Barbados cherries are a beneficial superfood. These fruits are rich in essential minerals and natural antioxidants such as Vitamin C. In addition, the Barbados cherry is a tropical fruit. It belongs to the Malpighiaceae family, common medium-sized shrubs that require medium-range rainfall. Usually, these fruits are small but an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.
The pulp of these berries has a tart and sweet flavour. Also, its pulp is reddish yellow in colour and juicy and sweeter upon ripening. However, unripe green berries are more tart in taste.
The HealthifyMe Note
These are also called Amazon cherry, Garden cherry, French cherry, and West Indian cherry. Many people also cultivate it as an ornamental shrub. The outer skin of these fruits is bright red, and it also consists of tiny seeds that are round in shape.
Nutritional Properties of Barbados Cherry
The USDA provides the following nutrition data for 100gms Barbados Cherry.
- Water: 91.4g
- Energy 32 kcal
- Protein 0.4g
- Lipid (fat): 0.3g
- Carbohydrate: 7.69g
- Calcium, Ca: 12mg
Barbados cherries are low-calorie and low dietary fibre fruit. It contains about 7.69 grams of carbohydrates for 100grams serving of cherry, which is not very high. In addition, the fruit wall (pericarp) is thin, grained, and not fibrous, so it does not contain any dietary fibres.
Barbados cherry is not an excellent source of fat; serving 100gms Barbados cherry includes only 0.3gms of fat. In addition, Barbados cherry is not a rich source of protein either; 100gms of Barbados cherry comprises only 0.4gms of protein given by USDA.
Barbados cherries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, about 1680mg per 100gms servings. Also, it has trace amounts of niacin, folic acid, riboflavin, copper, selenium, and pantothenic acid. Also, an outstanding source of Vitamin A, B (B1, B2, B3), folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium help with proper metabolism and growth and development of organs and effectively help prevent serious diseases.
Barbados cherries are not an abundant source of calories. Instead, it is a low-calorie fruit with about 32 kcal per 100 grams.
The HealthifyMe Note
Barbados cherries are low in calories and fat, according to USDA data. As a result, it may be a feasible option for those looking to maintain their weight or follow a low-calorie diet. However, because it is a low-carb and low-dietary-fibre fruit, it is not a good source of instant energy.
Best Methods to use Barbados Cherry
Wash the Barbados cherry with water, add salt to the water, and drain. Wipe them down with a clean cloth to remove moisture to keep them from spoiling.
In Sauce, Syrup, Jam and Jelly
Barbados cherries are mainly sweet. So you can use them to prepare many food recipes such as juice, jam, jelly, wine and syrup.
Freshly diced or sliced berries add variety to the diet. You can also use it in fruit salads. They will also serve as an excellent topping for a savoury salad.
You can blend them with milk, water and healthy sweeteners (if required) to suit your taste.
You can blanch berries to deactivate the enzymatic activities and follow any preservation method to extend their shelf life. Plus, it can make cherries available throughout the year. These kinds of canned fruits are different in taste, and you can store them for up to a year. They will taste sweeter than what the cherry would initially taste, as dipping in sugar syrup is the most common way to preserve fruits. However, consuming them too much in this form can harm your health, so go for fresh fruits whenever possible.
You can also use Barbados cherries to decorate the surface of a cake, gelatin desserts, sharbat, make smoothies, and prevent enzymatic reactions in bananas. It is also available as extracts such as juice concentrates, frozen fruits and dried fruits to extend their shelf life.
Health Benefits of Barbados Cherry
1. Benefits for Collagen Synthesis, Skin and Hair
Barbados cherries are an outstanding source of Vitamin C. According to a study, Vitamin C is essential for the growth of tendons and ligaments and valuable for the rapid recovery of wounds after injury. Moreover, vitamin C plays a significant role in preventing suntan, wrinkles, scars, hyperpigmentation, skin dryness, skin darkening, fungal infections, premature ageing and minimising hair loss.
2. Barbados Cherries Upholds Blood Glucose Levels
A study illustrated that the Barbados Cherry consists of chlorogenic acid, which is helpful for lower blood sugar levels. It helps reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. According to a study, polyphenolic compounds in Barbados are beneficial for lower glucose absorption. It can avoid hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia.
3. Reducing Oxidative Stress
Barbados cherries are an excellent source of beta carotene, caffeic, quercetin, anthocyanins, chlorogenic acids, and Vitamin C. These are helpful for building balance in cells and tissues. Furthermore, these nutrients help protect cells from oxidative damage. It is also beneficial for preventing the oxidation of free radicals and avoiding lipid peroxidation.
