Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), also dubbed the Queen of Fruits and Food of the Gods because of its wide variety of benefits addressing several health conditions and health-enhancing properties, this sweet and tangy exotic tropical fruit from various parts of Southeast Asia has more than proven its worth over time. This fruit definitely shouldn’t be overlooked because despite its being relatively obscure, its abundance of unique antioxidants, nutrients, and fiber allows it to provide powerful support for every organ system in the human body.
Additionally, it’s a well-known plant used to make medicine, especially the fruit rind, but other parts like the leaves, seeds, and bark are commonly used. Mangosteen is used to treat diarrhea, urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, thrush, tuberculosis, menstrual disorders, osteoarthritis, and dysentery. Other uses include increasing mental health and enhancing the body’s ability to fight infection. However, the effectiveness of mangosteen in treating any of these illnesses has yet to be proven scientifically, despite its widespread use.
When ripe, the fruit’s peel turns a rich purple, earning it the name “purple mangosteen.” On the other hand, the juicy inner flesh is a brilliant white color, segmented with seeds. Furthermore, it also happens to be Thailand’s national fruit. Other than that, here are a few more reasons why this fruit is beneficial for you.
1. Presence of Powerful Antioxidants
Mangosteen is an abundant source of antioxidants and vitamins. Xanthones, a family of naturally occurring polyphenol chemicals, are the antioxidants that offer the fruit a distinct advantage. Xanthones in mangosteen are divided into two groups: alpha and gamma mangosteen. This fruit has at least 20 known Xanthones, most of which are located in its fruit wall or pericarp, which reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals. These antioxidants protect the body from a wide range of ailments, including the common cold and flu, cancer, and heart disease, by destroying free radicals.
Xanthones and their derivatives have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and are an effective remedy for cardiovascular diseases. These antioxidants also help reduce the aging process and prevent the onset of degenerative diseases.
2. Vitamin C for Immunity
The antioxidants and vitamin C present in mangosteen work together to boost the immune system and improve overall health. The fruit contains roughly 12 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C per 100 grams. Vitamin C aids in the formation and operation of leukocytes, or white blood cells, which play a vital role in a healthy immune system.
Vitamin C’s antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties come from its ability to scavenge free radicals in the body and protect against flu-like infections. This is why it is necessary to eat plenty of fruits high in vitamin C to build up a strong defense against diseases. The more you have, the better your defenses are. Moreover, the folate in mangosteen helps in fetal development and creates new cells in our bodies. This vitamin is essential during pregnancy as it protects the neural tube.
3. Low in Calories and Reduces Cholesterol
The calories in this fruit are quite low at 63 calories per 100 g and do not contain saturated fats or cholesterol. Nevertheless, it is a great source of dietary fiber (100 g supplies roughly 13 percent of the RDA), useful for those concerned about putting on extra body weight. Cholesterol levels can also be reduced by eating a diet rich in mangosteen. Triglyceride levels are kept in check to ensure the normal functioning of the human heart.
4. Regulates Blood Pressure and Boosts Heart Health
Mangosteen is a great source of potassium, copper, magnesium, and manganese, all of which can help regulate blood pressure. Potassium, in particular, eliminates the harmful effects of excessive salt consumption (sodium). It promotes heart health by maintaining a normal heart rate and reducing the likelihood of a heart attack. Mangosteen also lowers cholesterol levels in your body, thereby lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease in the long run.
5. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
When it comes to dealing with sciatica, mangosteen is an excellent supplement because of its anti-inflammatory characteristics. The inhibited release of Histamine and Prostaglandin also helps in the anti-inflammation process. The anti-inflammatory and cox-2 inhibitor properties of mangosteen can help alleviate pain when consumed twice or three times a day.
6. Skin Care Booster
Many skin problems can be reduced largely due to mangosteen’s excellent antibacterial and antimicrobial characteristics and the star component, Xanthone. With its high Vitamin C content, you can’t overlook its benefits to your skin’s health.
Acne has also been traditionally treated with mangosteen. With its ability to scavenge free radicals and reduce the synthesis of Cytokines (a major contributor to acne), it can help prevent acne and help minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Mangosteen’s antioxidants help fight the effects of oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which contribute to the visible indications of aging. Among the many antioxidants that do wonders for your skin, Catechin is one of the most effective, and through mangosteen, helps you achieve that younger-looking skin.
7. Remedy for Tummy Aches
All of your digestive issues can be eased with mangosteen’s high fiber content. It can also help avoid constipation. Diarrhea and dysentery can be alleviated by consuming the pericarp and peel of the fruit. Its high fiber content also boosts your intake of prebiotics, which is healthy for your digestive system.
8. Promotes Healthy Blood Flow
Red blood cells are boosted, and anemia is prevented by mangosteen’s anti-anemia properties. Because it dilates blood vessels, it helps prevent disorders like atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, congestive heart failure, and excruciating chest pains by enhancing blood flow.
Vitamin C in mangosteen helps prevent cataracts by increasing the amount of blood flow to the eye. Taking 1000mg of Vitamin C a day is thought to help prevent and treat cataracts.
Vitamins and minerals in mangosteen fruit make it an excellent supplement. It’s also a significant source of fiber and carbs, making it a healthy option. Vitamins A and C and iron, calcium, and potassium are also present in significant concentrations in this food. B-complex vitamins like niacin and folates can be obtained cheaply from this fruit. These vitamins provide cofactors for the metabolism of carbs, protein, and lipids. Xanthones, which are abundant in mangosteen, are among its most valuable components. Mangosteen in a can has 143 calories per cup.
Eating A Mangosteen
Mangosteen is easy to prepare and eat. However, it can be hard to come by depending on where you live. Because the season for this fruit is so brief, it is frequently out of stock.
Your best option is to hunt for it at Asian markets but be warned that fresh mangosteen can be pricey. So, you can opt for canned products, which are cheaper and easier to find, but these typically have added sugar in them. Juice and powdered supplements of the fruit are also available.
If you manage to get a fresh supply, choose one with an outer rind that should be smooth and dark purple. The rind is completely inedible, but you can easily remove it with a serrated knife.
When ripe, the interior flesh is white and extremely juicy. You can eat this raw or add it to smoothies or tropical fruits salads for that delicious flavor boost.