Believed to have originated from the tropical Sunda islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia, the purple, distinctively fragrant, mangosteen (or ‘Garcinia mangostana’) is not only rich in colour and flavour but abundant in potent health properties too. Sweet, sour and delicately aromatic, it is one of the most consumed foods throughout South-East Asia – valued for its culinary, industrial and medicinal uses and utilised as part of Ayurvedic treatments for centuries. Commonly consumed in the West as a juiced beverage, both the edible and inedible parts of the fruit have been noted to contain a multitude of medicinal qualities. Find out why mangosteen has historically earned the title of ‘The Queen of Fruits’ in our Top 5 Health Benefits of Mangosteen!
1. Cancer prevention
Mangosteen is one of the few documented food sources to contain ‘xanthones’ – a class of organic polyphenolic (antioxidant) compounds known as ‘phytonutrients’ that help protect the body from degenerative diseases. One of the many beneficial properties of xanthones present in mangosteen is their ability to restrict cell growth, which suggests their potential in treatment for preventing the spreading of cancer cells.
2. Relieves allergy symptoms
You may be familiar with common pharmaceutical grade antihistamine medication, however mangosteen extract is also an excellent inhibitor of the release of histamine, making it a great way to relieve allergic symptoms using only organic matter.
3. Improves cardiovascular health
Xanthones, the same antioxidant credited with inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, may also play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy heart. LDL cholesterol (often referred to as ‘bad cholesterol’) is the by-product of metabolism but can be damaging to health – mangosteen aids in suppressing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
4. Helps reduce body fat
If you’re hoping to lose weight but still want to explore exotic ingredients, then mangosteen may be your new tropical friend! Drinking green tea is well-documented in its ability to aid weight loss, which is due its high concentration of a compound know as ‘catechin’. The rind of mangosteen has been cited to contain “catechin content quantitatively and qualitatively similar to that of green tea”, which likewise aids the reduction of body fat. That’s good news if you’re detoxing from caffeine too.
5. Treats symptoms of acne and other skin conditions
Now that western science has confirmed what traditional medicine has believed about mangosteen for centuries, cosmetic companies have utilised it in their skin care products. Externally or topically applied mangosteen pulp has been found to be anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, preventing infection and reducing irritation commonly associated with skin conditions.
With the delicious flavour of the fruit and healing properties of its rind and seeds, mangosteen is a great example of the benefits of incorporating whole foods into your lifestyle. Whether utilised as a high-fibre snack, as a herbal tonic, or as a part of your skincare routine, the ‘queen of fruits’ is definitely one to place in your dietary kingdom! Got an interesting way to use this or a recipe? Tell us below or @KeepfitKingdom !