Health Benefits Of Acerola Cherries


Native to the tropical regions of the Americas, acerola cherry is a vibrant fruit that is not only delicious but also packs a remarkable nutritional punch. In this article, we will explore the health benefits of Acerola cherry and why it deserves a place in your diet.

What are acerola cherries?

Acerola cherry, scientifically known as Malpighia emarginata, is a small fruit native to the tropical regions of the Americas. It is also commonly referred to as the Barbados cherry, West Indian cherry, or simply acerola. The cherry is small, bright red, and has a tangy flavour that is often described as a blend of sweet and sour.

Acerola cherry is highly regarded for its exceptional nutritional value and medicinal properties. It is particularly renowned for its extraordinarily high Vitamin C content, surpassing that of other well-known Vitamin C-rich fruits like oranges and lemons and considered one of the richest natural sources of this essential vitamin.1

Besides Vitamin C, acerola cherries also contain a range of other beneficial nutrients, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B-complex, calcium, iron, magnesium, and dietary fibre. Additionally, they are rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids, which help protect the body against cellular damage caused by free radicals. Due to its impressive nutritional profile, acerola cherry is sought after for its numerous health benefits. 

Acerola cherry can be consumed fresh, although its intense flavour may be too tart for some people. It is also commonly used in the production of juices, jams, jellies, and dietary supplements. The cherry is highly perishable, so it is often processed or freeze-dried to preserve its nutrients and extend its shelf life.

It can be enjoyed as a refreshing snack, incorporated into recipes, or consumed as a supplement; acerola cherry offers a delicious and potent way to harness its numerous health benefits and contribute to overall well-being.2 

Health benefits of acerola cherry

Due to the dense nutritional profile of acerola cherries, they are able to provide a variety of health benefits. These include: 

Rich in vitamin C

When it comes to Vitamin C, Acerola cherry reigns supreme. In fact, it is considered one of the richest natural sources of this essential nutrient. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in supporting a strong immune system, aiding in the production of collagen for healthy skin, and promoting wound healing. Adding Acerola cherry to your diet can help fortify your immune defences, protect against oxidative stress, and boost overall vitality.

Powerful antioxidant properties

Acerola cherry is renowned for its exceptional antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help combat the harmful effects of free radicals unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to chronic diseases. The high levels of antioxidants in Acerola cherry, including polyphenols and flavonoids, make it a potent ally in reducing inflammation, fighting cellular damage, and promoting longevity.3

Boosts immune function

Returning to the impressive Vitamin C content, Acerola cherry can provide a significant boost to your immune system. This is due to Vitamin C enhancing the production of white blood cells, which are vital for defending the body against pathogens and infections. By incorporating Acerola cherry into your diet, you can support your immune function, reduce the duration and severity of colds and flu, and improve your overall resilience to illness.

Supports skin health

As a rich source of antioxidants, acerola cherry can aid in protecting the skin from oxidative stress caused by factors such as pollution and UV radiation. Additionally, Vitamin C supports collagen synthesis, a protein that gives the skin its structure and elasticity, helping to maintain a youthful and vibrant complexion.

Enhances brain function

The antioxidants present in this fruit help reduce inflammation in the brain, protecting against neurodegenerative diseases and age-related cognitive decline. Moreover, the abundance of Vitamin C aids in the production of neurotransmitters, vital chemicals that facilitate communication between brain cells, thereby promoting mental clarity and focus.4

Nutritional facts

Acerola cherry is a nutrient-dense fruit that offers an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here are the approximate nutritional facts per 100 grams of fresh acerola cherry:

  • Calories: 32 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 7.7 grams
  • Dietary Fibre: 1.1 grams
  • Sugars: 4.5 grams
  • Protein: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 1,678 milligrams (2,797% of the Daily Value)
  • Vitamin A: 767 International Units (15% of the Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B-complex: Includes thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), and niacin (B3)


  • Calcium: 12 milligrams
  • Iron: 0.3 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 18 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 11 milligrams
  • Potassium: 146 milligrams

It is very important to note that these values can vary slightly depending on the ripeness and variety  of acerola cherries. Additionally, the vitamin and mineral content of acerola cherry is significantly higher than that of other commonly consumed fruits.

It is worth mentioning that the nutritional content of acerola cherry can vary depending on factors such as cultivation practices, growing conditions, and harvesting methods. Additionally, processing methods, such as freeze-drying or juicing, may affect the nutrient levels.

One of the standout nutritional features of acerola cherry is its extraordinarily high vitamin C content. As mentioned earlier, it is considered one of the richest natural sources of vitamin C, with significantly higher levels compared to other fruits such as oranges or strawberries. 

