Mangosteen is an exotic fruit commonly grown in Southeast Asian countries like China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. It 's been an important part of traditional medicine for hundreds of years in these areas because of its notable health benefits. Numerous scientific studies have already proven that mangosteen contains compounds that are considered as powerful antioxidants because they are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal in nature.
Fun Facts about the Mangosteen
The mangosteen fruit has a dark purple outer skin, a reddish rind, and white segmented flesh. It featured a sweet taste and is roughly the size of a tangerine. To eat the fruit, you simply need to twist it and break the rind apart to expose the juicy segmented flesh inside. If this proves to be too difficult, you can always use a knife to cut around the middle of the fruit. You can then proceed to suck on the sweet, pulpy segments, but be careful not to bite on the bitter pits typically found in the middle of each piece.
Until 2007, mangosteen could only brought into the country in the form of juice or extract only. This ban was put into place in order to avoid the possibility of infestation by the Mediterranean fruit fly, which is apable of causing extensive damage to a wide range of crops. It was only five years ago when the FDA started allowing the importation of mangosteen, provided that the fruits were irradiated.
Medicinal Uses of Mangosteen
Mangosteen can be beneficial in treating:
The most useful part of the mangosteen fruit when it comes to medicinal properties is possibly the reddish rind, or pericarp. It contains xanthone compounds, which are potent antioxidants known to:
Antioxidants like those found in the mangosteen rind help neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals are atoms with an odd number of electrons, which are formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules in the body. Once formed, free radicals cause a chain reaction that can cause damage and even death to healthy cells in the body. The accumulation of free radicals in the body naturally causes aging and is also known as a major contributor for the development of other diseases such as cancer.
Scientists are persistently studying the potential of the mangosteen fruit for cancer prevention. As a rich source of antioxidants, it may actually have effective anti-cancer properties. Research already indicated that the compounds found in the mangosteen pericarp demonstrated notable action against several cancer cell types like those found in breast cancer, liver cancer and leukemia.
Aside from these, mangosteen also exhibited an inhibitory action against bacteria that cause tuberculosis, and has been proven to strengthen the immune system against many other types of infections and diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Enjoying the Goodness of Mangosteen
Commercially-prepared mangosteen juice and extracts can be purchased in the US from several distributors. Mangosteen capsules are also sold as dietary supplements. Drinking mangosteen juice and taking mangosteen supplements are convenient ways for you to get all the healthy goodness of this wonderful fruit. However, if you prefer to eat the fruit fresh, you can enjoy homemade fresh mangosteen juice or sorbet, or eat the fruit as you would eat an orange. Make sure to pick the best mangosteen carefully at the supermarket. This is indicated by a rich color and fresh-looking stems and leaves. If the fruit looks blotchy and yellowish, it may already be overripe.
Whichever way you wish to enjoy your mangosteen, the important thing is that you are getting heaps of healthy benefits from this yummy fruit.