Acerola

Acerola is an edible tropical fruit native to Latin America. Also known as acerola cherry or by its scientific name Malpighia emarginata, this sour red berry has been proven to contain extremely high amounts of vitamin C, a fact that has earned acerola the accolade of one of the world’s greatest superfoods. In countries like the US and UK, acerola fruit is usually sold in health food stores in supplemental form, typically as concentrated acerola powder made from freeze-dried acerola fruit. Those who swear by the health benefits of acerola powder use this increasingly popular natural supplement to improve the nutritional profile of cold soups, yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, and even home-made energy bars.

Did you know…that the acerola cherry benefits can help you lose weight, protect against cancer and heart disease, and boost your immune system with more vitamin C power than an orange?

Similar in appearance to a red cherry, the acerola cherry benefits originates from Mexico and from Central and South America. It contains over 150 phytonutrients and is one of the richest sources of vitamin C on the planet.

In fact, it far surpasses oranges in vitamin C potency!

Green, unripe acerola cherry packs 1500 to 4000mg of vitamin C for every 100g compared to oranges, which contain only 50mg of vitamin C per every 100g.

Oranges fall short in essential vitamins and minerals as well, containing only half the amounts of magnesium, potassium and pantothenic acid.

acerola-treeThe Importance of Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps fight infections, strengthen the immune system, prevent blood clots, regenerate damaged skin tissues, build collagen and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Acerola fruit is a traditional remedy for scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, vitamin-C rich diets help to reduce your risk of cancers, especially of the breast, skin, and cervix. Such plentiful concentrations of vitamin C make it an excellent preventative for heart disease.

Acerola regulates cholesterol levels, protects against atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and stops blood clots from forming. The anthocyanins in acerola (responsible for the fruit’s red hue) also help treat the common cold, gum infections, sore throat, and hay fever.

Anthocyanins have proven anti-inflammatory properties and can relieve headaches and fever as well as ibuprofen or aspirin do.

Acerola cherry benefits provide a highly absorbable form of vitamin C because it contains bioflavonoids, which help the body more readily assimilate antioxidants.

Valuable Health Benefits

Acerola cherry benefits have been shown to improve metabolism and normalize blood pressure and heart rhythm. Its folate content helps to regenerate new cells, and the copper it contains aids in iron absorption.

ACEROLA CHERRY IS ALSO BRIMMING WITH VITAMIN A AND BETA-CAROTENE; TWO ANTIOXIDANTS THAT HELP:

      • improve vision
      • prevent cataracts and retinal hemorrhages
      • alleviate arthritis
    • act as anti-cancer agents

The dietary fiber in acerola cherry helps clear waste from the intestines, thereby soothing constipation, diarrhea, and many kidney and liver conditions. Acerola cherry benefits can even activate anti-stress hormones, making the fruit a useful treat when depressed or anxious.

Acerola cherry benefits can even aid weight loss. Not only is it low in calories, fat, and sodium, it’s high in nutrition. In addition, it speeds your metabolism and regulates cholesterol and blood sugar levels; it helps reduce your risk of obesity and supports your weight loss goals.

Acerola cherry has also been praised for its antiviral and astringent properties.

It is used in cosmetic products to help fight aging, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and acne.

What Science Says About Acerola Cherry

The few studies have been conducted so far on acerola cherry have provided some impressive findings. One study published in 2011 in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition proved that the acerola fruit protects against oxidative stress, which causes premature aging and disease.

The Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology published a study that found that acerola cherry extract helped stop the growth and spread of lung cancer.

Adding acerola cherry benefits to your daily fruits and veggies may help boost your health.

If the taste is too tart, dip the fruit in honey or chocolate for a tasty treat. Cheers to your health!

SUMMARY

Known as extremely high in vitamin C and antioxidants, acerola fruit is also high in iron, calcium, beta carotenes and phosphorus. Acerola juice is as popular in Brazil as orange juice is in America.

