice can be made out of this fruit which is quite popular in Brazil. It could be added to the sherbets, desserts, popsicles and punch. It is also added as an ingredient in fruit smoothies.

Precautions:

The one allergic to the Acerola Cherry could experience these symptoms such as upset stomachs, insomnia and sleeplessness. The excessive intake of Acerola Cherry causes diarrhea. As the presence of Vitamin C promote the uric acid level, it could be dangerous to the gout patients. It also interacts with estrogens. Though it is not known that the use of Acerola Cherry by the pregnant and breast feeding women is harmful or not but it is better to avoid to be in safe side. Due to the richness in Vitamin C, it results in the kidney stone formation.

 

 

 

 

 

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