Acerola: Vitamin C Superstar
Pop quiz: Name a fruit that looks like a red Bing cherry, has a pleasant sweet flavor with notes of apple, and is packed with 30 to 80 times more Vitamin C than oranges have?
The answer? Acerola!
Also known as the Barbados cherry, West Indian cherry, Cereza, Cerisier, or wild crepe myrtle, acerola is emerging as the must-have fruit among health-conscious consumers throughout LA and Southern California, where acerola smoothie packs are flying off the shelves.
Here’s what you need to know about this rising star of the produce world.
It’s A Sun-Loving Superfruit
Just like many other ‘superfruits’, the acerola berry hails from the Yucatan Peninsula in southeast Mexico, where it’s large, fast-growing shrubs grow up to 15 feet tall in the dry, sandy soil and full sun. It can only survive in areas where the temperature always remains above 30 degrees, and the shallow root systems of the trees make it vulnerable to wind damage.
Producers have successfully propagated the plants to establish commercial acerola plantations throughout Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Peru and Brazil, while here in the United States, it’s grown in San Diego County, San Bernadino County, and even a few protected areas in Southern Florida.
It’s Packed With a Laundry-List of Must-Have Nutrients
While the fruit from the acerola trees (often referred to as ‘acerola cherries’) are certainly worth eating based solely on their distinctive sweet flavor and juicy flesh, it’s the health benefits of these tasty little treats that’s driving the demand for ready-to-use frozen acerola smoothie packs.
Acerola cherries contain exceptionally high concentrations of antioxidants – substances that help to combat premature aging and reduce the risk of developing a host of serious conditions and diseases like some types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s desease.
It’s Filled With Antioxidants
The most notable feature of arecola is the fact that it’s filled with Vitamin C – in fact, only Camu Camu has more Vitamin
C by weight than the arecola cherry does! Unlike some other Vitamins that can actually accumulate in the body when taken in high doses, because Vitamin C is water-soluable, it’s virtually impossible to actually overdose on absorbic acid.
And because Vitamin C intake has been positively linked to a host of health benefits ranging from immune system stimulation to the development of collagen in the skin, tissues, and organs, eating products made with acerola provides consumers with a welcome alternative to popping piles of pills every morning!
It’s Been Shown To Slow the Progress of Lung Cancer
One of the most promising, and surprising scientific studies related to acerola showed that extracts made from the fruit could actually slow the growth of abnormal cells that cause lung cancer. While the study was conducted only on mice, researchers are excited at the fact that acerola cherry could provide cancer patients with a promising treatment option in the near future.
It Can Help With Diabetes Management
Researchers have shown that acerola cherries can actually help to slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, which means better blood sugar and insulin regulation for people with both Type-2 diabetes and pre-diabetes. Studies have also demonstrated that consuming fruits like acerola can actually help reduce the risk of developing diabetes in the first place by helping to prevent fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
It Can Promote Metabolic Health
While acerola is packed with Vitamin C, it also contains notable levels of Vitamins from the B family, including niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid. These substances are valuable for anyone who’s looking for an all-natural way to promote both hormonal balance and a healthy metabolic system (which is everyone these days, right?). So the next time you’re looking for a way to give your daily breakfast drink or mid-day snack a boost, why not reach for a couple acerola smoothie packs?
About The Author
Produce Services of Los Angeles is a proud partner and produce supplier to over 400 restaurants throughout Southern California! We carry a full line of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables along with dairy and dry goods! Not only do we support local farmers and source local produce whenever possible, we support up and coming talent in the food community.