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The Jamaican Cherry | 10 Amazing Benefits And Uses

jamaican_cherries_fresh
Jamaican Cherries | Photo Credit: Nateisha Gayle @nattzeats

by Deon Clarke | Associate Writer



Did you know that Jamaica has its own cherry? Yup, and not like those expensive sweetened seedless ones off the supermarket shelves, but actual real cherries that you can pick right from the tree and pop in your mouth, straight vitamin C, lol. Also known as the acerola (Malpighia emarginata), it is not the same as regular cherries.

Instead, it has berries of marble-like sizes and turns to bright red or dark purple when ripe. It also contains a large seed that usually separates the fruit into three parts.

These cherries actually bring back a lot of childhood memories as a few of these cherry trees were located on my family's property. And, oh boy did I have some fun climbing the trees and sitting on a branch, nibbling on a few while chatting with friends, and of course, having a bag or two to be filled up to be used later on.

Let’s take a look at some of these amazing benefits and uses of this delicious fruit.

  1. It helps to boost the immune system - The Jamaican cherry provides an excellent source of Vitamin C, which acts as a barrier against pathogens such as fungi, parasites, viruses and bacteria while providing support to cell function, thereby assisting with boosting your body’s immune system health

  2. It helps the organs to function properly - Vitamin A that is contained in the cherries helps in normal vision functions (better eyesight), as well as with our reproductive system functions. It helps the heart, kidneys, lungs, and other organs to work properly

  3. It helps with the repair of body tissues - Again, its Vitamin C content helps to heal wounds quickly and it is great for the maintenance of strong teeth, and healthy bones and cartilage

  4. It is a great source of Antioxidants - The Jamaican cherries has a high level of Vitamin C which helps to neutralize free radicals (unstable cells in the body that can cause illnesses and aging). Vitamin C in Jamaican cherries is considered to be absorbed more easily than that of synthetic foods or supplements. A cup of cherries contains about 1700 mg of Vitamin C, however, it is safe to consume up to 2000 mg per day

  5. It helps with good brain health - Due to its high antocyanin content, the Jamaican cherry helps to improve brain function. It also helps to protect you against memory loss and cognitive disorders

  6. It helps your skin to have a youthful appearance - This super food – The Jamaican cherry, helps your skin to look younger as the Vitamin C helps to boost the production of collagen and elastin, both of which helps to give the body its youthful appearance (firm and plump skin)

  7. It may reduce the risk of certain cancers - Vitamin A in the cherries can help to reduce the risk of certain cancers in the body including bladder, cervical, lung, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma

  8. It is a great fruit for making jams - The cherries are great to make jams which can spread on just about anything such as breads, buns, and biscuits. You can even have it by itself if you like

  9. It is a great flavour for syrups - The Jamaican cherries provide a great flavour for syrups and is well-liked by most individuals.

  10. It makes delicious Juices - There are so many juices that you can use these cherries to make. You can just blend it and have it naturally, add a little sugar, add some ginger or just about any way you like it

There are so many awesome benefits and uses of our Jamaican cherries. As far as the jams, or juices, or syrups, I can’t even choose one above the other. I love them all! Give them a try and let us know what’s your favourite.

I also recommend you read 10 Most Loved Fruits In Jamaica.

Regards,
DC

References:
  • 13 Health Benefits of Vitamin C: What Does It Do?, Nutrition Advice, https://www.nutritionadvance.com/vitamin-c-health-benefits/
    Vitamin A Benefits, Healthline, www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-a-benefits
  • 5 Benefits of Jamaican Cherry
  • ACEROLA: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews, WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-608/acerola

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About The Author

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A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

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