The season for mangosteen just started here in Bali, and I am super happy about it. I really love this fruit, it has a nice color and the taste is incredible, not to compare with any other fruit I know. The mangosteen plant is an evergreen, erect tree reaching about 20- 60 ft in height. It is commonly found in tropical rainforests of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines as well as in some cultivated lands in Sri Lanka, and India, where annual precipitation and relative humidity are favorable for its growth. Fresh purple fruits are available in the markets from Mai/June until October, and from now on I will buy and eat them at least once a week.
Internally, the fruit features 4 to 10 juicy, snow-white colored, soft, fleshy triangular segments as in an orange. Each segment may contain 1-4 off white to light brown colored seeds, when I eat them there is a seed in one segment out of five. Seeds are inedible and bitter in taste. The flavor of the fruit is sweet, fragrant, and delicious. Mangosteen have some great health benefits, in Bali you can buy a lot of different health products made of this fruit like tea, juice, powder and many more; I prefer to enjoy them fresh and pure or in a smoothie.
Some of the health benefits are:
- It contains an impressive list of essential nutrients, which are required for normal growth and development and overall nutritional well-being.
- 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.
- Mangosteen is good in vitamin C and provides about 12% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-C is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against flu-like infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
- The fresh fruit is a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin and folates. These vitamins are acting as cofactors the help body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
- Further, it also contains a very good amount of minerals like copper, manganese and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps control heart rate and blood pressure; plus it offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
- There are very few studies at the moment that have tested the effects of mangosteen on human health. But in experimental research, scientists have shown that mangosteen extract may possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-tumor properties.
- Additionally, preliminary research suggests that mangosteen extract may help shield the brain from the toxic effects of amyloid beta (a substance that forms the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease). There’s also some evidence that applying mangosteen extract to the skin may help to treat acne.
In the western world magosteen is getting more popular, and you can already find them in some supermarkets in the United States or Germany. If you can find them there or come to visit Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines or Sri Lanka, you have to try this fruit; I promise you will love it.