A bag of red acerola cherries.

Fruits are essential when it comes to meeting our everyday nutritional needs. While some fruits taste rather sweet and are filled with tons of natural sugars, others taste tart and tangy. The acerola cherry is one of those bitter fruits, yet it still includes a decent amount of nutrients. So, what are the benefits of eating it, and what are ways to add it to everyday meals?

What is acerola cherry?

Acerola cherry (Malpighia emarginata) is a fruit that grows on a tree and is part of the Malpighiaceae family. This fruit is a delectable, sweet, yet tart, addition to fruit salads, sauces and more. Other names for this cherry include:

  • Barbados cherry
  • West Indian cherry
  • Wild crepe myrtle


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states the following nutrients per 100g serving of raw acerola cherry:

  • Protein – 0.4g
  • Fiber – 1.1g
  • Calcium – 12mg
  • Iron – 0.2mg
  • Magnesium – 18mg
  • Potassium – 146mg
  • Zinc – 0.1mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 0.009mg

One 100g serving of raw acerola cherry also includes 91.41 grams of water, making it a great food source for extra hydration.

Side Effects

If you are concerned about the potential side effects of eating this cherry, you may want to talk to a registered dietician or nutritionist, both of whom will be able to best help you in your health journey.

In some cases, people may not enjoy the tartness of the acerola cherry. People may experience the following effects after consuming it:

  • Digestive problems, including vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Allergic reaction

Always talk to a health professional if you plan to drastically change your diet or if you have a reaction to a certain food.

How to Consume Acerola Cherry

There are many ways to incorporate the acerola cherry into your foods, especially since it adds a citrus-like flavor and is small in size. Some ideas include:

  • Making a fruit salad
  • Blending a cherry jelly or jam
  • Adding it to a smoothie
  • Frothing a cherry syrup
  • Chopping it for a tart salsa addition

The possibilities are endless when it comes to eating this cherry. Just be sure you are meeting all of your nutritional needs and are consuming foods that are healthy for you.

Additionally, acerola cherry comes in these supplemental forms:

  • Powder
  • Capsules
  • Chewable gummies

Never take a supplement without first talking to your doctor or another health professional.

Final Thoughts

The acerola cherry is an overall very healthy fruit that’s easy to add to everyday recipes. Still, it is critical to consult a professional if you plan to drastically alter your everyday eating habits. Just like with any other food, some people may experience adverse reactions to this cherry, so it’s important to monitor your body’s response as you add it to your diet.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute professional medical advice, nor can it replace the advice of a licensed professional.

Further Reading

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Ashwagandha – Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

Hawthorn Berry – Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

Passionflower – Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

Soursop – Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

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