If there is one fruit that looks a little unusual and ugly on the outside but tastes good on the inside, it’s the Purple Mangosteen. Simply known as ‘mangosteen’, this purple crowned fruit is believed to have first grown in the Sunda Islands of the Malay Archipelago and Indonesia. Not to be mistaken with mangoes, a mangosteen is a special purple fruit with white edible fluid-filled vesicles on the inside. The vesicles (or flesh, which is also scientifically known as the endocarp) are somewhat similar with citrus fruits’ flesh, but mangosteen flesh is a lot firmer, fibrous, and smoother in texture. As for the taste, a purple mangosteen has a mixture of sweet, tangy, and sour, flavour. Its juicy and soft texture that brings out a just right sweet and sour juice when chewed is what makes mangosteen delectably addicting. Even if you’re not into sour foods, you’d definitely love this fruit.
History of Mangosteen
Did You Know: Back in the 1930, it was told as a legend that Queen Victoria went raring for this fruit. She even offered a hundred-pound reward of sterling to anyone who could provide her a fresh produce of mangosteen. Although there has not been any strong evidence that proves the reliability of the story, it gave birth to the purple mangosteen’s unusual name of “Queen of Fruit”.
Although mangosteen is not as popular as other fruits like lemon and apple, it gained slow but steady credibility in the market. In the year 2006, it finally hit the American market by being sold frozen and canned to gourmet restaurants, supermarkets, and other food stores. Although fresh produce is not readily available in many Western countries, fresh mangosteen made its way to the US in 2007, which sold up to a skyrocketing high of 60$ a pound! Good thing, the supply went high as demands grew, making the prices go low. Today, mangosteen is being used as a flavour to many drinks and delectable desserts like fruit shakes, ice cream, cakes, and even candies! Only the mangosteen flesh is considered edible, but in some countries, its covering or shell is being used as an essential ingredient to medicinal products.
And speaking of medicine, did you know that mangosteen has a lot of health benefits? That’s why this article is excited to nurture your mind with information about the top 5 health benefits of Mangosteen.
what is the nutritional value of mangosteen?
Every fruit is packed with good nutritional value—especially when it’s fresh. And that counts the mangosteen. However, the nutritional value for fresh mangosteen was not published for internal reasons. What this article can give is the nutritional value for the canned mangosteen in syrup. For every 100 grams (or 3.5oz) of nutritional value, you get the following: Energy (305 kJ or 73 kcal), Carbohydrates (about 17.91 grams), Dietary fiber (about 1.8 grams), Fat (about 0.58 gram), and Protein (about 0.41 grams).
What are the Vitamins of Mangosteen?
Mangosteen is also packed with vitamins, and because it’s sour, you could expect it to be full of Vitamin C; well, it does have about 3% (or 2.9 mg) per 100grams of nutritional value. You might be surprised to know that although this fruit is sour, it actually has more Folate (Vitamin B9, 8%) than Vitamin C. IT also has Thiamine (Vitamin B1) of about 5% (or 0.054mg), Vitamin B6 of about 1% (or 0.018mg), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) of about 5% (or 0.054mg), and Niacin (Vitamin B3) about 2% (or 0.286).
What are the Minerals of Mangosteen?
This fruit is also rich in minerals that are essential for your body systems to function properly, especially your heart. Common electrolytes can be found in this fruit like Potassium (1% or 48mg), Sodium (about 7mg), Magnesium (about 4% or 13mg), Calcium (about 1% or 12mg), Phosphorus (about 1% or 8mg), Iron (about 2% or 0.3mg), and Zinc (about 2% or 0.21mg).
Note: Mangosteen nutrient content might differ for fresh fruits.
What are the Health Benefits of Mangosteen?
In Asia, especially in countries near the Pacific, mangosteen has gained popularity in the herbal medicines market. Although fresh mangosteen flesh is the main source of nutrients by eating it raw, some herbal supplements companies use mangosteen shells as main ingredients for their products. And true enough, some of these herbal supplements were proven effective to various people! But what really is the score when it comes to what this fruit can do to your body? Here are some of the best health benefits that you can get from mangosteen:
#1: It’s Rich in Anti-Oxidants; It Helps in Preventing Cancer
If you’re one advocate against the Big C, helping cancer patients have a better and brighter future by giving them encouragement, it won’t hurt to educate yourself what wonders this fruit could bring to your health. Be that model who shows that healthy living is not boring at all—even to those who are already battling the disease.
Mangosteen is rich in anti-oxidant, a powerful anti-cancer property. The fruit’s pericarps have xanthones, a polyphenol anti-cancer property that also contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. This polyphenol is divided into two types; alpha and gamma. What’s amazing, according to studies, is that these xanthones prevent the development of colon cancer. Eating mangosteen also decreases your chances of developing skin cancer through the phenolics found in it! Mangosteen can also prevent tumor growth! As a matter of fact, the xanthone alpha found in mangosteen can even control the cancer cell growth that is found in prostate cancer, breast cancer, and mammary cancer. Yes, mangosteen is that wonderful that it induces even cancerous cells’ death. How could such a fruit be this amazing? Well, medicines come from plant too, don’t they?
#2: It Protects Your Heart and Blood
Just like how a mangosteen shell secures its flesh on the inside, the fruit also gives a hearty protection to your cardiovascular system. When your heart functions properly, all the other internal organs will also be in good shape; and vice versa, if it’s not in good condition, then all the other internal organs might suffer complications in the long run.
