Until half of the last century it did not exist in our country, it is currently one of the most widespread and appreciated fruits: we are talking about acerola. Natural from Central America, this fruit was only brought to Brazil in the mid-1950s and, from then on, it started to be produced and consumed on a large scale.
Much of its fame is given, not only for its sweet and citrus flavor, but mainly for the richness of nutrients it presents. This small, round, reddish berry concentrates significant amounts of vitamin C, standing in front of well-known fruits in this area, such as orange, guava and cashew .
And it is from this nutrient that its benefits are found. Acerola has a very high antioxidant and immunoprotective potential, preventing cancers, inflammatory diseases and improving the functioning of organs and tissues.
Next, learn more about it, learn how to make the juice and see if it has contraindications.
What are the main benefits of acerola?
Nutritionist Sidrack Vila Nova Filho explained how the medicinal properties of the fruit act on the human body. Check out the list with the 8 main advantages:
1- It is an antioxidant
Acerola has three major benefits linked to the high rate of antioxidant substances present in its composition.
The first one is the prevention of premature aging. According to the expert, “acerola is rich in polyphenols and anthocyanins, important antioxidants that help fight free radicals resulting from poor diet, stress and pollution, to name a few”, he explained. These molecules, in excess, damage healthy body cells, causing diseases and damage to organs and tissues, advancing cell aging.
It is from this that we arrive at the second benefit: cancer prevention. Antioxidants inhibit the formation of tumor cells – a cluster caused by the unrestrained multiplication of free radicals – slowing them down or even preventing them from appearing. In this way, the development of some cancers, such as colon cancer, is repressed.
Finally, it combats CNCDs (cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes mellitus and neoplasms). Antioxidants also have the ability to reduce inflammatory processes, being extremely important in the treatment of non-communicable chronic diseases, such as: atherosclerosis, diabetes and obesity.
2- Improves tissue and organ health
Vila Nova Filho highlighted the abundance of vitamin C , also called ascorbic acid, in the nutritional structure of the fruit and its advantage for the body. “Vitamin C helps in the maintenance of connective tissue as it is essential in the formation of collagen , a protein that has a structural function, ensuring elasticity and resistance to epithelial cells ( delaying the formation of wrinkles , for example), strengthening tendons and ligaments and acting in support of the internal organs”, he clarified.
3- It is healing and anti-inflammatory
This same compound, vitamin C, is essential for acne sufferers. The nutrition professional stated that the nutrient helps in reducing inflammatory processes, accelerating the healing of wounds, injuries and injuries.
4- Increases immunity
It is also a merit of vitamin C that it stimulates the proper functioning of the cells of the immune system. Mechanism responsible for preventing diseases caused by microbes (bacteria, viruses and fungi), for example. Therefore, daily intake of the ideal amount of this vitamin increases the body’s defenses.
5- Prevents anemia
One of the main functions of vitamin C is its ability to increase the absorption of iron through food. According to Sidrack, the process is called “increasing bioavailability”. This scenario favors the prevention or treatment of iron deficiency anemia, caused by an individual’s iron deficiency.
This property is important for vegan and vegetarian people, as the iron contained in plant foods is not as easily absorbed by the body as iron from animal foods. The consumption of acerola facilitates the capture.
6- Good for the heart
Acerola is a great source of potassium. “This nutrient is important for the health of blood vessels and heart , as it contributes to the passage of blood flow between vessels, which helps in the prevention and control of high blood pressure , heart attacks, strokes and atherosclerosis”, pointed out the nutritionist.
In addition, vitamin C improves blood vessel strength and elasticity.
7- Protect your eyes
A peculiar benefit of acerola, which many people do not know, is its ability to promote eye health. “The vitamin A found in the fruit is necessary for the proper functioning of the eyes, since it protects the cornea against the impacts that the capture of light can cause, preventing eye disorders such as xerophthalmia”, reported Vila Nova Filho.
8- Improves intestinal flora
Fruits in general have significant amounts of fiber , and acerola is no different. These compounds work for the good performance of the intestinal flora. “The insoluble dietary fiber present in acerola facilitates the formation and locomotion of the fecal cake, which helps in the prevention and treatment of constipation,” explained Sidrack.
The emarginata Malpighia , scientific name of acerola, is one of the foods that have the highest concentration of Vitamin C on record.
|100 gram serving||Amount per serving|
|Energetic value||33 Kcal|
|C vitamin||941,4 mg|
* Daily reference values based on a 2000kcal or 8400kj diet. Your daily values can be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. Data taken from TACO, revised and expanded edition. (1)
Healthy acerola juice recipe
One of the most common ways to consume the benefits of acerola is through its natural juice. A recurring mistake in this recipe is the use of sugar, which can improve the flavor but negates some of the main benefits. See how to make natural and healthy juice.
- In a blender, add 1 cup of washed, stemless acerola.
- Using the same cup, add the same measure of filtered water.
- Beat everything until smooth.
- Finally, strain and drink without sugar.
In the scientific field, contraindications and side effects for the consumption of the fruit were not observed. However, eating this or any other food, natural or not, in excess causes damage to health. So look for moderation.