Acerola Benefits: The Richest Fresh Fruit Source of Vitamin C

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Acerola benefits: When the Spaniards first arrived in the Caribbean Islands in the 16th century, they found a tree with fruit similar to those of the azarole cultivated in Europe. They named it acerola. Those explorers had no idea then that the Caribbean acerola cherry is much richer in vitamin C than the European fruit.

Azarole is a fruit of a bush or tree of the botanical family Rosaceae (Crataegus azarolus L.). It is similar to the cherry, and as the acerola described here, it is very rich in vitamin C (275 mg/100 g).

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Scientific Facts

Acerola Related Species: Malpighia punicifolia L.

  • Synonyms: Spanish pine, Neapolitan medlar
  • French: Angerolle, angerolier
  • Spanish: Acerola
  • German: Acerola-kirsche
  • Description: Fruit of ‘Malpighia glabra’ L., a tree of the botanical family Malpighiaceae
  • Habitat: The acerola is native to the Caribbean region. Today it is found throughout Central America from Mexico to Venezuela.

Acerola Benefits: Medicinal Properties and Indication

The acerola was a little appreciated fruit until 1946 when some investigators at the University of Puerto Rico analyzed its vitamin C content. They declared that they had discovered nature’s richest source of this vitamin (up to 2,520 mg/100 g, according to the variety, in other words, more than 50 times that of lemons.

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In addition to vitamin C, acerolas also contain a whole series of natural substances that accompany it and potentiate its action: organic acids such as malic acid and flavonoids such as rutin and hesperidin.

According to Schneider, elevated doses of vitamin C increase interferon production, which is a protein that inhibits the proliferation of viruses and stimulates the immune system, and halts the growth of tumoral cells.

Because of these acerola benefits, the fruit is highly recommended for all types of infectious diseases, particularly those of viral origin such as the flu, colds, etc. And as a complement to the treatment and prevention of cancer.

Acerola Preparation

  1. Raw: This fruit must be completely ripe before it can be eaten, and even then, it is quite sour.
  2. Juice: Acerola juice is usually blended with other, sweeter fruit juices. A delicious high vitamin C beverage is an acerola smoothie.
  3. Commercial use: Acerola pulp is used to make jellies and gelatin desserts. It is also dried and powdered. All of these industrial applications are rich in vitamin C.

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George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 367. Print.

Last update on 2023-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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