4. Benefits to Metabolic Activity
According to a study, Barbados cherries are a great source of electrolytes and minerals. They also contain small niacin, folic acid, riboflavin, copper, selenium and pantothenic acid. They are also a great source of Vitamin A, B (B1, B2, B3), folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. These act as a cofactor and play a significant role in metabolising protein, CHO and fats.
5. Barbados Cherries Aids Weight Management
Barbados cherries are not a rich source of carbohydrates. Also, it reduces the accumulation of glucose in the blood and thus, helps with preventing mitochondrial dysfunction. Consumption of Barbados cherries helps improve metabolic functions and enzymatic activities. It also helps decrease bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and boosts healthy weight management.
6. Improve Immune function
Barbados cherry is an excellent source of natural pigments, vitamins, and antioxidants such as Vitamin C. A 100gms serving contains 1680mg of vitamin C. According to research, eating foods rich in ascorbic acid helps defend against harmful pathogens and microorganisms and prevent infections by strengthening the immune system, removing harmful toxic components in the body, and acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. Ascorbic acid also fights against certain cancer tumours, infections, premature ageing and neurological disorders. Also, you can use it to prevent infections of gums, throats, cough or colds, and liver disease.
According to a study, antioxidants in Barbados cherries help eliminate oxygen derivatives of free radicals. Vitamin C in Barbados cherry extract is also used to manufacture capsules, pills, syrups and extract powder.
7. Barbados Cherries Benefits Liver Functioning
Antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds in the cherries help prevent fatty liver diseases by reducing fat accumulation in the liver. In addition, it improves the function of cells and lipid metabolism and protects liver cell membranes by eliminating free radicals.
8. Lowers the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
Vitamin B found in Barbados cherries is helpful for the formation of red blood cells and also enhances haemoglobin percentage in blood. It supports upholding cholesterol levels in the blood and avoiding severe disorders such as heart attack, blood clots, atherosclerosis and stroke.
9. Prevention of Gout (Gouty Arthritis)
According to research, adequate Vitamin C helps reduce gout symptoms. It benefits in reducing the concentration of uric acid, and it also helps reduce the deposition of uric acid in bones and joints.
10. In Skin Care Products
Brands often use Barbados cherries in manufacturing skin care and cosmetics such as lotions, serums, ointments, cleansers, lip balms and scar-removing creams. According to a study, Vitamin C in Barbados cherries benefits in reducing skin dryness and pigmentation.
The HealthifyMe Note
Barbados Cherry will help avoid gout, boost the immune system, reduce oxidative stress, and be advantageous for collagen formation due to the abundance of vitamin C. In addition, Barbados Cherry also contains chlorogenic acid, which helps lower blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Healthy Recipes for Barbados Cherry
1. Barbados Cherry Squash
Serves: 4 servings
Preparation Time: 15mins
- Barbados cherry: 500 gm
- Natural sweetener (optional): 500 gm
- Water: 250 ml
Method of Preparation
- Take a food processor, put the de-seeded cherries, and grind them to a fine paste.
- Strain the paste using a sieve by adding water and sieving it once more to extract the remaining juice.
- Pour this extract into a thick bottom pan and put it on medium heat. Add some sweetener if required and stir continuously.
- Bring it to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Then, turn off the heat and let it cool down naturally to room temperature.
- Transfer to a clean, dry, airtight bottle and store it in the refrigerator once it has cooled completely.
- Pour 50 mL of concentrate into a 250 mL glass of water to make a 300 mL glass of cherry squash (1:5). Stir everything together and enjoy with a few cubes of ice. Best enjoyed chilled.
2. Barbados Cherry and Oatmeal Bake
Serves: 8 servings
Preparation Time: 30mins
- Barbados cherries: 500g
- Rolled oats: 200g
- Yoghurt: 200g
- Milk: 100ml
- Cinnamon: 1 tsp, ground
- Combine the rolled oats, half of the yoghurt, milk, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
- Add remaining milk and yoghurt again in the morning until the mixture achieves a semi-liquid consistency.
- Barbados cherries should be washed and sliced. Mix with the oats. If desired, add sugar (optional).
- Put this mixture in a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden on top.
Barbados cherries are not considered a major food allergen, rarely allergic. However, some of the acids in Barbados cherries may result in itchy skin, redness, rashes, and skin burning. Using hand gloves while handling and harvesting these fruits is recommended to prevent skin allergy. Individuals suffering from oral allergy may develop symptoms such as an itchy mouth, swelling, and itchy ears while consuming unripe fruits.