Mangosteen’s high Vitamin C content and anti-oxidants are essentials properties that help in keeping your heart in optimum performance. The nutrients also prevent plaque from building up inside the arteries, thus, preventing blockage—which can be a fatal condition. The fruit also lessens your chances of getting stroke or myocardial infarction.
Moreover, mangosteen helps your body in producing healthy red blood cells, which prevents anemia or the fatal leukemia. The fruit enhances the blood flow, which inhibits the chances of getting cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis and heart enlargement, and heart attack. High cholesterol level is also one of the main reasons why people suffer from heart attack. Good thing, mangosteen regulates the levels of triglycerides to keep the heart working properly. When you have your daily dose of fresh mangosteen o mangosteen-flavoured juice, your heart rate is also regulated because this fruit contains minerals like Potassium, Magnesium, and Manganese—all of which are essential for keeping your heart in good shape. When your heart rate is in good shape, there is a lower chance of getting conditions like heart failure or arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).
#3: It Has Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Allergy Properties
In Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines, mangosteen is being used as an active ingredient to many herbal supplements. The fruit has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties that prevent the development of histamine and prostaglandin. These two are both considered culprits for the inflammation of parts of the body. So, if you are a person with certain allergies or has asthma, eating mangosteen regularly will improve your health and increase your chances of not getting allergies or inflammation.
In some countries, mangosteen tree bark and leaves are concocted to produce an herbal medicine that cures wounds easily. Natural mangosteen tea is also made by boiling mangosteen tree bark and leaves. The anti-inflammatory effects of mangosteen improve wound healing at a faster rate. Even better, its anti-bacterial properties also keep you safe from harmful bacteria.
Are you suffering from sciatica pains? Mangosteen comes as a perfect home remedy when you want to get rid of the dreadful pain due to inflammation. Apart from its anti-inflammatory effects, it also has cox-inhibitor power that relieves the unwanted sensation you are feeling from sciatica. Not only those, anti-inflammatory properties also prevent serious illnesses like diabetes, leukemia, and even the weight conditions like obesity!
#4: Improves Your Immune System
One of the main reasons why the body gets sick easily is because of poor immunity against common diseases. Tired of popping pills whenever you catch colds or flu? If you’re the kind of person who easily gets sick, it’s probably time to redirect your approach when it comes to strengthening your immune system. They say that prevention is better than cure, so you’d better rearrange your diet and go for healthy foods like vegetables and fruits. Make sure to include mangosteen on your diet list because this fruit is beneficial when it comes to boosting up your immune system.
Because it’s loaded with Vitamin C, mangosteen can contribute to making your immune system stronger; therefore, your body is able to fight off infectious bacterial, viral sicknesses like common cold, flu, cough, and fever. The powerful anti-oxidants found in the fruit, which are very essential in fighting off foreign and free radicals that cause diseases. There was one study where the subjects were asked to consume mangosteen regularly for a month (30 days). After that 30-day period, the researchers handling the study noticed significant improvement in the subjects’ immune system because of mangosteen’s high anti-oxidant content.
#5: It Fights Off Infection – Even the Dangerous Ones!
When you hear the word ‘infection’, the first thins that probably comes into your mind is anti-biotic. Infection, when left untreated, can pose a more dangerous health condition—like tuberculosis. The latter is a sickness that can be life-threatening if not given with the proper medication. If someone is suffering from severe cough, bloody sputum, loss of weight, and night sweats, it could be symptoms of tuberculosis. If diagnosed with this disease, while treating with medicines, it would be advisable for the patient to eat mangosteen regularly to strengthen immune system, fight off infection, and quicken the days of recovery. The fruit’s anti-inflammatory properties, multiple anti-oxidant content, alpha-mangosteen , and gamma-mangosteen xanthones are just few of the things that serve as proof that mangosteen is truly an amazing fruit.
It’s amazing how a small fruit can give such great benefits, isn’t it? Even better, mangosteen is delicious that you won’t have to force yourself to like this fruit. Always remember, there’s no one who can take care of your health like you do—and you will eventually be what you eat. If you eat more junk foods and fast foods and consume less vegetables and fruits, your body will gain unhealthy fats. Obesity is a serious thing. But if you will start today and discipline yourself in your eating habits, you will surely reap the fruit of your works someday—that is having a healthier body, longer life, and fit days ahead. Sometimes, the only difference between being unhealthy and being fit is your will to do things. Yes, mangosteen is just a fruit, but it contributes a lot. It won’t hurt to add this fruit to your rearranged diet.
And do you know what’s the best thing about this? It’s there in the market during a certain season, you won’t have to go to a Southeast Asian country just to get ahold of a fresh mangosteen—and you don’t need to splurge a lot just to get one! There are some gourmet restaurants that also offer desserts and shakes that are mangosteen-flavoured.
For a bonus, here’s a mangosteen shake recipe that you can try at home:
Mangosteen Smoothie/Shake Recipe:
1 cup of fresh Mangosteen flesh
1 cup of fresh milk
Honey or Sugar (Depends on your preference)
A teaspoon of Lemon (optional)
A glassful of ice
In a blender, combine all the ingredients blend until it reaches the right smoothie/shake texture you want. This smoothie is best served with a slice of blueberry cheesecake. Enjoy!
What are you waiting for? Go visit the nearest supermarket and buy your mangosteen! Hopefully, this article about the Top 5 Health Benefits of Mangosteen has helped you a lot.
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