King of vitamin c
Acerola (pronounced ah-sir-oh-la) is a small, cherry-like fruit that grows on large, dense shrubs throughout the tropics of South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean. Often called the “Amazon cherry” or “Barbados cherry”, its taste ranges from tart to semi-sweet with the Brazilian varieties being noted as the richest and sweetest. Each serving of acerola contains up to 30 times as much Vitamin C as an orange!
Benefits of Acerola
Has up to 30 times the Vitamin CVitamin C can support immune function and bone maintenance. of an orange
Rich in mineral salts, such as ironIron carries oxygen to the cells in the body through its role in creating hemoglobin., calciumCalcium can promote the maintenance of bones and healthy muscle function., and phosphorous
Contains essential vitamins such as Vitamin AVitamin A may contribute to maintenance of vision, immune functions, cell integrity, and the moisture & health of skin., Vitamins B1(thiamin), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin)Vitamins B1(thiamin), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin), may help regulate metabolism, support cell growth and contribute to maintenance of mental function., and Vitamin E.Vitamin E has been shown to increase the body’s immune response and may contribute to maintenance of heart health and healthy skin.
Contains additional minerals including magnesiumMagnesium can help to release energy and absorb nutrients in our foods and can contribute to a healthy immune function and maintenance of healthy bones., potassiumPotassium can help maintain a healthy blood pressure level., seleniumSelenium can contribute to efficiency of the immune system, and can help regulate the effects of thyroid hormones on fat metabolism., copperCopper helps the body absorb iron so that the body can easily transport oxygen to important tissues., manganeseManganese can help the body maintain healthy bone, cartilage, and connective tissues., and zinc.
Good source of immunity-supporting plant sterolsPlant sterols (beta-sitosterols, campesterol and stigmasterol) can reduce blood cholesterol, and can help promote healthy cardiovascular and digestive systems.
The History of Acerola
Traditionally, acerola has long been consumed as a natural aid for many ailments.
Originally known as the “Barbados Cherry,” the acerola was brought over to the Americas by Spanish conquistadors during the 16th century.
In the 18th century, the Swedish naturalist, Linnaeus, gave acerola its scientific name, Malpighia emarginata. This was in honor of a contemporary doctor and anatomist, Marcello Malpighi.
The natives of South America fell in love with the cherry and discovered the many medicinal benefits of the fruit as well as its delicious flavor. Today, the largest acerola harvests exist in the Amazon, and juice from acerola is as widespread in Brazil as orange juice in the United States.
Acerola grows in the wild and through cultivation throughout Brazil, primarily in the northeastern regions. The fruit grows on short stems in shrub-like trees around 36 meters (1019 feet) in height. The diameter and weight of acerola fruit varies between 24 cm and 515 g, respectively. The fruit has a thin skin that may range from reddish yellow to deep red when ripe.
Acerola fruits are usually picked manually during the coolest part of the early morning and must be handled with care, since they bruise easily. Amafruits only harvests ripe, organic acerola then purees the fruit and strains out the seeds. We add nothing to the fruit. The result is a smooth, very tangy pulp that will add serious zip to your smoothies and juices.
In the Amazon region of Brazil, there are approximately 35 harvest periods per year. When grown from seed, the acerola tree can produce fruit in the 2nd or 3rd year, while cuttings may fruit in the first year. Older trees can yield from 30 to 60 pounds of fruit, and productivity will generally begin to level off or decline after 15 or 20 years of good growth.
The largest acerola harvests take place in Brazil, but plantings of the fruit are increasing worldwide. The rise in plantings is due, in part, to the fruit’s increased use in producing vitamin C supplements.