A Slice Of The Awesome Acerola
It’s tangy, juicy, healthy and delicious. We are talking about acerola, also known as the West Indian cherry or the Barbados cherry. This tiny, red cherry is a goldmine of nutrients especially Vitamin C and is very popular although you might mostly find supplements and juices of acerola as the fresh fruit very rare due to its highly perishable nature.
Interested in this delicate yet powerfully healthy cherry? This is exactly why we are bringing to you this article on the benefits of acerola cherry. Read ahead and get to know about the awesome acerola NOW!
Let us begin our benefits-of-acerola journey with a quick glance at the nutritional profile of acerola. This is to give you a headstart on what gems of nutrients might be found in our treasure trove acerola.
Did you just see the unbelievably high amounts of Vitamin C and an incredibly low count of cholesterol present in acerola? This itself speaks volumes about the benefits of acerola.
So, let us not waste time and scoop right into the benefits of acerola!
Health Benefits of Acerola
- Acerola cherry takes the cherry (pun intended) when it comes to Vitamin C. Most benefits of acerola are a direct result of its Vitamin C richness. Since Vitamin C is an important nutrient and is water-soluble, we need to take daily doses of it and here is where acerola jumps in.
- This vitamin is an antioxidant which prevents free radical cell damage caused by pollution, UV radiation etc while protecting the body from inflammation.
- Flavonoids in acerola are the other antioxidants, especially in fresh fruit form of acerola.
- Vitamin C also helps in building in collagen, protects mucous membranes and fights against scurvy. It also helps in boosting our immune system fighting against cold, flu, etc.
- It may even help against cancer, though more research is needed to confirm the same.
Dosage & Side Effects
- Acerola is very rich in Vitamin C which may often result in overdosage of it is strongly recommended that one takes only the recommended dosage of this fruit like a Vitamin C supplement (if you are taking this fruit in a non-supplement form).
- If you have any prescription dosage for Vitamin C, follow it.1 cup of fresh fruit provides 1,644 mg of vitamin C 1 cup of juice provides 3,872 mg.
- The recommended dosage of Vitamin C is just 75 milligrams for women and 90 milligrams for men. An overdose of vitamin C may cause diarrhea, digestive cramps, dizziness or fainting, flushed appearance, frequent urination, headache (including migraine), nausea and vomiting.
- Very high dosages may also cause kidney stones. Large enough quantities of acerola the vitamin C content may enhance iron absorption leading to iron poisoning, mostly in patients with rare iron overload disorders, such as hemochromatosis.
- Higher doses can also cause hemolysis, an abnormal breakdown of red blood cells in the blood vessels leading to a form of anemia, especially in patients who have a concurrent glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.
- It may also cause rebound scurvy if your body is getting used to large doses of vitamin C.
- Acerola also interferes with clinical tests and prescription drugs, especially birth control pills and other estrogen-containing medications, which is why you should consult your doctor before taking acerola.
Acerola is quite rich in Vitamin A which is also a powerful antioxidant along with being excellent for eyes. This vitamin also plays an important part in giving you the skin of your dreams.
Strength of Bones
Calcium can also be counted as one of the benefits of acerola. Present in good quantities, calcium helps maintain the strength of bones and teeth.
Helps Cardiac Health
It also helps in clotting of blood, contracting of muscles and beating of the heart. And since our body cannot make its own calcium, acerola can be a good source for it.
Helps in Metabolism
Acerola also contains good amounts of iron which is essential for a healthy and metabolically active life.
Vitamins B-3, B-1, and B-2 are also present in acerola which helps in maintaining a healthy body and an energetic life.
Helps For Kidney
Phosphorus is also present as a nutrient in acerola which has many health benefits such as ensuring healthy teeth, bones, cell repair, maintaining the growth of RNA and DNA, helping in kidney waste removal, etc
Small amounts of potassium, magnesium, and folate are also present which helps in cardiovascular and bone strength. Folate is especially good for fetal development.
An important point to note is that Acerola loses its Vitamin C content as it ripens and it ripens real fast. This is why it is suggested that we grow our own acerola and/or freeze them immediately after picking up. The berries i.e the raw, fresh fruit is the best way to eat acerola but since the fruit decays within five days, many supplements are also available.
Apart from the health and nutritional benefits of acerola, it is also used for its antidepressant, antifungal, enhancing athletic endurance and astringent properties. It can also help with diarrhea and dysentery.
So, the benefits of acerola are undoubtedly many but so are the risks and the precautions to be taken while consuming acerola.
- Pregnant women are advised to consult their doctor before eating acerola in any dosage.
- Supplements should only be taken with doctor’s advice and the recommended dosage should be strictly followed. Fresh fruit is always better than supplements.
Therefore, we recommend you follow the safety precautions and keep munching onto your acerola slice, or keep slurping your acerola juice or keep enjoying the delicious jam or dish that you have whipped up with our sweet, tangy friend, acerola over here!!