Mangosteen fruit scientifically known as Garcinia mangostana is a tropical evergreen tree, believed to have been originated in Indonesia and is widely available in several South East Asian regions like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam and also in some regions of Africa. The purple Mangosteen, also known as ‘Mangustan‘ in Hindi, ‘Ivarumamidi‘ in Telugu, ‘Kaattampi‘ in Malayalam, ‘Kao‘ in Bengali, ‘Murugala Hannu‘ in Kannada, ‘Kokum‘ in Gujarati, ‘Kokam‘ or ‘Ratamba’ in Marathi, is acclaimed for its unique appearance and flavor is often revered as queen of the tropical fruits, especially in the orient.
The fruit has three major parts: the deep purple rind; the white edible flesh which is segmented like oranges and the seeds, found within the flesh. The seeds are extremely bitter in taste and are inedible while the flesh has a soft fragrance with a sweet taste. The outer shell or rind of the Mangostein fruit (called the pericarp) is rather hard, yet can be opened easily.
Mangosteen Health Benefits
Mangosteen has been a part of the traditional medicine of various Asian countries for a very long time, and was once brought all the way around the world so that it could be sampled by Queen Victoria. The health benefits of mangosteen are known since 18th century and it has been proven that these benefits are not just mythical. It is a storehouse of essential nutrients which are required for normal growth, development and overall nutritional well being. Different parts of the fruit and plant are used in the treatment of various diseases and disorders. Here are some of the mangosteen fruit health benefits.
Scientific Research has revealed that Mangosteen contains a class of naturally occurring polyphenol compounds known as xanthones. There are two types of xanthones in this fruit – alpha mangosteen and gamma mangosteen. Xanthones and their derivatives have been shown to have several benefits, including anti-inflammatory. Xanthones are an effective remedy against various cardiovascular diseases. These antioxidants have healing properties which heal cells damaged by free radicals, slow down aging and ward off degenerative diseases and physical and mental deterioration.
2. Low Calories
This fruit is very low in calories (63 calories per 100 g) and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, it is rich in dietary fiber (100 g provides about 13% of RDA), which can be very important for individuals who are concerned about putting on excess body weight.
3. Vitamin C
Mangosteens are rich in vitamin C and contains about 12% RDA per 100g. Being a powerful water soluble anti oxidant, vitamin C provides resistance against flu like infectious agents and scavenge harmful pro-inflammatory free radicals. Therefore consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C is vital for developing resistance against diseases. Folate plays an important role in foetal development and evolution of new cells in the body. This particular vitamin is vital during pregnancy and protects neutral tube effects.
Mangosteen aids in promoting red blood cells and prevents against anaemia. It improves the blood flow by causing dilation of blood vessels which helps to protect us against certain diseases like atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, heart congestion and severe chest pains.
By increasing the amount of blood flow to the eye, Vitamin C in mangosteen is effective against cataracts.1000mg Vitamin C per day is said to be effective in curbing cataracts and improving vision.
5. Reduces Cholesterol
Diet rich in mangosteen is helpful in reducing the level of cholesterol in human body. It also helps to control the level of triglycerides to take care of proper working of human heart.
Mangosteen fruit contains strong antibacterial and antifungal properties besides being highly effective in boosting weak immune systems. Its inhibitory action against harmful bacteria is effective for patients suffering from tuberculosis.
The antioxidants found in mangosteen help to prevent cancer and other cardiovascular diseases. It is a powerful and effective antioxidant that protects our body from free radicals that cause oxidative stress, or” cellular rust” that can lead to host of severe medical conditions.
8. Blood Pressure
Mangosteen also contains high amounts of of minerals like copper, manganese and magnesium. Potassium provides protection against strokes and coronary heart diseases as it is an important component of cell and body fluids and controls heart rate and blood pressure.
Mangosteen contains anti-inflammatory properties which is highly beneficial for people who suffer from sciatica pains which cannot be controlled by drug treatment. Consuming mangosteen two to three times a day will help to relieve pain through its anti-inflammatory and cox-2 inhibitor effects.
One of the major health benefits of mangosteen is its effectiveness in treating Alzheimer’s disease. This disease is accompanied by symptoms like confusion and perplexity and difficulty in remembering things.
Not just mangosteen fruit, Mangosteen rinds and other parts also contain many health benefits.
- While the dried powder of mangosteen rind is used in the treatment of dysentery, its paste can be used to treat eczema and some other skin disorders.
- A decoction made of mangosteen rind can be used to treat diarrhoea, whereas a decoction made of mangosteen roots is used for regulating menstruation.
- A decoction made of mangosteen leaves and bark, is beneficial in bringing down body temperature and also to treat thrush and urinary disorders.
Mangosteen has natural antibacterial properties and antimicrobial compounds, which are highly effective in treating many common skin problems. Acne, skin blemishes, oily skin and dry skin can be cured by the consumption of mangosteen.
12. Repairs cells
Xanthone compounds present in this fruit’s skin are the highest when compared to other fruits. These can cure skin diseases, repair the damaged cells in your body and protect them.
13. Body weight
Intake of mangosteen is a widely used orthodox method for losing weight. Mangosteen helps in the prevention of weight gain, by burning down fat. Xanthones included in the mangosteen peel help to aid weight loss.
14. Gum disease
Mangosteen acts as a weapon to fight against the gum disease known as periodontitis. The gel of mangosteen helps to cure gum problems.
Mangosteen can be very useful in reducing premenstrual symptoms like dizziness, mood swings, hypertension, etc. In Malaysia, a mangosteen root decoction is consumed to regulate menstruation.
16. Stomach disorders
In the state of Philippines, the mangosteen is widely cultivated. They use its leaves and barks for treating diarrhea, dysentery, treat thrush and urinary disorders.
17. Anti – Ageing
Aging comes about due to oxidation. Mangosteen is filled with antioxidants such as catechin (the antioxidant found in green tea). This helps in fighting free radicals. Hence, start consuming mangosteen to look younger forever.
18. Boosts your energy
This fruit can help you feel refreshed and energized all day long. Its nutrients will help you look more refreshed and youthful. It provides a boost of energy.
19. Viral infections
Xanthones present in mangosteen have the natural ability to attack fungal and viral infections. They even help to get rid of certain carcinogens from attacking your skin.
Some important tips for you:
- Juice made out of the mangosteen peel can make your skin feel tighter.
- Pregnant women should avoid consuming this, since it can be harmful to the fetus.
- Wash the mangosteen fruit thoroughly under running water and wipe it with a soft towel to clean it.
- Mangosteens are available fresh during the summer months.
- Injury to the fruit can make the whole fruit bitter and inedible.
- Always buy fresh fruits that feel heavy and have a bright purple colored skin. Dry and blotched skin indicates an old stock.
- Ripe fruits should be placed in a cool and dry place. They can even be stored in the refrigerator.
- Longer exposure to warm conditions can cause the skin of the fruit to become dry and hard.
Mangosteen fruit is beneficial because of its high nutritional value. Besides having a delicious taste, it is a rich source of fibres and carbohydrates. It also has high contents of vitamin A and vitamin C as well as iron, calcium and potassium. This fruit is a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin and folates. These vitamins act as cofactors which help the body to metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Most importantly mangosteen fruit is a great source of xanthones. A one-cup serving of canned mangosteen has 143 calories.