Acerola: a natural source of vitamin C

An exceptional source of nutrients

In the tropical regions of South America grows a remarkable shrub, the acerola tree, whose fruit, acerola (Malpighia emarginata), resembles a cherry. This small fruit is a nutritional powerhouse, offering one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C known in the plant kingdom. With up to 1800 mg of vitamin C per 100 g of pulp, it far exceeds the content of traditional sources like oranges. This high vitamin C content makes it essential for boosting the immune system, especially during periods of fatigue or recovery.

Moreover, acerola provides nutritional support with vitamins B6, B1, B2, and vitamin A, which are essential for the proper functioning of our body. Its high content of flavonoids and carotenoids amplifies its antioxidant effects, playing a key role in fighting cellular ageing and promoting optimal health.

The multiple benefits of acerola

Shield against infections Thanks to its richness in vitamin C, acerola strengthens the immune system, helping the body fight off viral and bacterial infections. This is why it is often found in dietary supplements to boost immune defences, especially in winter.

Natural antioxidant The antioxidants present in acerola combat damage caused by free radicals, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases and premature cell ageing.

Skin health Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, a protein that keeps the skin firm and elastic. By promoting this synthesis, acerola contributes to healthier and younger-looking skin.

How to meet daily recommended vitamin C intakes with acerola

Acerola can be consumed fresh, although its availability in this form is limited outside its natural habitat. It is more commonly found in powder form, juice, or incorporated into dietary supplements. A small amount of acerola powder or a capsule can provide several times the daily recommended intake of vitamin C.

Effects of acerola on sleep

Very high doses of vitamin C, well above the recommended daily intake, can disrupt sleep. An overdose of acerola could lead to insomnia, as vitamin C is a stimulant for the immune system. Consuming it excessively just before bed could potentially interfere with the ability to fall asleep or maintain deep sleep. Therefore, it is recommended to consume acerola and other rich sources of vitamin C during the day rather than in the evening. This allows you to benefit from its energising and immune-supporting effects without risking sleep disruption.

Contraindications and dangers of acerola

While acerola is generally safe for most people, its high vitamin C content can cause digestive problems such as stomach aches and diarrhoea, especially when consumed in large quantities. People suffering from kidney stones or other kidney issues should use it with caution, as excessive vitamin C consumption can exacerbate these conditions. There may be interactions between acerola and certain medications (antipsychotics, anticoagulants, beta-blockers). Therefore, it is recommended to seek medical advice if you have any health conditions or are undergoing treatment.

History of acerola

Today, acerola, also known as Barbados cherry (or "West Indian cherry"), is mainly cultivated in Brazil. In South America, acerola has been consumed for many years in traditional medicine as a natural anti-inflammatory to relieve fever and certain associated disorders.

From its origins in the forests of Latin America to its global use as a superfruit and dietary supplement, acerola embodies the fusion of tradition and science, offering a natural and powerful source of essential nutrients for health and well-being.