As Malaysians, we are no strangers to the exotic purple fruit called the mangosteen. Did you know, though, that they are pretty rare and hard to come by in many other parts of the world? Dubbed the ‘Queen of Fruits”, the amazingly tasty mangosteen is a seasonal fruit that grows well in our country as well as in various other parts of South-East Asia. It also happens to be the national fruit of Thailand!
Scientifically known as Garcinia mangostana, the mangosteen is predominantly purple in colour, although it can get slightly brown as it matures. It has a white fleshy pulp, segmented with seeds. The tropical fruit has been gaining popularity worldwide following medical findings that it may be a remedy for a number of health ailments, including cancer! But we doubt that this is new news, as legend has it that Queen Victoria had kept a reward price of 100 pounds sterling to whosoever would bring her some mangosteens. If you know your history Queen Victoria suffered from hemophilia her whole life, and was on a constant lookout for a cure.
Star nutrient in Magosteen: Xanthones
Mangosteens are rich in a special antioxidant known as Xanthones, a class of naturally occurring polyphenol compounds. The fruit has two classes of Xanthones -alpha mangosteen and gamma mangosteen, and is said to contain at least 20 known Xanthones, majority of which are found in the fruit wall or pericarp of the fruit.
Now, mangosteen is one of those fruits that is just so addictive that you can hardly stop at just one fruit. Other fruits that share this, err, ‘trait’ are the durian, langsat, rambutan, etc. You’ll have to sit yourself down to a heap of these fruits, with family and friends, and enjoy! But isn’t it great to know that something so tasty is actually really good for you? That’s right, mangosteen is rich in essential nutrients that will benefit your health. Here are a few health benefits of mangosteen you should know about.
- The abundant quantities of potassium, copper, magnesium, and manganese contained in mangosteen can help regulate your blood pressure.
- Mangosteen’s high antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, together with its star component, Xanthone, can help lower the risk of many skin diseases by repairing the damaged cells.
- Acne buster? It’s worth a try, because of its ability to scavenge free radicals coupled with the suppression of production of Cytokines (major contributor to acne). Perhaps it can help prevent your skin from developing acne!
- The high fiber content of mangosteen provides natural prebiotics, which is good for your intestines, and aids in preventing constipation.
- The Xanthones 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.
- Mangosteen has high anti-inflammatory properties. They inhibited release of Histamine and Prostaglandin helps in the anti-inflammation process, helping to eliminate cold, flu, pains and swellings.