Are You Missing Out on the Benefits of Acerola?

Are You Missing Out on the Benefits of Acerola?

Advertisement - Acerola cherry is also loaded with healthy vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. This is a complete list :  Energy 32 Kcal 1.5%, Carbohydrates 7.69 g 6%, Protein 0.40 g <1%, Total Fat 0.30 g 1.5%, Cholesterol 0 mg 0%, Dietary Fiber 1.1 g 2.5%, Folates 14 µg 3.5%, Niacin 0.400 mg 2.5%, Pantothenic acid 0.309 mg 6%, Pyridoxine 0.009 mg <1%, Riboflavin 0.060 mg 4.5%, Vitamin A 767 IU 26%, Vitamin C 1677.6 mg 1864%, Sodium 7 mg 0.5%, Potassium 146 mg 3%, Calcium 12 mg 1.2%, Copper 0.086 mg 9%, Iron 0.20 mg 2.5%, Magnesium 18 mg 4.5%, Phosphorous 11 mg 1.5%,  Selenium 0.6 µg 1%, Zinc 0.10 mg 1%

Acerola is known by a few different names, including Barbados cherry or wild crapemyrtle, its attributes are the same: large amounts of naturally occurring vitamin C. Acerola is a tropical fruit-bearing tree with variations from three to fruit-bearing producing fruit which looks much like a cherry. 

The overwhelming benefit of eating this small, deep cherry colored fruit is the amount of naturally occurring vitamin C. Consuming one cherry-sized fruit (1,000 to 4,500 mg/100g) has the total recommended daily allowance of vitamin C suggested by the FDA. In comparison, a peeled orange contains about 0.05 or 50 mg/100 gat consumption. It would be advantageous to eat the acerola fruit just before maturation (when the berry is more acid and tart) when it can have up to 4,500 mg/100g of vitamin C. 

More importantly, it is a natural way to get a full dose of vitamin C. Though it seems manufacturers have added vitamin C to just about everything these days, consuming a fruit with naturally high levels will offer the best overall absorption. The reported benefits of vitamin C include energy boost, shortening the length of colds and sickness, antioxidants, and shortened healing time for cuts and wounds. There are other purported reports that high doses of vitamin C positively affect cardiovascular health, the buildup of platelets on vessel walls and reduction of cholesterol. 

It should be noted that the fruit deteriorates quickly once harvested. Scientists have noticed significant degradation within 4 hours of the harvest of the berries. For best results, consume the product quickly or use it to make jams, jellies or juices. Studies have shown that the body regularly absorbs vitamins and minerals better when consumed in raw form. It may be difficult to find acerola fruit in local grocery stores. Try natural health or organic markets for the fruit which is typically harvested up to three times a year. Have a green thumb? Plant your own tree. 

Quick Recipe for Health:  Combine ½ cup acerola berries (or 1T dried/powdered form), ½ cup seedless tart cherries, 1 cup yogurt (flavored, but low in sugar), and ¾ cup pomegranate juice. Mix in blender for 2 minutes or until desired consistency. 

Sip and enjoy the benefits: the acerola offers the high level of vitamin C, the tart cherries are a natural anti-inflammatory, the yogurt offers probiotics helpful for digestion and immune support and the pomegranate offers heart-healthy benefits. 

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April 13, 2018
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