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Acerola (scientific name - malpighia punicifolia) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub found in the tropical climatic regions of South and Central America. It is native to the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Acerola is best known for its thick green foliage, and sessile white and pink flowers. It also bears oblate cherries of bright red color. These tart cherries are rich in vitamin C, and are known by different local names, such as, Barbados Cherry, West Indian Cherry, Cereza, Semeruco, and Cerisier.

Health Benefits

Rich in vitamins: Vitamin A promotes clear vision and is found abundantly in acerola cherry. It also helps in destroying free radicals that can cause eye diseases, arthritis, and cancer. Vitamin C found in this cherry fruit aids in enhancing the immune system. Besides, it helps in healing and repairing of damaged tissues in the body. Many cardio-related afflictions and carcinogenic ailments find a cure in the nutrient values of acerolas. The potassium content in this cherry regulates the blood pressure and heart rhythm. The folate found in this fruit helps in the generation of new cells. Hence, these cherries are best recommended for pregnant women. The folate also protects the newborn against enervating diseases and mental retardation.

Headache reliever: Acerola cherry is one of the natural remedies for headaches. Anthocyanins found in this fruit, have anti-inflammatory properties that cure headaches. These produce effects similar to pain relievers, like aspirin and ibuprofen. They also help to treat fever and sore throat.

Antioxidant properties: The bioflavonoids and carotenoids of acerola are powerful antioxidants that aid in keeping a check on the cholesterol levels of the body. They scavenge the body off any cancerous agents and also protect it from skin-related afflictions.

Cures gastric disorders: Apart from its anti-cancer properties, this fruit is a tangible cure for gastric disorders like constipation, diarrhea, and weak liver conditions. Acerola is also a natural cure that combats liver afflictions like hepatitis.

Apart from the above stated health benefits, this fruit is a natural immune system enhancer that regulates the normal metabolism rate and accelerates healing of wounds, burns, and bruises. It assists the body in increasing the absorption of iron, which is essential for the generation of hemoglobin. Besides, it aids in collagen formation that is important for growth and repair of body tissues. People suffering from arteriosclerosis are advised to have these cherries regularly, as it moderates the cholesterol levels and mitigates the effects caused by the hardening of arteries. This fruit also help in producing anti-stress hormones like melatonin that regulates sleep cycles. It is a proven fact that the vitamin C present in acerola is 65 times more than the vitamin C content found in an orange. Hence, they are the best natural remedies for dental afflictions like tooth decay and scurvy. Being a rich source of vitamins and minerals (iron, phosphorus and calcium), it aids in fighting cellular aging. Other benefits include relieving menopause symptoms such as, fatigue, breast pain, and irate mood swings in women.

In addition, it also helps in fighting the signs of aging. Consumption of this fruit on a regular basis helps in defeating discoloration of the skin, premature skin aging, and skin wrinkles. Nowadays, cosmetic industries are including acerola extracts in their products.

As a Snack
Acerola cherries make yummy snacks for health conscious people, as they are considerably low in calories. Besides, this fruit aids in natural control of blood sugar. Due to the sour taste, children might throw tantrums while eating these tart cherries. No worries! Here are a few tips on how this red cherry can be transformed into a delectable snack.
  • Take some fresh acerolas and rinse them well in cold water. Cook them well until soft.
  • Add some honey to sweeten them up.
  • Melt some chocolate and dip the sweetened berries in the melted chocolate and enjoy a lip-smacking snack!
Acerolas can also be used in making jams and jellies that make good supplements for sandwiches. Now that you are aware of the health benefits, have an acerola every day and keep your body healthy and gay!