Acerola (previously M. punicifolia) is native to the West Indies. It also is found in northern South America, Central America, Texas, and Florida. This small shrub or tree has 5-petaled flowers ranging from pink to white in color. Acerola fruit is a bright red cherry-like fruit containing several small seeds. Mature fruits are soft and pleasant tasting. They contain 80 percent juice. The fruits deteriorate rapidly once removed from the tree.
It contains over 150 phytonutrients and is one of the richest sources of vitamin C on the planet.
In fact, it far surpasses oranges in vitamin C potency!
Green, unripe acerola cherry packs 1500 to 4000mg of vitamin C for every 100g compared to oranges, which contain only 50mg of vitamin C per every 100g.
Vitamin C helps fight infections, strengthen the immune system, prevent blood clots, regenerate damaged skin tissues, build collagen and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Valuable Health Benefits
Acerola cherry benefits has been shown to improve metabolism, and normalize blood pressure and heart rhythm. Its folate content helps to regenerate new cells, and the copper it contains aids in iron absorption.
Acerola cherry is also brimming with vitamin A and beta-carotene; two antioxidants that help:
• improve vision
• prevent cataracts and retinal hemorrhages
• alleviate arthritis
• act as anti-cancer agents
The dietary fiber in acerola cherry helps clear waste from the intestines, thereby soothing constipation, diarrhea, and many kidney and liver conditions. Acerola cherry benefits can even activate anti-stress hormones, making the fruit a useful treat when depressed or anxious.
Some of the most unique health benefits of acerola include its ability to manage diabetes, reduce signs of aging, prevent certain types of cancer, improve heart health, increase circulation, reduce allergic reactions, stimulate the immune system, increase eye health, protect the skin, and improve mood.