She was nicknamed “Azarole” by the Indians, which means “small, pretty and useful fruit”. For the natives of Central America already appreciated the health benefits. The origin of the acerola fruit is on the Mexican peninsula of Yucatán. But today it is grown in Texas, Mexico, Panama, Brazil, Guatemala and Jamaica. Outside their natural range, there is no appreciable cultivation.
The fruit is also known as acerola cherry, because it looks similar to a cherry. Just like a cherry, the acerola fruit is one to three centimeters in size, round, yellow-orange to red. But then it ends with the similarities: Strictly speaking, the acerola cherry is not a cherry. Rather, the fruit belongs to the family of Malpighiengewächse. It is shrubs or low trees with a height between 1 and 3 meters.
The plant grows up to a height of 1,600 meters. It does not make great demands on its location. So you can find them on roadsides, wet river banks, on dry soil or even rocky ground. The fruits of acerola have an extremely high content of vitamin C: 100 grams of fresh acerola juice contain up to 4,500 milligrams of the vitamin.Even Germany’s popular vitamin C suppliers Orange and Lemon have to fit here. Thus, the acerola cherry contains about 40 times more vitamin C than an orange. This makes it one of the richest vitamin C fruits in the world. In 100 ml of acerola juice stuck 1078.5 mg of the vitamin. Acerola is therefore used as a dietary supplement in vitamin C deficiency.
You can eat the fruits raw as fruit. It is harvested up to 4 times a year. However, because the flesh is very juicy and its skin is extremely thin, it can not be stored for long. Already 3 to 5 days after harvest the fruits spoil. That is why fresh acerola fruits are hardly offered in Germany at all.
However, you do not have to do without the ingredients: In this country, you can take the acerola cherry as a fruit juice or powder, for example, but also dried (for example, in cereals, dried fruits are available in health food stores). The consumption is worthwhile, because the ingredients have a lot to offer your health.
You must know that your body can not produce vitamin C on its own. You should therefore make sure that you eat at least 100 mg of the vitamin daily with the food. Typical deficiency symptoms are, for example, a connective tissue, poor wound healing and an increased risk of infection.These tasks are done by vitamin C in your body:
- promotes numerous metabolic processes
- stimulates the defense functions
- neutralizes free radicals
- supports red blood cell maturation and iron absorption.
In addition, vitamin C has an antioxidant effect, which means that it destroys cell-damaging oxygen radicals, which are for example responsible for the development of vascular or cancerous diseases. The acerola cherry is the better alternative to artificially produced vitamin C. Especially in the cold season, under stress, with nicotine consumption or to prevent colds, it is advantageous to take acerola products.
Other healthy ingredients of acerola
The secondary plant substances contained in the acerola fruit, such as the flavonoids, also have an antioxidant effect.
In addition, the acerola cherry scores:
- with provitamin A
- with vitamin B1, B2
- with minerals
- with fiber.
For example, vitamin B1, also called thiamine, is a water-soluble vitamin. Your body needs it to metabolize nutrients, especially carbohydrates, from food and convert it into energy.
Vitamin B2 is also important for numerous metabolic processes. For example, your body needs vitamin B2 to convert glucose or fatty acids into energy, and the precursor of vitamin A in the body ultimately provides beautiful skin, hair and nails.
Iron is involved in oxygen transport in the body. Calcium strengthens your bones, supports digestion, and promotes, among other things, the transmission of information in muscles and nerves.
Recipe for acerola apple juice
Because of its high vitamin C content, acerola juice is also suitable as an addition to another fruit juice, for example combined with grape, apple, passion fruit, cherry or orange.
Give 2 teaspoons of acerola juice in 100 ml apple juice
Dilute everything with about 300 ml of mineral water.
Recipe for elderberry acerola juice
Ideal for a cold:
250 ml Elderberry juice
20 ml of acerola juice
Mix elderberry juice, acerola juice and cloves.
Heat everything together for a short time.
Let it rest for 5 minutes.
Enjoy the juice as warm as possible.
Recipe for pear acerola spread
1 spring onion
1 bunch of basil
3 tablespoons acerola juice
3 tablespoons cream cheese
Salt, pepper, lemon juice
Halve the pears, core them and cut into cubes.
Cut the spring onion into thin rings.
Remove the basil leaves on a stalk.
Puree basil leaves, pears, spring onion, 3 tablespoons of acerola juice and 3 tablespoons of cream cheese.
Then season as desired with lemon juice, pepper and salt.
The spread tastes delicious on toasted bread.