Scientific Name: Malpighia emarginata
Acerola (Malpighia emaginata) are known to have many names in different countries including Barbados cherry, Babaro cherry, Cerezo, etc. Acerola are characterized as small cherry-like fruit that have a citrus taste. Acerola are green and turn red when ripe. In Southeast Asia, the unripe green fruit are often eaten as a snack. Acerola is in the Malpighiaceae family which, in fact, is a family of flowering plants related to mangroves.
Acerola is one of the fruits that have the highest amount of vitamin C (1,864% daily value [DV]). Vitamin C is a crucial antioxidant for the human body. Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen which improves skin health. Vitamin C is best known to be beneficial for the immune system. Vitamin C may also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease.
Vitamin A (4% DV) in acerola helps improve vision and protect eyes from eye diseases. Acerola also contains a sufficient amount of minerals and antioxidants. These minerals include magnesium (4% DV) and copper (10% DV). Both minerals play a role in bone and heart health. Furthermore, copper aids in the absorption of iron.