Though it’s not the most attractive fruit around, mangosteen has a lot of fans because of the sweet taste that resembles a citrus despite looking more like a plum. The earliest mangosteen plants aren’t quite as old as you think, with the first recordings coming in the 14th century, while it didn’t start to make its way around the world until a couple of hundred years ago. Now, we’re seeing mangosteen more commonly in all regions.
People might be a bit hesitant to try mangosteen at first because of its odd appearance on the inside and out, but it’s definitely worth the try. The taste is far superior to its looks, and it will also bring you some tremendous health benefits. To show you why you should be using mangosteen as one of the fruits in your diet, let’s take a closer look at the nutritional breakdown and proven health benefits you’ll get.
Nutrition of Mangosteen
Mangosteen can be a bit hard to find in the United States when not in a canned form, so we’ll look at the nutrition for the drained and canned mangosteen. Each one cup serving has under 150 calories, with a small amount of protein and about 15 percent of your daily recommendation for fiber. Mangosteen is very low in fat with just over one gram, and there’s no cholesterol with very little sugar.
Out of the wide range of vitamins in mangosteen, there aren’t any that deliver a massive amount, but you’ll get 15 percent of your daily folate recommendation. Others that come in at around five to 10 percent include vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6. There’s also a wide range of trace minerals with manganese leading the way at 10 percent daily value. Closer to the five percent mark include minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper and calcium.
Even though mangosteen isn’t packed with vitamin C like some other fruits, it still does provide a nice boost of this nutrient. On top of that, mangosteen helps to prevent illnesses through other methods, particularly because it’s so packed with antioxidants. Among these antioxidants are xanthones, which can be difficult to find in other fruits. This polyphenol can wipe out problematic attackers in your body, including free radicals. Free radicals can damage the cells in your body, which causes illnesses such as cancer.
Mangosteen also has a lot of anti-inflammatory properties that can help you prevent allergies and other issues that stem from inflammation. Add in the fact that there is some vitamin C in mangosteen, and you’ll be able to boost your immune system by creating more white blood cells to fend off foreign invaders. All in all, the nutrient content for mangosteen might not be the highest of all fruits, but it has more antioxidants than most foods you’ll find.
Good For the Heart
Whether you’re looking to lower your blood pressure or balance your cholesterol to increase your heart’s health, you can achieve both by eating more mangosteen. It’s been shown that the properties of mangosteen can lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood to prevent heart disease and stroke.
The antioxidants in mangosteen are mostly to thank for that benefit, while you can lower your blood pressure because of nutrients such as potassium and copper. When you’re getting enough potassium in your diet, the vessels of your heart become more relaxed and won’t have to overwork to keep pumping blood. People tend to think of diseases such as the cold first when it comes to what antioxidants can prevent, but heart disease is affected by antioxidants just as much.
Another thing that free radicals do to your body is attack your skin cells, causing early forms of aging such as wrinkles and spots. When you get antioxidants in your body to fight against these free radicals, you’ll ensure that you look younger for many years. You’ll also get some important vitamin C for your skin that naturally produces collagen to give you more elasticity, while vitamin A helps your complexion to give it a natural glow.
Mangosteen has also been shown to get rid of blemishes such as acne by getting rid of excess oil on the skin to make it smoother. All of these antioxidants will even help your hair as your scalp becomes less flaky. When the skin on your scalp is in perfect health, you’ll naturally grow more hair that comes in thicker and fuller than you’re probably accustomed to.
Mangosteen isn’t the lowest calorie fruit that you’ll find, but it’s certainly low enough in calories that replacing processed snacks in favor of more mangosteen will help you lose weight. Mangosteen is also much more rounded in terms of nutrients than unhealthier snack foods to give you more of an energy boost. The natural boost that comes without crashes or spikes will make it easier to get to the gym and burn off even more calories.
Since mangosteen does also have a fair amount of fiber, you’ll be able to feel more full throughout the day. It’s been show that people who get enough fiber in their diet tend to eat fewer calories on a daily basis and have a lower body weight. Part of that has to do with fiber providing a metabolism boost. Even the xanthone antioxidants in mangosteen are shown to be fat burners, which is why they’ve been added to supplements for years.
Above all of the other vitamins and minerals, mangosteen is the most abundant in folate. Folate has been shown to promote your brain’s health, with those that get enough drastically reducing their chances of dementia, lowering their homocysteine levels. Even in the day to day aspect of your life, mangosteen helps your brain function by balancing your mood. Folate and other vitamins help your neurotransmitters to produce a balance of hormones that can lower signs of depression and even help insomniacs fall asleep and stay asleep at night to promote a healthier sleep cycle that contributes to a better life.
Summing it Up
There usually aren’t many side effects when it comes to eating fruits, and the same could be said about mangosteen. Researchers haven’t found any serious side effects when eating the fruit, especially when eaten in the suggested serving sizes. Some people, however, have turned to the mangosteen extract to use it in supplements.
There are some known side effects with the extract, as it can interfere with certain medications as mangosteen has blood thinning abilities. With that said, doctors suggest that you don’t eat mangosteen or the extract if you have a surgery upcoming or are taking medications. Minor details aside, mangosteen is incredibly safe for most people to eat, and you’ll want to add it to your diet knowing that it delivers both taste and great health benefits!