Acerola is a fruit rich in vitamin C and has antioxidant properties that benefit our health. Find out more about this fantastic fruit.
Table of Contents
What is acerola?
Acerola (Malpighia Glabra) is a small fruit. Their skin is deep and bright red. It has a round shape and is very similar to cherry. It is between 1 and 2 cm in diameter with smooth skin.
Continuing with its description, these fruits have a very juicy pulp, especially when it is ripe. They have an average weight of 20 grams.
In English, it is also known as cherry, manzanita, semeruco or Barbados cherry. Acerola produces cherry-like berries. However, he only looks physically alike, nothing more.
Its consumption helps us reduce fatigue and gives us the energy to be more vital. Likewise, thanks to its high vitamin C content, it provides us with many other benefits for our health.
The bush of these berries is between 5 and 15 meters tall and belongs to the Malpighiaceae family.
Origin of acerola
This berry is native to Central America, where the Amazonian tribes knew about its health benefits. According to written data, it is known that these foods were taken raw or in juice to treat various diseases.
From here, its cultivation has spread to regions of South America, mainly in Brazil and the Caribbean. The consumption of these products is increasingly widespread in these countries.
These fruits are currently grown in America, Asia and African tropical areas.
The countries with the highest production of this type of berries are Mexico, Colombia, Haiti, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bahamas, Bermuda, the United States (Texas) and some countries in Africa.
Likewise, Brazil is currently the world’s leading producer of acerola (Malpighia Glabra). It is mainly due to its favourable climatic and terrain conditions.
The season in Spain for this fruit is abridged. It begins in September when it starts to ripen and usually lasts about a month.
You can check the calendar of the fruit season to be able to consume these foods at their most optimal moment. In addition, when they are in season, they provide us with more benefits for our health; they have a better aroma and are tastier, among other advantages.
Where to buy acerola?
It isn’t easy to see this fruit in markets since its season in Spain lasts very little. It seems that its conservation is complicated once the fruit is collected. It matures very early and spoils very quickly.
Some markets traditionally offer these fruits at the beginning of autumn, although their duration is concise.
When buying these products, it is essential to check that the shape of the fruit is not deformed or crushed and that the skin is smooth. These fruits spoil very quickly once they ripen.
We can also find acerola (Malpighia Glabra) as a food supplement in different herbalists throughout the year. Consumption of these products is increasingly used as a natural antioxidant, among other benefits.
Conserving acerola (Malpighia Glabra) is difficult once harvested. Due to its high vitamin C content (L-ascorbic acid) oxidizes quickly when it matures and deteriorates quickly.
For this reason, it is advisable to cool or freeze these products immediately after they are harvested.
How is acerola consumed?
We always recommend eating raw, fresh and seasonal fruit. These berries are challenging to eat fresh because they are challenging to preserve.
It can be taken as an ingredient in recipes for juices, jams, ice cream, compotes and other preparations. To make these recipes, we can use this frozen fruit.
Also, these fruits are commonly found in dietary supplement form due to their nutritional properties beneficial to our health.
The berry spoils very quickly within a few days after harvest. In addition, the juice is limited in time without preservatives, as it also expires quickly.
However, eating fresh fruit is always the first option because it is the most beneficial and complete.
Acerolas have properties of high nutritional value. Its main characteristic is its high content of L-Ascorbic Acid, natural vitamin C. It provides us with between 20 and 30 times more vitamin C than oranges or kiwis.
Consequently, 100 grams of acerola provides us with between 1000 and 2000 mg of vitamin C. However, we must remember that the more the acerola maturing process increases, the more vitamin C is lost. Consequently, consuming the acerola freshly picked is recommended since it proliferates.
It also provides us with other vitamins, such as class A. It gives us two times more pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium than an orange. And it has carotenoids, polyphenols and vitamins like B1, B2, and B3.
It also contains flavonoids and anthocyanins. They are potent antioxidants that will help us fight cell aging by neutralizing free radicals.
It also gives us two times more pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium than an orange. It also has carotenoids, polyphenols and vitamins like B1, B2, and B3.
Vitamin C is present in this fruit in greater quantity when it is ripe. Likewise, this berry can be frozen, preserving all its properties.
Average nutritional value per 100 grams of acerola
|Vitamin A||38 µg|
|Vitamin B1 - Thiamine||0,02 mg|
|Vitamin B2 - Ribloflavin||0,058 mg|
|Vitamin B3 - Niacin||0,43 mg|
|Vitamin C - Ascorbic Acid||1675 mg|
This berry has multitudes of benefits for our health, among which we can highlight the following:
1. Helps reduce fatigue
These fruits are rich in ascorbic acid, which is a natural energy. Because it is also rich in vitamin C, it enhances the lively action of ascorbic acid.
2. Antibacterial effect
Vitamin C helps our immune system and therefore helps to maintain normal defences. In addition, it helps reduce both the appearance of colds and their duration.
It is also popularly used for its antibacterial effect by containing phenolic compounds. Consequently, it is an ally for cold or seasonal changes when defences are lower.
Thanks to their nutritional composition, they are potent antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals in our bodies. It contains more vitamin C than oranges and strawberries. Rosehip only surpasses it. In addition, it is also rich in vitamin A. Both vitamins are potent antioxidants.
4. Favorable for improving iron absorption
It is widely known that vitamin C helps the correct absorption of iron from food. It is a great help for people with anemia or women with heavy menstruation.
5. Beneficial for diabetics
Thanks to its antioxidant power, it can help protect blood vessels from oxidation caused by excess sugar. For this reason, consuming these fruits is recommended for type II diabetics.
In addition, it contains polyphenols that favour the absorption of sugars from food. A study shows that the antioxidants found in acerola can help ease the removal of sugar from the bloodstream. With this, it is possible to prevent sugar peaks and troughs in people with diabetes.
Although various studies support the benefits of acerola, more research is needed to discover more about the help of this fruit for our health.
6. For a healthy heart
It is a natural source of potassium. Therefore, this food can be beneficial for heart health. Also, potassium is a vasodilator nutrient. Consequently, it helps to relieve blood pressure.
Therefore, reducing the risks of suffering diseases related to the circulatory system is favourable.
7. A digestive fruit
Indeed, acerola does not contain as much fibre as other types of fruits. However, with the amount that it does not contribute, it is enough to help us in our digestive health.
Dietary fibre helps us regulate intestinal transit and relieves abdominal bloating, among other digestive benefits. In addition, it is arable favour to control high cholesterol.
No contradictions have been found in a regular intake of acerola (Malpighia Glabra), which varies whether it is the extract or fresh fruit.
However, it has been proven that a high or excessive intake of these products can cause gastrointestinal problems.
Acerola is a fruit rich in vitamin C, phenolic compounds and carotenoid pigments. It is a perfect composition for this product to be an excellent natural antioxidant.
It is ideal for the whole family, not exceeding a regular dose, to avoid the unwanted effects described above.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.