Source: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/acerola-berry-powder/profile

 

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Anti-Cancer Properties of Turmeric and How to Increase Curcumin Absorption

Turmeric (scientific name Curcuma longa) belongs to the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. This perennial plant has a bright yellow rhizomatous root covered with a tan-colored skin. Turmeric is a popular spice that is widely used in the cuisines of the Middle East, Southeast Asian and North African regions. Turmeric is a very versatile herb that is also one of the key ingredients in spice blends for curries and it augments the flavor of soups, salads, meats, stir-fries and other cuisines.

The active elements in turmeric are called curcuminoids, which offer many health benefits. The particular compound called curcumin is known to be the most potent, therapeutically very powerful and responsible for turmeric’s cancer-killing attributes. This compound facilitates detoxification as well as rejuvenation of the liver, diminishes the negative consequences of excessive iron in the body.

In addition, curcumin augments the body’s antioxidant ability, reinforces the brain cells, enhances cognitive functioning and lessens the risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as treats the condition. This compound also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, lessens the chances of developing heart diseases and depression, besides combating premature aging.

We know that curcumin literally kills cancer, but what is its mechanism?

 

Curcumin’s lethal aspect

There are about 10 to 13 trillion cells in the human body. Every day our body replaces anything between 100 billion to 130 billion of these cells. The old and unnecessary cells are destroyed through a firmly controlled process of cell suicide known as apoptosis or programmed cell death.

Interestingly, unlike the normal cells, the carcinogenic cells do not commit suicide. On the contrary, they render the suicide genes inactive.

In such situations, curcumin stimulates the death receptors in different ways. Scientists are still in the process of learning the mechanism by which curcumin works to activate these receptors. One interesting means by which this compound turns on the death receptors is by activating enzymes that simply breaks up the proteins present in the cells. Scientists are of the view that cancer cells are unable to resist curcumin, unlike the chemotherapy drugs, because this compound triggers the death of carcinogenic cells in various different ways. As of now, we are still not aware of the reason behind curcumin sparing the healthy cells in our body. All that we know is that curcumin just kills the cells that are thought to be dead already.

Unfortunately, our bodies have a propensity to get rid of almost all the curcumin we consume. It is important to note that unless there is a help, it becomes difficult for our body to absorb much curcumin.

 

Increasing bioavailability of curcumin

Our bodies have a problem with curcumin. As our liver tries to put off or get rid of unnecessary drugs, supplements, and similar substances, it also retards curcumin absorption – a process known as glucuronidation. In effect, this process makes curcumin less effectual in our body compared to its normal effectiveness. Nevertheless, we can enhance the ability of our body to take up this compound.

 

Consume turmeric with black pepper

The strong flavor of black pepper is attributed to piperine, an alkaloid enclosed by it. Piperine slows down the metabolic functions of specific enzymes resulting in the disposal of what our body deems to be surplus curcumin. However, the action of this compound is not restricted only to curcumin, as black pepper can also augment the body’s ability to take up other supplements and similar substances. When taken with black pepper, piperine helps to raise the body’s ability to absorb curcumin by about 2000 percent.

 

Blend turmeric with useful fats

It has been established that curcumin dissolves in fats. In the absence of fats, curcumin does not disband as it should. As a result, curcumin finds it difficult to reach the gut and being assimilated into our blood stream and eventually reach the cells where the compound is needed. Hence, it is advisable that you always consume turmeric with beneficial fats such as olive oil, avocado, and coconut oil.

 

Take turmeric with quercetin

A plant flavonoid, quercetin slows down the action of the enzymes that neutralize curcumin. Hence, it is advisable that you consume turmeric with quercetin.

Apples, blueberries, chicory greens, cranberries, onions, red lettuce leaf, sweet peppers, raw broccoli, raw spinach, raw kale, snap beans, green tea, black plums, red grapes and red wine are some foods that contain high levels of quercetin. However, capers are known to be the best whole food source that encloses quercetin.