Possible Side Effects of Barbados Cherry
Pro-Oxidant in Nature
Over-intake of Barbados cherry may result in a high level of antioxidants and vitamin C in the body. It may cause antioxidative stress. Overconsumption of ascorbic acid can act as a pro-oxidant in nature. It may cause alterations in DNA. Some processed foods, such as Barbados cherry pulp concentrates, are rich in synthetic vitamin C. It may affect cell division. Usually, Barbados cherries are not mutagenic or cytogenetic. Increased intake of synthetic vitamin C can cause abnormalities in chromosomes.
Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis)
Overconsumption of Barbados cherries can lead to an increase in vitamin C in the body. It enhances the percentage of oxalate in the urine and may result in kidney stone formation. Excess intake of vitamin c can also lead to nausea, abdominal pain, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea and heartburn.
Increase the Level of Oestrogen
Vitamin C present in Barbados cherries may lead to elevated oestrogen levels. It may also cause an increase in the absorption of Oestrogen hormone, resulting in severe side effects.
Mouth or Oral Allergy
Someone suffering from oral allergy may develop symptoms such as an itchy mouth, swelling, and itchy ears while consuming unripe fruits due to the tartness of the fruit. Therefore, they must avoid the consumption of these kinds of fruits.
Some of the acids in Barbados cherries may result in itchy skin, rashes, and skin burning. Thus, using hand gloves while handling and harvesting these fruits is recommended to prevent skin allergy.
Storage and Food Safety
Barbados cherries are considered perishable food items. They contain high moisture levels, about 91% of water. So it is impossible to store at room temperature for a longer duration. You can store them at room temperature for about 1 to 2 days. If you want to extend shelf life up to a week, keep it in the freezer at 0 degrees. Barbados cherries are also available as juice concentrates, canned fruits, dry fruits, and sauces. These are available throughout the year.
Barbados Cherry Consumption Limits
Daily vitamin C intake can’t exceed more than 2000 mg daily. According to this, about 70 to 100 grams of daily intake of Barbados cherries is enough to meet the dietary intake of vitamin c.
Who should not consume?
People suffering from skin and oral allergies must avoid consuming Barbados cherries.
- People who have renal and kidney disorders must avoid consuming Barbados cherries.
- Individuals who have symptoms of high levels of Oestrogen must avoid eating Barbados cherries.
Barbados cherries are low in carbohydrates and rich in essential natural antioxidants such as vitamin C. It plays a significant role in improving the immune system. It also helps fight against viral infections such as colds, sore throats and fungal infections.
These low-fat and low-calorie fruits help prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Intake of vitamin C is also helpful in reducing fatty liver disorders and gouty arthritis. Consuming Barbados cherry benefits fulfilling dietary vitamin C intake.
Individuals suffering from kidney diseases, high levels of oestrogen hormone, skin allergy, and oral allergy must avoid eating Barbados cherries. Otherwise, the barbados cherry is a non-toxic and healthy vitamin C-rich fruit.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Are Barbados cherries good for you?
A: Yes, Barbados cherries are an excellent source of beta carotene, caffeic, quercetin, anthocyanins, chlorogenic acids, and Vitamin C. They help build balance in cells and tissues, maintain weight, enhance metabolic functions and uphold blood glucose levels. Also, Barbados cherries have antioxidants, which help prevent oxidative stress and also help to reduce the risk of CVD, Gout and liver damage.
Q. Is a Barbados cherry a real cherry?
A: Yes, Barbados cherries are small-sized cherries arising from medium-sized shrubs. Barbados cherry is a fleshy cherry. It consists of enclosed seeds and has grain patterns and three-lobed placentae. Usually, the colour is reddish yellow. The unripe ones are tart in flavour, and ripe cherries are sweet. Fake cherries have no grain pattern and are very small in size.
Q. Is Barbados cherry the richest source of vitamin C?
A: Yes, Barbados cherries are one of the world’s best sources of vitamin C. According to USDA, a 100gms serving of Barbados cherries contains 1680mg of vitamin C. Consuming Barbados cherries helps fulfil the recommended vitamin C daily intake.
Q. Are Barbados cherry seeds poisonous?
A: No, they are not. Barbados cherries contain 2 to 3 winged seeds. They are not hard pits like most cherries. You can easily chew the seeds or spit them out. Only some cherries contain amygdalin and prussic acid, also called Cyanide, which is highly toxic in nature and poisonous. Swallowing a few whole cherry pits is not harmful but may cause colon blockage. It consists of a simple, enclosed seed and grain pattern.