Acerola cherry also contains notable amounts of vitamin A, which is essential for vision, skin health, and immune function. The fruit provides some B-complex vitamins that play various roles in energy metabolism, nerve function, and maintaining healthy skin and hair.

In terms of minerals, acerola cherry offers small amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. While the mineral content may not be as high as in some other fruits, the overall nutritional profile of acerola cherry makes it a valuable addition to a well-balanced diet.5

Side effects and other concerns

While acerola cherry is generally safe and well-tolerated by most individuals, it is important to be aware of potential side effects, especially when consumed in large quantities or by individuals with specific health conditions. These are some side effects associated with acerola cherry: 

Allergic reactions 

Some individuals may be allergic to acerola cherry or other fruits in the same botanical family, such as strawberries or peaches. Allergic reactions can manifest as skin rashes, itching, swelling, or respiratory symptoms like wheezing or difficulty breathing. If you have a known fruit allergy or experience any allergic symptoms after consuming acerola cherry, it is advisable to seek medical attention.6

Gastrointestinal issues

Acerola cherry contains high levels of Vitamin C and dietary fibre, which in excess can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. Consuming large amounts of acerola cherry or its supplements may cause symptoms like stomach cramps, diarrhoea, or an upset stomach. It is recommended to consume acerola cherry in moderation and adjust the intake according to individual tolerance.

Interference with medications 

Acerola cherry, due to its high vitamin C content, can potentially interfere with certain medications. For example, large doses of Vitamin C may affect the absorption or efficacy of certain antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, or blood-thinning medications like warfarin. If you are taking any medications, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before adding acerola cherry or its supplements to your routine.7

Kidney stones 

Acerola cherry contains oxalates, which are natural compounds that can contribute to the formation of kidney stones in susceptible individuals. If you have a history of kidney stones or are at risk, it is advisable to moderate your intake of foods high in oxalates, including acerola cherry.

Interaction with iron absorption 

While the high Vitamin C content in acerola cherry enhances iron absorption from plant-based sources, it may also interact with iron supplements in some cases. Excessive intake of Vitamin C alongside iron supplements can potentially increase iron absorption to levels that are not well-tolerated by the body. If you take iron supplements, it is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider regarding the appropriate intake of acerola cherry and other sources of Vitamin C.

It's important to note that individual reactions to acerola cherry can vary, and it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications.8


Incorporating Acerola cherry into your diet can be a delicious and nutritious way to support your overall health and well-being. From its remarkable Vitamin C content to its powerful antioxidant properties, this superfood offers a wide range of benefits. Whether you enjoy it fresh, as a juice, or in supplement form, Acerola cherry can be a valuable addition to your daily routine, providing countless health benefits. 


  1. Prakash A, Baskaran R. Acerola, an untapped functional superfruit: a review on latest frontiers. J Food Sci Technol [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2023 Jun 21]; 55(9):3373–84. Available from:
  2. 8th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Blood Purification: April 11-13, 1990, Salsomaggiore (Parma), Italy. Blood Purification [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2023 Jun 21]; 8(2):88–116. Available from:
  3. Acerola Cherry: 8 Benefits of This High-C Tropical Superfruit. Global Healing E-Shop [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2023 Jun 21]. Available from:
  4. Vitamin C: The Definitive Guide. FutureYou [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jun 21]. Available from:
  5. Acerola, raw (west indian cherry) nutrition facts and analysis. [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jun 21]. Available from:
  6. Acerola: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dose & Precautions. RxList [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jun 21]. Available from:
  7. Acerola: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dose & Precautions. RxList [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jun 21]. Available from:
  8. Prakash A, Baskaran R. Acerola, an untapped functional superfruit: a review on latest frontiers. J Food Sci Technol [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2023 Jun 21]; 55(9):3373–84. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

Get our health newsletter

Get daily health and wellness advice from our medical team.
Your privacy is important to us. Any information you provide to this website may be placed by us on our servers. If you do not agree do not provide the information.

Sarah Nadiri

Masters in Cancer, MSc University College London, London

Sarah is a registered biomedical scientist with a specialty in cancer research studies. She has five years experience working in various research facilities such as the Cancer Institute and The Francis Crick Institute. Additionally she has experience working in clinics, in various hospital labs around London and various intermediary care roles within the NHS. She joined Klarity in February and is currently contributing as a medical writer. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
Klarity / Managed Self Ltd
Alum House
5 Alum Chine Road
Westbourne Bournemouth BH4 8DT
VAT Number: 362 5758 74
Company Number: 10696687

Phone Number:

 +44 20 3239 9818