Tourists in Southeast Asia are often invited to crack a mangosteen fruit and get a taste of its juicy white pulp. Mangosteeen becomes a hit with everyone who gets a taste of the exotic-looking fruit, which resembles tiny coconut shells but smoother, shinier, and darker in color.
A popular myth in England about mangosteens was that Queen Victoria offered a hundred pounds to anyone who can bring her one. Mangosteen are local to Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
It was brought to England in the 1800s and subsequently introduced to the Western Hemisphere. It can now be found in Jamaica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and even southern Florida.
Mangosteen fares well in tropical climates, especially ones with hot summers and at least 50 inches of rainfall each year. While the months of harvest for the fruit differs for every country, it can range from April to August.
A seedling can take anywhere from 8 to 15 years for it to bear its first fruit, but even then, a harvest of good crop comes in alternate years.
The mangosteen fruit is very similar to the cotton fruit, another crop from Southeast Asia. Even its taste is almost similar.
But the mangosteen wins with the right balance of acidity and sweetness, compared to cotton fruit, which can either be sweet or too acidic.
The shell of the mangosteen is hard and waxy, with a green stem still attached at the top. The hard shell ranges from red to a deep purple.
You can open it by slicing it with a knife or by removing its stem and cracking it open from that spot. It opens up to several white cotton-like pulps; each pulp contains a seed.
It Contains Powerful Xanthone
Many health enthusiasts rave about the benefits of mangosteen and regularly take it in pill form since mangosteen doesn’t have a wide commercial availability.
The main benefit this fruit is often praised for is its anti-oxidative properties. The flesh and the skin of the fruit is the most common source of xanthone, a type of phytonutrient.
Xanthone heals damaged cells and prevent them from aging too fast or too early. It helps in preventing physical and mental deterioration, including degenerative diseases that could ravage the body.
Regular consumption of this phenolic compound is a preventative measure for most cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks. Furthermore, it can also have positive effects on people who already have cardiovascular issues such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and thrombosis.
It also exhibits anti-obesity activities. People who are experiencing metabolic process dysfunction, which can often lead to obesity or the opposite, are greatly helped by mangosteen and products derived from it. It can be very effective in weight management and digestion.
Tea from dried mangosteen rinds are often consumed to help metabolize fat, lower cholesterol, relieve the symptoms of UTI and other urinary disorders, and cure diarrhea and dysentery.
Xanthones from mangosteen also show a high resistance and ability to fight bacteria and fungi. It’s being eyed to be a sustainable source of anti-microbial agents to be used in the biomedical and food industry.
Mangosteen rind is a natural remedy to alleviate symptoms of eczema and acne, and to prevent wounds and scratches from being infected. Stomach ailments arising from dirty water or poorly-handled food are made better by giving mangosteen to patients.
Inflammation occurs in many forms, such as rashes, hives, swelling, pain, contractions, and many others. It’s a normal immune response when the body feels that something’s wrong or may go wrong. However, the body may go overboard and sometimes cause prolonged inflammation. To bring down inflammation and pain, we usually turn to medicine.
The root of the mangosteen tree is usually boiled to help relieve women of menstrual pain. People with asthma are encouraged to eat mangosteen or drink its tea to reduce symptoms when an attack happens. Mangosteen tea is also given to patients to bring down their fever during a cold or an infection.
Helps Keep Skin Healthy
A study, with the objective to confirm the anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects of mangosteen rind extracts on the human skin, proved that the fruit rind can significantly help people from different ethnical backgrounds.
This study, which lasted for three months, had several different volunteers who were given an oral administration of the extract every day. With just 100 milligrams a day, each participant’s skin improved in moisture and elasticity.
In the same study, less advanced glycation end products or AGEs accumulated on the skin. AGEs are formed when sugar isn’t metabolized properly and binds to protein instead.
This destroys the collagen that is in the blood vessels and can even create plaque in the vessels. This is good news for diabetic patients who are widely experience glycation and its effect on the blood vessels and skin.
AGEs are also present in every organism due to physiological aging and stress. People of all ages would then benefit from consuming mangosteen and products derived from its pulp or rind.
Maintains Good Oral Health
By now, we’ve already learned that mangosteen can boost the immune system and help you fight against illnesses. Not only that, its antimicrobial ability is a big help when you get infections, both external and internal.
An example of a common infection occurs in the mouth, which is a good breeding ground for both good and harmful microorganisms. An Asian traditional remedy for thrush and mouth ulcers is to chew on the bark and leaves of mangosteen or boil them and drink the extract.
Cariogenic microorganisms can greatly affect your health and wellbeing because the mouth is our main receptacle for food, for breathing, and for communicating. Even resin from the tree are sometimes rubbed on the gums to cure cold sores and wounds.
There’s also research conducted about finding ways to incorporate mangosteen in periodontitis treatments since it’s both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.
Potential for Therapeutic Effects on Some Mental Disorders
Mangosteen is generally reputed to improve the mood of people who eat it. Usually, this can be attributed to eating good food, but due to its many antioxidant properties, scientists decided to delve deeper into the other possible effects of the fruit.
They have found that its anti-oxidative ability can lessen damaging stress and inflammation that affects the life cycle and production of neurons and neurochemical balance. Further
tudies and research have convinced doctors and scientists that mangosteen has therapeutic uses that can be harnessed to help existing drugs and therapies for people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Nutritional Value per 100 Grams
- 73 Kcal of energy
- 17.91 gram of carbohydrates
- 0.41 gram of protein
- 0.58 gram of total fat
- 1.8 grams of dietary fiber0
- 0.054 mg of riboflavin
- 0.054 mg of thiamin
- 35 IU of Vitamin A
- 2.9 mg of Vitamin C
- 7 mg of sodium
- 0.48 mg of potassium
- 12 mg of calcium
- 069 mg of copper
- 0.30 mg of iron
- 13 mg of magnesium
- 0.21 mg of zinc
Including Mangosteen in Your Diet
It wouldn’t be hard to convince kids and adults to try a piece of mangosteen. The bigger challenge might be stopping them from eating or craving this delicious and juicy fruit. Its distinct taste is one that strikes memories of summer and exotic places.
Mangosteen is quite hard to come by, and even in Southeast Asian countries, it only comes by during certain months. Most people who have access to mangosteen crops preserve the rind and stem. Fresh or dried, it can be steeped or boiled in water to make tea.
Some may even take the fleshy part of the rind to add to poultices for wounds, skin disorders, or face masks. Some companies derive supplements and powders from the rind and pulp extract.
Besides eating it fresh out of the shell, mangosteen can also be:
- Added to salads
- Preserved in vinegar
- Dipped in a salty and spicy sauce
- Added to a savory stew for acidity or sweetness
- Made into a custard-like dessert with coconut milk
- Extracts are used to flavor beverages, candies, and tea.
- Squeezed to make juice, with the pulp added to the mix
Mangosteen may not be as nutrient dense as other exotic fruits, but it is highly valued due to its limited availability and its high xanthone content.
Xanthone is a type of polyphenol that exhibits a lot of promise for the biomedical and food industry. It can keep everyone healthy and physically fit from the inside-out.
For some, mangosteen tea, powder, or supplements will do, but if you can get your hands on the actual fruit, we encourage you to bring a lot home with you. This amazing fruit is great for sharing and a good way to let people know that you care for their health.