Strengthen your immune system with acerola cherry, a great source of vitamin C
04/28/2022 / By Rose Lidell / Comments
Strengthen your immune system with acerola cherry, a great source of vitamin C

Despite their name, acerola cherries aren’t considered true cherries. But this vitamin C-rich superfood is used in both modern and traditional medicine. If you want to boost your immunity, try adding acerola cherries to your diet.

Acerola cherries are the fruit of the acerola plant (Malpighia emarginata), a shrub-like tree native to the Caribbean. The fruit is also called Barbados cherry. Acerola cherries can be consumed raw. The fruit is also used to make juices, cooked into pies, turned into jams or added to smoothies as a powder. Because the fruit is a great source of vitamin C, it can be used to ease the symptoms of a cold.

Brighteon.TV

Acerola cherry nutrition profile

Studies suggest that acerola cherries have more vitamin C than every other fruit, aside from of rosehip.

A 100-gram serving of raw acerola cherries only contains 59 calories and 0.68 to 1.8 grams (g) of protein. The same serving size also contains 0.6 to 1.2 g of fiber and 6.98 to 14 g of carbs.

A hundred grams of acerola cherries also provides the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin C – 1,680 milligrams (mg) (1,800 percent of the Daily Value (DV))
  • Vitamin A – 38 mcg (15 percent of the DV)
  • Copper – 0.8 mg (10 percent of the DV)
  • Riboflavin – 0.038 to 0.079 mg (5 percent of the DV)
  • Magnesium – 18 mg (4 percent of the DV)
  • Potassium – 146 mg (3 percent of the DV)

According to research, organically grown acerola cherries have the greatest concentration of nutrients and antioxidants.

Benefits of acerola cherries

Consuming acerola cherries offers the following benefits.

They’re high in vitamin C

Vitamin C acts as a potent antioxidant that is important for your immune health. The vitamin can also help prevent diseases and protect you from oxidative stress.

You need to get enough vitamin C each day because it is a water-soluble vitamin.

Your body can’t store water-soluble vitamins so you need to consume vitamin C-rich foods daily. When you get enough vitamin C every day, your body can protect you from illness and infection.

According to research, getting enough vitamin C helps reduce the symptoms and duration of the common cold. You also need vitamin C for collagen production, which is important for wound healing and stronger skin and hair.

They’re rich in antioxidants

Research suggests that acerola cherries also have a high antioxidant content.

According to findings from other studies, diets high in antioxidants can help boost your brain, eye and heart health. Antioxidants can also help lower disease risk and prevent inflammation.

Incorporating acerola cherries into a balanced diet

Acerola cherries can be consumed raw, but they’re rather tart.

The superfruit can be used as a pie filling or made into jams. It is also available as a supplement.

However, unlike other fruits, acerola cherries have a very short lifespan. Ripe acerola cherries bruise easily and are highly perishable.

Fresh cherries can only be stored for about three days at 45 F.

If half-ripe when picked, acerola cherries may last up to five days. Freezing can help extend the shelf life of acerola cherries and cherry juice can last for about one week in the fridge.

Ripe acerola cherries are sweet and slightly acidic or bitter. When making acerola jam or pie fillings, adding natural sweetener can help reduce the acidity.

Acerola cherries can be served with cakes or ice cream. Remove the seeds if desired.

If you don’t live in a tropical area it is nearly impossible to get fresh acerola cherries. You might have more luck growing them in an indoor garden.

Alternatively, you can purchase them in the following forms:

  • Capsules
  • Chewable tablets
  • Liquid extracts (tinctures)
  • Powder

The powdered supplement is the most popular form since it can be easily added to beverages like smoothies and juices. Acerola powder is made from dehydrated acerola cherries.

There isn’t enough clinical research to determine a safe dose of acerola, but you can follow guidelines for vitamin C supplementation when taking acerola at home.

Remember that recommendations may vary depending on the product you buy. Follow dosage directions on the label to determine how much acerola powder to take.

Considerations before consuming acerola cherries

While considered a superfood, it’s possible to take too much acerola cherry.

Consuming too much acerola may cause negative side effects so take milligram doses of acerola as you would any vitamin C supplement. Always follow supplement label directions.

When buying acerola cherry products, purchase only from a reputable manufacturer.

Avoid taking large doses of any vitamin C product like acerola cherry supplements. Gradually decrease the amount if you are already taking large doses to prevent rebound scurvy, which may happen if your body becomes accustomed to a larger dosage.

If you take too much acerola cherry, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive cramps
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Flushed appearance
  • Frequent urination
  • Headache (including migraine)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Lower your dosage immediately if you experience these symptoms.

Note that taking very high amounts of acerola cherry over a long period can cause kidney stones. Contact a trusted physician if you experience side or lower back pain, which could be a symptom of kidney stones.

If you grow an acerola cherry plant, you may experience contact dermatitis when harvesting. However, the berry is considered non-toxic and safe to consume.

Acerola cherry recipes to try

Curious about acerola cherries? Try making salsa, baked oatmeal or acerola cherry smoothies.

Acerola cherry salsa

Ingredients for 3 servings:

  • 1 1/2 cups acerola cherries, stalks and seeds removed
  • 1 hot green chili
  • 4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Allspice (small pinch)
  • Coarse sea salt (pinch)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Chop the chili, coriander and garlic.
  2. Crush the cherries. Separate the juice and set it aside.
  3. Finely chop the cherries, then blend them with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Season to taste before serving.

Oatmeal acerola cherry bake

Ingredients for 8 servings:

  • 2 1/2 cups acerola cherries, pitted
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation: 

  1. In a large bowl, mix the rolled oats, yogurt, milk and cinnamon and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove the mixture from the fridge and add more milk and yogurt until it has a semi-liquid consistency.
  3. Wash the acerola cherries and remove the seeds.
  4. Mix the cherries into the oats mixture. Add sugar if you want to sweeten the final product.
  5. Pour the mixture into a glass baking dish and bake at 350 F for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Once done, drizzle with honey before serving.

Acerola green smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 500 mL vanilla oat milk
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 100 g frozen acerola
  • 50 g frozen mangos
  • 50 g frozen pineapple
  • 1 ripe banana1 Starfruit
  • 1 tablespoon protein powder vanilla

Preparation:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and process the smoothie until creamy.
  2. Add more liquid if desired.
  3. Pour into jars before drinking and enjoy.

Boost your immune health by consuming vitamin C-rich superfruits like acerola cherries.

Sources:

FoodsForBetterHealth.com

Healthline.com

CheckYourFood.com

PeckishMe.com

KlarasLife.com

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Related Articles
Comments
comments powered by Disqus

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Popular articles