December fruit of the month is tropical and exotic, Mangosteen. It’s a unique pear-shaped, sweet, juicy and tangy tropical fruit that has a deep reddish-purple colored exocarp (rind) when ripe. It grows on an evergreen tree native to the islands of Southeast Asia.
Natives in these parts of the world also refer to mangosteen as “queen of fruits” or “fruit of the gods”. This fruit plays a major role in almost every aspect of the traditional medicine in these cultures. Notably, the rind of this fruit has been used for its medicinal value for generations.
Mangosteen tree can grow from 6 to 25 m tall, it has a dark brown flaking bark and some thick, leathery, elliptic, dark green leaves and does not like the cold weather too much.
Short-term cold weather usually is not too dangerous for older trees, but prolonged exposure to very low temperatures of below 0 °C can kill even a mature mangosteen tree. While it is cultivated in some different areas, it grows almost exclusively in tropical climates.
The fruit is purple in color, but also can appear pale yellow. There are some color variations that exist within this range as well.
WHAT VITAMINS AND MINERALS ARE IN THE MANGOSTEEN?
The exocarp (rind) of this fruit comprises of a unique array of vitamins polyphenols, like tannin and xanthones that protect the tree against insect, plant viruses, fungi infestation and even animal predation.
Xanthones are naturally occurring phytonutrients derived organically from plants that grow in certain tropical regions, such as the mangosteen tree.
Xanthones are thought to support many of the vital functions of the body, including immune health.
Higher quality of mangosteen juice has the rind as part of the pulp just because of the xanthones content it contains.
In fact, according to various folktales, the rind was used to prepare a unique tea that can cure different conditions like gonorrhea, diarrhea and bladder infections.
An ointment made of this rind as its main ingredient was used to cure various skin rashes and even acne.
7 MOST NOTABLE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE MANGOSTEEN FRUIT
The benefits of this fruit have been known to people in Eastern cultures for years.
However, most people in West are only now beginning to become aware of the many significant benefits of consuming the mangosteen fruit can have for individuals who suffer from a variety of health concerns.
Here are some of the most notable mangosteen benefits:
1) ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES
The central component of the mangosteen fruit, xanthones, are responsible for the effectiveness of the fruit in aiding the health of individuals.
There are over 200 known xanthones in nature. Amazingly 20 of them are found in mangosteen, concentrated mainly in the rind. These compounds help in reducing radicals and giving a boost to the body’s immune system.
2) HELPS REGULATE BLOOD PRESSURE AND HEART RATE
Mangosteen fruit also contains high levels of magnesium. Magnesium helps control the electrical function of the heart, keeping the heart rate and blood pressure under control and promoting a regular heart beat. Vitally important for people with minor symptoms concerning their circulatory systems.
3) PREVENTS INFLAMMATION
This has wide-reaching health benefits for people who suffer from a variety of diseases related to inflammation.
There has been a long-existing train of thought that the ability to efficiently and safely reduce inflammation may help prevent further more severe health complications like cancer, heart disease or respiratory issues.
Many respiratory issues are caused by inflammation within the passageways of the lungs, reducing that inflammation can open up the airways and allow normal breathing. Therefore, mangosteen fruit may help anyone who suffers from various breathing problems.
Moreover, preventing inflammation may help people who have mobility issues due to swelling and soreness of the joints to feel better and be able to move more freely.
4) IMPROVE DIGESTION
The fiber that naturally exists in the mangosteen fruit may help anyone who suffers from digestive problems to better regulate their digestive systems. The result is increased health throughout the body as many digestive issues negatively affect other areas of the body and may even serve as a springboard for other health problems to arise.
5) TREATS ACNE, MINOR CUTS AND VARIOUS SKIN CONDITION
People in Southeast Asia had figured it out very early that the pulp of mangosteen will stop the bleeding and act like antiseptic if applied topically to minor cuts. Luckily today there are mangosteen products available which is believed to help with some skin disorders like acne.
6) ANTIHISTAMINE PROPERTIES
In addition to these potential health benefits, this fruit may also help anyone who suffers from allergies. This is also largely due to the ability of the fruit to reduce inflammation. Mangosteen also acts as a natural antihistamine.
Some individuals, who suffer from certain diseases of the eyes, are also unable to take allergy medications. Therefore, they are left to try to find solutions that work for them without making their existing health conditions worse.
7) MAINTAINING A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Mangosteen is a low-calorie fruit high in vitamins which aids in the metabolism. This means the potential for a leaner and healthier body, as well as having increased energy.
The fruit also has a high fiber content. Its fiber content combined with the B-complex vitamins that are included in the fruit aid in maintaining a healthy weight by safely increasing metabolism and assisting in more efficient function within the digestive system.
Even for those who do not suffer from any health conditions, eating the mangosteen or drinking mangosteen juice is an excellent way to provide the body with low-calorie nutrition high in fiber, vitamins and minerals.