Acerola is the name for a fruit tree or shrub that grows mostly in tropical climates. Its botanical name is Malpighia emarginata and is often called Barbados Cherry, West Indian Cherry or Cereza. Acerola usually grows as a large shrub or small tree that reaches up to 20 feet tall. The plant produces pink or lavender flowers with glossy light to dark green leaves. The acerola plant is known most distinctly for its red stone fruits called acerola cherries.1 The pulp from acerola cherries have a sweet scent but an acidic taste.2 The acerola plant is native to the Yucatan region of Mexico, Central America and the northern area of South America. Today, acerola can be found in hotter American climates like southern Florida and Texas. Brazil remains the largest mass acerola cultivator in the world.2 Acerola is commonly sold as a health supplement in a powder from.
There are many unique acerola health benefits. Acerola is high in vitamin C due to its natural content of ascorbic acid. There is between 1000 and 4500 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of edible acerola fruit. Acerola is also high in vitamin A and contains B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, protein, fiber and fatty acids. Due to this high vitamin C content and other nutritional value, acerola health benefits include:2 3
There are many acerola uses for health including:
Acerola side effects are limited and it’s considered safe for most people to consume. However, acerola side effects may include nausea, cramps and diarrhea when taken in high doses.2 3
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