Fruit Plants Barbados Cherry - A Detailed Overview
Malpighi Emarginata or the fruit plants Barbados Cherry is native to the West Indies, particularly the Lesser Antilles, Trinidad, South America and Brazil. It is also grown widely in Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas. This juicy fruit has a slightly acidic flavor and a high nutritional value.
The Barbados cherry is a short, bushy shrub with a small trunk and hairy branches. The leaves are dark green in color and elliptical in shape. The fruits borne by this plant are usually 3-lobed, red-colored, glossy and very juicy. These resemble cherries in texture as well as taste, and hence the name – Barbados Cherries.
This is essentially a tropical fruit as the Barbados tree can withstand temperatures of up to 22 degrees celsius. While the plant itself can survive long periods of drought, rainfall is required for it to bear fruits. Barbados plant develops into a close-knit canopy of thick, rounded foliage covering a large surface area.
Nutritional Value of Barbados Cherry
Fruits Plants Barbados Cherry is known to have 65 times more Vitamin C than an Orange, making it the richest source of Vitamin C amongst all cultivated plants.
Also known as the Acerola cherry, it contains high amounts of Vitamin A – approx.12,500 IU per 100 gms. Trolox, a derivative of Vitamin E and an antioxidant, is also present in high amounts. Barbados cherry has been used in health drinks to treat a variety of ailments from common colds to diabetes to rheumatism. It is also a great option to beat the summer heat and keep the body cool and rejuvenated.
Health Benefits and Other Uses
Barbados plant or the Acerola cherry is rich in nutrients and offers multiple health benefits. Some of these are:
Reduces Cholesterol – A powerful antioxidant, Barbados cherry can lower levels of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood, and help prevent atherosclerosis. It is also a potent cardiotonic and can improve cardiovascular health significantly.
Anti-Inflammatory – The Vitamin C content and antioxidants present in Barbados cherry are great for warding off allergies and skin infections. It also keeps the skin supple and bright. Regular consumption of this fruit can boost immunity and help combat the common cold and flu.
Iron Absorption – Being a rich source of Vitamin C, it enhances iron absorption. This is especially great for children suffering from anemia or other forms of iron deficiency.
Fever and Dysentery – Drinking Barbados fruit juice or just eating a handful of fresh cherries can provide immediate relief from dysentery and fever. It also works as a liver stimulant and diuretic.
You can use it as a topping on your cakes or sweets, or just drink its juice for general health and well-being. Fruit Plants Barbados Cherry rates high on the nutritional meter, and is indeed a healthy fruit to consume.